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My 2 year old son is a very active boy. Seriously. Here he is with some creamer he located in my in-law’s fridge…



You can’t really blame him. It’s really good creamer.

That happened in the ONE minute I was helping one of my other children.

Cash is a busy kid but he is an amazing sleeper. I think his secret is that he sucks his thumb (my first and only to do this) so it comforts him all night long. Hopefully, he’ll stop sucking his thumb by his wedding day but if he doesn’t, I at least hope he won’t do it during the ceremony.

But as soon as we embarked on our drive up North, Cash stopped sleeping. We checked into our first hotel in Savannah, GA around midnight which seems like prime toddler sleeping time. But he just stood in his pack ’n play, staring at us and whimpering.

Not for 5 minutes. Not for 10 minutes. Hours. I finally resorted to trying to sleep in his pack ’n play with him. Here’s a reenactment…

pack 'n play

Nope. Not even that worked. I guess he finally went to sleep that night in Savannah. I have no idea.  Because when I woke up the next morning, he was up too!  And staring at us. Not creepy at all.

The next night, we stayed in some town in Virginia. I have no idea where because we were originally supposed to stay at a hotel in Fredericksburg. But when we got there at 1 am, the room smelled musty and all the bed sheets were damp.

Now I’m not super picky about my on-the-road accommodations but I prefer if my sheets aren’t damp. We went back to the front desk to notify them about the situation and the clerk said, “Oh I thought we took care of that problem!”

The hotel had no other rooms, so we packed up the bags and the five children and drove 15 minutes north. At 1:30 AM, we checked into our new not-damp hotel room and got settled. This time we were able to fit the pack ’n play in the bathroom! But instead of whimpering through the night, 2 year old Cash just cried.

I finally brought him into our bed where he didn’t cry but also didn’t sleep. We finally resorted to putting him back in the pack ‘n play near our bed – where he once again stood and stared at me while I slept. But now I had gotten used to it.

Things have gotten much better since we arrived on the Jersey shore. Cash has started to understand that the pack ’n play is following him wherever he goes. And he’s sort of succumbed to it.  And is now sleeping again.

But please God, just don’t let him realize that he can get out of it.

7 Responses to on the road with the incredible, non sleeping toddler

  • Not sleeping on trips is the WORST. Glad it is working itself out– finally. When the kids were little we ended up in a creepy,musty, damp-sheeted hotel room somewhere in NC. It felt like we were inside a greenhouse, but with no plants. We were so tired we stayed anyway and all slept the sleep of the dead. Not sure what sleeping potion (mold? chloroform?) was wafting through the clammy vents, but I’ll always remember that as the BEST/WEIRDEST/GROSSEST hotel sleep we ever had.

  • MN Mama says:

    Oh goodness…. You and Rick are amazing to road trip! Praying for your father in law. Sleep deprivation is a form torture.

  • Steph says:

    Oh, wow, I had forgotten the mischief of toddlerhood. That sounds like torture. But he is an adorable mischief maker:) Wishing you all much rest for the remaining part of your trip.

  • Olga says:

    Oh I live on Jersey Shore too and my kid sleeps at midnight. Hope there is a correlation and you’ll get lucky too!

  • Judy says:

    In another life time, I was on an airplane with my toddler from LAX to SFO. A business man was next to me probably, silently, cursing his bad luck. She was bored, so, therefore, mobile. When, I stood up to exit the plane there was my maternity skirt around my ankles. That child just gave a commencement speech to many people. I wish then I knew to think to the future.

  • Mary Clare says:

    He he – that pic with the creamer all over him! My kids are giving me a run for my money with sleeping from age 2+ , or rather not sleeping! Every night we have a wack-a-mole style bedtime with my 4 YO. I put her down to sleep and she pops out of bed, appearing at my bedroom door. She goes back to bed and then shows up next to the couch while I watch tv, and then we repeat the exercise over and over all night long. Good luck on your trip and hope you get more sleep from here out.

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kelcey kintner