A nap plus an imagination are like water and oil

Some really wise older parents have referred to the parental role in the first five or six years as being "in the trenches." Warfare terminology. That is EXACTLY how I have been feeling about naptime lately. Every single day I battle with my Ethan. We are two opposing forces and every day one of us wins. Most days, Mommy overcomes and he sacks out for two hours (finally!). Today, I was not the victor. After reading the exchange below, you'll see why.

Me: "Ethan, why are you not taking a nap like I told you to?"
E: "Uh...because I was looking for fishes."
Me: "Why were you looking for fish in your bed?"
E: "Well, I was hungry...and....(takes a deep, excitable breath and hands begin to gesture) I was a tiger and....."
Me: "Sigh."

Usually when I ask him that question he just tells me "I don't know." Today I told him that answer wasn't acceptable. Then he told me about the fishes. Poor guy. He can't turn his brain off. And, he can't write yet to empty out all those fantastic stories he's brewing in that little mind. What a predicament he's in.

Anyone else have a hyper-imaginative child and know how to direct it (at age 4)???


jdhargrove said…
Caleb engages us in the same battle...EVERYDAY!! Of course, we've dealt with it since he was about 8 months old. As far as suggestions on directing that imagination-let me know when you find something.
Tammy said…
In our house @ 4 Trey was in a 5-day PK program program (because he always wanted to be going somewhere) where they just rested w/lights turned out for a small time, but Jillian wanted to only go 3 days and then she did her extra rest time by playing quietly in her room for a time-sometimes falling to sleep, sometimes not. Many are trying to give up their naps (even though they may still need them at 4. We adopted "rest time" (because Mommy needed it even if they didn't think they did) in which they had to lay on their beds quietly and could have a book to quietly look at, some days they fell asleep; others they just ended up going to bed earlier, but at least I got my nap in, so it was a win/win.
Tammy said…
Because my sister and I shared a room (like Ethan & Meira) Mom would have me go take a "nap" when Terri went down and as soon as she was asleep I was allowed to get up and play quietly in another room during the resting time. I think there are as many different answers as there are children since we are all created so differently, but I do know that many kids try to give up naps around the age of 4 (they might do them every other day for awhile), but best thing for you is to figure out how you, Meira and Natalie can get rest w/o Ethan noise....well, those are my personal experiences and some remembered from friends long ago.

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