Life in Laos through the lens of a diplomatic wife raising twin toddlers.
Three-year olds transitioning out of a mid-day nap is a tricky thing. They know enough to not want it. Their will is strong enough to resist it even though they really really need it. Our daughter grew out of her nap a while ago but we still stuck to the same routine of putting the two of them down together. O would quickly and effortlessly fall asleep while we wrestled with M until she became too tired to resist and eventually soothe her into a sleep that rarely lasted more than an hour, when her brother could easily go for three. These days we only wrestle with her until O is asleep and let her have quiet time downstairs where she has to do something quietly by herself for an hour.
Lately though, O doesn’t go to sleep as quickly, tossing and turning and sucking his thumb, somewhat of a diligent effort to try his best to get sleep before he gets out of bed all bright-eyed declaring, “I’m not tired. I’m hungry!” Okay…maybe he knows what he’s talking about (wrong parenting move #781, never ever think this as a parent to three-year olds), and I oblige him only to find him turning down that requested peanut butter and jelly sandwich and opting for a Mentos attached to a butterfly picture from a birthday party favor bag from last week – I’ve just been had and I felt like a complete fool. But by that time it was too late. M was bouncing around excited that no one was sleeping today while G and I looked at each other, declared that we were hungry, too, and suggested we all go back to a festival I had taken the kids to in the morning so we can search for the grilled Australian sausage stand I spied earlier to quiet our rumbling tummies.
Wrong parenting move #782.
The kids barely even made it to the festival grounds before signs of over-tiredness began to rear it’s nasty head but we pressed on only to find the sausage stand standing empty. Potential tantrum crankiness be damned, we pressed on to the US Embassy stand to at least wolf down some hotdogs before luring the kids to the bouncy castle to salvage some remnant of fun to the afternoon. Faced with an impossibly long wait we allowed the tantrum of one child to fester into a self imposed solitary confinement of playing in the dirt, hoping by the time it was our turn to enter the castle, the miracle of cooperation would possess said child. Alas, it was not to be. We dragged O kicking and screaming back to the car. M was amazingly cooperative, but then again, she doesn’t really need a nap any more and she’s used to this tantrum drill with her brother.
Within five minutes of leaving the festival both kids were fast asleep in the back seat of the car – better than no sleep at all. So we decided to run some errands around town to allow for as much sleep as possible.
We headed to one of the biggest open market areas in Vientiane called “Khua Din” market. G is embarking on a home beer brewing hobby and still needed to buy a big boiling pot, and Khua Din sells just about everything and at a much cheaper price than at stores around town. And on this particularly lucky day, G’s bargaining power increased exponentially when he found a small dead mouse inside the pot he wanted to buy. Score! (So now I get to call the venture “Dead Mouse Brewing Company”.)
We then, of course, afterwards went to the supermarket to buy some bleach. All in all a successful and productive nap time. We’re thinking about having this be our new nap routine every weekend from now on!
Here are my captures of nap time from inside the car…