My daughter, Miss Thang, has not slept much this week, due to a combination of the hot weather and the fact that she is physically incapable to slumbering past 7 a.m. Since she refuses to sit still and rest for even a second during the day, she has been alternately hyper and whiny.
Today it came to a head. She was whiny through a movie, whiny through a playdate and whiny during a shopping trip. I finally lost it at Fred Meyer. I was looking for groceries and laundry detergent in a store that has changed its layout for the umpteenth time due to remodeling, and while I tried to concentrate on finding things this buzz-buzz-buzz kept going in my ear: "Mommmmmmmm ... I was trying to find this toy ... can you come and look at this toy ... I want some of those hairbands ... no, I want more than six ... waaaaahhh..."
I gritted my teeth, glared at her and uttered the first word that came to mind: "Naptime!" She stopped in her tracks and became fearfully quiet. Her eyes got big and she whispered, "I don't want to nap." The image of Guantanamo detainees flashed through my mind. Keep in mind that she is 7 and has not napped since the age of 3.
So we have made a deal: Whenever she is whiny or annoying or hyper this summer and can't calm herself despite several warnings and/or good-parenting attempts on my end, "Naptime" will be the code word for, "This is your final warning. Any further attempts to whine or annoy will result in being sent to your room for a good snooze."
So far it's working. If it works through the entire summer vacation, I may have to start a parenting-advice blog (just kidding).