So I remember drifting off to sleep after midnight. I struggled to relax because I have this knot in my neck- severe pain, even when I attempt to relax. A stress related pinched nerve or more.
I woke about 3:30- I notice Mark was up to the bathroom and Isaac was now in our room- settling in on the loveseat.
3:50…. Apparently Mark and I drifted off to sleep but a loud bang had us both sitting up in bed ( no easy feat when your pain level is “my head is gonna fall off from pain level”).
Beside the loveseat is an old nightstand that holds a few things and displays a few stuffed moose. But the area in front and beside end up being clutter collectors. I had recently semi organized my piles with the plan of returning to them to declutter…. Isaac however has been slamming and tipping the nightstand off and on for weeks. Started about the beginning of Christmas break.
And that is what he did tonight- again. He has a track record for randomness and swiping. Meaning he cleared off the moose and a few books from the top then began rocking the night stand. However– I was sleeping enough to not respond to him so he grabbed it by the back ( all while he is LAYING on the loveseat) and flips it forward. Dumping the contents and the neatly organized binders beside of course fell every which way.
So here I lay- 45 minutes later… Mess still there. Mark trying to get some sleep (His meds are off) and Isaac vocalizing above a mumbled tone with random loud vocalizations…. He is awake, wide awake, wired and needs watching. He has attempted to kick walls, windows and further toss books and binders… Why?? Is he angry? Upset? Hurting? No- not to my knowledge, he is just awake and apparently feels the desire to make sure mom is as well. I do not understand how his mind works. I do not grasp why tipping and swiping things seems so fun for him. He doesn’t appear to be malicious, or intending to destroy something ( right now anyway) so why do this??? I have no idea. Most times lately I have him clean up his messes. But my binders and a small stash of my own clutter on top of said binders beside the stand all fell to where the stand was… The stand was picked up one handed behind and over his shoulder to flip it forward and dump it out. Sometimes it is just not the time to make him clean up as it will only waken him MORE when my goal is him sleeping
Lately I have considered having Mark bolt it to the wall but I figured Isaac will just rock it until it comes loose or kick it loose…
So what could I have done to prevent this? 1) not sleep. 2) never blink so as to give complete attention to Isaac 3) nothing, like normal this is random and this is my life.
Isaac is semi content this moment. But if I close my eyes too long he becomes louder and grabs at any loose stuff from the tipped nightstand mess that I was trying to avoid cleaning up when we need to focus on SLEEP….
Sigh. I haven’t posted too often about this but since he returned to school he slept 2 full nights- in his own bed, in his own room. The rest of the nights he may have just been up late, up early, up randomly. Maybe he was up and awake but semi quietly on his kindle. Why do I “allow” Isaac on his kindle during sleep hours when others have a curfew on their devices? Because it is my silly attempt to keep him safe and occupied so I can close and eye or two and drift off for a few minutes at a time.
Why don’t I teach him that it is NOT time for electronics and that he needs to sleep?? Apparently if you feel I could just snap my fingers and this would be better– you don’t know autism and sleep issues. We have nights were he is too loud and I do all I can to help him be quiet and get the rest HE needs- let alone the rest of the house and mom and dad.
Many nights he ends up turning veggie tales or 3-2-1 penquins on and drifts off OR has that on and is STILL loud verbally and still continues a self tapping/ hitting path that you just don’t stop…
I know this sounds cruel but I find great encouragement in hearing from other autism parents on this, vs typical parents who have their 5-10 step plan for correct sleep laid out. Because they get it. I have worked years with Isaac on calm sleep. Some nights due to everything I try he sleeps well. And other nights due to those exact same things that worked the night before won’t touch him tonight and he is simply wide awake.
I doubt I can ever fully and adequately explain his severe sleep disturbances to you. It becomes so “normal” for me to not get more than 5-30 minutes of sleep at a time or to be awake HOURS during my night with Isaac, that I don’t bother saying anything because you wouldn’t get it anyway and that’s ok to some extent. It isn’t your life so it’s really understandable and ok that you don’t understand or grasp what I’m saying.
He had swimming on Wednesday so he “should” have slept great tonight. Should and reality are very different things.
I had 1 night of full sleep over Christmas break ( about 6 hours) and 1 night of about 6 hours sleep since they returned to school. How on earth can he function on so little sleep?!? I have no idea but this is him. This is our life. Tuesday we had a snow day due to bad weather, enough to warrant a closing to keep people safe. The reality is it was freezing rain earlier and now it is snowing on top of said ice, not mounds of either. But enough to possibly close school again. **** updated to state that all of my kids have a bad weather day****
Add to that even his calming music or a calming show is absolutely hysterical to him and he begins to laugh uncontrollably, loudly, loudly scripting whatever movie lines seem to comfort him….. Over and over and over.
I hear it so often I tend to block much of it out. It isn’t cute or funny to me at this hour, maybe that is my pain talking. Or it could be the lack of sleep, from just tonight or the accumulated severe loss of sleep over the past 14 years.
Then it becomes to early in the morning to focus on getting him to go back to sleep because then I’d have a hard time waking him for school… So I have the pleasure of guessing what the best choice is all while barely being able to stand due to my own pain and lack of sleep issues.
“Seriously, you are so overly dramatic”..…. Really? I dare you to live my life for one full 24 hours. Or a full 7 days, ( 24/7)… I dare you!!!( insert my evil gril and maniacal chuckle) I dare you think he is alseep and lay down, just as you slightly relax and begin to give into blissful sleep, you are needed NOW!!! Attempt to sit or lay to relax and sleep at any point in your day, just as your backside hits the chair or couch– bounce back up and juggle kids behaviors…. Exhaustedly stumble to sit, feet so sore from standing that you HAVE to sit, but needing to be involved in a situation that you may “sit” but not be able to relax….
I used to look so forward to my 3 nights once a month when Isaac was at respite. That hasn’t happened since March. And they are closing soon anyway so that isn’t even a light in the tunnel to give me hope.
Why am I still rambling about this?? Because he is still wide awake, then if he does fall asleep– guess what?? My alarm goes off in a bit to tell.ME to get up and dressed. But wait, he is in my room, my closet is blocked due to the dumped night stand. I am so tired I truly can’t walk straight but it is time to start my day…. You know, my quiet time with God, my time to exercise, my time to shower and get myself ready for the day…. Ha ha ha that is So absolutely hysterical…. How do I keep him safe and out of trouble? How do I step into the bathroom or closet to change, wash or whatever??
Not trying to make you feel bad or make you guilty and say ” oh that’s so sad wish I could help”. Truth is you likely have an opinion on how I should do things, I know this because enough times over the past how many years have I heard everyone else’s opinion. Like just now, kindle away, I think I hear him drifting off to sleep. Then he loudly, dramatically fake falls off the loveseat, jumps up loudly roars his way to his room, to grab a stuffed animal. He returns, flops on the loveseat, laughs excessively about it, completely bundles himself….
Here I sit, listening to the furnace come on, hearing others sleeping. And praying that he doesn’t wake anyone else- at least not yet…
And now—- no school.but mom is awake….
~ one tired momma