We've definitely reached that awkward stage at which it's time to drop the afternoon nap, but impossible to actually do so.
The main problem is that Abigail is rarely tired enough to go to sleep straight after lunch, but is shattered by about three in the afternoon, by which time is far too late for her to go to sleep, as she will then sleep until suppertime and be up all night. And for everybody who thinks they have the simple, Supernanny answer to this (I could hear the sharp intakes of breath from here) yes, she really does sleep for up to three hours if she naps, and no, I can't just wake her up after twenty minutes or whatever the magic number is, because waking Abigail up turns her into a screaming, wailing, howling, red-faced demon who acts as if she is being tortured for the whole of the rest of the day. Last time I tried it, she cried for the best part of two hours without stopping. Once she's asleep, she's asleep and that's it.
Once it gets past midday, therefore, I only have one question to consider in all of my planning for the afternoon: will she sleep or won't she? This afternoon, for example, I realised that I needed to buy wine and parmesan cheese for tonight's dinner. Driving to the nearest town is no good; it's too far, she'll almost certainly fall asleep in the car and then I won't be able to go into the shop until she's woken up. It's too hot for her to sleep in the car today anyway, even with the windows down. I might just make it to the nearest village with a village shop, because at least if she falls asleep on the way there, I can leave her for two minutes while I dash in and buy wine and cheese. But what if she doesn't fall asleep? We could stay in the village and go to the park too, but then that increases the chances of her falling asleep in the pushchair on the way there, or if she doesn't, in the car on the way back, and...no, wait. All this information is too much for one small brain. It's much better expressed in a flow chart:
So that is how I plan even the briefest of excursions these days.