We all have our quirks don’t we? whether we’re on the spectrum or not. We all do something that to others looks or sounds absolutely bonkers. For example, I have a completely irrational fear or electric (ironic given I’m from a family of Cable Jointers AKA absolute nutters who work with high voltage live electricity!) My fear leaves me scared of plugging / unplugging electrical appliances and I will; whenever possible avoid it. I can’t remember a trigger as such, but the usual sort of thing like pulling a vacuum cleaner so the cable hangs out of the plug socket and trips out puts me on edge. There was no point that I remember being cool with a plug and then suddenly felt scared of them. What a weirdo I am huh!?
The Monster has many quirks but there is one that has baffled me for a while now. In the summer we took our first family holiday to Devon. Nothing outrageous about that. He slept in his blow-up airbed as he does when we travel anywhere. To avoid any catastrophic damage to his sleep (let’s be honest it doesn’t take a lot to get his knickers in a knot with sleep and to disrupt him for months on end) we kept his bed at the foot of our bed rather than in the spare room, so that if he woke in the night he would feel safer knowing we were there and would settle quicker. Major breakthrough, it worked! He slept relatively well much to my surprise. It’s since we got home things got me completely bemused.
Pre-holiday, The Monster would get himself in and out of bed. We would often spend hours from telling him it was bedtime to him actually settling into bed and going to sleep. He would be up and down like Tower Bridge. All of his toys we’d spent 15 minutes prior putting away were out again. It would generally be a battle of him refusing to stay in bed and us going in and out physically putting him into bed, but alas by the time we had so much as left his room his tiny little feet would be bouncing around his room again, and on particularly irritating occasions he would be hot on our heels running around the entire upstairs….arrggh! The benefit of this routine was that over time he learnt to get himself back into bed when he got tired, or if he didn’t he would fall asleep on his floor playing with his toys and we could manage a transfer to his bed relatively easily. The downside, it wasn’t uncommon for him to still be up at 21.00, despite the bedtime routine happening at 19.00.
For some reason which I am super grateful for, The Monster has never understood that he can get out of bed in the middle of the night. That means he doesn’t come running into our room at all hours…hoorah! It does however mean that I have to make the commute to his room for his frequent wake up calls at all hours of the night.
Each morning The Monster would wake up fresh-as-a-daisy and bounce his way into our room. I love how romantic this sounds. In reality it involves a 2 1/2 stone fireball with absolutely no sense of the word ‘ouch’ or understanding of ‘ your standing on my hair / head / boob / leg etc’ more often than not we get a remote launched in our face to put cartoons on and often when I open my eyes he is stood about a millimeter from my face signing please / thank you holding my phone to look at videos of himself (he’s not vein at all!!)
Since holiday though this has stopped. All of it. From the day we got back, approx 3 months ago. It’s like he doesn’t realise he can get out of bed now (even though he will happily jump on and and off it during the day). I am utterly baffled as to why? Bedtime routine is now dreamy! We follow the same routine we have since, well forever only now when we leave his room and say “night night” he STAYS IN BED. Most of the time he turns over and goes to sleep. What the actual **** is that about!? if and when he wakes in the night which still happens pretty regularly I can just go in and tell him to go back to sleep more often than not (probably jinxed that now!)
The thing I find really bonkers is that he no longer bounces his way into our room fresh-as-a-daisy every morning. Despite me making it sound hellish, I miss it. He whines until one of us goes into him, he will jump out of bed if we stand by his door and poke our head around and then he happily hops over to our room. It’s not like he wakes up grumpy, I can hear him babbling away to himself and occasionally will call him to come into us. Queue the meltdown. I’m not talking a whinge, i’m talking involuntary sobs, the sort that take 15 minutes to go. It’s bizzare, he is petrified that he can hear us but can’t see us. In the 3 months or so that we have been back, he has only come into our room on his own accord twice. How weird is that? I don’t know if there was a trigger but our whole routine around bedtime turned on it’s head. I actually much prefer it now and I’m feeling a little bit uneasy that I am about to jinx it all by throwing it out there for the world to read about it!
Perhaps we need to book another holiday, we might crack sleeping through the night next time…..I know, I know, a step too far!!
Any ideas on why the sudden change? I assume it is linked somewhere to his autism, maybe not. I have no idea! What have you been bemused, baffled and found utterly bonkers by what your little one have done?