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A Tradition Like No Other

A Tradition Like No Other

It was just a simple nap.

I wanted to catch a few zzz’s. I didn’t need to be totally dead to the world like my child can be when she sleeps, just a mom nap.

You know the kind. The one where you’re just kinda resting your eyes.

A Sunday afternoon tradition like no other here in the good ole USA.

After all the hustle and bustle of getting everyone up and dressed and fed and out the door to church, I think moms are kind of deserving of a short nap when the afternoon hours roll around, don’t you?

My husband was busy staining the fence in the backyard and I wasn’t about to stop that work in progress.

Big sister was playing next door.

This left me with the six-year-old and the three-year-old.

Sadly, they had already lost the privilege to watch TV. I say unfortunately because taking away TV time is the single most painful punishment a mother can inflict on herself in the history of motherhood. You know it was bad if I had to resort to punishing myself.

So anyway, I spent some time pushing the girls on the swing set out back, then informed them that, “Mommy wants to take a quick nap, okay? Be good and keep Daddy company out here while he paints, and we’ll do something fun when I get up.”

“Okay, Mommy!”

I walked away with only a small little seed of hope that this would actually happen. Looking back as I walked toward the house, I saw them laughing and giggling, their pigtails bouncing in the wind as they frolicked and scampered together around the backyard. It was a beautiful day to be outdoors. Maybe they could restrain themselves and actually allow me a catnap. More impossible things have happened in the history of the world.

Ahhh, I thought as I snuggled down on my bed and pulled the down comforter up to my chin. I closed my eyes and almost immediately began drifting off.

This is when all heck occurred and it went on for the next 30 minutes.

The backdoor slammed.

“Mommy!! She hit me!”

The backdoor slammed again.

“Mommy!! She called me a baby!”

We got this one worked out relatively easily and I never did have to get up. They just stood next to my bed and practiced the art of reconciliation with me as their reluctant mentor. A moment later they walked out quietly and went down the hall to the playroom.

“Mom, can I go see if Hope wants to play?”

“Yes! Great idea! Bring her back over here and y’all can play outside.”

“Mom, their cars are in the driveway but no one answered the door. Can I go back and try again?”

“Yes! Please don’t wake me again, okay? You can ask Daddy if you have a question, alright? I’ll get up in a few minutes.”

This time I asked her to close the bedroom door behind her. Little sister was still playing happily in the playroom (doing who knows what, but quite frankly, unless it involved matches or scissors, I didn’t care).

Sweet sleep caught up with me again…

Bonk, bonk, bonk.

What in the world?

The baby sister was laying on the floor outside my door, rhythmically kicking the it.

We got that one worked out and she agreed to restrain herself from such actions.

About twenty seconds later, a weird scratching noise began. I ignored it as long as I could stand it, then had to deal with that one, too.

I found her putting all her bracelets on my doorknob, popping them and twisting them around the knob. It’s pretty amazing how noisy that can be, actually.

“Get away from the door, please!”

I must’ve drifted off again because I woke to the feel of mini-earthquakes occurring next to me on the bed. Every 3 seconds or so, another one would hit.

I opened my eyes and looked over my shoulder.

There, sprawled out next to me on her tummy, was my six-year-old, looking thru family pictures on my laptop and playing with FaceTime. Her legs were alternating as they kicked the bed.

She just looked at me and matter of factly stated, “Hope couldn’t play. She’s taking a nap.”

For the love of all things holy….

I gave her the laptop to take with her and sent her out of the room, closing the door behind her.

This time I even turned on my white noisemaker.

How crazy and wrong was it that I was seething with jealousy that the 7-yr-old next door was peacefully napping?

Surely, surely, now that they have my laptop and have learned how to turn on America’s Funniest Home Videos (which entertains them really well…something about kids accidentally doing painful things to mommies and daddies just cracks them up), they will grant me just a few minutes of quiet. I know, I know, they had lost the privilege to watch tv, and here I was being inconsistent. But technically, it wasn’t a t.v., it was a computer.

I was quickly reminded that I had never taught them how to adjust the volume on the laptop.

That was it. My breaking point. It was not a proud moment, but one I share with you in the hope that you will not judge, but see me as the wretched sinner I am and maybe offer some prayers for me.

I said in a (only a teeny bit, slightly) loud voice…“GET AWAY FROM THE DOOR!!”

To which enters my husband, shocked that I would speak to our babies in such a manner. He had apparently just walked in to take a short break from the work outside and had no idea what had been transpiring. In his eyes I had just had a mommy dearest moment and his sweet babies were being mistreated.

“What in the world?” he asked.

I just looked at him. There was nothing I could say.

“Come on, girls, mommy needs her nap.”

So, I got the peace and quiet I had wanted. Except now I was wide awake, feeling guilty, and had to spend those few precious minutes in prayer for forgiveness.

Ah, Sunday afternoon naptime. Who knew it could bring out such a monster in mommies?

Sweet little Hope from next door, freshly napped and looking energized, rang the bell shortly.

Oh, well. I can sleep when I’m old, right?


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