The problem is that she needs that nap. When I say "needs", I mean NEEDS. Without it, we no longer have a sweet, good-natured, playful little girl by the late afternoon. Instead, we have a Creature that would cause Father Merrin to run screaming in terror.
We had a sharp lesson on this yesterday. We took Caroline clothes shopping, and she had a blast. She looked at clothes (I add here that, though she is not yet 2 1/2 years old, we had to get one dress in a 4T for it to reach decently past her knees), she tried on clothes, she helped Mama try on clothes, she ran around the store, she tried on sunglasses, and generally had a great time. Mama and Ol' Baba, in contrast, felt like they'd had a good work-out trying to keep up with her...
We thought, therefore, that her going down for a nap would be a cinch. Um, no. While I was out working in the yard, blissful in my belief that my child was off in the Land of Nod, she was, in fact... playing with her stuffed animals, jumping up and down on the mattress, and banging on the headboard. Even her flesh is only so strong, however, and it all started to catch up with her by about 5:00: she collapsed in her little easy chair and wanted to do nothing more than suck her finger and watch "Mickey Mouse Clubhouse". Efforts to get her up to get some dinner led to a temper tantrum. This paled to insignificance to the one she threw when we turned off the TV when we sat down to dinner.
As the meal came to a much longed-for and merciful conclusion, Chrystal said, "Look at her. Do her eyes look funny?"
Caroline's eyes were rolling in her skull and she was wobbling in her chair like a Congressman on the verge of falling off his barstool.
"Pick her up before she falls over."
I did so. Caroline immediately put her head on my shoulder... and fell asleep. I took her back to bed; she woke up to cry for about three seconds when she realized that she was horizontal... and was out for nearly fourteen hours.
What to do? She HAS to have her nap, but is stubborn enough to not take it. Oi...