The blogosphere has suggested to me there is a complacency amongst you Stay-at-Homers, and I am the Queen Bee of all. There is no spa day for us. No Carrie Bradshaw-style cocktail hour. Sometimes watching TrueBlood is the sexiest, most exciting thing we’ll do all week.
On an average day, you are awoken at the crack of dawn, literally, to the sound of a small child wanting to be retrieved from his crib. Sneak in a moment to pee before the day begins with sippy cups, Elmo, fruit and yogurt, diapers, playing, singing, and cursing under your breath. ‘How many minutes until the first nap? Will I get to shower today?’ Clockwatchers, that’s what my husband calls us (me and him). The difference is that he gets to sit down and enjoy his shredded wheat before work, and I am on-call, more or less all the time.

This morning I had my checkup at the dentist at 9:45, and my playdate friend agreed to take Little J on while I whizzed across town. I dropped him off at her house just as her son was waking up, bleary-eyed. I threw J in a pile of awesome todder toys and slipped out, grateful to her as anyone could ever be. It takes 45 minutes to get anywhere in LA in the morning, so I did my best to enjoy the drive with my iPod and some daydreaming.
When I landed back at my friend’s house, both boys were in the living room running amok while Big Big World played on PBS. It was exactly like a morning at our house, and Little J was smiling. Score! He usually would have been napping at that hour, but he seemed properly stimulated, and my girlfriend offered me a fresh cup of coffee. She then suggested I try to put J down for a nap in her Pack and Play.

“Gawd, it’s so tempting! I don’t think he’ll respond to a nap at a strange home, but it’s worth a try.”

Moments later, both boys got a slow-rocking, some smooches, and then we laid them down and shut the door. The horrific sounds ensued IMMEDIATELY.
“You know,” I told her over the massive wailing, “I’ve asked infant care centers how they get kids to nap all at the same time. One teacher told me that you have them all lay down in a darkened space, one kid goes to sleep and the others follow suit eventually.” My friend seemed interested. So, we went out the back patio to wait 15 minutes and see if anything changed.
We sat down in the 95 degree heat, grimacing. It was pretty damn loud in there. I’d hear a shreik and ask, “Oh, is that my kid or yours?” She shook her head and lit up a cigarette. I don’t smoke, but I can understand why one might. I watched her and we tried to chit chat, but after just 10 minutes (maybe 11 or 12?), we were both in there, soothing our children. I took my baby home shortly after. Playdate over.
I think our little experiment was worth a shot. I felt a lot less alone in this endeavor we call mommyhood. A lot less complacent. And bonus, I had a second cup of coffee, and didn’t have to pay someone to babysit while I was out.