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.