Chasing Pavements: A Guide to Nap-time.

Boots, WH Smith, Clarks, The Co-op.

Boots, WH Smith, Clarks, The Co-op.

Boots, WH Smith, Clarks, The Co-op.

And so it goes…

I feel like one of those highly painted ornamental figures that you see in Bavarian clocks – going round and around in circles on a pre-allotted path every morning. Some day soon I’ll find myself clanging a bell and singing some indistinguishable ditty as each quarter hour strikes.

Why am I wearing out the pavements?

It all comes down to the time of day. Between 10 and 11 EVERY morning, I walk in circles with my son in his buggy.


Because this is his ‘Nap-time’.

Nap-time is the perfect combination of frustration and bliss. Frustration before the sleeping itself occurs, followed by bliss as the Land of Nod is reached. The whole thing must be handled like a military operation:

Let me explain:

The Frustrations of Nap-time:

  • Before the nap you have one cranky and tired child. There is absolutely no point in attempting to do anything worthwhile with them: no soft play, no ‘fun’ walks collecting sticks, no building of dry stone walls. Such activities will, if attempted, be accompanied by screaming, crying and general bottom lip wobbling.
  • As no pursuits may be attempted, I find myself in limbo (the metaphysical state, not lowering myself under horizontal objects). It’s essentially a waiting game which may go on for an indeterminate period of time, until the little fella is asleep.
  • The best method, I’ve found of persuading Sam to sleep is by walking him, around and around in circles in his pram. This usually means laps of the high street hence, Boots, WH Smith et al.
  • More often than not, the process of walking in this manner makes me incredibly sleepy. Yet it can be guaranteed if I am ready for a nap, Sam won’t be. My eyelids will be droopy and the little man will be chantering the theme tune to ‘Bob The Builder’ to himself in something that approximates English.
  • Walking in circles has the habit of attracting the attention of the waifs and strays who (like me) are seemingly idling away the hours of an inconsequential morning in March. Soon enough, I’m stopped by pensioners, passers by and assorted other kooks to discuss the fact that I’m walking in circles. This unwanted conversation ALWAYS rouses Sam from any feelings of sleepiness and the whole ceremony must begin again.
  • Why? I hear you cry, don’t I try walking him in a less populated environment? The truth is that, once he falls asleep, I want to be somewhere with Wifi to catch up on work. That said, I’ve tried walking him in the most remote places I can find, yet despite this, the sleep disturbers still have a habit of finding me.

The Initial Bliss Of the Nap:

  • And then it happens, little eye-lids become heavy, so heavy that after putting up very little in the way of resistance, sleep is achieved.
  • My heart soars as a good 45 minutes of ‘my time’ is about to begin.

Handling Nap-time with Care:

  • This time must be treated with care, it’s hugely valuable: to be treated with reverence and the hushed whispers usually reserved for ecclesiastical activity.
  • A quiet environment is sort at once, somewhere with a power socket, Wifi, something to drink and NO LOUD PEOPLE. The last of those requirements is, by far the most important.
  • A favourite coffee shop is sort, with winged feet I fly in it’s direction, shunting pensioners, charity collectors and lampposts from my way as I travel. EVERY MOMENT IS VALUABLE and must be maximized in potential.
  • If there’s a queue at the counter, I park the pram, plug in my laptop, log in and get online. Only then will I address the queue. If the line isn’t diminished I say a few little prayers as I check social media, hoping for the early arrival of the #9 bus or a flash sale in Morrisons to clear the crowd.
  • If that doesn’t work I seek out an abandoned cup – my prop – and begin the tasks for the day. Getting my own hot drink can wait… for now.
  • Check the Wifi. I always check the Wifi, if it’s not working the whole nap is a waste. I never buy a drink until I know the internet can be accessed – if it can’t, Plan B at Location B begins.
  • Scope the room. Are there loud people around, likely to end the nap prematurely? I scan the room; like a Secret Service agent looking for threats. Rowdy teenagers, loud pensioners and yappy dogs all receive a knowing eyeball: to let them know I will be displeased if we are disturbed.
  • With a good connection, sleeping child and quiet environs I retry the queue. A large cappuccino is my tipple of choice – enough caffeine to get me through my emails and scribblings. Coffee always takes longer to make when you have a sleeping baby.
  • As last, the drink is ready, I retake my seat and Nap-time bliss is mine.

Taking it all in:

  • Sometimes it’s too easy to be caught up in things to do in the future that we forget the now.
  • I try to stop, enjoy the silence and take in the moment. It’s a bit like that moment on Christmas morning, before you open your presents – anything is possible.
  • I take a gulp of coffee, click on a window and begin to type.


Without fail, my moment of bliss is always instantly destroyed by dogs, pensioners, children and all manner of noise. I must have been a terrible person in a former life! In seconds I go from bliss to having a screaming child. Suddenly, I am the provider of unwelcome noise and I leave the coffee shop, leaving an undrunk cappuccino on the table – to walk the streets again.

Boots, WH Smith, Clarks, The Co-op.

I’m not walking in circles this time. Nap-time has passed, we must get active before lunch.

Where will we go today?

I hear the distance screams of soft play on the wind and shudder.

Bliss really is a fleeting thing…


The Out Of Depth Dad



Published by The Out of Depth Dad

A new dad, completely out of his depth. Who knew that parenthood was so tricky?

5 thoughts on “Chasing Pavements: A Guide to Nap-time.

  1. Yes yes, I recall these days. Oddly, I remember our days being totally controlled by nap time: unable ot go anywhere because child needed to nap. if it makes you feel any better, my uncle and aunt could only get their daughter to sleep by driving her around in circles in the car! #thatfridaylinky

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Love this remember these so well and when they were disturbed half way though a nap so annoying Thank you for linking to #Thatfridaylinky please come back next week

    Liked by 1 person

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