It’s Not All Mary Poppins

Saved by the …

Nigel has taken a tumble. Normally he recovers pretty quickly from these things, but he’s very obviously tired today. His parents have been having trouble getting him to bed at night, so I’ve been cooperating (with some internal doubts) with their request that he not have naps for a week. He is three now, so it’s entirely possible that he doesn’t need afternoon naps. It could be that without naps he’ll fall asleep sooner in the evening.

It could be, but I have my doubts. Nigel has never slept well at home. Is the problem age-appropriate changes to his sleep patterns, or the ongoing issue of poor patterns at home? The only way to find out is to try it out. So we’re giving it a week.

It’s not going well. Not only are his bedtimes getting later rather than earlier, he’s also waking earlier i the morning, bringing his night-time totals down from nine hours at night to seven. This certainly confirms my suspicion that he still needs those naps. But I promised a week, and a week I’ll deliver.

And what a week we’re having! The boy is whiny, irritable, prone to pick fights and tattle. He’s bossy with the other children, pushing and shoving at them to ensure they do as he dictates. He’s uncoordinated, taking trips and tumbles at a far higher rate than normal. The bags under his blue-smudged eyes droop down to his chin, poor lad. Every time he has a setback, he falls apart. And he’s having lots of setbacks, given his pugnacity and reduced coordination.

His latest tumble? He went to sit down on the step and missed. So his butt hit the floor five inches lower than he’d expected it to. It was a bit of a jolt, but the boy is not hurt.

Try telling him that.

He’s whimpering on my lap, threatening to veer into full-fledged roars any second. We try distraction, cheerful reasoning, firm words. None is effective. Oh, I just want to put the boy to bed! And then…

A slight little noise. A small squirm. I rear my head back and look at him with eyes wide with astonishment and horror.

“NIGEL! Did you just FART???”

He looks up and gives me an almost-grin. He’s rather proud of his little self.

“You FARTED???” I am milking this. Farts are very funny.

“Yeah.” And that was a small smile.

“You FARTED??? On my LEG????”

“Yeah!” A real smile.

“EEEEWWWWWW!!!!” And if “fart” is funny, a heart-felt “EEEEW” is hysterical. Now the other tots have gathered around.

“EEEEWWWWW!” They have no idea what’s so gross. They just love saying the word. “EEEEEEEEWWWWWWWW!”

And Nigel is happy once more.



May 21, 2008 - Posted by | eeewww, Nigel, sleep


  1. The people who live above us are trying that with their three year old too. No more napping despite how tired the kid obviously is – the the temper tantrums which have always been pretty bad are a lot worse.

    I’m not talking just crying for no reason tantrums either – but ear-splitting shrieking that made me wonder what they were doing to the kid. I’ve never heard a kid scream like that – enraged screaming with kicking, punching, pushing and smacking his parents and banging his head on the floor.

    And when he’s not doing that, he’s a bright and very articulate little boy.

    I think he needs more naps. And maybe some consistent parenting (mommy is one of those “I don’t like it when you kick me.” mommies and dad is a no-nonsense sort).

    Comment by rambleicious | May 23, 2008 | Reply

  2. Thanks for the laugh. (And good luck with the tired tike.)

    Comment by Jill in Atlanta | May 23, 2008 | Reply

  3. Earlier this week I was bending down to get something out of a low cabinet and my daughter farted pretty much right in my face. My 17 year old daughter. Farts become less funny at that age!

    Comment by Bethany | May 23, 2008 | Reply

  4. The BoyChild doesn’t take naps at 5 but he still requires 10 to 12 hours of sleep at night. It’s not unusual for us to have him in bed by 7:30 on school nights.

    Comment by M&Co. | May 24, 2008 | Reply

  5. Good sleep habits have saved my sanity. I just nod and smile when I hear another parent telling me that their kid must go to bed at 11pm, or they risk him waking up at 4am. It always irks me when the extended family complains that the toddler–ahem, pre-schooler–is being aggressive or hyperactive. At 3pm. Because they set a family lunch right in the middle of nap time, and now all the kids are out of their minds with exhaustion. I tell the pre-schooler that he’s being a jumping bean. He knows what it means (although it doesn’t necessarily mean he can control it). Anyway, rant over. 🙂

    Comment by Kat | May 24, 2008 | Reply

  6. Seven hours? Oh, my. And I am a bit worried that Pumpkinpie’s cutting out naps and going down to an average of 11 hours might be iffy… Yoiks. Poor kid.

    At least there’s fart humour to be had. Pumpkinpie thinks it’s hilarious to fart on me, too. Or to walk around saying, “Burp! Excuse me! Burp! Excuse me!” um, not quite, kid.

    Comment by kittenpie | May 24, 2008 | Reply

  7. “Eeeeewwwwwwww” seems to be one of those universally kid friendly words that will get even the most distressed child to offer a giggle.

    Especially if you say it with real enthusiasm and scrunch up your face in exaggerated (or not) disgust, adding a few gasps for good measure.

    Comment by Zayna | May 25, 2008 | Reply

  8. Hi Mary-

    Congratulations! Your post from February 8, 2008 titled “Rote vs Real: It’s a Non-contest” has been selected as our Post of the Day on “The Rising Blogger”. It is a site that awards posts, not blogs. We will email your winning badge to post in your sidebar and all our info, if you contact us with your email address. To encourage your readers to comment on your award, it helps if you make the first comment on our post about your blog, yourself. We ask winners to nominate a post favorite of a fellow blogger. Call it “paying it forward”. Neither is a requirement. You have won this award because we truly feel you deserve it. To reach “The Rising Blogger” site:

    Have a great week!
    Judd Corizan
    The Rising Blogger

    Comment by Judd Corizan | May 25, 2008 | Reply

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