After the past couple of weeks, it has become quite apparent that Charlie's regular sleeping hours have become 1 or 2am to whenever we rouse him to get on the bus. The old strategies -- lots of exercise (a good 15-mile bike ride with Jim, a fast-paced run-walk with me), melatonin, carefully orchestrated bedtime routine, quiet in the house -- seem not to be working at all. (Not that they have always worked, for that matter.)
Or rather, Charlie being on the cusp of turning 15, he is adopting decided teenager (if not college student) hours. So far, he seems able to get himself out of bed to board his 7.30am bus, regardless of when he falls asleep (and so far, he does always sleep, at some point).
Charlie has been amenable to staying in the house and mostly in his room and using his iPad: This is quite a change from just the two years when he insisted on round the clock walks and became so frustrated at the hours passing as he lay in bed but could not sleep that behavior storms sometimes occurred at odd hours of the night. While it can be a bit taxing on the parental end to be routinely up rather late for a number of nights in a row, expressing that frustration to Charlie never helps and (as we've learned from painful past experiences) often just makes things worse. Better to be peaceful-easy if sleepy.
These days, Charlie indeed wants to be left to his own devices: While I used to sit, alert and tense, listening to him through hours of insomnia, I've now been working on my computer or reading a book and even, since I am certainly not a teenager, getting some sleep.
(With one ear attuned to our boy, of course.)