Today may have been America’s 236th birthday, but it will also go down as one of my biggest parenting miscalculations.
What happened? Well, before we get to that let’s do a quick review of the day’s earlier events. Because it was a non-work day, Brayden’s impeccably timed internal clock woke him up at the wee hour of 5:15a. Seriously, on any normal school day, I have to drag this child out of bed at 6a (when I wake him up to get ready for daycare) because he’s dead to the world. But on a weekend or any other non-work day (which apparently includes weird middle-of-the-week holidays)? He’s up at the crack of dawn happily shouting, “Mama! Mama! Up! Brayden Up!”, ready to take on the day.
After a big breakfast and a few chores, it was time to pack up for our big adventure: spending the day with Nana, Grampa and Uncle Ryan at the Nugget in Sparks. I was thisclose to having us wear Mommy and Me Obama tee shirts…
…but then I had a premonition of my father’s reaction and decided against it. Since we were going to be away the whole day, I packed as if preparing for a zombie apocalypse (though those of you who are mindful of such things can probably appreciate my level of thoroughness).
So the plan was that my very tired toddler would lay down with me on the big (fun) bed and sweetly drink the cocoa I brought from home while I rubbed his back and he drifted off into a blissful sleep.
Was I really silly enough to think that’s how it would happen? Yes. Did it work out that way? H-E-double hockey sticks no. I’m still sitting here at 9:30p at night shaking my head wondering what in the world I was thinking, especially considering he’s never: A. slept in a bed before. B. taken a nap somewhere other than a few very established places.
Instead of my mind’s idyllic nap fantasy, I ended up practically sumo wrestling my 22-month-old in the dark trying to force him into submitting into some bizarre “cuddling” position that was just wasn’t gonna happen. The whole thing was so off-the-wall that I wish I had actually videotaped it for parenting posterity. Needless to say, nap was a no go. And I fully realized the havoc this was going to play on the rest of the day.
So what do you do with an overtired toddler? You take him to the pool and wear him out even more! Why not? It’s already going to be a banner day so why not just commit to it?
We all trekked down to the pool and had some big time splashing fun until little B was a shriveled prune.
After we were done, we went back to the hotel room where Brayden lit up the phone lines calling his little friends to invite them to his sweet (non-sleeping) crib.
At this point, he was so tired it took all four of us adults to manage him. So you’d think I’d be happy when he fell asleep in his stroller outside at the Fourth of July event? No! Because now we were risking turning bedtime into a disaster too. So I let Captain Adorable sleep for 30 minutes then I woke his little self up.
Luckily, all’s well that end’s well. We said our goodbye’s to Nana, Grampa and Uncle Ryan, drove home, went right into dinner and Brayden’s bedtime routine. He was head on bed by 6:00p and hasn’t made a peep since.
And I learned my lesson the hard way. No more nap antics for this mama until Brayden gets a little older. Because heaven knows, I don’t want to sumo my kid in the dark again any time soon.
Happy Fourth of July!