Monday, April 22, 2013

A Stay at Home Secret

I have to apologize.  I am writing this on the fly, so I am certain that the grammar and spelling will be a mess.  I just couldn't wait to share my secret.

I’m going to let you know something.  Stay at home parents won’t share this with you.  My wife has a grand idea of what happens that is both not true and still annoys her.  I get grumpy when I don’t do it.  And yes, sometimes even I deny the existence.

Like the magician who shares secrets to tricks, I may lose my stay at home dad card over this, but consequences be dammed.

I take naps almost every day!

Everything you have imagined about staying home is true.  It’s no wonder I don’t consider staying home with the kids to be a job. If you need to reach me between one and two, your call will be blocked.  I often just turn the phone off during nap time.

Now, I can’t say with any certainty that other parents, who stay home, also take naps.  They may very well be telling you the truth if they deny it.  I suspect they are not.  It all comes down to the age of your children, and what their nap schedule is. 

When you have a baby, people will always tell you to sleep when the baby sleeps.  I don’t know why you would think this advice changes as they grow into toddler-hood.  Glenn no longer takes naps, but Jackson sleeps from one to, sometimes, as late as three.  That’s up to two hours of sweet uninterrupted slumber, while Glenn watches cartoons.

Maybe uninterrupted isn't the right word there.  Actually all of those adjectives are wrong.  The problem is a matter of definition.  How you define nap, goes a long way towards understanding.  There is a large chasm between what Jackson does in his bedroom, and what I do on the couch, and only one of them fits your definition of the word nap.

When I was in my twenties I would take naps.  I would get up around 11, eat some breakfast, watch CNN, take a nap for two hours around 3, get up around five, and be ready to go out for the evening.  Those were REAL naps. 

Now not so much…

In fact I don’t even refer to them as naps to my wife.  It tends to make her angry.  I refer to it as my lunch break.  After all, my lunch is taken in secret when my kids are distracted, lest I have to share.  Two hours is definitely not the norm.  More often, I have 45 minutes to close my eyes, while Yo Gabba Gabba plays in the background.  45 minutes is a very reasonable lunch break. 

Let me set the stage so I can be perfectly clear. 

We eat lunch at 1130.  (A far cry from my 20’s when I was just getting up, and called it breakfast) Jackson gets to watch one cartoon.  Usually during which, I am frantically trying to finish my chores, so that I may close my eyes afterwards.  I am often not successful.  I’ll read Jackson a story, spend some time with him, take Glenn to the bathroom, and then I am done.  This wraps up just a little after noon.  If I am done with my chores, I can sit down.  As I said, this is often not the case, and I’ll spend 15 minutes picking up toys, or whatever other crap I need to do.  Around 12:30 I’ll explain to Glenn how long I want to sleep.  He can’t tell time, but he can count cartoons.  So if I need to get up at 1:30, he will wake me up after two cartoons. 

It takes some time to wind down. Perhaps I should stop drinking so much coffee.  I am often interrupted by Glenn needing to go to the bathroom, or whatever other crap he needs.  After one cartoon, he’ll want to play with another toy.  I’m not sure why he wakes me up to let me know, but I wish he wouldn't.  Usually by the time the second cartoon starts, I finally really fall asleep.  Then 15 minutes later, it’s over…Time to start the second part of the day.

Like I said, maybe nap isn't the right word.  I still like to use it.  Do you know why?  Because, it pisses off you working stiffs.  What you imagine and the reality are so vastly different, that I just tell you what you want to hear.  It makes you feel good about yourself to imagine ME as the bum.

Unless your my wife…Than I haven’t stopped working all day.  Except to eat, “lunch.” 

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