I offered Charlie a new word for his vocabulary last night:
He was standing over his iPad (blaring Disney classics) and looking at the yellow-green neon numbers on the Giant Timer iPad app. It had been a good day, with little flares of anxiety at Adapted Physical Education in the morning (Charlie had to go sit away from the other kids on a bench) and then, after an uneventful (in a good way) afternoon, Charlie going up to his room and moving around the furniture. We convinced him, this was not the best of things to do---his queen size mattress is not something anyone wants to move around too much. Then Charlie mde it clear: no bed, no bed.
The immediate future is not without stresses, that's for sure. Charlie is, as ever, looking forward to the impending visit of my parents. At the same time, he is anxious, as he always worries in advance about their departure at the end of the visit. And, I am Greece-bound with nine students in just over two weeks and though I sometimes think he really wants me just to get out of his hair (me having been his constant companion/Chief Botherer for almost 14 years), I rather suspect he will at least miss the routines of things when I'm gone.
Sometimes no social story, no gentle explanations, no device, can assuage.
We went on a walk as Charlie (as he had the previous night) requested. He didn't run eagerly as he had on Monday night but plodded on in an overly dutiful sort of way. At home, even though it was getting really late, he said 'no' to bed and to taking off his sweatshirt and shoes and clothes.
The new parental strategy is the reverse psychology/letting go/if you can't beat 'em join 'em one that wehave been employing much of late. That is, no bed, no problem. We told Charlie we were glad to have his company and so he stood for quite a bit longer with his iPad (now playing the Beatles). At about half-past midnight he went up to his room but didn't sleep for quite some time---looking back, I can say, most unscientifically, that Charlie often seems to have trouble going to sleep on Tuesday night. And having a day off for a holiday on Monday, not to mention all the other anxiety-generating circumstances previously mentioned, did not help.
When he was, at long last, asleep---Charlie is not one of those kids who can go for days without any or very little sleep---I snuck into his room and whisked away the iPad, so I could scrub the screen clean every night and charge the battery, and see how much time was left on the Giant Timer.
Though if Charlie is still sleeping soundly when the timer goes off, I won't be surprised.