Today I took a nap. And it was good.
I like to take naps. If I could take a nap every day, I would. I don’t know what it is about taking care of children that is so draining. I remember, when la dra. worked a clinic job that got her home at 7:30 each night, that I would regularly sprawl out on the couch and, um, close my eyes for a bit while she caught up with The Pumpkin, even thought bedtime was just a few hours off. I also remember not needing to do the same during my work-outside-the-home stretch. Yesterday, I wrote that I’d dozed off, briefly, during a recent lunchtime while The Button watched some educational public television before we had to go pick up her sister from school. I also was informed by a friend that I had miswritten “dozed” as “dowsed.” I guess I was tired (from all that finding water with a stick).
That old “sleep when the baby sleeps” advice you get when you’re a new parent? It’s so, so true. And when the baby grows up and goes from multiple naps to one, and that one nap gets shorter, and it’s smack in the middle of a day marked by errands revolving around her big sister’s schedule and packed with the daily minutiae of household chores, well, you [read: I] really feel it. I fantasize about naps. I remember pre-parenthood days of afternoon naps with my spouse with the lights down and the windows open, a spring or summer breeze blowing through, fondly, even if incorrectly or quasi-fictitiously or colored with the haze of nostalgia and the passage of time. I dream of childless vacations in beautiful locales with temperate climates arranged around multiple daily naps in luxurious-yet-simple hotel rooms, again, with my spouse and with the lights down and the windows open, perhaps a tasty cold beverage on the bedside table and some jazz or trip-hop or Brazilian music on the room sound system.
My wife works a full work-day seeing patients and doing paperwork and handling administrative duties. She’s tired too. I’m happy, on weekends, to let her rest when she can, when the kids aren’t demanding and monopolizing mommy’s attention. But once in a while, she gives me a gift that I’m sometimes loath to ask for: she lets me take a nap. And today, after she spent the morning with her girlfriends watching pale Englishmen with perfectly mussed hair sparkle in the sunlight, she and the girls played while they let me sleep, in the darkened bedroom (windows closed, though), for two. whole. hours. I’d put an ambient electronica act I’d read about in a magazine, Oneohtrix Point Never, into my phone’s Pandora and closed my eyes, and woke two hours later to the sounds of strange computer-generated droning by my head and gleeful children’s laughter and unintelligible squeals of mom-induced happiness down the hall.
It was a good day.