All Nighter

My 12 year old pulled an all-nighter this week.  Not because he’s working desperately on a school project, but because with summer vacation his sleep schedule’s gone completely wacky.
Of course, I feel somewhat to blame.  Because school ended about 2 weeks earlier than normal due to no snow days and an earlier start to the year, I somehow blissfully went along planning my normal work life without seriously thinking about what to do with my youngest child.  After all, he’s 12.  He’s legally able to stay at home alone and take care of himself without getting me reported to DSS for being a negligent parent.
Apparently being at home and taking care of himself meant sleeping until noon.  That’s when I found him still snoozing on Monday after my morning appointments. 
Tuesday morning he made the grand effort and arose at 11 a.m.
By Tuesday night, he just couldn’t fall asleep.  And had to come tell us at 10:30, and 11:30, and 2:30, and 4:30.  
I vaguely remember Scott saying, “You can’t go bike riding alone at 4 in the morning, it’s not safe.”
Ren said, “But it’s light out already.”
Later in the day, Kai-Kai said, “I heard Ren unloading the dishwasher at 2:30 in the morning.”
I said, “In my dreams—I think he was making popsicles.”
So Wednesday’s task was keeping him awake so he could reset his sleep schedule.  I told him he wouldn’t be able to go to bed until 7 p.m. 
As long as he had friends over to swim and play he was fine.  But by 3 p.m. when he drove with me to pick up his sister, he slumped over in the back seat and I had to yank his leg to pull him out of the car.  Luckily, more friends came to swim which kept him awake for another hour and a half.
At 4:45, I made him take a shower.  At 5 he announced he was going to read and within 2 minutes was snoring on the couch.  More yanking.  At 5:15 I made him eat some dinner—which he ate with his cheek resting on the counter. 
Every time I let him out of my sight, he’d sneak into my bedroom to snooze on our bed.  At 5:50 I made him brush his teeth, and at 6 I finally capitulated and let him go to bed.  At 6:05, I pulled him out of my bed yet again and sent him to his room.  There’s no way I wanted to move him and potentially wake him up for the night.
I woke him at 8:30 a.m., wanting him to wake early enough that he can fall asleep at night, and it was challenging.  But of course, by last night he claimed he couldn’t fall asleep again.


So I’m off to his bedroom right now, at 8:07 a.m. to wake him again.


Parents of babies and younger kids think your sleep troubles are over?  


Think again.


About Kathy Tuan-MacLean

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