Operation TTO (Tire them Out)

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We’re visiting family in Knoxville this weekend and spent the day at not one, but two parks. I mean, if you’re trying to tire out three very precocious, active, and sometimes challenging children, then you may need to follow my strategy to be sure the tiredness and sleepy really stick later in the evening when it’s time to put them down to bed. When we’re on vacation, we’re not really on a schedule, but I’m finding keeping the children on their regular sleeping schedule works well for ensuring they get their rest and it keeps me sane.

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Lily quickly got on board even though she had no idea about Operation TTO. That is the thing with children, while they’re pondering the immediate mommies are usually considering the future, even if it’s only as far as the evening for a little peace and quiet.

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All I could really do was cheer her on because she was having a great time.

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Lily was up…

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and then she was down. I’m not really sure what she saw down there, but did you now that curiosity can tire a person out?

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Canyon wanted in on the action too and I saw no reason to deprive him from being part of my plan.

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He was really liking the fun too and just like Lily didn’t appear to know what I had planned and then there was River. He was thinking.

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River is always thinking and I started getting a little nervous because I thought the jig was up.

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As a mom, I will never be out done. Whenever I need to distract either of my boys, I just show them anything train related and they become putty in my hands.

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So, we decided to take a little walk.

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River was still thinking, but now he was thinking about trains instead of Operation TTO and instructing us all on how a switch track works.

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The engineer transmits a message to the signal box.

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After the message is received, the switch responds by making the tracks move in the direction that the train is to go.

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As I said, always thinking, River realized there were just a few too many rocks on the tracks. I guess Lily thought the same thing. So they began doing their part to clear a few from the area.

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Canyon believes in team work and decided to join them in their efforts.

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Just like a two year old, his interest held only for a moment and soon he was off looking for something else to do.

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I guess throwing rocks was still fun, but he just needed a change of scenery. Everyone did, so we were off to another park.

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The main attraction for the older children was this slide bar ride. River and Lily spent the rest of the afternoon going back…

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and forth…

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and back…

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and forth…

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and back and forth again.

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I was getting tired just watching, but making me tired wasn’t part of the plan.

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River ran over to sit with his Aunt Mary Kay and Uncle Michael, while Lily looked out into the distance for more fun which she was sure was out there. One down and only two more to go.

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I approached quietly because I didn’t want to disturb her thoughts. She might have been thinking of ways that would make her tired to have more fun.

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When I saw these two together, I started getting a little suspicious. Lily is a pretty bright girl and I figured she may have caught on to my plan.

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I think she whispered something to Canyon. Maybe she was telling him what Mommy was working on…

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or maybe not because he decided to look for something else to do.

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Canyon couldn’t find anything in there.

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Mission accomplished! They’ll sleep well tonight.


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2 Responses to “Operation TTO (Tire them Out)”


  • LOL! I’m laughing because whenever the kids spent an action packed day, I’m always thinking how easy it will be to get them to sleep after.

    It looks like you guys had a great day.

  • Comment from Rana

    You are my hero! I love when I can tire out my kids and they don’t know that was the plan. I bet you had a nice quiet evening that night.


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