Monday, October 25, 2010

A Dilemma

I need your advice.


I like the way you people think.

It's M1.

Last Friday, we took M2 to school and came home. M1 announced that he wanted to go take a nap. Now, usually I say okay, and he goes to his room and reads for 30 minutes and comes out and tells me he's slept and I go along with the charade and we start school and go from there.

This time, he slept.

He didn't just sleep, either. I *WOKE HIM UP* at 11:15 because I wanted him to be able to sleep at night and I insist on doing at least math and writing each day because those are his weak points - math because he has a hard time focusing (hello, caffeine!) and writing because his fine motor skills are lacking (though I have recently discovered he has a true love for the Handwriting Without Tears' tiny pencils).

Anyway, he slept just fine that night with a little melatonin, and he woke up on Saturday around 7 a.m., which is normal for weekends.

This morning, we took M2 to school, and we came home, and he again announced that he wanted to sleep. I had just put brand-new fleece sheets on his bed, and the sensory side of the boy was dying to wrap itself up, so I told him to go for it. He sacked out. I checked on him a couple of times, but he was dead to the world. I decided to do an experiment just to see how long he'd sleep. He woke up about 11:30.

The up side of letting him sleep like this is that he does seem to focus on his schoolwork better, which is good because he's been extremely fidgety and unfocused lately, which usually accompanies a growth spurt (NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!), and I know sleep is helpful.

The down sides are more numerous, but I'm not sure their merits are as strong. First, we don't get started on schoolwork until he wakes up, which means that sometimes we have to take a break to go get M2 or run errands, and then it's debatable whether we get to complete anything or not after that because if M2 is home, she's 5 and his brand of schoolwork - which he loves! - just isn't her bag, baby, and she won't let him work in peace, and he does get frustrated when he gets 'behind' in a subject, which causes stress, which causes him to get in trouble when he acts out because he wants to push himself and M2 is irritating him. (How's that for a run-on sentence??) I *can't* let him sleep on Thursdays because he has a swimming lesson at noon, and he needs lunch before we go. Oh, and I have guilt about sending M2 to school where she only gets a small rest even though I know that logically she'd NEVER sleep at home, anyway, but that's really not a down side, that's just me having guilt because I'm good at guilt.

So do I let him sleep? Do I have him do some schoolwork first, then let him nap, then have him do the rest (like math) when he wakes up? Do I insist on a regular work-rest-pick up your sister schedule that won't screw with his nighttime sleeping patterns? What do you all think?


Mom on the Verge said...

Okay, so he's sleeping 12 hours a day. Hmm. He apparently needs the sleep. Can you get him to go to bed earlier and sleep some of the extra time at night?

Past that, I'd say he'll catch up on his sleep within a week or so, and I'd just work around it. Make sure he's getting some exercise and not sneaking Monster Cola while you're not looking, and then just make sure he doesn't make it a full-time life choice.

(Believe me, I know how horrible it is to have a non-night-sleeping child. The Girl used to wake at 2:00 am and party until 5:00. Then she just started sleeping in our bed during those hours. Now, she just sleeps on the couch with PBS on the TV. We're working toward getting her back in her room. So, I feel your fear.)

When he wakes up, his sister bugs him while he's working. Umm. Make her quit? Move him somewhere quieter? And don't worry about his sister's lack of naptime. She's apparently fine -- rested enough to make him crazy, anyway.

Anonymous said...

I'd let him sleep for a bit, if he IS having a growth spurt he is probably tired. Judging by how much bigger he is than Connor ;) he has some doozy growth spurts! And yeah, don't worry about M2, she is just fine I'm sure, doesn't sound like she needs much. Like MOTV said, as long as he doesn't make a habit of it and it isn't messing with his nighttime sleep too much I'd let it go for now. :D I'm glad it seems to be helping his focus!