I haven't figured this out yet . . .
One of the things I dread about going out with the kids is its interference with naps. Naps to a parent are like food to a starving person, water to a thirsty person, and . . . well, you get the idea. Naps are the stay at home parent’s equivalent to a lunch break. Adults need naps too.
I hear these horror stories from other parents about how their little one hasn’t taken a nap since they were two. My nephew is like that and it’s the worst thing I’ve ever heard. I’m determined to get my kids to take naps until they’re five or six.
Since we went out a lot during G’s spring vacation, he missed several naps this past week. The worst was a couple of times where he fell asleep in the car about five minutes away from the house and still refused to go in his bed for a nap when we got home.
So today when we took a trip to the local botanical gardens, I feared naps would be foregone yet again. But I’m happy to report that the only snag in nap time was a brief bit of fussing out of G in the transfer from car to bed.
Yesterday, on our trip to the children’s museum, I figured two hours of running around a museum would be enough to tucker my little tikes out. It was, because they passed out pretty hard in the car, but once we got home they refused to be put down.
Today the kids slept through more of the car ride home than yesterday and they still slept for two more hours once we got home.
The real secret, it turned out, is to exhaust my children to the point where they can’t help but fall asleep in their beds. My problem was that I wasn’t wearing them out enough while we were out. The little cat naps they were taking in the car were enough to recharge them so they didn’t feel like napping my required minimum of an hour and a half.
In the future, I will have to include some sort of the following into our day trips:
Any kind of water play. Something about the excitement of water takes a lot of energy out of kids.
Surprisingly, some good snuggle time works too. See, toddlers can’t sit still, so even when they snuggle, it’s like they’re wrestling with some imaginary object. Or, if there are two of them, it’s like they’re wrestling each other.