Yesterday, like many days, I was driving home with Noah in the backseat and time got away from me like it usually does. I looked at the clock four miles from home and realized that we were more than 90 minutes past Noah’s usual nap time. I looked at him in the rear-view mirror and he seemed plenty awake with no signs of slowing down. This was good. Only a mile later (three miles from home) I looked at him again and noticed that his eyelids were starting to droop. This was bad.
Like any parent would understand, younever want your kid to fall asleep when you’re getting super close to home, because, well, you then have to wake him up when you get home. And it’s then that all hell breaks loose. And it’s then that your chance at him getting a real nap drops to single digits. And it’s then that you can kiss that awesome day you were just having goodbye and replace it with a black cloud of insanity and unrest.
“Noah, don’t go to sleep yet”. I said. I won’t dad, I’m not tired. “Okay,” I said, “let’s sing a song.” Yeah. And we started singing Down by the Bay, a good choice to keep him awake, I thought, because we got to yell at the end of every verse.
Two miles from home. “Noah, are you singing?” Nothing. “Noah!” What dad? “Don’t go to sleep, we’re almost home.” I won’t. “okay, sing with me, I can’t hear you singing”. Okay, he said barely audibly. And I started to sing. HAVE YOU EVER SEEN A BEAR, COMBING HIS HAIR, DOWN BY THE BAY?!
One mile from home. I look in my rear-view and watch his eyes fight closing as if lead marbles are sewn into each lid, struggling against his attempts to keep them open on Dad’s demand. “Noah” Grumble. “Noah!” Nothing. “Noah, wake up!” Nothing. This time I scream. “Noah, wake up buddy! We’re almost home, just 30 more seconds.”Nothing. I see his head start to drop. “Noah, NO! WAKE UP! WAKE UP NOAH! WAKE UP BUDDY!” Nothing. His limp head falls forward. “AAAARGH! NOAH!!! Wake up! We’re almost home”.
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I have a napping pro, he can sleep anywhere and I can move him during naps multiple times, but wake him up...forget it, he is down for the count. I never could keep him on a schedule though.
LOL, I'd like to say the same thing happens to me, but it's a little different here. Both my kids gave up official napping at about 18 months but my son although he thought he could go without a nap, still threw one in here and there which led to an entire photo album dedicated to the naps he takes (with a few thrown in of other family members, except me). When my son does actually nap he takes it to the max. One day after a long morning at the beach he fell asleep at the ballet studio while I was registering my daughter for the fall. He managed to sleep through 4 relocation's (in and out of his carseat). That day sparked a collection of photos known as the nap migration. I'd like to say that's the only time it happened but we have carried him in and out of restaurants sleeping more times then I can imagine. And he's only 5!
Hahahaha, what a beautiful post! I used to shake my daughter's leg. She would be upset trying to keep her leg to herself and whine, but the audible whining meant "awake"! I'd shout out very similar things. "TWO MORE MILES HAZEL!" or "almost there almost there ALMOST THERE!!"
Sadly yes, my kids would go to sleep in the car and as soon as I tried to take them out they would instantly wake up. With my youngest he fell asleep in the car one evening and I was soo tired. I knew the second I took him out, it was over so I just laid my head back and napped with him in the car. lol
This is when I drive to Starbucks and go through the drive through and get something for myself. It will at least give them a 40 minute nap in the car. However when they do this on the way to dinner, then we know we are in for a really late night......
My boyfriends 3 yo used to only go to sleep in the car. then you were free to move him anywhere and it was fine. (For him anyway) I worked and worked and finally got him to go to sleep in his bed, and then he started refusing to sleep anywhere but in his bed, at home, with a radio on. When he was 2 he started telling me that he's not taking naps any more and i told him various things like if he doesnt take a nap, he wont be able to stay up and have a campfire, or watch a movie with us, etc. So he told me "You stand here and watch me. I go to sleep." And for the last 2 years, if i want him to take a nap, i stand there and watch him from the doorway, and after say... 3minutes, his breathing steadies and he stops twitching and hes sound asleep. If hes tired, its not necessary. Ive found him passed out head first in his toy box. Or laying in his bed covered in matchbox cars. He goes to bed fine at night all by himself. But for naps, He wants me to watch him. lol. Probably weird, but it works!
