There is an interesting phenomenon that occurs during the course of any given day at the Tripp Academy for the Exceptionally Brilliant, and I've heard from other homeschooling mothers that it's a common one. I get sudden attacks of narcolepsy, just about five minutes after I sit down on the couch to listen to my child read. Something about hearing a young, halting voice drone on about "Tommy Fox" and "Mr. Gray Squirrel" makes it almost impossible to keep my eyes open, and often the only thing that keeps me from drifting off completely is my recurring, involuntary head bobbing that snaps me back to partial wakefulness every ten seconds or so.
Today's reading session happened to take place during the baby's naptime. Today also happens to be overcast and rainy, and I was also feeling especially unmotivated to get any housework done. So when the reading quota had been met, I announced to all within earshot that Mommy was going to "take a quick nap while the baby is still asleep. Do not disturb!"
Obviously this plan was optimistic at best and just plain looking for trouble at worst.
Over the course of the next twenty minutes, I was repeatedly reminded of why I do not nap. As soon as I made my nap declaration, my five year old cheerfully requested to take a nap with me, then squeezed her cute little skinny self (and her mangy special blankie) next to me on the edge of the couch. As it turned out, she was the only one that didn't disturb my "nap" (rest?).
The first couple of minutes went well. I conked out pretty much immediately. In fact, I enjoyed a full thirty-seven seconds of blissful slumber before my seven-year-old made an unwise decision.
He stood over me. "Mommy." I woke up but kept my eyes closed, hoping that if I looked asleep, he'd realize his mistake and would tiptoe quietly away. "Mommy." I opened my eyes and looked at him. I asked him if he remembered that only two and a half minutes ago, I had specifically told them that I was going to take a nap and was not to be disturbed. He did. "So this must be extremely important, then," I said. It was, vitally. He wanted a snack.
Less than five minutes later, my eight-year-old set out to prove that "if we don't learn our history, we are doomed to repeat it" by insisting on asking me if she could play on the computer. Like her brother's before her, her request was denied.
While I was still speaking to the eight-year-old, my husband arrived home from the half-day job he'd been at. He gasped as he walked in the door- "Are Mommy and Aviva sick?!"
Turned out Ramsey had work news to share with me. He was on his way again soon, but by that point the nap was pretty much ruined. I had lost the sleepiness, also some guilt over the fact that I was lounging on the couch while Ramsey was off working hard at providing for our family was beginning to set in (either that or the fact that I'd been caught red-handed). I hung in there though, determined to cling to the last shredded bit of this nap, if only for the principle of the thing. The ten-year-old thought pretending to fling his pencil at his sister instead of doing his hand-writing lesson was a fun idea. The target, plastered up against my back, screeched and hid under her ratty blankie. I told the kids that the next child to disturb my nap would get to take their own nap after lunch, then rolled over and shoved my face into the couch cushion.
Rustling noises began to be heard from the direction of the baby moniter, followed by the sweet little voice of my fifteen-month-old, "Mama... Mama..." I sighed and got up off the couch. As I headed for the stairs, my five-year-old gleefully dove into the warmly imprinted cushion that I had just vacated, declaring, "Now I'm going to take a nap on the whole couch!"
"Good luck," I told her.