I was never a napper - I was actually an ANTI-napper - until I got pregnant with Emma. I had horrible problems falling asleep AT ALL let alone in the middle of the day on a couch when there were THINGS TO DO. I was an early-to-bed morning type of person. If I was tired, I went to bed when small children went to bed. Naps? Noooo. Naps were unproductive and anxious-making, and if I ever did manage to put myself to sleep in the afternoon I woke up horribly groggy and cranky. No, thank you.
But then I got pregnant with Emma and daily life turned into a matter of making sure I got my nap every afternoon. Molly was still taking naps, but Jack, horrible child, had given them up. But his sainted grandparents had given him an iPad for his 4th birthday (SPOILED) and that was how I got my nap: we both got in my bed, he played a game or watched a show and I snoozed. Bliss! That entire year is a blur of falling asleep to the grating tune of Busytown Mysteries.
I did not give up my nap habit after Emma was born. At first this was clearly because she was our worst sleeper. Jack took forever to PUT to sleep, but once he was asleep he was down. Molly was our dream baby. I will never forget putting infant Molly in her crib and WATCHING her slowly close her eyes and fall asleep on her own. I DIDN'T KNOW BABIES DID THAT. Emma, on the other hand, only slept if she felt like it. Which was almost never. At some point we'd just decided that Emma didn't NEED as much sleep as a regular baby. HONEST. That is what we thought. Sometimes we still think that. Remember that month Emma woke up every hour on the hour, every night, for a month? OH ME TOO! FUN TIMES!
So yeah, I was tired. It wasn't because I had three kids. I had two big kids who were getting more and more self sufficient and who also were, by that point, excellent sleepers, AND I had this non-sleeping version of a baby and THAT was why I conked out on the couch every day.
But now... okay, kind of a guilty secret, but I still do take naps. A lot. IS THIS A GOOD THING? I don't really think so. I think it makes my nighttime sleep not so great, for starters. It's very hard to keep up an exercise routine when you would rather use one exercise time slot for napping. And unless I sleep for at least two hours, I wake up to my phone alarm (because I have to pick up the kids! on time!) groggy and annoyed. Yes, sometimes I will nap the entire time Emma naps. Three kids and nearly seven years into this parenting gig and I finally figured out how to do that!
Anyway, I have been trying VERY HARD to kick my nap habit. Most days now I go watch Veronica Mars on my treadmill instead of napping. Some days I just CAN'T - stuff to do, you know. But there are still many many days, like today, when I've done my kitchen chores and I did my exercise, but I still have an hour or so before I go get the kids and maybe I'll just sit down and watch my DVRed politics talk show and maybe scroll through Twitter andzzzzzzzz. IT JUST HAPPENS. It's like my body is all: couch! zebra-stripe blanket! no one singing Let It Go! SHUT DOWN!
This past summer I nervously asked my brain doctor if perhaps the Pr0zac had a, you know, Napping Side Effect. Because, and this is as true as I can discern, once I was on my full dose I was 1) tired all the time 2) gaining weight (or having massive trouble losing it) and 3) having WACKED OUT DREAMS. I was also not anxious! So didn't really want to mess with it, obvs, but while my brain doctor agreed the meds could be affecting my dreams, he pooh poohed my other concerns.
I am still on a [low] dose and I have an appointment to get me off of it completely (the methylfolate supplements are working well, so far) and I'm interested to see what life will be like then. And maybe it has nothing to do with it! I don't know! MAYBE MY LIFE IS JUST THIS EXHAUSTING.
All that to say (seriously, ALL THAT) I have a SYSTEM for napping. And today I didn't follow my system. And I slept through a phone call from Jack's teacher saying, "Uh, your kids? Are still here?"
I did a bunch of stuff this afternoon AND I exercised. It was not going to be a nap day! After I finished everything I ate lunch in front of another Veronica Mars episode (I am never going to finish by Saturday). When it was over I had about 10 or 15 minutes until it was time to wake up Emma (because I always have to wake her up now) and pick up the kids. I knew it was bad to be all snuggled up under my blanket. I knew I shouldn't close my eyes. I especially knew I should go find my phone and set my alarm JUST IN CASE. But I was so sleepy, so warm, and it was SO QUIET. And I fell asleep.
I woke up once or twice and eyed the clock, just to make sure I hadn't overslept. And I hadn't! Until the THIRD time I opened my eyes, looked at the clock, and promptly lost all sense of time and space because WHAT THAT CANNOT BE THE RIGHT TIME OMG OMG WHATTTTTT.
I woke up at 3:10, exactly twenty minutes after the school bell rings to let the kids out.
You guys, I thought I would die. DIE. I dashed into Emma's room, ripped her out of bed, grabbed my keys and my phone, flung the baby into her car seat and zoomed out of my cul de sac. I wanted to DIIIIIE. And then my phone started ringing and I knew it was the school and I had the actual thought: I don't have to answer that. BUT THEN WHAT KIND OF PARENT WOULD I BE? AN EVEN WORSE PARENT! So I answered the phone with, "I will be there in 30 seconds!" and they said, "Okay!" and I RACED TO SCHOOL. I drove the wrong way into the parking lot, left Emma in the car, and dashed inside. Where Jack and Molly were looking at me curiously, all, "Where WERE you, Mommy? "
I couldn't TELL them. They would REPEAT IT. TO EVERYONE.
I yelled a thank you to the school secretary and beat it out of there before any teacher or other staff person could see my shame. When I hustled the kids back to the car I noticed I had a MESSAGE on my phone, from Jack's teacher. I had to ACKNOWLEDGE it, right? So when we got home I quickly wrote a groveling and massively self-deprecatory email, eager to do whatever it would take to expunge my name from the Unfit Parenting file they probably keep in a locked cabinet somewhere.
My kids were fine. I felt bad about them, but I mostly felt bad about SCREWING UP and SCREWING UP IN SUCH A PUBLIC WAY. Also, as the daughter of two public school teachers I have heard practically every Stupid Parent story in the universe and OH GOD I HAD TRIED SO HARD NOT TO BE ONE OF THE STUPID PARENTS!!!! I actually had to call my parents, because I can't do a single vaguely screw uppy thing without instantly confessing, and request absolution. Which my father gave, but not in a very nice way. "Oh, I'm sure something else will come along that will knock this episode out of the water!" THANKS, DAD!
Jack's teacher responded in a VERY kind and sweet and "SERIOUSLY NO BIGGIE" sort of way, and I believe her, which is why I am not STILL flogging myself five hours later.
This IS the sort of thing that WILL kill me one day. It's not the big heavy serious stuff, it's the stupid little screw ups that make me look like an irresponsible idiot. I am not an irresponsible idiot! Ever! Except when I AM! WOE.
(Isn't it terrible that this isn't about my kids? Ugh, I am such a THREE.) (SORRY. I CANNOT HELP PERSONALITY TYPING EVERY ASPECT OF MY EXISTENCE.)