24 May 2011

Tiring Out Toddlers

I can sum up this article for you in a single sentence. You cannot tire out toddlers. I could go on to say that trying will only tire yourself out. I tried to write this post yesterday, but I was too worn out from the weekend to pick up my laptop.

The girls have been waking up early and napping terribly for the past week or two. I thought it might be because we'd been spending too much time indoors - the weather has not been very cooperative for outdoor play. I figured they weren't getting enough exercise to tire them out properly and make them sleep well. And so, I decided to team up with G over the weekend on a campaign to wear out our kids and get a nice long nap out of both of them. A nice long nap is usually needed to reset their little inner clocks and get them back into their normal sleep pattern.

On Saturday, we woke up a little hopeful about the weather. The forecast was still not a great one - cloudy with possible showers, but it hinted that it might be warmer than it had been all week. We were hoping it might even hit 60 degrees. And so we packed up the stroller with our two girls and a diaper bag full of essentials and headed for the train. We got off at a stop downtown and let the girls walk, run and wander through one of the many parks. There was grass to play in, rocks to climb on and a merry-go-round. And, to top off a great adventure, the clouds went away and left us with only sunshine and warm temperatures. The girls were thrilled to be running around without their jackets and we were just happy to see them running. Surely, all this running and walking would tire them out and ensure a good, long nap.

After the merry-go-round, we wandered over to find something to eat. The girls were in great spirits and ate quite a lot of food - a sure sign that our plan was working. We finished lunch and decided to take the scenic route back to the train. We walked along the water, breathing in the ocean air. All that fresh air had to be doing something, right?

We made it back to the train where the girls were practically vibrating with the excitement of our day. And they seemed happy to be heading home. When we got home and tucked them into bed for their naps, they fell asleep quickly and, I have to admit, so did I. I was exhausted. Hours of walking around in the fresh air had indeed had the desired effect - on me!

Unfortunately, our plan didn't work. The girls were up and bouncing around long before we were ready for them to be awake. I, on the other hand, was too tired to move. Maybe, the exhaustion will hit them tonight, I thought. Instead, they had trouble falling asleep that night and actually woke up early the next morning. Seriously?

On the other hand, G and I fell into bed at 8:30 pm completely worn out from our day of wearing out the kids. Which would have been worth it had we actually worn them out. I think we're going to have to move on to Plan B - pay someone much younger than ourselves to wear out our children!

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