I'm seriously doubtful that Charlie will return to some more agreeable (at least from a parental perspective) sleep schedule from, oh, 10pm - 7am or to regularly sleeping all the way through the night. After going to sleep around 8pm on Monday, we heard him getting out of bed at 3.51am Tuesday morning.
Fortified by recent experience, we told him (fully dressed and standing besides his shoes in the living room) that we'd be hanging in the house till 5am, at the earliest. I proceeded, in auto-mom fashion, to boil a kettle of water and wash out a rice pot in the sink. I kept the dimmer switch for the kitchen light low.
"Bedtime." I heard Charlie. He was still standing in the living room with his hands over his ears, head pointed toward downward. He stood almost completely still for a minute and then went up the (creaky) stairs.
And back to bed. I could hear him chattering for about an hour, but he was definitely back to sleep by 5am. 'Natural noise' plus the iPod timer woke him by 8am and we made it school at 5 minutes to 9.
After school, I picked up Charlie and we made a little McDonalds run at the location that is kind of our favorite (because it was renovated into a sparkling McCafe and because, for some reason, it charges less---ok, just by a few cents---than all the other locations we have patronized) (and believe you me, we have been in the drive-thru lane of many a Garden State Golden Arches). We went home, I got the mail, Charlie took off his shoes and betook himself straight to his bedroom, and was quite asleep by 5pm.
As you may know from the various posts I've written on this whole sleep topic, we've long considered naps next to anathema for Charlie. He stopped napping when he was a toddler; whenever he's napped, it's tended to mean a super-late bedtime and, consequently, a super-un-fun start to the school day due to having a rouse a super, super, super sleepy boy out of bed. But as noted, a late sleep most likely portends sleeping through the night, rather than a 1am wake-up which really does a number on the sleep, and therefore functioning, habits of all members of our small household.
Tuesday afternoon, I kept some music playing while Charlie napped. This had no effect at all as far as waking him so I set the iPod touch timer, placed it on Charlie's bed, and went to grade papers. Charlie started to wake up around 5.40pm and then was definitely awake by just after 6pm.
And all set for a long walk, all 4 1/2 miles of it.
Charlie went sans winters, refusing my offer of a blue sweat jacket, but looking apiece with the other boys his age we passed running around with lacrosse sticks. He broke into a run several times and I concluded, he may well be thinking, when he gets too cold, just run. Fast.
Back home just as the sun was setting, we got in the car to make a trip, via a roundabout route, to the post office. Charlie issued lots of "I want" 's as we passed various groceries stores, but was nonchalant when I kept driving. I've been keeping the fridge fairly well-stocked with things he likes and we spent the rest of the evening in very peaceful style, with music and typing, and sushi. By a quarter after 9, Charlie wanted to go to bed and, after some tossing and turning, he was sleeping soon after 10pm.
If he wakes at 2.14am, what to do?----check.
If he's still in slumberland at 7.50am, what to do?---check.
If he wakes up right now as this post posts (just after midnight)---back to the drawing board?
Like I said, progress, not perfection.