My 4 1/2 year old son is traveling through some tiring times. I talk with other moms about this current crazy faze and most of them, particularly the moms with older children confirm that this is normal. Something they have experienced as well. Some of these moms have 5 children, so I am comforted by their affirmations.
As we struggle through this faze, this development, whatever you would like to call it. I am finding that Gage needs more sleep than ever. His exhaustion is all consuming and definitely adds to the "developmental struggle" :) But we have also found that naps don't necessarily help. When he naps he is up until 9pm and than we begin the cycle. Up until 9pm, therefor needs a nap - blah, blah, blah. So my approach is to push him through those saggy, tired moments and carry on. Make it to 7:30pm and he goes right to bed, sleeping pretty soundly.
I do however, make exceptions as we always do in parenting. Because some times the nap just happens to him. It just takes him over the moment motion stops. He is barreling around the house and happens to sit down for a moment and boom he is asleep. He is wresting and swinging himself crazy at the playground, gets into the stroller to go home and boom he is asleep. So those moments come and I try to take a deep breath and go with it. Some times ya just gotta sleep.
Just yesterday was one of those moments. Around 4pm, the worst time to take a nap, Gage pauses for a moment (and I mean a moment) in his destruction of the house. And a nap jumps up and grabs him. I blink and see this upon the couch.
It's official the keeping him awake game is over, so I take a deep breath and move on. Gage has fallen asleep on the couch, Imogen and I keep playing and I began making dinner within an arms breath of him and he sleeps through it all. An hour and a half after crashing on the couch he sits up as though startled, looks at me and I think maybe this nap has come to an end. But instead he slouches down and spends another hour and a half like this.
This nap, that I attempted to post pone lasted 3 hours. 3 hours. That is quite possibly the longest nap Gage has ever taken. He woke up a changed person, well-rested, happy and cordial. That night we tried to get him to bed on time, to no avail. He was awake until 9:30pm and the cycle continues. Ow well, it was so wonderful to see him sleep so deeply, so completely and to see him wake up as my son, not crazy person that has taken him over recently.
So to nap it is, whenever the nap jumps up and grabs him. It appears to know better than I what is needed.