After over seven years, I fear the afternoon sleeps are finally on their way out.
Afternoon sleeps have been my sanity. My chance to get things done. My chance to catch up on Phillip and Holly on This Morning. Or my chance to just be quiet and not have to speak to anyone for a bit.
I’ve always counted myself lucky that each of my children have continued their afternoon snooze well into toddlerhood. I’m sure my Mum has said in the past that I pretty much gave up sleeping in the afternoon the day she brought my little sister home and I was about 20 months old then.
Amy is now getting on for 3 and a half. At the same age, Ben and Chloe were already attending Nursery at school five mornings a week. I don’t think either of them were having afternoon sleeps then but I do remember that Chloe would basically veg in front of the TV once she’d eaten her lunch until it was time to pick up Ben. I remember when Ben came close to giving up his afternoon sleep, I re-branded it as “A Quiet Play” and would pop him in his room for half an hour or so to play quietly by himself. More often than not I would find he went to sleep anyway!
As it stands Amy does two full days at playgroup so obviously doesn’t sleep on those days, and quite often will miss a sleep on a weekend if we’re out and about. We’re reaching a stage where nine times out of ten she insists she doesn’t want a sleep, and at least half of those I will know she jolly we does. Sometimes I don’t give her a choice; if we’ve been swimming or if I know it’s the only chance she’ll get for a few days. Other times we make a judgement together based on her mood. If she’s grumpy she has to go to bed, if she’s happy she can stay up and we’ll do something together. She has a similar arrangement with her childminder now on a Wednesday afternoon whereby Ange often gives her the choice – and sometimes she has the foresight to realise for herself that a good kip would be the way forward (like yesterday afternoon for example where she apparently had the best part of a two hours and had to be woken in time for the school run!)
I know the days are numbered. Soon it won’t even be a question whether she goes for a sleep in the afternoon or not. The dozing will be restricted to those car journeys where she just couldn’t keep her eyes open any longer or the days where she’s poorly. Afternoon sleeps will no longer be a part of our routine. My baby girl is growing up.