No, this time it’s not about my sleep (or lack of). We let M go to his first sleepover last night. His friend seems to be one of the nicer boys and he has taken a liking to M. He actually spent the night with M for his birthday a couple of years ago. I had talked to the mom and encouraged her to read my blog so that she would have an understanding of some of the things we deal with and the need for monitoring the boys. I really struggled with whether to let him go or not, not wanting anything inappropriate to happen. I think he did fine, except from what I gather, they slept 2-3 hours then got up and played games and never went back to bed. After M got home he seemed fine, then he crashed in a chair. He was adorably cute, until he got up, completely disoriented, couldn’t speak an English word or answer a question. I sent him to bed this time and woke him up again a couple of hours later. He then fell asleep at least three more times before I made him get up. Then the irritability, disrespect and anger all showed up. On the scale of what we’ve been through before this is not major, but it is a good picture of how he’s not prepared to do all the “normal” kid things. He could have told them he needed to sleep but he chose not to. This is one of my biggest fears, that M knows the right thing to do but will be led astray. Is this a huge deal? No, but life experiences are important. I can talk until I’m blue in the face but if it’s not “stuck” in his heart it won’t matter. Time will tell.
S has also struggled with the sleep issue. I can usually tell immediately when she hasn’t slept well. She can’t think or remember routines or put complete thoughts together. She has been to a couple of church lock-ins, the first one she had a panic attack and threw up. The next one I picked her up at 11 pm so she didn’t spent the night. We have realized that she gets physically sick when she doesn’t get enough sleep. She had a sleepover at a friend’s house and I had to pick her up at 6 am because she was shaking and nauseous, etc. She has only had a few panic attacks, but her first one put her in the emergency room for 7 hours the night before Rachel’s high school graduation. She ended up overnight at her therapist’s house, out of control and completely wired. As the pieces have fallen in place, we realize when she doesn’t verbalize her fears and we miss something, she stops coping and functioning. At least I know how to ward them off, and she has accepted that overnights are not the best thing for her right now.
Just a reminder that all kids are different and as much as we anticipate their reactions we’ll never completely figure out this whole RAD thing. And what part of it is normal child development, albeit very delayed. So we stumble on and pray we get some things right.