"Rockin out" During Nap Time by Shawnee Shahroody Spitler

They are down. I tiptoe past their doors barely breathing, listening for a sound. Please save your applause, my two boys (3 months old and 2 years old) are sound asleep AND at the same time, no less. With extra bounce, called glee, relief, freedom call it what you like, I fly down the stairs open the front door and place my note on the doorbell. "Please do not ring or knock, babies sleeping, thanks!" Really it says, you touch that f*&%$!g door or bell and I will mow you down. Do not disturb the sacred naptime. Don't you dare.
 
The high sets in and I am giddy with options, I could call my best friend, email, pay bills, spend an hour on the phone with the health insurance representative, work out on the Stairmaster, do sit ups, drink gallons of coffee and eat cookies, read, write, sleep, sit on the couch and stare out the window, laundry, watch DVDs, cry, pluck my eyebrows, paint my toes, pumice down the calluses on the bottom of my feet, clean every messy, disorganized drawer, shelf, and closet in my house that grates on my nerves, I could paint walls, caulk around the sink, and sweep the floor. I could clean toilets with a vengeance! I could do any of these things, but I don't. I plug my headset into my ears and turn up the iPod, really loud, so loud I can feel KT Tunstall pulsing in my chest and am assured I am killing the eardrums and bringing early on set of senior citizen deafness. My husband would say it's too late. "Huh, what did you say, honey?" " I feel like walking the world, you can tell she is a beautiful girl, beautiful girl…" "Suddenly I see, this is what I want to be, suddenly I see, suddenly I see, why the hell this means so much to me..."
 
My feet start moving, and shoulders and head start swaying. I hope the neighbors aren't watching. But who cares, right, I feel crazy, I am crazy, let loose, this is my one moment to forget. I suddenly understand that story my friend told me over ale in an English pub the summer of '97 about her aunt, a Midwest soccer mom, model member of the community, church going, who would get high on cocaine, crank up the music and vacuum the house naked while the kids were at school and husband at work.
 
I can remember when I lost my mind. Prolonged sleep deprivation. That is the culprit. It is temporary insanity of course, well sort of temporary. Could it be a justifiable defense in court? If the "Twinkie defense" worked. This is what I think about.
 
And this is my day today. I care for my charming and cheeky toddler and sweet infant, navigate through sound and enlightened parenting principles (thinking I am going to do it better than my parents), no time for self care, defend my frayed nerves from their cries and whining, carry my baby by sling despite my back aches, adhere to my bible, Dr. Weissbluth's "Healthy sleep habits, happy child" (It really should read "healthy sleep habits, happy parents"), clean up at a minimum fallen magnets, blocks and my sons' collection of pine needles, and change diapers size 2 and size 5.
 
Thoughts of getting in a car alone and driving to the airport pass through my head while I pick up crushed Rice Chex from under the toddler table. Now should I have given my son timeout for purposefully crushing Chex with his adorable two-year-old thumb? It was a cause and effect experiment. He is going to be a scientist when he grows up. He was thinking, if I take an intact Chex and apply all the pressure I can muster through my thumb, wow, it turns into a million little pieces. And to test his hypothesis, he sampled the experiment, over and over and over. Hypothesis was confirmed.
 
There it goes, there goes my bottom, shaking in all its post partum glory, to KT's beat. That is what it takes to let the beat take over, to let go. Watch out, here come the arms, turn, turn. Oh, the doorframe works for me. Memories of dancing on the bar counter in a skinny sequined top with my girlfriends in some funky bar in San Francisco incarnate this heavier body adorned in yoga pants, sweatshirt and holey socks. The socks are great for the pergo floor, slide, turn, and slide. I was twenty something on that bar counter and looking for a husband. I wanted the love of my life to start a blissful family; we would have love children, backpack together in the mountains and embark on international travel across the Far East each carrying a child. My advertisement read, across the back side of my tight size 6 jeans; "I am fun, sexy, passionate, capable and ambitious, just ask - I am in law school, I am great with kids, I am the love of your life and I will give birth to your children." Don't ask what my yoga pants, post partum pounds, sweatshirt, and holey socks are advertising today.
 
I feel the music more now than I ever did in my twenties. I may have more grays but I have the "power to be, the power to give, the power to see." There is nothing like letting go for a stay at home mom of two lil ones. There is a desperation that pushes through and pulses in my heart with each beat. It feels like a jailbreak, a display of fireworks. My twenty year old says, wait a minute, I am still here. Dance, dance. The thirty something's life experience merges with the twenty something's light heart. My body and the beat just take over, head shakes, hair flying, and arms in the air. My entire "me" is "rockin out" during naptime. My arm accidentally jerks an earphone out and I hear my two year old crying. Naptime is over.
 
Shawnee Shahroody Spitler is a freelance writer, located in Bend, Oregon and stay at home mom.