"Fatigue is the best pillow."
At some point along the parenting road I decided to hand over the nap decision to the child. Robotson had taught me that fighting a child who doesn't want to sleep was a losing battle. Both he and Funny Girl gave up naps pretty early, before they were two years old. It's been a pleasant surprise that Dimples still takes a daily siesta. With both girls though, I didn't force, or enforce naps. I admit to setting up favorable sleeping conditions and arranging for middle of the day van trips to help, but the rest is up to them (pun intended).
Lately, I've been fighting all three kids to go to bed. I know that's normal parent stuff, but I'm pulling 12-14 hour days here. The last thing I want to do is argue with them to go to sleep. I'm beginning to feel like I should make a change. Problem is, I don't want to give them the freedom this time. A nap is one thing because you know it's going to end in a couple of hours. But bedtime, well once they are asleep, you have the rest of the night to finish up a few things and unwind. At least in theory. I want that.
I'm missing something here, but I can't think of what it is. I've tried the favorable sleeping conditions, but the truth is the kids aren't ready to go to sleep when I am (ready for them to). The easiest nights to get them in bed are when they recognize that they are tired too. How do I do that consistently? That's the missing piece.