Napping on the couch is akin to sleeping in the jungle. In both cases the job is a high risk situation. While at the same time both places of rest are an act of desperation, sleeping when one can no longer holdout. At those times a parent understands the ruthlessness of the natural elements.

When napping on the couch one must sleep with their head elevated. This is not to fend off the large beasts of the evergreen forest, nor is it for the older children, they know better. It is a position to guard one’s self from the smaller creatures. Place your head up and back in the same way you would to keep spiders and centipedes out of your mouth, nose, ears, eyes and where ever else they might explore. It also helps to stay out of reach of the toddler. I find the exploratory, cold and sticky fingers of child #6 are a more disturbing way to awaken. And given the chance, he might just slobber all over one’s face.

I find it necessary to nap with my jacket and shoes on, in other words, ready for flight. A couch nap is a necessity, meaning it is not a good idea to put a wall and shut door between myself and the children. I make certain not to use any quilt that I might get tangled in when someone is screaming bloody murder. So far the disturbances have been isolated to #4 picking on her older sister #3.

The best way to nap remains the same both on the couch and in the jungle, get a trustworthy guard. I am able to say to Wife, “I’m laying down on the couch for a moment.” With that statement we both understand my meaning, “I need a short nap; my life is in your hands, I trust my rest into your safe keeping; keep the children and dog off of me; and pray to God that no one get hurt until I wake up.” Though I may not sleep any longer, I am at least assured with the guardianship of an adult I trust. I find that way the easiest way to nap; that is until someone else skins their knee.

Photo by Catherine Culver

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