Nap time has always been a challenge with Connor. So, I am thankful that my son is at an age where he doesn't always need a nap. Each day, I weigh his need against the list of things that I need to get done outside of the house. On this particular day, errands won. Even as I type this, I can feel the wince that comes with the realization that this decision was going to bite me in the butt. I wince A LOT.
After I had picked Connor up from preschool, we headed to the library. We took our time, picked out an armload of books, and then dropped the books off at the car. The rest of this story should have read "and then we went home so that Connor could take a nap." But it doesn't. (wince)
We get to the next store and there is obviously very little attention span left in my child. He had maxed out his listening skills and it was now time to unleash his inner donkey. I notice this and, instead of turning around and leaving the store with him, we proceed to the toy section. (wince)
Using the last of his manners, Connor asks, "May I please ride this toy train?" After telling him "no", I looked down to see him mounting the toy, proclaiming, "Too late. I already am!" After I physically remove him from the toy, my son takes off down the aisle yelling, "Too bad, sucker!" (This last one is a phrase he usually saves for the other driver when it's our turn at a 4-way stop.)
More physical removal, this time of my son from the store, and we are finally headed home. There were several attempts at bargaining coming from the backseat. He rambles about how he will "sit in my room but not in my bed" and he "won't fall asleep because I am NOT tired."
Upon our arrival home, Connor has decided that I won't be able to make him take a nap if I can't actually get him into his bed. Since I have the library books in my arms at this point, I opt for the old "fake-out" tactic. You know, the one where parents say they are going to leave even though they aren't in an effort to get their child to come with them? Since this is a tactic I rarely use, it actually worked and he followed me about as far as the back porch.
I unlocked the door to the house, relieved my arms of the stack of books, and returned to the porch to give my son The Countdown. At three, I walk over to pick him up for what has become a record number of physical removals of my son in any given week, and he says, "You should have counted to eighteen. Eighteen is better!"
We get into the house and Connor is attempting to grab every piece of furniture, every doorway, and every wall that he can get his hands on while yelling, "I AM GOING TO RUIN THIS HOUSE!"
I finally get him into the bed where he rants about how "I wish I was tougher than you". After I explain to Connor how his tantrum has used up most of my patience, his rants then give way to some heartfelt apologies. "I am one hundred sorry," he tells me with complete earnest and he squeezes me tight to illustrate his regret. I assure him that he is forgiven and tell him that, next time we go out, he needs to mind me. With a voice full of sleepiness, he asks, "Can I show you how I can mind you at a play place tomorrow?" "Sure," I agree. (wince)