Give Napping A Chance

I had the crud last weekend.

I don’t know about you, but around here everyone knows that the crud is a cat burglar who ransacks my house, steals my patience and grace, and leaves behind an unreasonable state of mama mind wherein I forget that I actually like my children and that I wouldn’t give them away to the first traveling salesman who offers me a trip to a day spa, a fruity cocktail and a real, breathing, live-in maid named Mercy.

In other words, I’m a true delight when I’m sick. I’m practically a sunbeam. The kind of sunbeam that sneaks unfiltered through that hole in the ozone layer and fries everything it touches with its laser-hot madness. Sweet joy.

When I’m at the end of my mama rope, I find I sometimes have to go to extremes to find a fix. On Sunday, for example, I decided to give napping a chance.

Now, I’m not a good napper. My personality is too jittery, my mind is too full, and my list is too long. Also, I never know whether I should sleep with my pants on, which feels like a serious lack of nap commitment, or try to snooze in just my panties and a t-shirt, which makes me fear that Nap’s going to brag to all his friends in the locker room on Monday. And to make matters even worse, I suffer from severe Nap Hangover when it’s over; when I wake up, I’m sluggish and light-sensitive and generally an unlivable, useless lump for hours. In short, I’m an embarrassment to nappers everywhere.

So when I decide I need a nap, it’s because I’m truly Done. I can neither lift my eyes nor my patience a single second more.

Unfortunately, I wasn’t in the best mental place on Sunday to undertake the kind of delicate family negotiations that are required when the mama needs a nap. At the point I need it most, the nap is most destined to fail due to my inability to communicate a basic message like SERIOUSLY. GET OUT. I’M TRYING TO NOT EAT YOU ALIVE. Instead, I say nothing.

For example, Sunday’s naptime attempt resulted in:

  • one kid and one husband in bed with me to “keep you company, Mom, ’cause we don’t want you to be lonely”
  • two kids laying on my bedroom floor sneaking television episodes of Gold Rush Alaska on the Discovery Channel
  • my dad stopping by the bedroom to chitchat and ask me how I was feeling
  • and one kid splashing in my bathtub

Like the Scarecrow in Wizard of Oz, I could’ve fixed all of this if I only had a brain (or the power of speech). So now that my head isn’t stuffed full of straw, I thought I’d assemble a proactive list of responses so that my biannual naps might result in, oh, I don’t know, SLEEP.

Next time I try to nap, I shall post the notice below.

‘Til then, I’m happy to tell you I’m on the mend! Thank you for filling my inbox with your kind wishes for my good health. You sure know how to lift a mama’s spirits.
Beth

……….
ATTENTION: FAMILY
POSTED NOTICE REGARDING YOUR MOTHER’S TEMPORARY ILLNESS

Mommy is sick and tired. Literally.

Also, Mommy lost her poo. Not literally. (If you find any literal poo about, you should tell Daddy right away.)

Since Mommy can’t use her nice words or her nice sounds or her nice face, Mommy’s having a nap. In her room. Alone. Which means without anyone else. Including you. Even if you’re going to be very, very quiet like the quietist mouse. Even if you just need one thing from the bathroom. Even if Mommy won’t care. Still alone.

Mommy will be back from her nap when she can find her nice words, her nice sounds, and her nice face. They’re hiding somewhere. Probably with her poo. FYI, it will take Mommy at least an hour to locate everything because Mommy is old and old people’s brains take longer to reset.

While you’re waiting, here are some important things to know:

Mommy doesn’t know where the dog is. Mommy doesn’t care where the dog is. Wherever the dog is is fine. Whatever the dog is eating is fine. Whatever the dog is pooping on is fine. If you’re worried about the dog, you should tell Daddy.

Mommy doesn’t know where your unicorn pillow pet is.

Mommy doesn’t care that your brother hit you. Daddy cares. A lot. You should tell Daddy.

Yes, you can have a bandaid. You can have all of the bandaids.

Yes, you can have a snack. You can have all of the snacks.

