Naptime Musings – My 6 Most Common Thoughts
The moment I get both twins down for a nap is one of victory, invariably punctuated by a touchdown dance I’ve developed during my six-week career as starting Cry Receiver. It begins with the Running Man at a safe distance from 2nd (kid) Down, erupting into a Super Mario Brothers Fist-Raised Leap as I cross into the End Zone/Kitchen–during which I bump the ceiling, triggering a shower of Gilded Pacifiers–followed by the spike of a full baby bottle on the floor (empty ones don’t thud or bounce quite as badassly). I Raise the Roof with legs of Jell-O while willing myself not to White-Man’s-Overbite, and then, as I go into a little soft-shoe routine, die-hard face-painted fans, animal mascots, and cheerleaders emerge from drawers, cabinets, and Crock Pots, all remarkably donning the color of whatever spit-up-stained t-shirt I happen to be wearing. I sign the bottle with a Sharpie, fling it into the masses–who will argue for the ensuing two hours about who had it first–and launch myself into the Dawg Pound, crowd-surfing my way through high-fives.
Yeah, it’s a work in progress.
The “Holy Crap, a Nap Overlap!” Shuffle (working title) may seem a tad extravagant, but that’s because rarely does this occasion occur. Unlike many modern technologies, you cannot set twinfants to automatically synchronize. People often assume twins are uncannily in-tune. I definitely see yin and yang dynamics emerging, but my experience has shown that–as fraternal, boy/girl twins–they truly are two unique people, and with that comes unique sleep patterns. (I’ve heard identical twins tend more towards similar sleep habits but won’t at all claim to be an expert on that.)
It goes like this. My son, the Reigning Naptime Champion, usually conks right out, often even collapsing in his jumper or drifting off mid-teething-ring gnaw. My daughter, on the other hand, will show signs of tiredness, but will resist the falling asleep part at all costs. So after soothing, rocking, defiant de-socking, carrying, pacing, wide-awake goofy-facing, singing, swinging, pacifier flinging, and even laying her down to self-sooth until she’s so loud she’s about to wake her brother resulting in an fiery inferno of dual banshee shrieks, by the time I finally get her to sleep, I’ll often hear him waking from a 45-minute nap before I can even Mario Jump.
However, against these insurmountable odds, I usually manage to get them down at the same time once a day. This magical phenomenon, Daddy’s Time, allows me to do. Whatever. I. Want. It feels strangely similar to my parents letting me stay home alone while they ran errands, leaving my ecstatic mind reeling with unfathomable possibilities. Should I go through drawers? Blow out the stereo speakers? Snoop for Christmas presents?
So, once the crowd returns to their hiding places in appliances and cabinets, I am left alone with my thoughts, the most common of which are the following, in this order.
I first must harness the butterflies and giggling pink unicorns in my head and decide what I will do, because the clock is already ticking. A quick survey of the towering pile of dirty baby bottles, nipples and pacifiers in the sink, the full laundry hamper, and the labyrinth of play gyms on the floor reminds me that I simply must work on my next blog post because the idea is genius and will surely be the one to gain the attention of a publisher who will commission Twinfamy: The Book which will be optioned for Twinfamy: The Movie or possibly The HBO Series, which will in turn surely win a record-breaking amount of awards and acclaim, and I will be so wealthy that I can pay someone else to do the damn dishes, laundry, and tidying.
2. Oh, no! Don’t wake up yet!
Too often, I’ve begun The Shuffle prematurely. I’ll hear a youthful groan and an absolute hush falls across the stadium as we all spin towards the JumboTron to watch the baby monitor video feed. You could hear a grain of rice cereal drop as we await the child’s decision, willing him or her to drift back off.
Other times, I’ll be in the middle of something crucial, such as finally finishing the episode of Futurama I’ve been trying to watch during Daddy’s Time all week (since my wife dislikes cartoons, even stellar grown-up ones), or again, penning that all-important next post, but as I finally hog-tie a muse and the ideas come oinking out, I’ll hear a rustling. Oh, no, please God, just give me five more minutes…Or if you’re having a good day, twenty works for me, too…
It’s also at about this point in the day when my dog realizes she has the floor. “Hey! Wait a minute! Those little upstaging bastards are asleep! It’s my turn!” She’ll make a dog-beeline for the closet and return on a unicycle, juggling rawhide bones, and wearing a scrolling LED belt buckle that reads: “Come on, Dad! Let’s play fetch, and then you can rub my tummy, and then…” And so, once I see her enormous black eyes glimmer expectantly, I have about three seconds to stop her from whining, barking, or howling Whitney Houston’s “I Will Always Love You” and waking the kids. Having given my poor, outshone-by-Twinfants canine some attention, I will then return to chores and/or Awesome Things. She’s usually fine with this until any sound whatsoever breaks the silence, prompting her to alert me via bark messaging that the air conditioning just clicked on, or the garbage truck has arrived, or that I have just closed the microwave, which brings me to…
4. How badly do I want to close this microwave?
Whether I’m finally nuking my first meal of the day or washing and steaming the aforementioned baby apparatus in our microwave sterilizer (neither of which I usually get around to until Nap Overlap), the microwave is a staple of Daddy’s Time. The problem, of course, it that it is impossible to close a microwave quietly. Don’t believe me? Go ahead, try. I’ll wait.
