We are at a delicate point in our toddler's life: when do we stop forcing naps? Sure, it's easy to say "oh, when they don't need it anymore" but when is that, exactly? How do you know? Well, I might have a pretty good idea now.
Yesterday afternoon, it was nap time. We put our son down for what we thought was a much needed nap. After an hour an a half, it was clear he was having way too much fun in his room and would not be sleeping. Usually, he plays for about 10 or 15 minutes and then crawls into bed. Not this time. I opened the door and immediately, I smelled a rat. Well, not a rat, exactly, but I smelled something out of the ordinary. My son looks up at me with his sweet face and says "Uh oh! OH NO!" I flipped on the light and discovered what we were oh no-ing about.
That is sunscreen. Little sweetie found a bottle of it way at the back of one of his drawers and proceeded to "squirk" it everywhere. No wonder he didn't want to take a nap. "Squirking" is new favorite thing! You can't have ketchup or barbecue sauce at the dinner table without him wanting to "squirk" it. So, I think the answer to my original question is: You stop forcing naps when they are old enough to find a bottle of sunscreen and prepare their bed for fun in the sun.