major funding for this broadcast
Nora still takes a nap. She may briefly bitch about it, but every afternoon she gets wrangled into bed and every afternoon she ends up sacking out for a good ninety minutes or more. Even on the weekends, when she has not had the very wearying experience of three hours of preschool. Which means that she must still need to nap, in a physiological way, right? Yes? Please?
Occasionally, during an all-day extended-family fun marathon or dysfunction fest (depending on whom we are visiting), the nap is skipped, but this invariably means cranky defiance at 5 pm, some car-seat wailing over nothing, that creepily sudden back-seat sleep where it looks like the child's neck has been snapped (three years ago I would have been back there trying to engineer something more comfortable-looking with pillows but now I am all like EH), more crabbiness and snack-rejection at home, and an emergency early bedtime. Not so good.
There is a whole cloud of emotional/metaphysical/interpersonal issues surrounding kid naps. Sometimes I will sort of accidentally talk about Nora's nap—maybe in a “making plans” kind of way (as in, “Just let us know what time is good for you and we'll plan a nap around that”) (because we are not Nap Fascists, we are NapFlexible), maybe in a “gosh, there sure is a wide variety in the sleep habits of almost-4-year-olds” kind of way. The very instant any mention of Nora's nap comes out of my mouth someone will either express incredulity, or scoff at the very notion and inform me in no uncertain terms that soon, the daily nap will be no more. And I say yeah, I know. And I say, I didn't do anything special to get her to nap, she just seems to need it. And I end up feeling both strangely apologetic that my preschooler naps, and slightly panicky at the thought of a whole day without that little window for laundry or email or dozing on the couch. Thus, mentioning the nap in any context makes me feel both defensive and prayerful, and I think I should start adding a little “may it always continue” phrase after “nap,” sort of like how you spit after mentioning Muhammad. (I know “pbuh” is an abbreviation but I always hear a spit noise in my head. Obviously I am an infidel.)
Yesterday I worked from home and so I was looking forward to a nice long Nora nap (ptooey) in order to edit, make some phone calls, and maybe slip away to watch the Tivo'd HBO documentary about anorexia. In fact, I had been sort of planning on doing just that on my way home from my morning errand,* and thinking about how I was kind of hungry, and having a vague craving for junk food, and that is how I ended up eating that cheese-flavored every-kind-of-crap-in-one-bag while watching sad eighty-five-pound women discuss their very limited life options.** There is no real metaphoric weight or literary merit to this juxtaposition, but it feels like there should be.
(*Working from home involves the nanny, were you not aware? I send her home early because there is no point to having the nanny hang out during the napping and the documentary-watching, but yeah. She does school pickup, lunch-feeding, and general entertainment on the work-from-home days and now you may all snark about my rich white mommyhood).
(**My addition to the NYT review of this film, which I think was spot on—rehab centers need to lose those fucking collages. Cutting “empowering” words or images out of fashion magazines and glue-sticking them to a piece of paper is not an appropriate activity for anyone older than eighth grade. Are these women getting therapy or decorating their lockers for Spirit Week? Watching that waste of time made me feel stabby.)
As long as I am complaining about movies, let's make this official: I don't like Larry Clark. During a long insomniac night I watched Bully, mostly on fast-forward, and I say ugh and yuck and blah to Larry Clark with his static pedestrian crotch shots of glistening teenage skin. If I ever met Larry Clark I would say, “Please be a slimy pervert on your own time, and spare us all the attempt to make art about it, because the result is much like porn only more boring.” Then I would walk away. Then Larry Clark would say, “Who was that?” and his friend would say, “Who cares? Let's go back to being famous and rich and respected.” I need to work on making my revenge fantasies more satisfying.
NEW DEPARTMENT IN THE DEPARTMENT STORE
Nora, patiently trying to describe the ever-narrowing category of clothing she will wear (no “curlies”! no ruffles! no dresses or skirts! no puffy sleeves!): “Mommy. Listen. I told you. I only wear Action Clothes.”
—mimi smartypants is divided into a strophe, an antistrophe, and an epode.