Most days, I need an afternoon nap. It’s a necessity without which I would be incoherent for the rest of the day. My dogs have decided, though, that what they need most, at exactly the same time, is to play. This is when they need to bark at each other, and climb on me, and compete for my attention. They have spent the morning pleasantly napping while I was getting work done, and now they are restless.
Nap time generally starts out well. We make our own puppy pile on the bed, and if they are actually tired, we all curl up and go to sleep. But at some point, long before I am ready to get up, they will start the drama.
Cricket will climb on me and demand scratchies. Butterfly will pace back and forth on her side of the bed in search of good chewing material, and then notice that Cricket is getting scratchies, and she will want her share. And then the barking begins, because Cricket has heard a noise, or had a premonition of a noise to come. Did the mail come? Were packages dropped at the door? Does one of the girls need to pee (this is contagious by the way, if one is desperate to pee, the other becomes so agitated that she believes her bladder is bursting as well).
Clearly, they’ve read all of those articles about power naps and how you shouldn’t nap for more than half an hour at a time or you’ll be even groggier. I try to tell them not to read pop psych magazines, but they don’t listen to me.
Once Cricket jumps off the bed to check for the evil mailman, Butterfly starts to bark, or whine, or stand at the end of the bed and contemplate the certain death that will come from jumping off the bed. I force myself up to put Butterfly on the floor, so she can be with her sister, and that’s when Cricket decides to jump back up on the bed, to be away from her sister. So Butterfly barks from the floor, to try to get me to pick her up again.
This can go on all afternoon.
After they are done barking and chasing each other around the apartment, the dogs think we have reached the point in the afternoon where I devote all of my attention to them, and not to sleep, or, God forbid work. Butterfly tries to chew my notebooks, and Cricket butts my book with her head, or knocks it down with her paw.
And that’s when I realize, it’s been hours since they were out to pee; two hours at least. And if I take them outside, and wear them out a little bit, maybe I can come back in and get some work done, or take another nap, until the whole drama starts over again.