I sure hope that I am not up at midnight to welcome in the new year.
Gone are the days when staying up late was a source of enjoyment. Even before Philip was born, I was not much of a night owl. I vaguely remember staying up late as a kid and teenager. I know that I was up late in college, but not like the stereotypical co-ed. I preferred to be an “early to bed, early to rise” sort. I felt like I could get so much done by waking up early.
Once Philip was born, I had to let that preference go. I had to learn to appreciate what I could accomplish in the middle of the night. Now, everyone expects newborns to wake frequently. No one expects to sleep through the night for many months. However, I was always a bit jealous of hearing fellow moms talk about their children going to bed by 7:30 or 8:00 pm. That was not to be my fate. Instead, I would discover all of the stores open 24 hours.
I’m bemused by the people who suggest things that I can do once Philip goes to bed. Are you kidding? My little night owl is the only reason I stay up past 10 pm nowadays.
I now know that sleep disturbances are a symptom of autism. I thought I was just a bad parent. Autism doesn’t get me off the hook completely. As I mentioned in my post about Christmas, we have decided it is time to stick to a sleep schedule. Before Philip started preschool, there was really no reason that Philip had to get up at a certain time every day. We wanted to make sure that he was getting the sleep he needed, so we sporadically attempted to control Philip’s waking time from naps and overnight.
Creating and sticking with a sleep schedule will be a work in progress. Despite following the schedule, Philip still awoke around 3 am on Thursday morning. Not sure if the new bed was the cause or the need for a diaper change. Without language, there is no way for Philip to tell me.
So, here I sit, several hours from the new year. Philip has had his bath and is now playing. He took a good nap today at an appropriate hour. Earlier, he enjoyed some sensory deprivation time behind the couch.
I hope that all of the activities of the final day of 2011 will soon cause Philip to yawn. Here’s hoping he will relax and fall asleep until well into the new year.