I think I can pinpoint the exact moment my nap time splurges began.
Oliver was just a few days old, and we were dealing with what appeared to be our first encounter with newborn gas. I had researched, read, and reviewed every piece of information about newborns I could find. But somehow, in it all, buying gas drops had slipped through the cracks.
It was Daddy’s first midnight baby run to Walmart. He returned with the highly anticipated gas drops… and a bag of late night tacos. Thanks to the “bicycle leg trick,” Oliver had fallen asleep in my arms while we waited. So, there we sat, propped against the headboard with the glow of the muted TV on our faces, happily munching on our middle of the night feast with our brand new baby sleeping soundly against my chest.
I had just finished inhaling my tacos (apparently, nursing makes a person ravenously hungry) when I took a moment to gaze down lovingly at the newest addition to our little family. He looked so peaceful. His perfect eyelashes, tiny little lips… and, wait a second. A big, messy glob of taco tomato sitting smack dab on top of his oh-so-soft newborn hair.
The evidence of my first nap time splurge.
It spiraled from there. At first, I told myself that I was hiding my special treats for my son’s sake. My infant couldn’t even CHEW, let alone tackle a Hot Pocket. It would be downright rude of me to enjoy one right in front of him.
Later, it became about nutrition. My brand new eater was going to have nothing but the best, most nutrient-packed, unprocessed foods. Just because he now had the ability to eat a Girl Scout cookie didn’t mean I was going to allow it. This stage was filled with many “pre-nap splurges,” too, usually something tucked away in a corner on the kitchen counter that I could sneak a bite of as we paraded through the kitchen. More than once I found myself having to do some ridiculous stalling technique, like suddenly breaking into all the hand motions for “Little Bunny Foo Foo,” to distract him from noticing that I was still chewing my snack-and-run treat.
And then came the day that he could tiptoe to see what was on the kitchen counter. This is when nap time splurges really took off. No longer could I sneak a few bites of what I REALLY wanted to eat for lunch while filling his sippy cup with milk on the other side of the kitchen. No, I had to smile and eat those Brussels sprouts right along with him, making sure to save plenty of room for that box of Thai peanut noodles waiting for me in the pantry.
I started looking forward to nap time splurges, sometimes even purposely stocking up during grocery trips. “Ooooh, what can I eat during tomorrow’s nap?” I would think as I perused the “All Things Processed” aisle. I giggled to myself more than once thinking that the cashier must think all this junk was being purchased for the kids. Little did he know, the salmon and asparagus were for the toddler; the Kraft Mac n’ Cheese was for me.
Unfortunately, I’m starting to see the physical effects of these splurges. (I’ve been asked quite a few times about my next baby’s due date… but I’m not pregnant.) However, I think what I didn’t realize is that all this time, I’ve been benefiting from the mental effects of these indulgences.
Nap time splurges are way more than just an excuse to eat my favorite unhealthy foods.
This is about eating a warm meal while it is actually still warm. Enjoying a few minutes of peaceful dining, not quickly swallowing a half-chewed bite while lunging for a falling training cup. This is about tasting your food instead of wondering if the dog stole your last few bites while you coaxed your toddler into trying a cherry tomato – and then cleaned up the goop he spit back out. This is about finding a very small way to feel pampered in the middle of the day, right in your own home.
For my skinny jeans’ sake, it might be time to add a few fresh greens to my nap time splurges. But the splurges will continue, nonetheless. And I’m sure a few cans of Chef Boyardee Ravioli will still find their way into my cart as I dream about my next solo culinary experience.