I don't want to gloat (no, I'm lying, I do!), but when my little boy falls asleep, anywhere, he stays asleep. So whenever he sleeps in the car on our way home, I can just pick him up knowing he will not wake up, and put him in bed to continue his nap. No stress. I'm one lucky mama!!
This used to happen to me all the time - I would take my oldest (now 12) to Lowes with me every weekend. Without fail, the kid would fall asleep as I was pulling into the parking lot, and would be a complete ragdoll. On at least one occasion, he slept through the entire trip through the store. Picking lumber while cushioning the kids head on my hand was interesting.
Amen daddy!!!! My little girl is deaf and falls asleep in the car on rare occasion; when that happens it must make for quite the show because I have to get ahold of a body part and shake it. I would love to pull and nap with her but she wakes up screaming as soon as the car stops moving. Gotta love those cute little quirks:-)
I hear ya! I used to reach back and tickle my daughter's feet to keep her awake but it only worked until it mad her mad.
Just last month, I had my granddaughter for the day. We spent a lovely day at the local animal shelter petting all kinds of animals. GD very tired, home is only 10 minutes away. My daughter and I sang songs, patted her on the legs, anything to keep her awake. Eyelids closing. NO, NO. Pulled over to the side of the road and got into the back seat with her while daughter drove the 2 minutes home. I did manage to keep her awake but it was very hard. Got her in the house and she couldn't get in the bed fast enough. SAFE. Even Grandparents dread the 5 minute nap.
nah I didn't have that problem. Mine was more (with one son at least) I had to make sure he kept heading in the right direction as he had to walk there as he was too big to carry. But then I never really did have set nap times that I recall. If they were tired and getting cranky yes they were sent to their room to lay down.
usually if this horrible, terrible thing happens i wait a little while - 15-20 minutes and sometimes we all get lucky and the little monkey lets me get him out of the car seat and carry him in the bedroom. but sometimes the worst happens - his head touches the pillow, he turns, opens his eyes, and... he's awake! and those total 30 minutes of a nap recharge him like 2 hours can't!
so, yeah, i hear ya!
If my daughter falls asleep in the car (she's 4, so no regular naps, but bedtime is 8 pm sharp), we absolutely MUST wake her up within 20 minutes. If we do, she's fine, she will wake with a smile and we just read an extra story or two to slide bedtime by ten minutes or so. No problem. Past 20 minutes.....forget it. She goes into deep sleep and trying to wake her is like poking a badger. She will kick, scream, bite anyone but Mama, wail for the next two hours, not really awake but definitively not sleeping either....and forget about bedtime! She'll be awake at 11pm (I go to bed a 10 usually) so, everyone is cranky and exhausted for the next 2 days!
I often pulled right into my driveway and read a book or napped myself while my son slept. When he was two I used to babysit three other kids. If we had to run any errands I kept books and magazines in the car and if all four of them fell asleep, you couldn't have paid me to get out! My wallet and the environmentalists may condemn me, but on a hot summer day in TX I would keep the truck running and AC blasting and enjoy a few worry-free moments!
Totally hear ya on this one! Windows down, sing/shouting all the way, taking every bump possible, slamming brakes in the driveway, everyone loud and joyful....then shushing my older son as soon as the baby is down. Yeah I'm sure that's not confusing at all!
So funny and so very true. You've got to have lived it to truly appreciate it. So well written, thank you!
They do the same thing on the airplane. I am a flight attendant and it never fails to amaze me that kids will be awake the whole flight and fall asleep during the last 10 minutes.
my 10 month old does this. refuses to nap until he's exhausted, passes out just as we get home, then FLIPS for the next hour because he's so over tired, and we woke him up accidentally while taking him out of his stroller/car seat
I will just keep driving around. Just to get a good 15-20 min. nap in if schedule allows it. I got familia with town. LOL.
Yep Know it well and thats why when they do fall asleep if its a hot day i leave the car doors open sit close by and leave them in the car asleep dont move them just leave them in the car and if its raining I have stayed in the car wound the seat back and taken a nap myself lol
Oh my goodness, yes! It's nephews I watch five days a week instead of my own child, but there were days I would just unhook the whole seat and carry it in rather than risk waking the youngest one by removing him alone!
Been there! There were actually times I would leave them in the van, doors open and sit outside and just let them sleep. But I have for sure done the "don't fall asleep buddy, we're almost home!" thing! lol! And you know, they always do fall asleep!
