I have nap envy. There have been times that I attempted at least seven naps in one day, back in the day when I was a non-working girl. (Okay, that was only about two months ago, but whatever). Old people nap easily. They can be mid-blink, and it's all over. Kids in college openly nap on their desks. Babies need to nap as soon as they wake up in the morning. It's just the way it is and it's somehow accepted as the norm. No matter who it is, there's always a time of day carved out for their napping. But not for me. Ever.
Here's an example of a typical, stay-at-home day for Thirty-Eight:
1:00 PM - Thirty-Eight: "I'm tired. I think I'll pay these bills and then take a nap."
Forty-Three: "Yeah." (He's an enthusiastic conversationalist.)
I sit down with a stack of bills and turn on my computer. Ooh, I need to check my Facebook and my mail.
Forty-Three: "I thought you were paying bills and then taking a nap?"
Thirty-Eight: "After I pay my bills and check my mail."
Seven: "Mommmmmm! I need a glue stick!"
I go into the closet, open the disaster I call the craft cart, find the glue and as a stack of haphazardly stacked board games begins to fall, I slam the door. Too late. Forty-Three already saw.
Forty-Three: "Uh, don't you think you should do something about that?"
Completely busted, I open the closet, and all kinds of shit topples onto my head. So, like I always do, I curse. ALOT. Seven first yells that she heard me say the "s" word, then decides to yell that she's "still waiting for my glue stick , Mooooommmmmmy!"
Thirty-Eight: "I'm taking a nap after I straighten this shit out."
Glue stick in hand, I run to find Seven in the basement, making some kind of crafty thing I had not given her the ok to do in the basement.
Thirty-Eight: "Do not let the dog eat that stuff!" I look around. "Seven, it's a disaster down here!"
Seven: "I didn't do it, Mommy."
I start picking up toys and throwing them into bins.
Thirty-Eight: "I'm taking a nap after this, so don't start yelling for me because you need a glass of water. Ask Daddy."
Seven: "I want you."
I clean for twenty minutes, which is about when my eyes start unfocusing. If I have to find the match for one more Polly Pocket shoe or one more Polly Pocket accessory, I decide that poking my eyeballs out with a fork might be less traumatizing. I plod back upstairs, totally intent on going all the way up, to the bedroom.
Thirty-Eight: "What the hell is that noise?"
My son's room is open, and the squealing coming from within are the guinea pigs. Figuring my son, Eleven, had fallen asleep the night before without feeding them, I approach. I feel faint suddenly and realize that Lollypop and Nia are not asking to be fed but are screaming for mercy; they have been frolicking in their ammonia-scented cage for weeks. So, I get out the cleaning supplies and release them for twenty minutes of fresh air. Footsteps approach.
Eleven: "Daddy said you were napping."
Thirty-Eight: "I am. Right after I clean your pets' cage. Remember the pets you said you'd look after?"
Eleven: "One is Seven's. Can we go to Game Stop?"
Thirty-Eight: "No! And how do you even sit in here? It's gross."
Eleven: "I don't smell anything. Please?"
Contemplating whether the ammonia has burned out my son's olfactory senses, I finish up the cage and then vacuum the mess I made with the animal bedding. Then I head to my room feeling guilty about the whole Game Stop thing. Sighing, I tell him to meet me in the car.
Forty-Three: "What're you doing?"
Thirty-Eight: "Going to Game Stop then coming home to nap."
Forty-Three lifts the remote and aims it at the TV. His thirst for conversation has been quenched; he's almost reached his fifty-word-a-day limit.
An hour later, I get home, and Eleven sequesters himself in his room. As I search in my closet for comfy pj pants, I remember they're in the basement. I hurry down, hoping nobody sees/hears/cares I am home again and make it safely to the basement. The dryer is full so I start folding. Forty-Three appears at the top of the stairs.
Forty-Three: "Did you pay those bills?"
(Stringing three to five words at a time, often in question form, might be stimulating conversation for him, but to me it's getting annoying).
Thirty-Eight: "I was cleaning the cage. I'll finish after my nap."
A half hour later, I'm carrying an overly-filled laundry basket to my room. I throw it down, half the folded clothes falling out, but I don't care. Before I lie down, I need to run to the bathroom for a quick pee so I can nap in uninterrupted comfort. As I'm washing my hands, I look in the mirror, which is all speckled with toothpaste splatters. If I recall, that happened about two weeks ago when Seven flung her toothbrush out of her mouth in protest of brushing and going to bed. Crazy girl - bed is good.
It's gross so I get the Windex and a rag and start cleaning the mirror. Well, since the mirror is all clean, might as well do the counters. This becomes an annoying chain reaction and an hour later, the toilet sparkles and the scent of Clorox Clean-up has finally eradicated the guinea pig ammonia.
But now I feel gross, as the act of cleaning with all those chemicals makes me feel, ironically, unclean. I traipse back down to find a clean towel in the laundry area, and the puppy, One, (awww) follows me. She hasn't been walked. In days. She cocks her head because she already knows how to play on human guilt. The kids somehow taught her this trick and she's good at it.
Thirty-Eight: "Black Daaaawg wanna go wauwkie?" (you know you all talk that ridiculous way to your pets, too, so shut up.)
She cocks her head again, smiles and starts wiggling furiously. We run up the basement steps and in her excitement, she trips me and I fall on my bad knee.
Seven: (from somewhere in the house, I have no clue) "You said the "F" word!!!!"
I deny this fifteen times in a row as I hobble up the last few stairs to get One's leash. I leave, still in denial of my dirty mouth. We end up going on a forty-minute "drag."
By the time I get home, it's around 8:30. Everyone is laying around, watching TV and I feel like someone beat the piss out of me. Finally - finally - I sit on the couch. My eyes ease down and as I start falling into that sweet, blissful sleepy place, the phone rings. It's my mom, Sixty-Six.
Sixty-Six: "What's wrong with you."
Thirty-Eight: "I'm so freakin' tired, I can't stand it."
Sixty-Six: "Go take a nap then."
If only it were that easy.