The Too-Long Nap

Surely every mother has experience the too-long nap. Or is it just me? You put her down for a nap, you walk away, she sleeps. You hurry to get the things done that you can't do while she's awake. You answer email, you take out the trash, you cut up meat and vegetables for dinner. You still have a few minutes to sit down before she wakes up! You don't brew tea — takes too long. You make instant coffee with plenty of sugar and sit down with a magazine or a book.

You read a few pages, you look up. She is still sleeping. It's been hours. (Really only an hour and forty minutes.) She never sleeps this long. Something is wrong. She is surely dead. You check the clock — yes, it's really been almost two hours. She never sleeps this long!

What do you do? She is almost surely fine, and sleeping this long because she needs to sleep. Do you check on her, thereby ruining her nap and your much-needed quiet time? But what if she isn't fine? What if she's in trouble? Stopped breathing? Choked on a loose button? Caught up in a blanket? Fell out of the crib and knocked herself out? What do you do?

You decide to let her sleep and try and relax, and just as you are getting to the good bit in your book, she cries. Your stomach loosens and you breathe deeper as you go in to lift her up and hold her close, more beautiful than ever.