We’ve all been there. Driving home from a morning outing, minding your own business, unabashadly mouthing every lyric to the latest Taylor Swift song on the radio, and then……..it happens. A unexpected moment of quiet in the back seat. With a hasty glance in the rearview mirror you realize that it is, indeed, happening. The eyelids of your toddler fall once, then twice and then you start to panic. OH HELLO BACK THERE!! WAKE UP! DON’T FALL ASLEEP! OLD MCDONALD HAD A FARM EE I EEE I OOOOOooooOOOOOOOoooooOOO! No reaction. His eyes are glazed over followed by another slow blink. HONEY! I HAVE A LOLLIPOP FOR YOU! YOU JUST HAVE TO STAY AWAKE!!! OH SWEETIE PIE! LOLLIPOP HERE!!! IT’S YOUR FAVORITE KIND!
Annnnnnnnd, he’s out.
Situation: Toddler falls asleep in the car on the way home before his/her actual nap time.
This is the inner monologue (or some version of it) that likely occurs:
Me: Ok. Now what?
Myself: Pull into the driveway, and check Instagram while he sleeps. There is no way you can transfer him. His nap and your precious alone time will be RUINED if you try to transfer that kid.
Me: I know, you are probably right, but he hasn’t eaten lunch yet. Maybe I should just wake him up, feed him, and then put him to nap in his bed later on.
Myself: Are you kidding yourself? When has that theory ever worked? The 10 minute car nap KILLS all other potential naps. Will you ever learn?
Me: But I don’t want to sit in the car and check Instagram. I want to go inside and have lunch in peace, fold the piles of laundry I have on my bed, eat a cookie, and theeen check Instagram until he wakes up. I get ONE hour per day to myself. I don’t want it to be in this car.
Myself: Sorry lady, you should have brought out the lollipop trick about 5 red lights before ya did. You can try to transfer him, but that is risky business.
Me: You’re right! I can attempt “the transfer”. And then maybe I’ll just put him in my bed so if he does wake up he will know that he is getting a special treat by being in my bed and the chances of him staying put will probably triple. Or something.
Myself: Suit yourself. You do know that he has shoes and a jacket on. Good luck getting them off without him waking up.
Me: FFFFFFF!!! Ugh. Ohhhh!! I don’t know what to do? What would Super Nanny do? What would Polly Perfect Mom do? Oh right. This probably doesn’t happen to Polly Perfect Mom because she probably doesn’t drive anywhere with her kids in the potential falling asleep hours of ANY POINT IN THE MORNING! Why me? Why are the choices in parenting so difficult sometimes? Whyyyyyy?
Myself: Instagram in the car is looking pret-ty good right now isn’t it?
Me: NO! F-you. I can slip the shoes off while he is still buckled in, then take his jacket off sneakily and slowly as we walk up the stairs. And to prove that I am so on top of my game, I am going to let the dog outside before entering the house with the child so the dog doesn’t wake him up. Boo yow. Mom of the year right here.
Myself: Okkkkk. When he wakes up 2 seconds in, don’t come crying to me.
Open car door silently.
Quietly un-click the seatbelt.
Slowly step out and close the driver-side door, but not all the way, obviously, what kind of mom would risk a the sound of a door closing? Sloooowly open the back door. Child remains asleep. With gentlest touch, remove left sneaker. Success!
Remove right sneaker that triggers a heavy sigh from the child, an eye opening….. and then closed again. Phew. That was a close one. Carefully, undo the 5 point harness (remind me why they have to make these things so complicated?! Oh, right – safety.)
Remove the child and carefully nuzzle his head into your neck. Enter the house. Realize you forgot to let out the dog, curse yourself and give the dog the stare of doom if he should bark while balancing on one foot and shooing him away with the other. Proceed to the staircase carefully avoiding all creaky floor boards. Approach the staircase and carefully remove the jacket one arm at a time. Enter the bedroom and slowly nestle the baby into bed.
Hold your breath.
Count to 10.
With slow motion like maneuvers back track out of the room and down the stairs.
Upon entering the kitchen, celebrate with a little mental high five or depending on how badly you needed this nap you might even do some shimmer hands to the sky and in your high voice “FREEEDOM!” and then shimmer hands down to the ground and in your low voice “FREEDOM!!” and then high voice again “FREEDOM!”…. oh, just me? Moving on. Crack open the fridge, start to make a sandwich, pop in a cookie before hand because you can……
…. and then kaboom.
A toddler. Slowly plodding down the stair case backwards.
FFFFF!!! Why, oh why, didn’t I listen to Myself?