It started on Monday afternoon. We went to the zoo. It was during Squish’s naptime, and I expected him to pass out soon after we arrived. But he defied expectations and managed to wave “hi” and say “bye bye” to the elephants, tigers, lemurs, giraffes, parrots, kangaroo, tortoises, camels, ostriches, lynx, shrews, and dinosaurs before the sandman caught up to him right outside the gorilla house. He slept for a solid 15 minutes, until we were back at car putting him in his car seat. Nice.
Oh well, I thought, he’ll sleep like a rock tonight. But perhaps if I’d wanted a him to get a good night’s sleep I wouldn’t have given the boys cake and ice cream for their bedtime snack that night. But we’re on vacation. We’re living it up. So I did. I also gave them their water bottles to take to bed so they could wash down their dessert. Perhaps that was the bigger mistake. Manchild got up at 3:45 to use the toilet and woke up Squish. His pathetic cries eventually penetrated my sleepy brain and I got up, gave him his pacifier, put his blanket on him, and went back to bed. For an hour. And then I got up, gave him his pacifier, put his blanket on him, and went to back to bed. For a few minutes. And then I took him into bed with me and neither of us slept until about 7:00. We got up at 8:00.
My hopes were high for a decent nap on Tuesday afternoon (for Squish, of course), since we’d be driving around and what could possibly be more comfortable than being in a car seat, cruising down I-15 in the middle of the day? (Don’t answer that.) All was going according to plan, right up until I needed to retrieve my camera from my sister at work and she wasn’t answering her phone. All I wanted was for her to bring it out to the car. Was that too much to ask? I guess so. I only had 15 minutes before my time in the parking spot expired, so I bid farewell to the nap, unbuckled the boys, and got the camera myself.
Now, I should give credit where credit is due. Up to this point, Squish handled the exhaustion quite well. Very little crying, very few tantrums. He played nicely and asked politely when he needed something. The post-nap clingy-ness was completely manageable, and much more welcome than any post-nap screaming/wailing/writhing that could have happened.
And then we went home for dinner. And Squish had had enough. It was watermelon for dinner or nothing. He screamed at every other offer, and didn’t stop screaming once the offers were rescinded. He yelled and cried and was the most confused little boy in the kitchen at that moment. So I bathed him and his brother, dressed them, read to them, brushed their teeth and had them in bed at quarter to 8:00 (super early by our standards). Then I sat back, enjoyed the silence, and looked forward to having two refreshed, rested little boys in the morning.
It worked like a charm. Sort of. I didn’t hear a peep from either of them until . . . 1:30 this morning.