It happened again last Friday evening, though I can’t say I’m sad about it.
My family and I were watching a movie together in the darkened family room. We had blankets and pillows. It was all very cozy. I decided to stretch out on half of the couch, where I snuggled deep in my blanket. Before I knew it, my need for sleep defeated any desire I had to watch the movie.
I fought it a little. Very little. I closed my eyes and listened to the movie, but the only purpose that served was measuring how long I’d been asleep once the lights came back on. That was helpful, though, because usually surprise naps end like:
I used to pick on my grandparents and dad for falling asleep in an upright position during family events. That was before I fell asleep during movies at the theater on several occasions. The first, at the risk of sending LOTR fans into a rage, was during The Two Towers. Now, that came out many years ago, so I don’t remember exactly why I fell asleep (it was during my first year of teaching, though, so I suspect that had something to do with it). I do remember seeing the same thing on screen every time I woke from my shallow sleep: characters running through nature.
I figured if I saw that every time, I couldn’t have been missing a lot.
After I became a parent, I started planning to fall asleep during movies in the theater–specifically, obnoxious kid movies.
Kid: Can we go see the new Ice Age movie?
Me: Sure, I could use a nap.
So as a power napper, I leave other power nappers alone, as long as they’re safe and not missing a flight or something. The thing no one tells you as a kid is that adulting is freaking exhausting, especially if you’re hauling smaller versions of yourself around all day. By the time you get a chance to sit in a semi-comfortable chair and let your mind go blank for a minute, you realize how trashed you are.
So, I say we take the expectation of napping back from preschoolers. They don’t want the privilege anyway, and they certainly aren’t working/grocery shopping/doing laundry/battling rush hour/etc etc etc. I heard that some European countries have (require?) lunch hours long enough to accommodate a nap. I would vote for anyone running on that platform.
Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have to make my after-work plans.