The Top 7 Enemies of the Toddler’s Nap

My son is 22 months old and naps two hours a day, if the stars are aligned. When the stars are at odds, I’m lucky if I can squeeze 30 minutes out of the deal, and those days are not pretty. Mama needs a minute (or 120 minutes) to stay sane.

But unaligned stars are not my only barrier to a solid toddler nap…

I’m certain the local trash men are part of a conspiracy to be exceptionally loud in front of my house, and plan their stop for the exact moment during nap-time when my son is in his lightest stage of sleep. They loathe me; it’s obvious. Why else would they so rudely steal my tiny blip of childfree time every Monday?

And the trash men aren’t my only nap-time enemies, oh no, there are a slew of other players in this conspiracy. Let me introduce you to the motley crew:

1. The Sporadic Gardener

He’s not satisfied with the steady hum of the lawn mower, he insists on revving up the chainsaw, leaf blower, or weed-chopper-upper approximately 5 minutes after I finally coerced my child into slumber. Then, he turns it off for two minutes, then on for 30 seconds, then off for 45 seconds, then on for two more minutes, and on it goes until my wide-awake child insists on going outside and checking out the “lawd mashins.”

2. The SPAM Caller

I’m incapable of remembering to take my phone out of my pocket and turn it on silent during the hub-bub of napttime prep, so naturally that annoying ‘Private’ spam caller always calls just as I’m attempting to untangle myself from my drooling cherub.

To add insult to injury, the caller is usually a robot peddling Viagra.

3. The Baby Monitor

You would never guess that a product made for mothers and babies could make this list, but you would be wrong. So wrong. Have you ever enjoyed the high pitch squeal that explodes from the “parent unit” when it passes too close to the audio monitor? I have, and it’s devastating. My brain is obviously in on the conspiracy, because I never remember to turn off the “parent unit” strapped to my yoga pants either as I tip-toe through the nursery to retrieve my forgotten cell phone before the SPAM caller rings in.

4. The Male

They just don’t get it. If you walk in to a room that contains a sleeping child, whisper, take shallow breaths, don’t zip anything, don’t touch the blinds, don’t sneeze, don’t step on the creaking floorboard, and for the love of nap-time DON’T TOUCH THE BABY! But they do. They do all of that stuff.

5. The Delivery Guy

“Dear delivery guy, I tape this polite sign over the doorbell during nap-time so you DON’T RING THE DOORBELL.” But he does. He does every time. Yes, I desperately want that adorable purse I bought online that was being shipped from Timbuktu, but I would happily wait another month for the goods if I can get my child to sleep 30 extra minutes.

6. The Neighbor

The neighbor, who is undoubtedly a male (see #4), inevitably does something loud and random during nap-time like try to train his partially-deaf dog or rediscover his passion for Guitar Hero. It’s criminal, and The Neighborhood Watch crew needs to do something about it.

7. The Law of Murphy

She’s a mega thorn in the side of any innocent mom trying to get one hour to herself in the afternoon. A telemarketer will call the loud home phone that hasn’t rung in days, a helicopter will circle the neighborhood in search of the loud neighbor, or a comet will land in the backyard — whatever can happen will. And it will happen during nap-time.

I call them the Sinful Seven, and I propose they atone for their deeds by offering an hour of free babysitting services for every 10 sweet minutes of nap-time they rip away this mother’s baby-wipe wrinkled hands.

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