I’m enduring a love/hate relationship with nap time at the moment.

Archie Bear is 3, and I can just tell the wonderful 2 hours of nap time every afternoon are coming to an end. He fights it every, single, day. He is also utterly exhausted every, single, day, and still sleeps for 2+ hours every afternoon. He’s in a bed now too, no cot side to keep him in, so he merrily hops out and is at his door in a flash – ‘mummy? muuummmmeeeeeeee??’. Thankfully we have a stair gate over his door, or I don’t know what I’d do – fasten the broom under his door handle to lock him in and hide round the corner under a blanket, probably.

Teddy Bear’s never been a great napper – this is 6 month old Tedster, while he was supposed to be sleeping.

At the same time as his older brother is kicking up a fuss, Teddy Bear needs stroking, or else, someone to lie next to him pretending to fall asleep, to show him it’s time to sleep and to reassure him that we’re still here. Otherwise he just stands up and screams and screams and screams. You might be ok with that, and there’s no judgment here, believe me! But, for various reasons, I can’t hack it, so hate having to put him to bed by himself whilst I go and put Archie Bear back in bed for the twelfth time. I end up doing the bedroom dance, to-ing and fro-ing between the boys’ room, where Archie Bear is throwing toys around, climbing on things he shouldn’t and turning his night light on and off so his room resembles some kind of rave, and my bedroom, where Teddy Bear is standing in his cot, apoplectic with rage at being left to his own devices.

At least they sometimes have fun whilst not sleeping!

The worst thing is that if I get angry with either of them and tell them off in a stern, “I’m-not-joking-now” voice, they both, both, start giggling at me. Ugh. I spend most afternoons very angry, praying a lot, and then feeling guilty that one or both of my children ended up crying for a lot of their nap routine.

I need to come up with a plan for what Archie Bear will do once he’s not napping in the day. I like the idea of ‘quiet-time’, when he can sit and read some books or play quietly with whatever toys he wants, but I’m anxious about the practicalities of it and whether Archie Bear will actually consent. He also turns into some kind of grumpy troll if he’s too tired, and selective deafness comes into play more than normal.

I’m not looking forward to him dropping his nap – please give me some encouragement! And any ideas or tips about setting a nice quiet-time routine for him would be gratefully received. This Mummy Bear needs some space in the afternoons…