It starts when you depart from your child's room, carefully but quickly pulling the door shut behind you. Of the 29,038,250 things I need to do and/or want to do, what do I do?!?!
Right now I have two nap times a day to accomplish something. My daily chores and activities are split up into two categories:
-Things I can do while Blythe is awake
-Things I can do while Blythe is asleep
As those of you with small children know, very few things fall under the first category besides snuggling with Blythe, reading books, rolling balls, stacking blocks, singing songs, being crawled on, and maybe getting my makeup done.
So nap time is crucial. CRUCIAL. And let's not lie to ourselves, without naptime WE ALL BE CRAZY!!!
But what to do in the limited time?! Start laundry? Dishes? Vacuum? [Yes, I know people tell you to vacuum so your baby gets used to sleeping with noise but if I wake her up in the first 10 minutes, so help me I'll LOSE it somedays. So vacuuming usually waits]. Fold clothes? Pick up? Balance the checkbook? Make appointments? Sweep the kitchen? Mop the bathroom? Wipe up sinks? Clean out the crevices I never get to in the highchair? Change that lightbulb that has been out for 3 months? Pick weeds? Get supper started? Make more baby food? Write that grocery list?
Do I just make a pot of coffee, write a blog, then read a book? If only I could do that every day….
But here are some of the dilemmas that we, the keepers of nap times, face:
You haven't eaten breakfast, let alone lunch. Your hair is in the same ponytail it was in when you rolled out of bed at 6:30 this morning. You just laid Jr. down. Time: 1:30 p.m. You know you HAVE to eat something, so the hair can wait. You pick up a few cheerios from the floor [count that as sweeping for the day…also count that as breakfast!] on your way to the fridge. No leftovers. You sent them with your husband on his way to work [thank you, dear husband, for working so hard so I can
stay in my pajamas until noon love on our children all day]. Forget it. You start a pot of coffee and grab some crackers on your way to the bathroom where you decide the pony tail will work for today. You dabb on a little blush so you don't look like the living dead, brush your teeth, and change out your sweat pants for jeans, because jeans make you feel like more of a human, right?
The coffee is done and while you pour yourself a cup you simultaneously hear a squawk coming from Jr.'s bedroom. Seriously? Fifteen minutes? I don't think so. You tip-toe into the room and, like a ninja, replace the paci back in Jr's reach. Sneaking back to the kitchen you add to the shopping list: Buy 12 more pacifiers to sprinkle in crib.
It's nearing two o'clock and you promised your husband he wouldn't be eating cereal for supper
again tonight, so you set some chicken in the sink to thaw, throw whatever looks like it's still edible into the crock pot and move on. You're feeling the pressure of actually getting something accomplished when you remember the load of wash you actually had a second to throw in this morning is sitting in a wet pile in the washing machine. You know you really should go hang it outside, but it takes five seconds to throw it in the dryer. Dryer it is.
The dishwasher is full. Isn't the dishwasher perpetually full? You unload the dishwasher and wash up the few remaining dishes that were setting next to the sink, willing yesterday's oatmeal off of the bowl. You run the garbage disposal, simultaneously remembering that the garbage disposal is the one thing you should not do while Jr. is sleeping. On cue you hear the cry. You bow your head to pray. The crying stops. Thank you, Lord. I mean that.
Feeling a little bit better about the state of your kitchen, you realize the clothes need to be folded. You fold them, sort of, and stuff them into drawers hastily. Time is running out, you know it. The toilet hasn't been cleaned in weeks, so you squirt the blue liquid in and slosh it around, realizing that it's trash day tomorrow, which means you need to empty all trash cans TODAY! Right now! You leave the brush in the toilet, and run throughout rooms like a maniac tying up bags and replacing them with new ones. You remind yourself to get the diapers out of Jr.'s room when he wakes up. Trash day? Uh-oh--that also means I need to pay our electric bill. You heave the bags of trash into the garage, hoping they land in the vicinity of the trash barrel, then plop down at your computer, billfold in hand.
Thank the Lord for online banking. You schedule two payments, put the two pennies you saved this month into savings, then realize you only ate crackers and caffeine for lunch. Trying to be healthy you pour a glass of water, slap some peanut butter on some bread, and decide you've accomplished enough for one day. You carry your water and sandwich into the living room, sink into the couch cushions, and pull out the book you've started approximately 38 times. As you pull the blanket around yourself and settle in….
Well, I'm sure you know what happens. Jr. wakes up. You end up sharing your "lunch", and the book goes back on the shelf.
You've just laid Jr. down. Time: 1:15. It's a little early for nap time, you know Jr. isn't super tired yet, but IT IS TIME, so help us all!
You were super productive last night when you put Jr. to bed, and sweet husband helped you fold clothes and clean up the garage, so today…TODAY!… during nap time you get to have some precious, sweet, silent, do-whatever-you-want-with-it time. You skip into the kitchen, treat yourself to an Oreo or two, then you wipe up the kitchen counters and start the dough for the pizza you'll make for supper [some things still have to happen during nap time, you know]. But it only took half an hour. And now you get to go read that book, write that blog, WATCH TV! ...
You sit down. You open your book. You read two pages.
Jr. wakes up. OF COURSE.
BUT, you know what?
I'm thankful I get a break, however small, even if it means scrubbing toilets.
I'm thankful I get stuff done during the day and get to hang out with my family at night.
And the craziest thing of all?
A lot of days I actually MISS Blythe while she is sleeping.