M. Giant's
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Sunday, November 11, 2007  

Lights Out

M. Small thinks he's outgrowing naps. He's not. All he's outgrowing is the restraints we use to strap him to his bed on the afternoons when he's home.

Trash stays home with him on Fridays, and until a couple of weeks ago she claimed that he would go down for an hour or two every one of those Friday afternoons. Three weeks ago he refused, until Trash told him, "Please, Mommy just needs a break, okay?" M. Small still refused to sleep, but at least he hung out in his room for a few minutes after that.

Last week, he wouldn't even do that.

This week, we've been enjoying how that first week of the time change allows us to actually get him to sleep before nine o'clock some evenings. But the nap situation hasn't changed. Trash was looking forward to having me get home from work Friday evening. I was looking forward to it to, because between writing about Kid Nation and Desperate Housewives for TWoP and writing about every other TV show ever for the manuscript revisions I've been working on, I haven't gotten to spend as much time with the boy lately as I used to. Trash, meanwhile, has all but become a single parent to cover for me.

Well, not this last Friday night. That night I was going to go home, bundle him up, stick him in the car, and take him to the indoor park for several hours. Yes, I knew he'd just been there that morning. Didn't care. We hadn't gone together for weeks, and I missed it.

When I got home, he wasn't hungry yet. Trash suggested packing him a sack dinner to bring with us so we wouldn't have to wait for him to feel like eating before we could go. So I did that. I changed his socks and put on his shoes. I put on his scarf and coat. I put up the hood of his sweatshirt. I brought him out back and strapped him into his car seat. We were all set for an evening of father-son fun.

So here's where we get to the indoor park and I realize what I've forgotten. His sack meal? His diaper bag? His season pass to the park? M. Small himself? Well, not exactly. But he wasn't exactly all there, either. Skipping his nap had caught up with him, and he was dead asleep.

But did that really mean anything? How many times have I driven him around the lake, trying to take advantage of the soporific effect of his car seat, only to finally have him wake up the minute I pulled into the driveway? How many times had I tried and failed to not wake him just walking down the hall outside his room? How different could this time be?

I said his name. Nothing. I said all three of his names in a row, louder. Nothing. I clapped my hands. Nothing. I gave him several long, loud zerbits on each cheek. Nothing. At all. I strapped his car seat to the roof and drove around the parking lot. Still nothing.

Okay, obviously I'm kidding about that last one. It's much safer to strap your child's car seat to the hood so you can keep and eye on him.

I called Trash and told her what was up (not M. Small, namely) and she told me to bring him home. Only a small child can come out with you and still stand you up.

Even when he falls asleep in the car seat, he usually wakes up during the transfer from the car to his bed. At some point, between unbuckling him, lifting him out, holding him one-handed long enough to unlock and open the back door, getting in the house, climbing the stairs, getting him onto his bed, and removing his coat, scarf, and shoes, you can pretty much count on him at least opening his eyes for most of the process. This was like transferring and undressing a sack of potatoes.

No, he wasn't dead.

But the next day, as soon as he got up from his nap, I piled him into the car and off we went. I think he knew I was more excited than he was. I know this by the way he messed with my head the whole way there.

"I'm sleeping in the car, Daddy!" he taunted. Maybe he was just angling for another ride on the hood.

posted by M. Giant 10:56 AM 4 comments


I'm going to forward the FedEx tracking number to you of the box that contains my 2 year old. The one who refused his nap for the last two days. The one who came home early on Friday because he was running a fever and was supposed to be SICK.

We scoff at "sick," apparently.

In any case, I'm sending him to you so you can drive him around. Let me know how it works out.

By Anonymous Anonymous, at November 11, 2007 at 7:16 PM  

Used to be the "go sleepy drive" was the only way to get mine down for naps. Now that doesn't work either. Somewhere around 2.5, both mine decided naps suck and just refused to take them. But the little one still falls asleep in the car precisely when you do not want her to do so. How do they know?

By Blogger Bunny, at November 12, 2007 at 4:13 PM  

Yeah, Sam initiated a random nap strike a few weeks ago, but we chucked him in his crib for a couple of hours every afternoon anyway (validating our decision not to get him a big boy bed until we absolutely need to).

Fortunately (for us), he was pretty content to lay there, singing songs and hatching plots, so I didn't have to go crazy. And the strike eventually ended. THANK GOD.

By Blogger Tammy, at November 12, 2007 at 10:31 PM  

This makes me want to gloat so badly: when my son was in preschool, he used to fall asleep on the way home every night, bam, and sleep through until the next morning. All right, it wasn't actually awesome, because when he's unconscious nearly every second that he's home you start to miss him. And that's just weird. I attribute it at least partly to the fact that he was at preschool from about 8:30-6pm and had done everything he had the energy to do in a day, nap or not.

By Blogger oakling, at November 13, 2007 at 11:30 AM  

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