Tell me what you think of this scenario. And be honest.
I had just pulled my cart up to a cash register at Target when I looked down and realized my daughter had fallen asleep, her head resting on my quilted pocketbook. In S.’s trademark style of talk ’till you drop, she had been chatting away about Strawberry Shortcake until she wasn’t anymore.
If this was you, would you:
(a) pay for your stuff and get home as quickly as possible so that your child could finish naptime in the comfort of her own bed
(b) tell the cashier to suspend the order and head back to the toy aisle for some undercover Christmas shopping, letting your child nap as you go
Me? Well I saw this as a golden opportunity. A chance to multi-task. A way to get Christmas shopping done that didn’t involve lining up spare relatives for babysitting.
I kept shopping. Does that make me an efficient mom or a selfish one?
Depending upon how you answered, this next confession might really sway your opinion of me. Because to be honest, cheating on naptime is more of a routine for me than an anomaly. I have never made it a special point to be home for my children’s naptimes. Our family is way too short on time to block out the hours between 12 and 2.But that’s never stopped my kids from fitting in a daytime nap. Both of them are adept at sleeping on the go. In the car. At the movies. In a chair at a restaurant. On Daddy’s shoulders while the tuba section of a band marches by.
Sometimes I feel bad if they’re in a particularly odd position or if there’s lots of noise around. Otherwise, I make them as comfortable as possible, figuring that if they were able to fall asleep, it can’t be that bad.
Because we’ve been so lenient on the whole subject of when to nap and where, and it hasn’t damaged our children (in any apparent way), I do find myself snickering when other parents make a big deal out of cancelling plans because their child’s naptime came sooner than expected. Or that they have to leave a party because the only place their overtired child will sleep is in their own crib.
Maybe I’m smug because I think, that in some small way, my liberal approach to naptime and keeping kids on a schedule in general will ultimately make my children more flexible. Maybe they’ll have jobs which regularly take them across time zones. And maybe they’ll even thank me for it.
It’s a good thing Amanda and I are on the same page about naptime, otherwise we’d never see each other.