False Envy

I’ve had a few folks tell me lately, especially when they see I’m more active online in the evenings, that they’re jealous that my kids are in bed so early.

And truthfully – the Monster is usually in bed by 7:30, and R shortly thereafter.  It’s a good thing… kind of.

The fact of the matter is, though, that it’s because the Monster sticks to his schedule.  He knows that he goes to bed at a certain hour, and so if it gets to that point, he starts asking to go to bed.  (More like telling us that it’s time for him to go to bed.)  Even when we’re willing to let him stay up later, he’s usually insisting by 7:30ish that it’s bedtime.  I don’t believe in his younger brother staying up much longer after that, so R goes to bed straightaway afterwards.

And this has drawbacks.  Like a lot of parents of children with Autism, there’s no guarantee he’s going to stay asleep all night.  Saturday morning was a case in point – he got up at 5 AM and was making sufficient noise that he woke R (meaning he woke everyone).  Of course, we ignored them as long as we could, but… at a certain point, you have to get up.

But it’s just weird to me.  I have friends who ask me how we “managed” to train them to go to bed at an early hour, or who tell us straight out that they’re jealous that our kids go to bed at a reasonable hour.

And.. I have to admit that occasionally, we’re jealous of them.  We’d love to have two kids who fight with us about going to bed, rather than one who is so rigid about his schedule that he’s actually telling us when it’s bedtime.  Or two children who try to bargain their way to a later bedtime, or who try to sneak around so they don’t have to go to bed (like my sibs and I did).

Don’t be jealous that the Monster’s in bed every night at an early hour.  Hope, like we do, that he’ll learn to break out of this strict scheduling.

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