So I'm always left with a dilemma when we pull into the garage. Do I try to wake them and just view that 20-30 minutes as their nap for the day?... do I try to carry them up the stairs and strip them of their coat and shoes to lay them down in their beds and hope that they are convinced to stay and nap longer?... or do I leave them sleeping in the van and check on the periodically to bring them upstairs when the wake up? Those are my options and none of them are very good.
Option #1 - the kids are bears when they don't get their nap and they make life difficult for the rest of the family many times. And then to pile on the complexity of the decision-making, both Avery and Lillie refused their nap yesterday... so not only were they very tired, but they would have been extremely grumpy if they woke too early.
Option #2 - not only is this option a pain (and not just because I would have to carry them up a very nice flight of stairs), but it is rarely successful - both of them usually wake up... Lillie will refuse to try to go back to sleep in her bed and Avery will pitch a fit because he was awakened early. So the outcome is very similar to the down-side of option #1.
Option #3 - I've done this before once or twice in the past and it is rather successful, in that they stay asleep. But it's usually somewhat traumatic for them to wake up and realize they are still in the van and everyone else is gone. Plus I'm constantly having to check on them and every little sound I hear makes me wonder if it's them waking up or upset... so I don't usually get much accomplished.
Well today I chose door #3. I figured they are tired, I didn't want to risk waking them and the garage isn't that far away.. "I will be able to hear them," I thought.
I was washing the dishes about half an hour after making this decision and all of a sudden I hear my van's horn repeatedly honking. I run down the stairs with my wet, soapy hands and I see my 4 year old with eyes as big as saucers hysterically honking the horn. I opened the door that I had left cracked and grabbed him and he repeated over and over again, "Mommy, I lost you!" And of course the commotion of this moment totally freaked Lillie out as well.
So the "mother of the year" award has once again slipped through my fingers and I'm fairly confident that option #3 will not be visited again in the very near future. I don't believe Avery and Lillie are scarred permanently because of this incident. I sat them down to watch the movie Nemo after it happened.... hmmmm... in retrospect a movie about a kid becoming separated by half an ocean from his father may not have been the best movie to choose... oh well, both stories end happily ever after.