This Again

Months have passed since I had to write a post like this one. I had hoped to be done with them forever.

It’s 4:58 a.m., Monday. I haven’t slept yet. I’ve dozed, a few minutes at a time, mostly on Martin’s bedroom floor. One of these catnaps cut circulation to my left arm, and I snapped awake with stinging-nettle pain from shoulder to fingertips. I mean, hey, it’s a floor.

Now I’ve given up trying to sleep. I’m sitting in a chair next to Martin’s bed, using my right hand to restrain his ankles and my left hand to tap on an iPad I’ve shielded from his view. I’m right-handed. Typing with my left is taking forever.

Granted, at this moment I have no shortage of time.

Martin was exhausted yesterday. (Seems strange to call Sunday “yesterday,” because for me it’s one continuous day.) In addition to recent lethargy, he’s been foggy and tired since our Thursday visit to his Track Two doctor; we hit some delays, resulting in Martin’s being awake until 11:00 p.m., and then again from 1:30-2:15 a.m., and he hasn’t got back on track yet. He went to sleep last night by 7:30 p.m., with a sitter. Adrian and I were dining with friends. We arrived home at 10:45 p.m. Martin woke at 11:30 p.m., before Adrian and I could get to bed. We took turns sitting with Martin for an hour, then left him alone to find his own way back to sleep.

No such luck.

He spoke, called to us, and griped from his bed, keeping me from any meaningful rest. At 2:35 a.m. he appeared in my and Adrian’s room, demanding attention. I led him back to bed and camped out on his floor, hoping my presence would help. It hasn’t. Martin has alternated chatting (“the Empire State Building,” “bunny rabbit,” “Mommy is sleeping on the floor!”) and singing (the Battle Hymn of the Republic, scattered Johnny Cash lyrics), in constant motion—legs a-kickin’, tiny hands tapping the headboard.

Now it’s 5:40 a.m. (I told you this typing was taking forever), so Martin’s been awake more than six hours. He doesn’t mind my restraining his ankles. Nor does it seem to be helping. He’s downright jolly, wide awake.

He’ll have to stay home with me today; I can’t dispatch him to school on four or five hours’ sleep. Yesterday, Sunday, I was tired enough to feel confused and mildly depressed. I’m not looking forward to a Monday on no sleep, unable to touch accumulated office work and rearranging all plans to entertain a crabby boy.

I think he’s beginning to nod off, at long last. His breathing has regularized, his sing-song faded. Still, I feel his ankles bounce under my right hand. Martin is simply unable to settle. Even as he dozes, his mind sends energy jolts.

What is perhaps most frustrating is that sleep—Martin’s sleep—was both our clearest indicator of progress and the biggest single lifestyle improvement for our family. When he sleeps, we sleep, at least a little more.

If we lose the sleeping, I don’t know what I’ll do.

5 thoughts on “This Again

  1. Pingback: Frustration Posting | Finding My Kid

  2. Pingback: The Bad Nights Aren’t So Bad | Finding My Kid

  3. I’m sorry for this day for you. I can fully empathize having had days like these myself. Can I just say that I find your blog refreshing among the super cheery, “my child is just getting better everyday!” blogs? I have “real” days where I get frustrated and want to throw in the towel! Thank you for being real. Apologies to the cheerleaders- no bashing intended. It’s just nice to feel a connection to moments where everything is not going as well as you’d hoped for.

    • Fellow ASD Mom, sorry that I’ve been so long in responding. I agree with you. I draw little comfort from the children who seem to recover with miraculous consistency, and none of the “two steps forward, one step (or maybe 1.97 steps) backward” that have characterized our journey. I can say this: With time I become ever more able to see the forest and not obsess about the trees. Big picture! Big picture! Good luck and keep pressing on.

  4. Pingback: New Year!: We Got Up Late Because Martin Had a Tough Night | Finding My Kid

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