Yes, you can have a treat. You can have all of the treats.

Yes, Mommy’s sleeping.

Yes, right now.

Yes, Mommy’s still sleeping.

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ABOUT BETH WOOLSEY I'm a writer. And a mess. And mouthy, brave, and strong. I believe we all belong to each other. I believe in the long way 'round. And I believe, always, in grace in the grime and wonder in the wild of a life lived off course from what was, once, a perfectly good plan.
14 comments
  1. The reason this is so funny is that it is so true! I am a homeshcooling mother of eight children (“Eight Kids Is A Lot Of Kids”), and for the first several years of Motherdom, I couldn’t even go to the bathroom alone (a problem to which I’m sure you can relate), never mind nap alone –wait a minute, did I ever nap?!

  2. Wow. You need nap practice. I hope your next nap goes much better! Make sure you print out a copy of your warning. I have been encouraged in bettering my napping skills by my husband–who likes to keep me company, I guess to make sure I do it right? Also, since my 3rd pregnancy, my two older kids have been supporting my nap habit, by taking over the care of younger kids so that we have fewer interruptions to naptime.

    Glad you are feeling better!

  3. Oh my goodness!! This got my famous “snorting” laugh because of how funny it was. Hope you are feeling better!

  4. Um, just yes to all of the above. I so do the nap hangover too. 🙁
    I got the crud from my toddler and it landed me in the hospital last night. Much better now, but whoooo, I did not want to be sick and in labor! 😛

  5. I LOVE this one. And I truly believe with all my heart that, just like anything else, one’s napping ability improves with practice………maybe try to work in a quarterly schedule to start and then gradually shoot for one a month?

  6. My kids act insane when I try to lay down for a nap (this happens, ohh never). I have to be practically dying and as soon as my head hits the pillow, here comes both of my children to jump on my bed and/or fight.

    I hope you are feeling better. 🙂

  7. Laughing so hard I’m in tears. Not because of your crud of course but because your temporary illness post is hilarious.I know exactly how you feel. So glad to hear you are feeling better.

  8. I am not a very good napper either. I never can get my mind down to a rest – so when I do end up trying to nap it is like you – a last resort to salvage anything. I will consider your notice and try posting it – maybe that will help things around here too!

  9. I too am a crappy napper. Always feel too groggy afterwards to make me think that it did me any good. But, there are those times that I just MUST have one. My children have unfortunately learned that every ounce of grace I have in my body leaves me at these times and they can interrupt my nap but they takes their lives in their own hands when they do. I definately have not found my nice face when they wake me up.
    One other thing that perplexes me is that their father can be sitting in the other room reading, watching t.v., doing anything other than napping and they will choose to wake me rather than to just go ask him for whatever. Why is that? What special force field has he set up around his perimeter that they feel just fine violating mine but not his? I HAVE to figure this out! My older kids (14 and 12) have pretty much figured out that they are in charge when I succumb to the nap and need to keep the little ones (7,5 and 5) clear until I get up. Much less damage that way. Can’t rely on the force field father to keep tabs on things!

  10. You wouldn’t mind if I steal that note would you? I could probably use it myself. Because the thing is, why, why don’t children (and husbands) understand that when mommy is sick, mommy is off the clock? Because in my house when daddy is sick, not only is there an ambulance standing by just like at all major sporting events, but somehow the door to the bedroom stays closed and no one enters to bother him.

  11. 1 kid in your bed, 2 on your floor and 1 in the tub – so 1 kid left you alone, or that kid was letting you nap by destroying another part of the house?

    Glad you’re feeling better. My crud is in the middle of week three. At least it has migrated from my chest to “by dose.”

  12. That is the best (if the only) napping notice I have ever read. I might have to keep that one in mind for sometime in the future…

  13. Not seeing my name on the notice leaves me free to drop in and make sure you’re okay, right?

  14. I love the idea of posting a notice. Can I take a weekend long “nap”? I’m not sick…I just need a vacation and that “alone” part sounds lovely. 🙂

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