Give this woman a nap, please

I haven’t been napping. It’s starting to show. Because, yes, I’m still getting up early four mornings a week to exercise, and the combination of less sleep and construction mayhem and zero power naps makes for a woman who looks just a little frayed around the edges.

Confession time. Come a little closer. Let me lay it on you: By early evening, my bark has bite. And the person most likely to be bitten is, well, my husband. He’s around, he’s a grownup, he’s probably doing something not to my (impossible) standards, and snap. Like that.

Yesterday evening, I arrived home from yoga, a two-hour out-of-the-house, happy alone time for me, which is made possible by him. (It’s also made possible by a ton of pre-planning by me). Anyway, I walked in the door, and the dishes were basically done, the school lunches had been made, and the children were upstairs in pajamas with brushed teeth. He was reading to the younger ones. What a lovely scene! All was well. All continued to be well as I did laundry, checked in with homework obligations (older children), and went through the necessary bedtime rituals with the younger ones. All was well until I came downstairs to get myself some supper. I was pretty hungry by this point, and, yes, flipping tired.

I opened the fridge. I saw before me a half-consumed jar of pearsauce. And … I just about lost my mind. Pearsauce!? The pearsauce I canned less than three weeks ago? Which I’d planned on serving in February when pears are but a distance memory? When WE STILL HAVE ACTUAL PEARS????? Yup. That was me. Losing it.

And this was him. Working away at the computer and blinking at me in silence. Really, what else could he do?

I sat down to my bowl of supper, still seething. (Side question: Am I crazy, or do others out there have ideas about when canned food should be eaten? Restrictions? Personally, I like to wait until the snow is falling).

Then I noticed it was time for the big kids to get to bed. “Could you go up and tell them?” I asked Kevin. Who responded, “This is the first time I’ve gotten to sit down since you left for yoga.” Yup, he was probably pissed about the pearsauce; or more precisely, about my reaction to the pearsauce. Which he’d served the children for bedtime snack. While I was at yoga. Having quiet alone time.

This is how wars start.

But off he went, to tell the kids to get to bed. I sat gobbling leftovers and muttering under my breath, Do you think I’m sitting down all day? You get home from work and I’ve got supper on the table and mumble mumble swim lessons! and mumble mumble porch guys here this morning and mumble trying to work and … add in a few choice swear words and you’ve got the picture. I’d dumped it out of my system by the time he came back downstairs. Well, almost. I managed to get in a good grouse this morning when serving the kids breakfast, reminded by the half-eaten jar in the fridge. I’m pretty sure none of them will be asking for canned pearsauce again until the snow flies.

Lest you think I’m all zen all the time. I’m not. And boy, do I need a nap.

(But isn’t that photo zen? Ah. Another one from our summer holiday.)

Seized by the day
Do you have a house elf?


  1. Susan Fish

    Why I cannot relate in any way, shape or — nope, can’t keep a straight face while lying!

    A couple of years ago, the Huffington Post created a whole section of their website devoted to sleep, and the results of sleep deprivation.

    Oh, and of course pear sauce needs to wait until after pear season is done.

  2. m

    Oh, I hear you! I’m the one with the loudest bark and sharpest bite in this house. It’s ugly and I hate it when I get that way, but oh my how the rage can build.

    In a nod to trying to be zen, let’s say it’s great that we can acknowledge this about ourselves. Knowing is the first step to change, or something like that.

    Also, I would have flipped out about the pear sauce, too. I had a similar rule about the snow falling, which was great in Edmonton, but in Vancouver I’m going to have to figure something else out. A good starting point in not having access to the fresh foods that went into said preserves. (I make an exception to jam, though.)

    Sneak a nap, mama, if you can! And I’ll try to on this side, too. 😉

  3. Carrie Snyder

    M, didn’t you just give birth??? I sure hope you got a nap in today. I actually managed to sneak in 20 minutes, precisely, just before piano lessons. It was heaven.

    And thanks to both of you for making me feel better about the barking. Even though I’d like to stop. Maybe having a good sense of humour about it afterward helps (as does a spouse with a good sense of humour) … or maybe it helps to apologize and admit to being in the wrong. (About the yelling, not the pearsauce. Glad we’re all in agreement about that).

  4. Carol

    My husband has been on the receiving end of way too much rage (there is no other word for it). For me, sleep deprivation and his own crazy behaviour accounts for some of it, but lots of it is just me. I’m working on it. Like waking up inthe morning and literally chanting, I will be respectful to hub, I will be respectful to hub. Thanks for writing this post – it’s a brave thing. I could write about the odd scene at our place that would make you feel better, but the worst ones will never see the page.

  5. Carrie Snyder

    Carol, I think part of it is not wanting to direct that boiling rage/frustration toward the children, so it ends up being thrown at the other adult in the house, right? But sleep deprivation is the key for me. I really really really have to remind myself either to nap or to turn the light off earlier at bedtime. So hard when I’m into a really good book …

    You never know, maybe writing about it will help …

  6. Rebecca

    Oh how I love this post in so many ways… especially the eating of the precious pear sauce. yes, I’m definitely like that too. I tend to save things until the middle of winter, when I think I’ll savour them more. But sometimes they just get forgotten then and we have to eat up a whole lot of whatever to make room for next year’s harvest. So I don’t know – perhaps it’s OK to enjoy some pear sauce right now – when it’s oh-so-fresh. 🙂 (This was a note to myself mainly)

  7. Carrie Snyder

    Rebecca, you’re right. I’ve done that, especially with things like rhubarb. Frozen a bunch of rhubarb which then languishes in the bottom of the freezer, forgotten, until the freezer is mostly empty again, which is usually around the same time that rhubarb season arrives.

    But you’re also right about enjoying things NOW. I’m definitely more of an ant than a grasshopper (were those the insects in that fable?). Storing, storing, planning for the future. But maybe, just maybe, missing out on the present. And further to that point, it’s not like 13 jars of pearsauce is going to see us through a long cold winter anyway!!! If our family’s survival really depended on the food I’ve put away, well, sorry family. We’re doomed.

    Thanks for making me think. And go enjoy some pearsauce. Or come to our house–we’ve already got a jar open.

  8. Rebecca

    I don’t know that fable. Now I’ll have to look it up. I’m totally an ant too. I squirreled away my Hallowe’en candy until Easter. Stupid. My brother ate his all in one night. Don’t know who really enjoyed it more in the end.

    By the way, you totally amaze me and inspire me with the amount that you put away every year. Incredible.

  9. Carrie Snyder

    Maybe it’s not a fable, just a story. It’s definitely a story in favour of ants. But I have to tell you that I did the same thing with my Halloween candy and my Easter bunnies. They rotted in my drawer because I was “saving” them. I never ate them! Probably I didn’t much like candy, because what kid has that kind of self-control? It makes me sad that never shared it with my brothers, who loved candy, and always ate theirs right away.

    Considering what I put away, I should really learn how to do jam–I don’t do jam! It seems to require so much sugar!


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