A lot of parents I talk to tell me their kids are done with taking naps around the age of three or four. Ian is four, going to be five in a couple months. I still have him try to take a nap. He fights it, like all kids do, and tells me, "I'm not tired! I need to play!"
Ian's crankiness, whining and crying at the drop of a hat that occurs on non-nap days tells me otherwise. So I, the ever mean mommy, make him take a nap each afternoon. We read our stories, snuggle in bed and usually he falls asleep for an hour. He wakes up sweet, clear minded and recharged.
This past weekend, I thought I'd relax my must have a nap rule. On Saturday, we attended a sports class and tackled trekking through Costco. He seemed alright throughout the day, showing a wee bit of fatigue come nighttime. We got together with family for a birthday celebration on Sunday. As the day ended, it was obvious the boy was overly tired. Ian was in zombie mode, not able to follow through with any directions we gave him.
Monday, Ian went to preschool, followed by our family seeing the Monsters vs Aliens movie in 3D. Again, he got no nap, instead playing games, having lightsaber battles, and building Thomas track (boy am I glad to see he still wants to play with Thomas).
In the middle of playing a game of Mario Cart, he gave up his steering wheel Wii remote and complained of a headache. He was pale. We gave him some water and tried to get him to eat something, but he also complained of a stomachache. In the end, sleep was the only solution. He was asleep by 5:30 and did not wake until this morning.
This morning, he is well and ready to play! I have learned something about my boy, he needs his sleep, so he will get his nap this afternoon.