See? Told you. (My apologies if you’ve woken up napping children during Your Time.)
Even when I try to soften the blow with my fingertip as a silencer, I’m left with the same deafening bang and a sore finger. If this predicament were a movie trailer, it would go something like this:
In a world…
where silence MUST prevail…
on every slam.
Can YOU take the heat?
In theaters this Summer.
5. Did I brush my teeth today?
Now, before you get all grossed out, let me explain. I take morning coffee seriously, and carefully select blends I find to be delicious. However, the Tooth-Brushing/Coffee-Drinking Paradox dictates that brushing when I wake up causes the paste taste to linger and infiltrate my morning mug. I endured Minty Baking Soda Mochas for years via travel mug on my way to work, but can savor coffee with a clean palate now that I stay home.
The only caveat is the all-consuming nature of my “dayjob” sometimes causes me to forget to brush once the coffee’s done. All hail Daddy’s Time.
6. What did my wife tell me not to forget to do?
I knew it was something, and it must have been important, otherwise she wouldn’t have made a point to tell me. I think it had a “W” in it. I could ask her, but then she’ll know I forgot. Dammit.
Additonal Twinformation for New Parents
A 500-Disc DVD Special Edition Bonus Feature
My wife and I consider the microwave sterilizer I mentioned in Thought Number Four one of our best new-parent purchases. After a quick scrub and rinse in the sink, we throw them in this badboy, heat for 2 minutes, and play a Ring Toss/Horseshoes-style game to get them on the drying rack. I highly recommend this fine piece of equipment, especially over those disposable bags that burn the hell out of you every damn time and aren’t “effective” after X amount of uses.
You may also enjoy:
If not, that’s fine. Just please don’t wake up my kids.
All of those things usually give way to a good old fashioned nap for me! No…I don’t have twins…but 3 year olds and 3 month olds rarely nap at the same time either. I would rather be rested than have a clean house.
(and I am SO waiting for some idea to pop into my head so I can option a book/movie/tv series so I can hire a housekeeper too!!! and maybe a chef??)
Yeah, I’m not a big napper, but even if I did, Daddy’s Time averages at about 20 minutes, which won’t work for me since I take a while to wind down before I fall asleep. I’d get like 30 seconds. Your kids do sound non-synchronization-compliant, and I’m sure your touchdown dance is similar in exuberance.
The ideas are out there. You just need to capture them. I’m in search them myself, and the damn dreamcatcher I bought recently has turned out to be a big fat ripoff.
Super funny! I only got to be a SAHD for about 3 months when my son was around the age of your twins. At least I didn’t have to shoot of an overlap to get my brief moment, but I SO relate to all 6 of these…especially number 6 because that pretty much applies to me the entire rest of the day, too!
Thanks so much! Yeah, the moment is brief–sometimes only 5 minutes–but that still doesn’t stop me from completing The Shuffle. It’s just nice to have even a little break.
For me, sometimes #6 happens because a conflict with #5–I have to remind my wife not to ask me to do ANYTHING until I’ve had coffee because I’m useless when I first wake up. It’s an ailment that has plagued me since I was in middle school, when my mother would wake me up in the morning and ask me to do something before she left for work. Then, when she came home and it wasn’t done, she’d flip out, especially when I had no recollection of it.
Luckily, my wife is much more attuned to this issue and has learned to text or email me so I have it in writing.
Unless I can’t find my phone…
…How could anyone NOT like cartoons? I’m watching “Family Guy” right this second, and it is a beautiful thing.
Is your wife aware of “Family Guy”? Because I think she needs to be aware of “Family Guy”.
She’s aware of Family Guy and even used to watch it with me, along with Futurama, Ugly Americans, South Park, and even The Simpsons (although in recent years the show seems to have stopped trying and I have since lost interest in it).
However, somewhere along the way, the animated magic died.
She has explicitly told me that she “really needs to be in the mood” for a cartoon, and this is rare.
So I’m slowly making my way through the piled-up toons on my DVR in short spurts while the kids sleep.
Better than nothing.
And my wife’s pretty darn awesome aside from being anti-toon so it’s all good.
I can imagine my SAHD husband going through this same routine with our two year old and 6 month old! Especially number 6. I have taken to writing him a list even if the list is only one item long… even then he doesn’t get it done!
I also hate cartoons… it must be a woman thing.
Personally, I love the list. I know I’m going to forget anyway, so my wife has learned to stop kidding herself and texts me lists all the time. What’s nice about the text is it’s harder to lose than a piece of paper.
Yeah, I think it might be a gender thing with cartoons. I sure miss them, but barely have enough time for tv anyway nowadays, so I’ll soldier on.
Thannks great blog post