I look like this because I went jogging this morning and still haven’t taken a shower. Why? Because Charlie hasn’t taken a nap yet, and if I try to shower while he’s awake, he will unravel the entire roll of toilet paper, flush it down the toilet, and say “Byeeeeee.”

Hi. Have you met Nap Rage?Friends, Nap Rage. Nap Rage, friends.

It could probably be better categorized as “Lack of Nap Rage,” but that doesn’t sound as good. I’m hoping this is a phenomenon experienced by parents, guardians, and babysitters the world over, rather than something isolated to our apartment. Let me set a scene.

It’s 1:00 PM. Lunch has been eaten, and the cartoons (no we haven’t been watching them all day) have been turned off. The offer to nurse (yes, we’re still hippies) has been put on the table, and the toddler is acting sleepy and cranky . . . nap time, right?
It’s 3:00 PM. Your child is a master of deception. All of that eye-rubbing and whining was simply a sign that he wanted close his eyes for 3.7 minutes, and then play with cars.
It’s 5:00 PM. Your husband is home. He says, “Hi, Honey!” and you emotionally explode on him like a box of rage-flavored Jell-O filled with dynamite.

You see, between the hours of 2 and 5 PM, you begin to realize a few things. First, it is obvious that your child is not going to go to sleep anytime soon. In fact, he will probably wait until about 4:30 to fall asleep if you don’t do something exciting enough to keep him awake. You know the intelligent move would be to keep him awake until bed time, whichshould be earlier than normal. If you let him nap at 4:30, he will not wake up until 7:30, and you will find yourself watching the Wonder Pets at 1 o’clock in the morning.

There is this fear, though. The fear that, by keeping him awake till bedtime, you will trip some trigger in the Nap-Time Continuum and your child will never take a nap again.Gone will be the afternoons in which you actually take a shower, or watch a certain British sci-fi show with scary aliens, or eat a small bowl of ice cream without sharing.

This is a terrifying prospect, and enough to turn anyone temporarily insane. You see, the Nap Rage, isn’t the kind of rage that is a danger to your child . . . the only thing that’s at risk is your brain. You can only think “WHY WON’T HE JUST SLEEP!?” for so long before your brain says “Peace out,” and straight up explodes.

The next thing you realize is that, future napping/not napping aside, you’ve lost your “me time” for the day, and that’s just a bummer.

This was me, yesterday (and, update, apparently this afternoon as well. Awesome.). Luckily, it was Tuesday, which means open gym at Gymboree in the evening. We all hopped in the car, where Charlie proceeded to (of course) fall asleep. Paul dropped me off at the Starbucks (bite me, hipster coffee snobs) where I was able to grab a coffee and just hang out by myself for a bit. I just needed 5 minutes, you know? I walked around with my little 12 ouncer and looked at their sexy travel tumblers, lamented over the change in coffee packaging, and fell in love with some tea cups.

That was a big help. So, here’s where the self-improvement comes in. One of the biggest points of contention between Paul and I is “me time.” I complain about not having any, but when it comes to an open evening, I (for what reason, I’m really not sure) just don’t make plans. Even if it’s just taking the computer to a coffee shop for a couple hours. When it comes time, I just feel like staying home. And then I complain about it the next day.

Why, oh, why do I do this? Anybody else out there the same way? Any advice?

I know that the best advice is to just freaking go, whether I feel like it or not. I get the feeling that, if I knew I had some planned “me time” to look forward to, I could keep the Nap Rage at bay . . . and save my poor, explosive brain.