Sunday, July 6, 2008

N.A.P.S.

If you’re an expectant or an aspiring First Time Father, there is one thing I can promise with metaphysical certitude: you will experience sleep deprivation. The days of sleeping eight or even five consecutive hours will end with the birth of your child.

Sleep will come in negotiated stretches of two to four hours, with you and your partner bartering and haggling for rest like Egyptian rug merchants. But those blissful few hours won’t be enough, so you’ll find yourself supplementing them with MicroNaps.

What are “MicroNaps” FTF? Glad you asked. A MicroNap is defined (by me) as a period of time not less than 5 minutes but not more than 15 minutes during which your mental state straddles the border between consciousness and unconsciousness. Typically you MicroNap when it’s your turn to watch the baby and you and he are both drowsy. He might be on your lap or in his swing or in the Pack and Play, but he has to be somewhere safe enough that your brain can switch off.

You can identify a MicroNap pretty easily: You’ll still be able to see everything in the room in which you’re resting, but none of it will seem quite right. For example, when your one month old son climbs out of his swing, climbs on the dog, and rides her happily around the living room, you’re MicroNapping. The MN ends as soon as the baby makes any movement louder than a housefly landing on a marshmallow: You wake up, see the baby in the swing, see the dog sleeping near by, put the pacifier an inch or two deeper into the baby’s mouth (or if you’re really out of it, the dog’s mouth), and lie back down, starting the process all over again.

While MicroNaps are enjoyable in much the same way certain hallucinogens are purported to be enjoyable, they don’t leave you feeling rested. And if I can’t get rest at home, maybe I should be getting rest at work. It’s for this reason that I’m starting N.A.P.S. – The National Association for the Promotion of Siesta. Americans work more and vacation less than the citizens of any country in the industrialized world. The least our employers can do is let us get some ****ing sleep. I encourage you to visit the site and join the movement.

4 comments:

Stamford Talk said...

I have been micro-napping since college, when, as a counselor at a writing camp, I would set my alarm for literally 5 minutes, climb into bed, fall fully asleep, slam the alarm as it rang, then bolt down to teach Irish dancing or whatever the hell I was doing that day. I will tell you, I would not have made it through without those moments of brain sleep.

However, the micro naps YOU are talking about, ones where you are actually doing something at the time... I did a couple of those last month when I was babysitting my nephew. "Listen, please, I just need to close my eyes for ten minutes. Please. Just ten minutes. Stop talking to me. I will talk to you in ten minutes." I kept an ear open as I dozed, but I HAD to close my eyes and let my brain relax or I would have died.

I do not know how I will survive having my own children.

I'm gonna go nap right now.

The FTF said...

Thanks for the post Stamford Talk...Be sure to spread the word about N.A.P.S.!

Manager Mom said...

certain hallucinogens are "purported".... riiiiight. Wink wink.

Always Home and Uncool said...

Dude - you have won a blogging award from me. Come by, pick it up and take a bow:

http://blogonkevin.blogspot.com/2008/07/once-whiner-now-winner.html.