I'm a self-proclaimed stickler for naps. Both my kids napped until they were at least 4 years old, willingly I might add. And as inconvenient as it can sometimes be to have to get home for a child's naptime, it pales in comparison to being with an exhausted, cranky child around 5 p.m., knowing bedtime is still a few hours away.
But it didn't take much time to realize there's a major sleep conspiracy going on in the world. It's not easy to get a baby or toddler to sleep, but like Murphy's Law of Motherhood, strangers will somehow manage to wake your sleeping child.
Like a moth to a flame, loud people are drawn to the home of a sleeping baby. It's inevitable that the harder you work to get your child to bed, the quicker someone will wake them up. Yes, you can put a clever sign on your doorbell or turn your phone on to vibrate, but someone will find a way to ruin your child's much-needed nap. Here's a list of the culprits. Did I miss any?
Most moms are in a very committed platonic relationship with their UPS or Fed-Ex delivery person. They know your schedule better than your own spouse does. But despite you saying over and over, "Just leave the package. No need to knock," they'll knock on your door with the strength of an entire football team. Your kid will automatically get woken up and not return to sleep, but at least you'll know the minute that package arrived from Amazon.
If houses could have Resting Bitch Face, I wish mine could. I'm not the person who will ever donate to a stranger who comes to my door. And I definitely won't even consider donating if that guy selling door-to-door Omaha Steaks wakes my exhausted kid from her nap.
Even if you live next door to the most unfriendly of neighbors, they'll suddenly want to chat during nap time. Maybe it's because they see your car in the driveway and realize you're home or maybe they're just doing it to spite you, but your neighbors will always come by when the kids are snoozing. And if you just don't answer the door and figure you'll catch up with them later, they'll keep ringing and ringing that oh-so-loud doorbell.
The Hubs Calling on the Phone
If your husband is like mine, he knows the kids' schedule inside and out. And despite the kids' schedule being the same day after day, he'll still call to check in the minute you're trying to get the kids to sleep. It's great to hear from him, but even if you ignore the call and plan to call back once the kids are asleep, he'll keep calling. When you sprint for the phone assuming he's calling with an emergency, he'll say, "Just called to say hi," as Baby wails in the background. How sweet.
The Contractor Who Was Supposed to Show Up Three Hours Ago
Even if you schedule the oven repair guy or the tree trimmer hours before your kid is remotely close to going to sleep, that contractor will show up at the exact moment your kid needs to nap. You'll choose the work over the kid's nap since you never know when that worker will show up again, if at all.
The Gardener Next Door With the Leaf Blower
Though you've considered asking your neighbor if she'd consider having her gardener (and his really loud but efficient leaf blower) arrive earlier so your sleeping baby doesn't get woken up, you've never had the guts for fear of sounding like that crazy nap lady. But since you're the one who has to spend the day with your poorly rested child, you may reconsider.
Even though most neighborhoods' garbage trucks come to pick up the trash, there's always that one straggler truck that comes later—as in, exactly the time your kid has to take a nap. While you're thankful for the efficiency of the garbage trucks, you're less than thankful when those loud trucks wake up your sleeping kid.
The Neighbor Taking in His Garbage Cans
Louder than a sonic boom are the neighbor's garbage cans being wheeled up his cement driveway, hitting every pot hole and crack in the street. It will feel like the cans are being put away in slow motion because the noise will seem to last forever, just long enough to wake your kid whom you just coerced to sleep.
In what will seem like a scene from an Alfred Hitchcock movie, a gang of chatty birds will descend upon your house at naptime. You'll wonder if someone left birdseed on your roof. Nope, they just knew there was a sleeping baby in your house and wanted to wake him up.
The Neighborhood Kid Who Loves to Skateboard Instead of Go to School
If you are home midday with a napping child, one thing will become painfully clear, your neighborhood is filled with loud children who are not at school. So while that kid down the street seems way too young to be out of high school, he'll still terrorize your street with the sound of his skateboard being hurled out from under him as he works to become the next Tony Hawk.