There comes a time in every writing mother’s life when the near-perfect balance she has created must come to an end. The hours of the day, meticulously parsed like a pizza of tiny slivers rather than really satisfying pieces, once accomodated the attendant chores of childrearing and housekeeping while leaving one of two of those skinny portions for other, more fulfilling activities.
But one day, without warning, the whole freakin’ pizza that the mother’s been spinning comes flying out the air and splats cheese and tomato sauce all over the walls and in the hard-to-reach crevices, which not only destroys the schedule but leaves yet another damn mess to clean.
I am speaking, of course, of The End of the Nap.
Any mother of a small child will tell you that she depends on The Nap for sanity. This several-hour chunk of peace and quiet in the afternoon, when the adorable monster has finally spun him/herself into temporary exhaustion to recharge for another session of toy-breaking and pot-banging before dinner, is the time when mothers check email, work on their fabulous blogs or, quite often, stare into space for an hour while trying to remember where the clean dish towels go.
If there is no Nap, there is no Mommy Time. And if there is no Mommy Time, there is Hell To Pay. (Usually paid by Daddy, who doesn’t have much of a credit line himself.)
Eventually, however, human development requires that little people no longer sleep for long portions of the afternoon, and Child Protective Services frowns upon strapping them to the bed. This transition usually happens suddenly, when a mother has put her little angel in her bed with her baba after a morning of sing-alongs and refereeing who had the green ball first, just as she has for the last four hundred-plus afternoons. Except this time, instead of two uninterrupted hours of Bloggy Mommy Time, five minutes pass before a little voice peeps from behind my desk chair: “What doin’, Mama?” Then: “Baby ‘puter! Mine!”
Since Baby has a history of flipping the keys of the laptop, Bloggy Mommy Time is over. And since experience tells that once the Nap is gone, it’s gone for good. A mother is left to rearrange those pieces of pizza, which were never really enough to feed her soul anyway. But even crumbs can stave of starvation.
As this Yenta’s two-year blogging anniversary approaches (not mention an impending cross-country move in June,) posting may get spotty on certain days. But like any good Jewish mother, I’ll never be far from the kitchen.