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Naptime. Now what?

mother putting baby to sleep

9:00 to 9:10
Experts say "sleep when the baby sleeps," so lie down in still-unmade bed. Bliss! Shut eyes, think about dishes in sink and yesterday's unopened mail. Feel sun coming through windows, heart pumping. Why so jittery? Only slept for three hours last night—should be exhausted! Oh, had two giant mugs of coffee since Little Darling's wake-up call. Eeek. Did experts ever have a newborn?

9:11 to 9:20
Should peruse The Naptime Chef book and prep a dinner. Maybe even cook ahead. Meals for a week! Head to kitchen, survey mess on counter. Breast-pump parts, bottles, pacis need to be sterilized. Where is sterilizer? Under mountain of barfy burp cloths. Throw burp cloths in laundry, glow with accomplishment. Head back to kitchen, open pantry. Dang, have, like, no groceries. Bag of pretzels, cans of soup. Sigh.

9:21 to 9:35
Go online while stuffing pretzels into mouth. Signing up for grocery delivery would be smart. But first...check Facebook. Look, childless friend is vacationing in Hawaii with Jake Gyllenhaal look-alike. Thrilled for her. Vow to read status updates only from fellow moms. Like. Like. Like. Look, baby of college roomie uses same pacifier! OMG. Totally forgot to sterilize pacis and bottles and breast-pump parts. Sign out without ever ordering groceries.

Sterilizer locked and loaded. So proud. Second cleaning task of the morning!

Have maybe 15 minutes left, tops. Call Mom? Would love to talk to Mom. But if she asks again if grandchild is "crying it out" at night, may not be able to stop self from screaming. Stare into space. Who else to call? Work friend? Would be fun to hear office gossip. But if she suggests movie outing, as if Newborn doesn't need to eat every two hours, may snap at her. Call husband? To say what? Washed burp cloths and bottles? Hmm, what about friend from prenatal yoga? Have her cell number. Weird to text?

Baby stirring. Mild panic. Run to use bathroom before she starts crying for reals.

What the heck. Text yoga friend. "Hi! Meet 4 early lunch? Would love to see u!"

Oh, Sweetheart awake now for sure. Will feel so good to hug her. Wait! Phone pinged.

Message: "11:30 perfect! See you soon. :)"

Originally published in the January 2013 issue of American Baby magazine.