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Activating The Exhausted Ass Launch Sequence

You know the book?  The Napping House “where everyone is sleeping?”


Teddy can’t sleep because Mac’s a loud, boisterous wild man.  Mac won’t sleep because. . .well, he’s a wild man.



It’s starting to wear on me.

I need a PLAN.  STAT.

You know what doesn’t work? “Giving up” –  Offering an exhausted toddler an iPad and telling him to sit quietly and NOT wake up his brother or else I’m going to withhold donuts.

He knows I don’t have any damned donuts. . .

Mornings are great. . .but every afternoon at 1, like clockwork, Mac prepares to launch his “exhausted act like an ass” sequence and it typically spirals out of control the duration of the afternoon culminating in my doling out no fewer than three consecutive time outs for the same stupid recurring offenses just before his Father rolls in the door.

In the past few months I’ve been enforcing “Quiet Time” where I have Mac “rest” and look at books in his darkened bedroom for at least an hour. Somedays he would even fall asleep for a bit.

However, lately with Teddy teething and being all surly and loud, Mac has pretty much refused quiet time, electing to stand at the top of the stairs and scream at the top of his lungs until he grows bored.  Then he moves on to trashing his bedroom and our bathroom junior rock star style.

Common sense would dictate that I just sit quietly with Mac and read him books and play games quietly with him while he’s resting.  However, Teddy’s need to be held – while I stand – and while he growls and whines makes this option virtually impossible – at least routinely.

I’ve had some luck loading them in the car and running errands in the afternoons but I don’t always have errands.

I could load them in the stroller.  Teddy actually sleeps in the stroller.  Except I feel like 88 degrees, sunny, and overbearing humidity isn’t the best place for a 6 month old for a prolonged period every afternoon.


I’ve decided our routine needs a colossal overhaul.  The days of my running us ragged in a park every morning in an effort to exhaust Mac may be ending.  I can’t completely exhaust him every morning if he’s refusing naps.

Yesterday, I thought perhaps it would be a good idea to introduce a new project or activity about 12:30.  Something that might help him avoid activating the “exhausted ass sequence.”  We decided to bake cupcakes since today is Teddy’s 6 month birthday.

It started out really well.  Mac paid careful attention to my instructions.  He learned what a “dozen” means.  We talked about carefully reading the directions on the cake mix.  He counted eggs and cupcake liners.  . .

BUT by the time the cupcakes hit the oven, he was starting to get cranked up.  I intervened with a coloring book and a fresh page of stickers. . .

Still when we needed to load the second batch of cupcakes in the oven, he freaked out screaming he was “all done filling cups!” and dumped the muffin tin all over the counter.

Preschool.  I now understand why some people send their kids to preschool.

But I’m stubborn.  And I’m determined I’m going to make this work.  I just need a new plan.

Anyone have one for me?  



3 Responses to “Activating The Exhausted Ass Launch Sequence”

  1. Jennifer says:

    I am pretty sure it was at this very point in my toddler life that my parents abruptly moved us (me and my soon coming sister then another sister, brother, brother) to an isolated farm in the country. As soon as my mom would detect any hint of the “exhausted ass launch sequence” she would boot our butts out the door “If you’re gonna scream, get outside.” And no, she didn’t follow to keep an eye on us. I think she napped on the couch. We were so far out in the country the nearest neighbor was 2 miles away, our driveway was half a mile long. It seemed to work for her. She is still mostly sane 🙂 We all managed to survive to adulthood in spite of the lack of supervision.
    Jennifer recently posted…50 Ways To Be A WomanMy Profile

  2. Mary Ann says:

    Nice bloody mary!!!!!!( for you of course)

  3. I think preschool sounds like a pretty darned good plan! Haha! But seriously, I was a stay-at-home mom working part time subbing when my second son was born. When I got pregnant with him, I decided I’d sign up my older son for preschool–just 3 days a week, half days (from 8:30-11:30). I only did it because I was scared that I’d suffer from postpartum since both of my sisters did, and I didn’t want my older son to go from activities all day every day to some sort of postpartum era that may or may not hit and leave his mom with no energy to do the things we used to do. (My first son is adopted, so we didn’t know if I’d have postpartum with the second or not.) So I signed him up for MWF preschool from 8:30-11:30 so that he’d have something to do in case of postpartum. THANK GOD I never suffered a minute of postpartum, but at the same time, we found out that he loved preschool. And it gave me time with my younger son that my older son had gotten when he was an only child for a few years. It worked out perfectly…so I say go for it! And don’t feel guilty about it. I remember telling my older sister, “But I”m a stay-at-home mom. This is what I DO! I can’t put him into preschool,” and she said, “You know he’ll love it. He’s so social and loves to learn. Don’t let your ideas of what YOU should be hold him back in something that he would love.” Anyway, that’s just my story; don’t know if it’ll help, but hey, it might! And if you aren’t ready for preschool or simply don’t want to put Mac in, that’s okay, too! I hope it gets better!!
    Shay from Trashy Blog recently posted…Trashy Shorts: Pop Tarts and McNuggetsMy Profile