I cannot stress strongly enough that this is not a post about soccer.
You can fit on a postage stamp everything that I know about football. You can also narrow it down to international soccer tournaments between 1988 – 1990 that have the soundtrack of “put em under pressure” and “give it a lash Jack” belting in the background.
But I am procuring the term for a different context. Because the transfer window in parenting does require a level of not just skill but also practice, visualisation and mental rehearsal. I am of course referring to that delicate, delicate time when the child has accidentally fallen asleep in the back of the car.
The transfer window is a very real thing. Getting it right means the difference between a blissfully unaware sleeping child transferring seamlessly to their bed, and the almightiest, crankiest, sleep-deprivation induced screaming fit of a tantrum if they are accidentally aroused from their slumber. Oh indeed, fuck it up at your peril.
The success is twofold. First, making the decision to stay or go. Staying means sitting in the car once you reach your destination and waiting the nap out. This might seem like an attractive option because you might be listening to something interesting on the radio or fancy catching up on a bit of social media “me time” while you have the chance. You’re making one fatal error however. You no longer have the gentle vibration of the car engine that sent your child to sleep in the first place. The nap is going to end sooner than you think but also sooner than they’d like – so anticipate worst case scenario here. Now you might be tempted to keep the engine running in a bid to fake it, but you lose again because although you have the noise and vibration, you don’t have the motion. You’re gambling high stakes here and you’re probably going to lose.
Then again, if might seem like the more attractive option to deciding to go.
This is when the “transfer” part of the transfer window kicks in proper. Never has the expression “fail to prepare, prepare to fail” been quite so apt. Really for maximum chances of success, you need two bodies to pull this off – one to go first and open all doors, draw curtains and pull back bedclothes; the other to gently, gently lift the sleeping body from their car seat and into the bed.
If you’re on your own, your chances of success significantly diminish. Believe me there is no sexism in this next statement, purely an recognition of genetics: if you are a man, the transfer window is likely to go better for you. By your very manliness, you have greater powers of strength and usually girth to pull off the scoop and run. Basically what you’re trying to achieve here is the smallest amount of unnecessary movement. The replication of some class of a hoverboard, if you will. The smoother the physical transfer the less likely there will be awakenings. Think “sack of spuds” and then do it.
In all honesty though, the best strategy of all is avoiding the transfer window at all costs. Sometimes, driving 50 miles past your destination to facilitate a full length nap is worth the wasted petrol than the scenes of carnage at the site of the alternative. Only sometimes though. Other times it just all goes badly.
And then you’ll need a nap. But you won’t get one. Because you fucked up the transfer window.
Featured photo credit: www.amazon.com. P.S. that is not my gigantic car. In fact it looks like a mini bus. Also, that is not my smiling happy child delighted, it would appear, to be transferring from a beast of a car to his bed in the middle of a nap.