Jan 17, 2011

The Art of Sleeping

When I was expecting my first baby, I was offered a lot of advice.  Mostly unsolicited and some completely useless.  Yet the best advice always involved getting sleep.  Always choose sleep.  When the babies nap, the mother naps.  I have followed this prescripton religiously for years.  But then came the day when all of the children outgrew naps.  But I hadn't.

My family has been growing and working toward eternal bliss and nirvana for the past 19 years.  As I sat in the pew with my husband and children who were, surprisingly, all being reverent during the sacrament, I had was of two minds.  1) I said a silent prayer within my heart for what I had right at that moment on that bench.  I am deeply joyful for all four of my children and a good man as my partner in playing house.  2) I hoped I would get an afternoon nap. 

There is a sacred time on Sundays when all is right in the world.  Those quiet moments - usually an hour or two - between church and dinner when the pot roast is in the crock pot and the children are heady with the promise of a good, home cooked meal.  They wander downstairs to play Wii or go to their bedrooms to read or play together and I get that precious afternoon nap. 

But today I screwed up.

Last night I hooked the Wii to the upstairs television.  It's the big screen so it's perfect to play Mario Kart with all four remotes.  Really awesome.  Also can be used for Netflix.  Wouldn't that be awesome?  No.  They played Mario Kart after church.  Can they play it while talking to each other since they are in the same room?  No.  They have to yell to each other as if they are separated by 3 feet of plexiglass.  Just as the colors start organizing themselves into dreams, someone yells and startles my nap.  I got up, turned down the t.v., instructed them to use quiet voices, then returned to my bed.

Colors swirl.  Faint shape recognition and BAM!  "Will you bake a cake?" a child asks me.  Obviously not in the kitchen.  Not thinking about cake.  Fighting myself to not yell.  I may never bake a cake again for that infraction.  Get out.  Child leaves.  Husband leaves, too.  Apparently, the tone is frightening.  He tries to keep the house quiet.  Another one sneaks in.

"Mom, I want to watch a movie now."  I'm thinking snarky and sarcastic will be lost on a 5 year old so I bite my tongue.

Here's what my children know about their mother:

1.  I require they eat a healthy breakfast every morning while I eat cake and drink a Diet Coke.
2.  I don't do mornings.
3.  I like to pop pimples and ask about their bathroom habits.
4.  I mean I talk about poo and pee nearly non-stop while we're together.
5.  I don't like feet. 
6.  I hate the word exactly.  Particularly the redundant phrase exactly the same.
7.  I don't like meat of any kind.  It all tastes like dead animal to me.
8.  But I serve it for dinner, anyway.
9.  Don't touch my face.

Yet for some odd reason, my children don't understand the concept that I do not like to be disturbed in my attempts at taking a nap.  In fact, I would put this fun fact about myself as #1.

So now I have choice to make.  Everybody is asleep in bed.  I can either 1) go to bed myself or 2) set off the smoke alarm.

It could go either way.


Amy said...

Man, I know exactly how you feel. I mean, I feel EXACTLY THE SAME.

When I try to nap and those around me interrupt it I get even more cranky. Then my husband helpfully says, "Oh, it's that time of month, huh"? SMACK!

EmptyNester said...

Come on over to our empty nest- it's almost always quiet enough for napping here!

I hate feet too and NOBODY is allowed to get NEAR my face.

Jamie Bishop said...

What I don't get is why it is so hard for the husband to keep the kids out of my room during that sacred Sunday nap time. When he naps, do the kids DARE disturb him? NO. They would have the wrath of mommy to deal with. But is it the same for me? NO. They all come in and out, asking stupid questions...and when I confront my husband about the many disruptions he simply says "Oh...they were in there? I told them to leave you alone." Idiot. :-)

Gina said...

Lack of sleep is not a pretty thing. As a student nurse I shared house with other nurses. When we were on night duty god help the person who interrupted our precious rest. There was a building site across the street where they were building 4 more houses identical to ours. The burly tatooed builder started ringing our doorbell a couple of times a day asking questions about which wall heaters were on? Which ways the doors faced? Then came the day that my friend nessa was sleeping on night duty. She is 4 foot nothing and only came up to his beer belly. She ranted and screamed at him about how would he like it if she rang his f$@^+>€ doorbell at 3 O Clock in his f$@^+>€ morning asking him about where his f$@^+>€ heaters were. I was crying with laughter as I watched him shake in his boots and then back away carefully to the building site. NEVER underestimate the wrath of a sleep deprived woman!

M-Cat said...

I think you need to post those facts about you in the kitchen. have a family council about it and then have every member of the family sign a contract that they do, in fact, understand the facts and will adhere in every way possible to ensure your happiness.

It worked for me. Once. For a couple of days.

Parkers said...

The best thing I did.... last Sunday I went to Sacrament meeting--came home to "get something I forgot" for YW and took a 30 minute nap before I had to go back. It was quiet. I felt great. No one got hurt. Good deal. Try it-- You'll like it.

CountessLaurie said...

What is this nap thing of which you speak? And sleep? Not heard of it. They sound nice, though.