Monday, June 21, 2010

late night experiment

About nine months ago, I met a local woman with similar interests and she suggested I come over some evening, with River and Mark, for pizza and a movie. I agreed and we tried to coordinate. It took nine months to finally set a date that worked for us both.

In that time, it became less easy to lug a portable crib around and let River get a few hours sleep. He tends to talk to himself for a while upon going down. If we wake him up after an hour or two, it’s painful, both for him and for us.

So I decided to skip the bed accessories and just let him stay up a bit late. We were meeting at 7 and agreed that if we decided to do a movie, we’d go back to our place for that and River could go to bed. I forgot that these friends have European and South American backgrounds, which meant that a simple dinner (without movie) took four hours. At 11 p.m., River came over and put his head on my shoulder and we gobbled down our dessert so that we could leave.

He had a great time and did remarkably well until 11. He was excited and happy and cheerful. We were glad to see that he was flexible and that he could enjoy a late night out like the little Spanish children we’d been around recently.

But it was definitely not easy to get over and took a full day or two to readjust. Maybe it would have helped if I hadn’t waken him at 8 the next morning. But I didn’t want to skip our planned bike ride. He was tired when he woke up and exhausted by noon. When I took him to a park, he ran over to the equipment, but then didn’t go down even a single slide. I think he was too tired.

It wasn’t until the following day that he was more or less back to normal, but we saw the effect that even one night of short sleep had on his ability to function. It’s nice to know we can have a fun night every so often. But I think we’ll save that for extraordinary cases. He is a little boy and he needs his sleep.

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