My husband and I work opposite hours so that we can keep the girls out of daycare, so we have the day pretty much split where he's alone with them half of the day and then I'm alone with them half of the day. And since our kids seem to be mutants who don't require sleep and keep us up at night more often than not, there are days when we are just so tired we need a nap. But, of course, the kids won't.
Last night, I woke up feeling trapped in bed. I guess I didn't lock my door (and the kids have some kind of radar that know this) because Zoe came in and made a little nest on my legs. The other two were beside me, only at first, I thought Bill was home and already in bed. It took me a few minutes to figure out what was going on. I extracted myself and made the girls go back to their beds (with much wailing and gnashing of teeth) and didn't get back to bed for probably half an hour. I woke up in the morning feeling like I never slept at all... I don't do well on interrupted sleep. I do better going to bed half an hour later than to lose half an hour in the middle.
So, I was so tired that I felt ill earlier. And cranky. And the girls are kind of crabby, too (they got back up once Bill got home...). It was just turning into a bad evening. So I decided I needed a nap, no matter what.
It's not uncommon for my husband to doze off while watching the girls - I swear he's borderline narcoleptic, he can fall asleep anywhere, anytime. When he does it, though, it's usually a disaster waiting to happen. The girls take advantage of it and create the worst messes you can imagine and he doesn't notice a thing. Daddy-naps are bad.
I, however, have perfected the art of napping while kids are awake. First, make sure the girls have just had a snack or dinner - otherwise they'll nag you for food. Second, lock the gate to the kitchen. That's where the most tempting mess-making materials are. Third, invite the kids to snuggle up around you on the couch... it keeps you warm and you can feel the movement if they get up. Pretty much anytime I actually lay on the couch, which is rare, the girls feel it's an invitation to dog-pile on Mommy. And the fourth, and most important, might just be a gift that only mothers have.... sleep with your ears on. I can hear everything when I nap, but still be asleep enough to feel refreshed afterwards.
I napped through the better part of a Backyardigans episode and I feel human again. I may actually be able to accomplish something tonight. You know, before I stay up way too late =)