Okay, so I’m going to be totally honest now.
I like to nap, and sometimes (wherein, sometimes = every stinking DAY, it seems like) when 2:00 rolls around, I simply can’t manage to keep my eyes open for another second. I use Anthony as an excuse, because he naps so much better when someone rests next to him (Stop judging me! He really does! Honest!), and then I leave my eldest three to their own devices while I knock out in a most unflattering two-hour snore-fest of deep, heavy sleep. (Are you judging again? Because my kids could totally come back and wake me up if they needed to. Probably.)
[And it needs to be clarified RIGHT HERE that NO, I am NOT pregnant. No. Stop it.]
So, inevitably, during this complete and total zombie-like sleep of the (un)dead, someone calls me. Or comes to the door. Truthfully, when I’m asleep, half the time I don’t even hear the phone ring, even though it’s right next to my ear. It would also seem that my kids have developed a serious aversion to the phone on the occasions I’d actually like them to answer it. (When I’m fully awake and sitting with it right next to me, they fall all over themselves– and me!– to grab it. It makes no sense.) But if I AM sleeping and I DO happen to wake up when the phone rings, before I answer it I always clear my throat and try to cover up the fact that I was asleep.
You know how it is. (Please tell me you know how it is.) Instead of answering in a whispery, gutteral, barely-coherent “hullo?” you use your annoyingly-perky cheerleader voice that is just a smidge too loud and launch a vocal gymnastics routine to (badly) mask your sleep voice. “Hi! How ARE you?!? NoPe, I waSn’T sLeePing. *giggle* Yes, I’m SuRe!!! POSitive. WhaT’s UP?!?!”
This happened to me last week. Anthony was asleep next to me, and the phone rang at least three times during my “nap”. Probably more. Some calls I answered (because I like some people more than others, naturally), and some I just let ring. (Of course, my kids couldn’t be bothered to answer the phone.) One person even came to the door after she couldn’t get me on the phone, and as I staggered down the hall to the front door, bleary-eyed and nap-coiffed, I thought briefly about freshening up, and then decided not to. SHE interrupted MY nap, and I didn’t care if she knew it. After a conversation that lasted far too long for my liking, about a possible future playdate, of all things, I closed the door and staggered back to bed, but my nap time was ruined. I had lost my nap groove. I thought about the situation, instead, and wondered the following:
Why is it that we try so hard to convince others that they haven’t encroached on our personal sleepy time? I mean, if YOU call me and wake me up, even if it IS at 3:00 in the afternoon, when normal people over the age of four don’t usually nap, why do I feel obligated to put your mind at ease? Can’t I just answer the phone in my groggy sleep voice? Why do I try so hard to convince you that I was wide awake and doing something productive? It’s crazy, is what it is. And it doesn’t even happen during the day. How many times has someone called you late at night, or (heaven forbid) in the MIDDLE of the night, and you still clear your throat and pretend like you’ve been awake for hours?
And if that isn’t crazy enough, if the person on the phone is perceptive enough to realize that you were sleeping, how many times do we lie and tell them we weren’t? (Or is that just me?) What are we afraid of? Making them feel awkward? I mean, HELLO, I was just sleeping, and now I’m not. Isn’t THAT a little awkward for ME? I mean, I’m half asleep still, and pulling out all the stops to reassure the caller that no, I wasn’t sleeping, yes, I’m sure, and no, this is a perfect time to call, because even though I most definitely wasn’t sleeping [LIAR!], I was not doing anything else of great importance, either. (You know, except REALLY sleeping.)
I have decided to be honest from this moment on. If you call me and wake me up, I’m not going to hide my sleepy voice. If you are embarrassed, well, GOOD! (I’m kidding.) But if you really are embarrassed, don’t be. If I’m not ashamed enough to give up my mid-day naps, well, then you shouldn’t be embarrassed about interrupting them. Just know that if a minute goes by and you get no response from me, you should call back in an hour or so, because chances are good that I have fallen asleep on our conversation.