Being a daycare provider I have seen, heard, smelled, and dealt with a number of strange circumstances. But there is one story that seems to always get myself and my provider friends laughing so hard we can hardly contain ourselves. Or milk comes spraying out of our noses. Well not milk, coconut milk maybe, but that’s beside the point. The point is, sometimes we can be judgmental and what some people may say is cold. But darn it, we have to find the funny in the crappy job we have or we won’t make it through the day. No, your kid won’t make it through the day.
So many people don’t quite understand the importance of nap time for a provider. Its our sacred time. Its the time we have to finally sit down, eat a decent lunch, and decompress from the morning activities and craziness. It’s just as important as your breaks, or your lunch break at your job. Or just having some “Me” time. Its important for all involved. It’s important to little ones to rest because it helps them grow in so many ways. They also need some quiet down time to decompress and reset from all the stimuli. Nap time is an important time so when something interrupts my nap time I am not a happy camper. That includes when a child is awake early, or doesn’t go to sleep in the first hour. Even when my phone rings and the doorbell rings. Whatever it may be that stops the flow of our time of peace is not cool. So when I tell a parent “So and so didn’t nap well today.” And I get an “Oh good maybe they’ll sleep tonight.” It’s not GOOD! It has irritated me for the rest of the day. But I could talk for days about this.
So here is the scenario…
It’s nap time, it’s completely quiet expect for the melodic music playing as the children peacefully slumber. Its relatively dark too. The blinds are closed, curtains drawn. Just a tiny hint of light seeps in through the window in the front door and the window in the kitchen. You’ve made it as dark as you can so that the little buggers sleep soundly so that you can have a couple hours of peace. You are diligently working on an art project, or homework, or paperwork. Whatever it may be. Probably not any of those. Let’s be honest, you are probably binge watching some show on Netflix like “Girlfriends Guide to Divorce” Or “Prison Break.” Its ok, no shame. I watched them both! So no Judgement. When all of a sudden, only after an hour into nap time, you are overwhelmed with the sense that someone is watching you. It creeps over you like a silent fog and you shudder. Getting goosebumps all over your arms and the hair standing up on the back of your neck. Like some shit out of a damn horror film. The ones you never watch even when your husband begs you to because you know you won’t sleep for days after. Yeah that feeling. *Shudder* Feeling obviously uneasy, you slowly turn around, and there they are! 2 tiny little beady eyes are struggling to peer just over the railing of the pack-n-play. Just days before the little stinker decided to start pulling up on things. And you are facing the impending doom of a walker! He’s standing on his tip toes and you are no longer safe at nap time, you don’t have the security of them just laying there because they can’t do anything more than that anymore. You make eye contact. CRAP! You quickly turn back around, become stiff as a statue, and stop breathing all at once. Then, the eyes begin laughing uncontrollably like a villain in a Disney movie kind of way and all you want to do is run from the room screaming!
BUT YOU CAN’T! Damn it! You have to remain very still. If they see you looking at them again they will know for sure you know they are awake. They are now a T-rex and you, they’re prey. If you move at all, they will see you and it will ensure your nap time demise. The laughter stops and you hear the sound of tiny fingers sliding down the vinyl of the pack n play. Without hesitation you get up and move to a place they can’t see you if they pop back up. STOP! NO! YOU HAVE TO LEAVE EVERYTHING YOU WERE DOING BEHIND! You don’t have time to grab anything. You must go now!
You make it safely to your new hiding spot and can finally start breathing again. You hear the tiny creature stand back up again and begin the laugh but it stops abruptly. They’ve noticed you’re gone. You stop breathing again and close your eyes because you know what is about to happen. One of two things, either shrill high pitch screaming, or they lay back down and go to sleep. You hope for the latter and brace for the screams. You hear nothing and then a few minutes later the sound of drool being inhaled and exhaled. AHHHHH, they went back to sleep. You’ve escaped the peril that is the nap time disaster. You relax, settle into your seat, and prepare for another hour of blissful quiet. You reach over for your laptop, open it up and begin surfing the web.
And just then you see out of the corner of your eye some movement. Ever so slightly you turn your eyes and see two more kids up from their naps. They’re standing there holding hands and look like the twins girls straight out of the shinning. That creepy feeling sweeps over you again as they say “Come play with us.”