21 irritating things that inevitably happen during naptime
How do I love thee, naptime? Let me count the ways…
Naptime is an oasis of calm, a parenting pause in the middle of the day. It’s the golden hour (plus a bit longer, if you’re lucky). It’s tea, toast and headspace – the chance you get to do all of these. As great as your kids are, it’s nature’s gift to knackered mums and dads.
(Although second time round, it’s more of a military operation of shushing your younger child while simultaneously and counterproductively whispering loudly at the first to be as quiet as possible, but it’s as much of a rest as you’re likely to get as a mum of two, so I’ll take that).
I recently walked past a house which had a sign in the window saying ‘Baby napping ! Don’t ring the bell.’ Which struck me as a great idea, as with so much riding on the short window of sleep, it’s inevitable that something will go wrong and scupper your chances of anything you had planned, especially if that plan is ‘do nothing at all.’ As with the mother law, there seems to be a naptime law in this house – where, if the baby will actually nap in the first place – everything that can go wrong, will, only ever during the time that they’re asleep.
The first hurdle is always a) getting the baby to nap and also b) getting them to nap at a reasonable time of day that’s during the day, and not at the end of it.
And then? One of these is always likely to happen…
The baby sleeps…on you (Is there anything better than a warm, cosy, sleeping baby on you? Beautiful! Oh, my ovaries). But:
- Now immobilised, you realise you haven’t been to the loo all morning and you recklessly downed a pint of cold squash minutes earlier
- You attempt the cot transfer with no success
- Your phone battery is at 1% just as the baby goes in for the mega nap
- The remote is miles away from your hand and the TV changes to Loose Women, who are harpishly debating something like breastfeeding
- You’re too uncomfortable to sleep yourself (pins and needles, itchy leg, cold feet)
- Breastfeeding HANGER strikes but snacks are no-where within hands reach
- Your tongue is stuck to the roof of your mouth and there’s no water left
- Out of nowhere, you sneeze ten times and wake them up.
The baby sleeps…in the pram / cot / on someone else (look! So beautiful and peaceful, can’t stop staring). Now:
- Time for hot tea! Or some food. Oh wait…you’re out of one or all of the following: tea, milk, biscuits, bread or butter
- Someone rings the doorbell (a courier, the postman – who does always ring twice – a chugger, someone selling windows or something completely random)
- Someone rings the doorbell with parcels…for your neighbours ten houses down the street. Every. Single. Time
- Someone rings the doorbell with such force that it falls off the wall and clatters down the hall
- The older child switches the volume level up to ‘Wembley stadium volume 11’
- The older child suddenly discovers the Clangers flute you thought you’d hidden forever a few days ago
- A car alarm goes off outside your window
- You foolishly answer the phone to someone who wants a chat, when all you want to do is stare at the wall
- You go to nap and can’t, and the clock ticks on loudly
- You run around doing jazz hands and waste the whole time
- You drop a giant can of carpet cleaner on the stone kitchen floor and it bounces about ten times
- A mobile Christmas tree chipper that sounds louder than ten large haldron colliders operating at once parks outside your house and starts disposing of about three hundred trees (this actually happened)
- You frivolously decide to paint your nails during naptime…just before they’re dry, any one of the above happens and the baby wakes up.