11.30pm - I fall into bed. Long trip in the morning so no wine even though it's Friday.
1.30am - Mummeee!
He needs me, he's scared, then he can't get back to sleep. He wriggles and squirms and turns and talks. "Mum, are you asleep?" he asks, every time I start to feel comfortable. In desperation I go downstairs and retrieve his DS - he's 'too afraid'. No better. Even with the sound turned off, the tap tap tap of the stylus drives me demented. He prods me to see am I asleep, and I try to explain patiently that if I was asleep he has now woken me up. He says sorry so many times that I would like to banish the word from the English language altogether. I ask him why he can't sleep. At least he can now give some kind of explanation. "I'm excited about today," he says. Oops I forgot to mention that : The alarm was due to go off at 4.30am anyway as we had a big day planned. I explained that I might not be able for the drive on 2 hours sleep and the whole day might have to be cancelled.
I don't need a lot of sleep - luckily - but I don't function well on less than 6 hours. As a new parent my top priority was training my children to sleep at night...please don't condemn me I was only being practical! So all three went to bed earlyish as young children giving me an hour or so of child-free time in the evenings. For many years I would expect to get up to different children several times a night, but would always go back to sleep afterwards. Now as CD grows into his Aspergers, and I grow older, sleep is becoming a bigger problem. I discussed my need for sleep with him and together we agreed that our day should not start before 6 am. This week the 6am deadline has been breached twice and even the breaching of it makes me feel desperate. If I can't hold that line, how am I ever going to cope? In the middle of the night, it felt like torture when he kept rousing me just as I was about to drift off into sleep again, and I did not succeeed in staying very calm. I know that many new parents also feel like this, but you keep repeating the mantra "this will pass" don't you? Except for parents of children with asd, then there is the fear that it won't.
How do you manage a life of sleep deprivation? If you have a crucial business meeting, do you go? If you have to fly a plane, would you? And if you were planning a long drive with your children would you reconsider?
Driving tired is said to be very unsafe. Perhaps even more so if one of your kids has aspergers and is also very tired. But the trip has been paid for, arrangements made with family and friends. CD has been prepared for this trip for several weeks...at least I thought he was prepared. And now I'm too tired to know what to do.
Should I stay or should I go? If I go there could be trouble, if I stay there will be double...from disappointed children.
So what would you do?
Drafted very early on Saturday morning