For all that he's so active -- Charlie and Jim rode over 50 miles on their bikes this past weeked, with two good rides on Sunday -- Charlie often seems little tired out despite all that exercise. Sometimes -- as has happened in the past few days -- he has conked out in the middle of the day. This is fine from a 'getting some rest' perspective, and not so great from a 'getting to bed before 1am' perspective.
Charlie was never much of a napper when he was a baby and toddler. He generally didn't have any sleep problems until the past few years, when he became an adolescent. Not only did he go to sleep by 9 or 10 pm when he was little, but he was a heavy sleeper and slept all through the night. Since he was about 11, though, Charlie's sleeping has become much more erratic, with very late bedtimes; occasionally falling deeply asleep in the middle of the day for a few hours and then being quite unable to go to sleep until very, very late; sleeping very lightly.
I guess I should just be thankful we got a lot more sleep in when Charlie was younger!
Sunday night was the first time in several days that Charlie didn't nap and also went to sleep around 10pm and (so far, it's 1am as I write this) has stayed asleep.
Up till very recently, Charlie being up till 1 or 2am meant that we not only had to be up, but we had to keep him occupied. Indeed, last year, we ended up going on many a walk under the stars when Charlie couldn't sleep. The iPad has helped to keep Charlie occupied when insomnia strikes; I suppose the music and videos might be over-stimulating and keeping him up more, but there's a paucity of other things for him to do in the middle of the night. Certainly listening to music and watching videos or some such seems pretty 'typical' ways that adolescent males like to pass their time (like one of my students who kept missing class because, as he himself told me, he was playing video games all night).
One drawback of staying up so late is, of couse, that it's not so easy to wake up in the morning. Charlie is routinely late for school for this very reason. While, once upon a time, we could carry him out of bed and into the car, those days are long gone; when he was 11, our very insistent efforts to get Charlie up resulted in massive early-morning fracas that left everyone teary-eyed and worse before it was 8am. So the school knows, and is all right with, Charlie arriving at school whenever he gets there. Indeed, after getting there even later than usual last week, the aide who came to get Charlie laughed and said 'I guess now that he's a teenager, he's decided to sleep like one!"
Sunday was kind of a day to want to loll around on the couch. It was gray and much cooler than it has been. Indeed, after a long afternoon bike ride -- Charlie actually cut it a bit short, turning to pedal back home before they'd gone quite as far as Saturday -- Jim told me that it almost seemed time to turn on the heater.
While they were out, I came across a silly book you may have heard of, described here, about the 'bedtime blues'; the book is something of a satirical send-up of all those pretty picture books -- including the likes of Charlie's old favorite, Goodnight Moon -- about 'time for bed.' Funny thing is, early Sunday, I swear I heard Charlie saying (without the greatest articulation; I could tell what he meant by the rhythms of his voice and a few vowels like the 'ow' in 'cow') some lines from Goodnight Moon. And lately, one song he keeps playing on his iPad is 'Israelites' by Desmond Dekker; it starts with the words 'Get up in the morning, slaving for bread, sir, so that every mouth can be fed' -- guess you could say, Charlie is quite aware of the business of going to sleep and getting up.