With liberty & naps for all

There are a lot of things wasted on the young. Youth. Beauty. A ridiculously high metabolism. Expensive toys when junk mail and an empty shampoo bottle are apparently just as exotic and entertaining.

But perhaps worst of all are naps. Naps are so completely wasted on the young. Yet we hand them out to children like beads on Mardi Gras. Yes, we, the parents, who haven’t had a chance to nap since 2009, give unlimited sleeping time to any two-bit juvenile who can fake a halfway decent yawn.

Actually, no. Forget the young. You know what it is? It’s a bigger issue. A much bigger issue. Because in our society, naps are wasted on the undeserving.

You know who needs naps? High school kids. These awkward creatures have jam-packed schedules, piles of homework and a tsunami wave of hormones assaulting them at all times. Not to mention, they have a daily routine that is the complete opposite of what their biological clock is telling them. I’m old but not so old that I don’t remember what it was like. I routinely didn’t fall asleep until 2 a.m. when I was 17. And yet, I had to be up at 6 a.m. to get ready for school (because eyes don’t aggressively slather black eyeliner on themselves). And yet these teenagers get yelled at for finally succumbing to the siren call of sleep just because it happens to be in the middle of chemistry class. Or, worse yet, woken up early on weekend mornings because it’s apparently illegal when you’re a parent to let your child “sleep all day on such a beautiful day.”

You know who else needs naps? The middle-age-ish sect that are busy taking care of both their offspring and their aging parents. Because you know who the two most ungrateful species in the world are? Aging parents and children over the age of 12.

And let’s not forget pregnant ladies. They need naps most of all. And I’m not just saying that because I happen to be knocked up right now. They really do. One, because creating life cell-by-cell is wicked stupid hard, and two, everyone will be much safer if I can JUST CLOSE MY EYES FOR 10 FREAKING MINUTES, OK!?!

But NO. No. Who do we give naps to? Babies. Babies who have their entire lives ahead of them to nap. They literally are experiencing the world for the first time and what do they do with this wonderful new discovery? Sleep through everything.

On the opposite end of the spectrum, you have old people. Old people who could die at any moment. And what do they do with the precious time they have left? They nap. And I mean, hardcore nap, like napping is an audition for death and they’re trying to get it perfect. And yeah, sure, you could argue that they’ve earned all these naps after a lifetime of working and raising their family but I can guarantee that when they really needed all these naps was when they were working and raising their family.

And then there’s these guys. Children. With the energy they give off 20 minutes after eating a candy bar, young children could fuel most European cities for a year. Yet, we INSIST they take a nap. And then they have the nerve to FIGHT it. Tooth and nail. In front of their exhausted parents who haven’t seen the inside of their own eyelids in over 19 hours and it’s only noon.

But perhaps most twisted of all, we give unlimited napping privileges to cats and dogs, the only family members who don’t contribute anything to the household (and please, no cheesy comments like “oh, but animals contribute so much love to your home”…of course pets love you but what I need right now is for my loving dog, Buffy, to get off his lazy ass and make dinner for everyone). No job. No responsibilities. Food and water just magically appear. Yeah, no, I can totally see why they need to sleep 22 hours a day.

Well, I say it’s time we finally take a stand and end this madness. We should march on Washington! No more naps for the undeserving! Naps for all or naps for none! Attica! Attica!

Or, I don’t know, something like that. I’ll put it on my to-do list. Right now I have to put my toddler down for night-night.

Sigh.

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