Switch Tactics, Choose an activity that is not too stimulating, Like Reading Together... I don't have kids personally, Just Many nieces and Nephews. It is because of the "ROUTINE" that you "THINK" is in place, LOL Raising a Child is an EVER CHANGING, LIFETIME Activity. Just when you think you've "GOT IT" SUPLLIES, (Said with a Chinese accent, Not offending anyone here....) they '(the "CHILD"), will change things in a Heartbeat....LOL Gotta be Creative with the kids, Especially at the age he is NOW!!!
Oh my God yes. It is ALL OVER if they fall asleep in the car. And ...how do they act like they slept an entire night after 5 minutes? Bright eyed and bushy tailed? Grrrrrr
If it does happen I drive for an extra 5-10 mins then I know he's at that point of still sleeping when I move him. Feel the same though its a nightmare
Sometimes I would just say screw in and sit in the car with a book until nap was over. It was the lesser evil.
Ouch. I feel ya. When my wife and I were separated sometimes I wouldn't get home until 10pm on Fridays when I got them. My son (who is autistic) would often be the one to fall asleep in the car and I would pray to ALL the Gods to let him sleep through me moving him in... They rarely answered. Lots of no sleep on Fridays.
This blog had me rolling!! It is a common parent wish to get that much needed 45-90 minute nap!! Thank you for sharing! It's fun to see someone else in this light!! :)
I used to pray my oldest daughter Would fall asleep in the car, sadly she didn't do it often! She would sit in her carseat - even as a baby!- and make this really awful high pitched screech, for fun! I remember having to stop the car on at least one occasion and get out just to wait for her to stop so I could go on down the road! She laughed and laughed... :( It was so bad I just didn't mind the interruption to our schedule!
Oh man, I feel your pain. On the drive home one day with my infant, we had to engage "Operation Toothpicks". Not literally, of course. ;) We did everything we could, short of actual toothpicks, to keep her little eyes from napping!
we just added a sibling to the mix but clearly that won't work for everyone. It is the point of no return though.
I have never had this. Jk. My kids do it constantly. There's something about that road about 2 blocks from home that makes my kids fall asleep instantly.
I found that a DVD in a darkened room could help keep things on an even keel. I could usually transition a sleeping kid to the family room couch, then tiptoe for two hours (or sit and read, bliss!), but occasionally wake-up would happen. DVD, warm chocolate milk, darkened room, Mama on the couch... all good. Even if the kid didn't fall back asleep, his body was getting rest, and I might be able to put my own head back and snooze until the next loud Disney song.
Drove my husband nuts that he would find me asleep in the driveway every day. It made more sense to just nap with my son than to try to transfer him. I always had a book with me in case I didn't want to nap.
I'm glad to see I'm not the only one who will take to driving around aimlessly until we've reached a safe sleep saturation level. I'm not crazy. My sanity is worth that extra 10 bucks in gas!
oh I can commiserate, I have repeatedly said when asked for advice about parenting, that there are 4 basic rules to parenting 1. if you co-parent always work as a united front no matter what, the instant kids scent dissension in the ranks, it's like chumming in shark infested waters. 2. Never ever assume you know what your child thinks, this is guaranteed to leave you looking like an ass by your own child. 3. Always stay calm and in control, because it's an absolute truth if you feel like it's a bad day, they'll know it and make sure it is just because they can. 4. Deviations to routine always come with a cost, usually to your sanity. I learned the hard way after having adopted 2 of my own and helping raise 6 other children in the last 25 years, children are evil demons (don't freak it's sarcasm) and parents are their favourite targets of hell on earth.... take my at the time 3.5yr old daughter who after missing then refusing nap was making an amazing example of running amok amok amok (movie reference), when she runs up to me (having given up the battle and retreated to my computer to try and do homework) and asks "Mama, am I annoying you yet?" Me: "why yes you are", Her: "good I was trying to!" *runs off cackling gleefully* and I am left sitting there split between kickng her tiny little butt and laughing mine off..... laughing won but it was close.
Spoken just like a non-parent that thinks they know it all. You're kids will never be like "fill in the blank". Haha. And another one of my favorites, but I have a lot of nieces and nephews or I practically raised "fill in the blank" again. TOTALLY different, can't even begin to compare. We were all like that before we had children. When you actually have a child, we will stop laughing at your comments. Because that's all you are when you say stuff like this to a bunch of parents, an absolute joke. Thanks for your wise "parenting" advice.