"Drive, drive, drive!!!" she hissed, while looking back with fear in her eyes. I floored the gas pedal and with screeching tyres I drove off the parking lot. I checked the rear-view mirror... "I think we made it.. " I mumbled.
Seriously... You don't mess with nap time. Oh, really? You thought J. and I had robbed a gas station, fleeing in the sunset, Bonnie and Clyde style? Sorry to disappoint you.. it is a parenting blog after all, not America's Most Wanted.
What would make a perfectly sane couple loose their shit and drive off in the sunset? OK, it was 2pm, so not really sunset, but you get the point. Nap time.. really.. NAP .... TIME ! You don't mess with it.
OK, so what happened?
J. and I were trying to make our little city garden look nice for spring and summer. After much discussion we decided to get one of those garden storage boxes to keep our recycling sorted. Recycling is difficult here. Seperate your paper from your plastics, seperate those from your green waste, keep the batteries in a seperate box, keep your colored glass seperate from your white, transparant glass, find a spot for those broken light bulbs, find a spot for the broken electronics, put your metal waste somewhere else... you see, it can be quite challenging to keep this all organised. Anyway, we decided on this garden storage box. We were going to go and get that box and clean up our yard. But then we looked at the clock .... 1pm.. NAP TIME ! What to do? Would we go out and get that box; risk skipping nap time, resulting in a 2.5 year old kid who at 3 or 4 pm would be too tired to make pleasant conversation? (not making "pleasant conversation" means screaming, crying, tempertantrums, etc... just being in a destructive mood would sum it up - have you seen Poltergeist?); or would we skip getting that box, do nap time and get the garden sorted out on a different day. Losing all sanity we decided on option number 1.
Off we went. 2 kids in the back, 2 parents in the front. Arriving 15 minutes later at the local DIY store, we unloaded our offspring. J. put Little Flower in her sling and I put our Little Man in the shopping trolley. We had our eyes on the clock. Would we get away with it? The short answer to that is .. no. We were in the store for 5 minutes, looking at garden boxes, when Little Man noticed a picture of a dolphin on a swimming pool filter box. "Fishie !! Fishie !! I want the Fishie !!!" ... "Little Man, we have fishies at home, just give mama and papa a few minutes and we'll go home and look at the fishies" ... "FISHIES!!! I WANT FISHIES!!!" People started staring at us. You know the look. It's the same look people would give if I had pulled down my pants and had started peeing in the aisles. "OK, time to go." J. said. We quickly paid for that waflle iron that seemed interesting..; (future birthday parties in mind) and ran to the car. I strapped in the kids and started the engine. It took about a minute to arrive at the big avenue. I had to make a left to go home. J. looked back at the kids and then looked at me "They're both asleep." I looked at her unbelieving. "You're kidding" ... "No, they're asleep... Drive, drive, drive !!" I floored it and made a right hand turn. Yes.. a RIGHT hand turn. "Why?" would you ask... You see .. Parents think on a different plane, a different level of consciousness if you will. Going home would mean that in 15 minutes I had to try and take 2 kids out of the car without waking them up. I wasn't going to take that risk. Doing that would have meant that we wouldn't have our garden box AND we would have 2 kids that had missed their nap time.
So I drove. I drove south. I drove past Brussels. I drove around Brussels. I drove south for an hour and a half, then I drove back north for the same amount of time, playing gentle tunes on the radio and talking in hushed voices... we had no final destination. Our only goal was for our kids to get that nap time and for us to keep our sanity.