When my younger son gets tired or frustrated, he stomps his feet, screeches, grunts or growls – or on a particularly bad day, all of the above. If a nap is so much as hinted about, a full melt-down ensues, which includes assertions (through tears of course) that his is not tired. If I make the mistake of laughing at the ridiculousness of it all, he throws in a high-pitched scream for good measure. My temporary deafness makes the situation more bearable.
As an adult, I can relate to the conflict of being tired but not ready to pack it in. It’s not socially acceptable for a person my age to behave as my son does, so I fight a silent battle of droopy eyelids, lagging brain and the urge to stomp my feet and scream in frustration. I’m not revealing exactly what age I am, but I’ll tell you it’s significantly more than five years old. At my age, I can admit that “I need a nap,” but life rarely allows me one.
On Monday night, I completed four hours of online scout training. This included multiple walks to rouse my sleepy head. Going to bed would’ve been the easy (smart) solution, but I had to have my training done for today’s committee meeting. (Procrastination wasn’t my downfall this time – I just got the training information on Sunday, and that evening was spent with my cousin before he gets deployed again this week.)
I should mention that I completed this training at the end of a Monday full of things that give Mondays a bad name.
The tone was set when my older son dropped an unopened gallon of milk on the tile floor right before I needed to leave for work in the morning. We both stared in horror as 128 ounces of milk gushed out of the busted container, running through the grout lines under the refrigerator, and threatening the carpet nearby. Already late to pick up my carpool, I woke my husband up and let him deal with the aftermath.
I ignored this obvious sign to crawl back into bed.
Instead, I forged ahead with the day.
Before lunch, I received an email from a Cub Scout mom. She was upset by all the confusion with switching dens after the first meeting and with the chosen meeting day. I was irritated because I asked for meeting day preference and she had not given me any. I wanted to let her know it wasn’t a picnic for me, either. Instead, I let the pack trainer handle it because I know better than to send an emotional response.
The day kept getting better.
The pack trainer asked if I could change the meeting day to Wednesdays to accommodate this family. I told her I would find out the assistant leader’s schedule. Within an hour, my husband called me at work furious that his work changed his schedule – again. The schedule change made Wednesday Cub Scout meetings impossible since I don’t have a clone, and my other son has a tumbling class (which I will now have to get him to.)
When I got home, my husband began rattling off different suggestions on how he could try to get his workdays modified. (No matter how you slice and dice a 12-hour workday, there is no way to get around the fact that I will have the nightmare after school to dinnertime stretch all to myself.) Then, he wanted to talk about a trip another couple invited us to go on in November – they need to know if we’re going so they can book it.
I closed my eyes, clenched my teeth and snapped, “I can’t deal with this right now!”
What I meant was, “Get me a blankie; I need a nap.”
Do you obey when life suggests you need a nap? How do you get out of the downward spiral of a bad day? Or do you just sit back and enjoy the bumpy ride?