To go or no to go…

Every weekend, I face the decision of whether to go somewhere with Harrison. Not because he isn’t good at being out and about but because we are rarely gone for just waking hours unless it’s a run to the grocery store or Target. Waking hours are limited because now that Harrison eats solids, feeding time takes longer. By the time he eats, gets cleaned up and we get him ready to head out the door, an hour of the 2-hour wake time is gone. And, unless we are just hitting the grocery store or Target, it’s highly unlikely we will get to where we are going in under 15 minutes.
Take today, for example. We decided we would grab lunch and make a trip to get some wine after Harrison had his 11:30 feeding. Well, we weren’t out the door until 12:30. By the time we hit Panera, it was 1:00, and Harrison had fallen asleep (this happens in the car when it’s close to nap time). He woke up around 1:30 because we were eating outside and there were cars driving by, people talking, etc. The problem with this is that he was now awake when he should’ve been going to sleep, and I knew he wouldn’t fall back asleep since he is now so interested in his surroundings. This isn’t a problem until he realizes how tired he is, but fights going to sleep because of all the stimuli. Before you ask, “Why don’t you just close him off with the canopy on his car seat and stroller?”, I will tell you that we do try this and he just becomes upset that he can’t see us or anything else when he hears things going on.
The real problem is when we get home. It was just 2:30, so at least an hour of nap time was salvageable. Try telling this to Harrison. David took him upstairs, changed his diaper, swaddled him and set him in his crib. Little man just quieted down (now some 20 minutes later), but I’m not sure if he’s asleep or not. If I go check and he sees me, all hope is lost.
I know you may think that in the long run, all of this is trivial; however, my little man needs his naps. It’s sort of a vicious cycle when you think about it. If he does sleep, “yeah!”, if not, “boo!”. If he doesn’t, he will eat at 3:30 and then look tired already because he didn’t nap much. This means, he won’t be as interested in solids after nursing. And this means, even though he will get tired and fall asleep for a late afternoon nap, he will likely wake up before 7 and be hungry already because he didn’t eat enough earlier. If he doesn’t nap, he will just be a grouch because he’s tired but can’t go to sleep because he’s overtired and overstimulated. See what I mean?
I do not want us to be confined to our house on the weekend or have it where only one of us can go out at a time, and we don’t do this, but each time I end up feeling guilty when it negatively impacts Harrison’s schedule. I feel like a bad mother for not giving him a nap. He’s past the newborn stage of sleeping whenever/wherever and fully in the exploratory stage. Unless really tired, Harrison will not just conk out anywhere/anytime. He needs someone to cue him that it is nap time. He is not picky about where he sleeps (doesn’t have to be his crib), but he will no longer just doze off in the stroller. He will rub his eyes and fuss, telling me he knows it’s nap time, but he is just a baby. And a very curious, investigative baby at that (very Sagittarius from what his baby Gap onesie says 🙂 ).
Just wanted to share my constant weekend conundrum and see if anyone had any thoughts or ran into the same thing. I know I’m not a bad mommy, but it’s just a something I struggle with. To go or not to go…

Oh, and we got ourselves some wine and a few good beers, which is good in case I really need something to drink later.