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Goodbye Morning Naps, Hello George Washington!

2012 June 8
by Becky

“Hello morning activites, how are you? Long time no see!”

This is me welcoming back mornings, because Ethan has officially dropped his morning snooze.

For a year he has been waking up at 7am and taking a nap from 9am to 10:15am-ish, pretty much keeping us tied to the house in the mornings. Sometimes we could sneak out for a walk or playground-adventure, but they were short because The Peanut was really sleepy come 8:55am.

A couple months ago I started wondering if he really needed that hour of sleep. Lots of his buddies were going down to one nap a day and I felt like I may be forcing him down. After about four days of no morning naps, I came to the conclusion that yes, he did need one. The first day went OK, but subsequent days he was tired and fussy—not a good mix. We went back to two-a-days.

So it was a surprise to me when, this past Monday, I laid him down at 9am as usual and he didn’t go to sleep right away. He talked, rolled around, played with his animals (Hungry Caterpillar, Fuzzy Giraffe, and Mickey Mouse), and kicked his legs against the mattress to make a “thump” sound. I could tell he was not tired. So about 20 minutes in, I decided this was it…he didn’t need a morning nap anymore!

Sure enough, today marks a whole week of one-a-day naps and he is a very happy guy. He is REALLY tired at 1pm, but is bright eyed every minute up to that point. We’ve been going on long walk/runs every morning in the fabulous cool weather (that will soon turn into humid horridness) and even scheduled a morning play date!

Which leads me to the George Washington part…

Our play date was at Mount Vernon!

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I didn’t have the patience to wait for the hundreds of kids to get out of the shot…but you can get the idea. The main attraction, George Washington’s Mansion, is absolutely picturesque, especially on a day as beautiful as this one. I was kind of waiting for the cardboard cut-out to fall down in the breeze…the house is so perfect it looked fake.

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My friend Kristan, mother of adorable Quinn, asked Ethan and I to join them, along with a few other moms and toddlers, to stroll around George’s old stomping ground. We were all in. Unbelievably, though our house is a mere eight miles from this historic site, we have not yet visited.

I know, I know, it’s pathetic.

But I’m now the proud owner of a yearly pass (only $25!), and plan on going a lot more. This place has rolling hills of green grass, farm animals, museums, incredible views of the Potomac River, and an awesome kids discovery center, making it a primo family destination.

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I asked Ethan what a rooster says (we’ve been working on animal sounds for what seems like a million years, but have still only heard one “quack”), when low and behold, a real rooster crowed! He looked around, excited, knowing exactly what that sound was, and fast-walked over to the chicken coop. A gorgeous black and white speckled guy (pictured above) was looking back through the fence, along with several other hens.

They had a horse and of course a mule—I say of course because George Washington was actually the “inventor” of the mule. He is credited as breeding the first mules in North America, after which they became the most popular working stock on American farms.

Surprised you didn’t know that! (I learned it from a passing tour guide)

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The mule that currently resides at Mount Vernon is the most beautiful one I’ve ever seen, and he even stopped by the fence for a quick pet. Ethan was thrilled, as he loves to pet anything with fur (or hair, in a mule’s case).

We lazed on the wide expanse of grass with the toddlers and ate some snacks. Ethan was in prime snack-stealing mode, going through strollers and diaper bags with no regard to the rightful owners. Of course everyone was willing to share, but this is becoming a bad habit.

Oh yes, I had snacks for him. But why eat your own when you can steal other peoples? That open bag in the left corner is empty, already having been pillaged by The Peanut. He quickly moved on to Quinn’s snack bag.

People probably think I don’t feed my kid! It doesn’t help that he’s a little smaller then every other 17 month old (due to his early arrival). Gotta get this bad snack-stealing habit under control.

We ended our adventure at the education center’s Hands-on History room. It features 18th-century dress-up clothes, a mansion replica dollhouse, books, animal puppets, and an awesome mural with audio sounds…the kids had a blast pushing the buttons, making the whole place sound like a crazy farm.

Still excited about his new big-boy-chair-sitting-skills, Ethan was all over the little revolutionary war soldier figurines at the big-kids table.

So while I didn’t mind our mornings at home, I was thrilled to say “YES!” to this morning outing that I typically would have turned down. And hey, that 2-3 hour afternoon nap makes for some nice productivity time for me!

When did your little one drop his/her morning nap? Was it an easy transition?

7 Responses leave one →
  1. Linda Johnson permalink
    June 8, 2012

    Becky,
    Again, thanks for sharing your memories of Ethan and your visit to George W’s house, or mansion.
    I can see Ethan is having a great time. He is just adorable playing with the wooden soldiers.

    I cannot imagine my grandson stealing other kids snacks!!! Very normal!!

    I remember nap time very well with my little ones. Stu was very good at taking his nap, Amy fought it.

    Thanks again for your wonderful blog.

  2. Kristan permalink
    June 8, 2012

    Great post! The kiddos really enjoyed his farm!

  3. June 9, 2012

    Otis gave up his morning nap long ago. I personally love it, because I love to get stuff done in the morning and then everyone gets a rest in the afternoon.

    Your pictures are gorgeous! Next time we’re out that way we’ll have to visit there!

  4. Sandy Schon permalink
    June 11, 2012

    He’s the cutest!!! Looks like he’s having a great time. So many great things to do in the DC area. Do them all!!!! But save a few for us.

  5. June 11, 2012

    What a cutie little boy you’ve got. I’m currently putting my 8 month-old down 3x a day and now beginning to question if she really needs 3 naps. It’s hard to gauge, kind of a mommy art, I suppose. Glad you enjoyed your sightseeing day.

    • Becky permalink*
      June 12, 2012

      Thank you!! We did three naps for a long time, probably till he was 1. Seems like so much sleep, but they need it at that age!! He especially loved that nap about an hour after waking up. I think 14 hours is the minimum for 8 month olds, so I’m sure you are right on!

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