The Nap Mat Conundrum

EDITOR’S NOTE: We know many of you have first-time students this year; kudos to you all for getting them to this point in one piece! Let us know your school stories in the comments – we would love to hear them.

It started with a nap mat. Actually, it started with a supply list. I admit, I was terribly disappointed to not see tissues or clorox wipes. I wanted to win the award for best container. I wanted to be the mom who surely cares for her kids the most because I was willing to pick out the most fabulous….everything. Come on now. We all want to be that mom.

So, when I realized our list was 100% standard issue school supplies, my heart fell a little. Crayons and markers? I have absolutely no creative license with this! And, furthermore, what about the kids involved in this process? They might want some input….

Then I saw the bottom of the list. NAP MAT. AH. NAP MAT. This is my chance!

But wait a minute. First, I noticed ‘backpack’ was inadvertently left off the list, and I thought, ‘oh, well a backpack is such a standard thing that they do not mention it because it is a no brainer,’ and I dreamed of these beautiful, durable, LL Bean packs in rich colors with the kids’ monograms, and I felt momentarily fulfilled. And before the little bubble could disipate from the air above my head, Ben grabbed a Transformer monstrosity with blinking lights and my iPhone called out to me. The text read something like this, “Alya picked something with peace signs and flashers.” Apparently daddy and daughter had gone to another Target (great minds….) and I glanced up and saw the absolutely…well…ghastly thing she’d chosen. And then I saw that it was almost $30 and I looked back at Ben’s pick and I cried.

Advertisement - Continue Reading Below

“Then I saw the bottom of the list. NAP MAT… This is my chance!”

Okay, not really. 0 for 2. So, I fixated on the nap mat idea. I had no other hope at this point. And I did the right thing. I went to all the appropriate stores and checked out all of the pre-made options which all turned out to be terribly insufficient for my excessively lanky children. Their gangly legs couldn’t hang out the ends. This was it. This was my chance to shine.

I SHALL MAKE NAP MATS!!!!!!!!!!! (You hear music, don’t you? So did I.)

I went to every fabric store in town. I fussed and fretted over fiber fill and foam. What if it is not hypoallergenic? Fluffy enough? Pliable enough? What if? I found fabric and then I thought a 1 inch hypoallergenic, green foam would be just the thing. And I made a mat. And then I woke up at 3AM two days later and realized this mat would be far too cumbersome for my kid to lug to school and would most definitely not fit in a cubby.

Advertisement - Continue Reading Below

Did I mention these HAVE to be fabric mats and not the trifold things?

So, I decided (because I was smart enough to be thoughtful in my design), that I’d remove the foam and use a mattress pad. The foam could be put back in for sleepovers and camping, so, really, I’d been genius about the whole thing. Until I realized I’d need two mattress pads (two kids) and that I was now way, way, way over cost of what I could have done if I’d have “settled” for those cute Stephen Joseph mats that were slightly too short but mostly acceptable.


Advertisement - Continue Reading Below

Back to Target…back home with mattress pads….and I roll the things up before cutting and find that I have merely made a bulky mess of ridiculousness that my kids will have to fumble and fuss over at school.

So, we used our Gams “school supply pass” and let her buy the kids their nap mats for school….cute Stephen Josephs….a butterfly for Alya and a dragon for Ben (I was sorely disappointed that he did not choose the blue dog….don’t these kids care about what I want in all of this?)

And that is a story about a nap mat….and, if you see me out, ask about the shoes fiasco and the thermos testing. It might be my OCD, or it might just be my fears of letting go as the birdies fly off to Kindergarten.