The Lovable Bed Bug

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I feel a shiver on my arm.

I search for the blanket to cover my new-found cold feeling, but it isn’t there.

About an inch from my face I feel *SNIFF!*

I open my eyes and see black.  As they come into focus I see a cheek and an eyeball searching mine.

“Your eye is open.”  It’s Delcan.  He is awake.  I turn to see the clock.  2:48 AM.  I close my eyes and let out a big sigh.

“Doesn’t mean I am happy about it,” I retort.

.”You get your shower now,” his normal ‘I am awake at 3 AM’ suggestion for me.

“No shower.  I close my eyes now.  It is bedtime.  If you want to stay here, you will close your eyes, too.”

“Okay,” he says and I feel him lay down.

I settle back in to bed, slightly more squished, and take a deep relaxing breath.

Then the kicking war begins.  My daughter, Catelyn, sleeps with me so my husband can avoid the 3 AM wake-ups and get enough sleep for work.  Declan must’ve kicked her while settling in, and she wasn’t happy about it.  Sibling retaliation leads to a kicking war.

Then Declan moves so he is perpendicular in the bed.  He uses my side as his brace and 2 leg pushes Cate out of bed.

“Stop it!” She yells from the ground and climbs back in bed.

“Alright, everyone in, heads on pillows!” I scold.

We all settle in.  We all take a deep breath.  We all start the process of clearing our minds for sleep.

Declan must have forgotten what he was supposed to be doing because I feel him sit up.  I realize he brought toys in the room with him earlier as he begins to play.

His play turns into a search.  A rotate left.  A rotate right.  “Where is it?!?”

“Where is what, Declan?”

“My Spiderman Potato Head legs!”

Oh great.  He brought in his superhero potato heads.  With parts.

On come the lights.  The legs are found and handed back to Declan.  Off go the lights.

5 minutes later he is still playing with his potato heads.  Until:

“Where are they?  The legs are gone again!”

“Declan, just lay down and go to sleep.”

“I NEED MY SPIDERMAN POTATO HEAD LEGS!”

The screaming startles me awake and probably woke up everyone in the house.  The lights go on.  The legs are found and returned.

“Declan, why don’t you go back to your room and play with your potato heads on the floor.”

“Okay…”

Bobby and Declan share a room.  Thankfully both like to sleep with the light on.  Bobby sleeps in the top bunk, and probably wouldn’t be too effected by potato head play.

All bedroom doors stay open so I can hear Declan play.  So I know where he is.

5:30 AM comes way too soon.  I get up and peek in on Declan to see Declan has squeezed himself in with Bobby on the top bunk.  Bobby opens one eye, looks at me and closes it again.

I am tired.  I have an awful morning run, but finish it.

Bobby comes down at 6:45 like a zombie.  He turns on Sport Center and lies on the couch.

Catelyn comes down with a head of wild hair and eyes that are slits.  She combs her hair a thousand times, yet Albert Einstein up it stays.  I give her a big smile and 2 thumbs up.

Off to school they go and Declan still sleeps.  As I am putting the boy’s clean laundry away I hear something fall from the top bunk.  Spiderman Potato Head.

I leave Declan’s room and continue my morning chores.  Until I hear,

“Oh no, where is it?!?  My Spiderman Potato Head is gone!!”

“Who is that I hear?” I joke around.

“My name is DECLAN!” I hear back.

And I smile.  Another fun Declan day lays straight ahead.

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4 thoughts on “The Lovable Bed Bug

  1. How long do the sleep disturbances usually last – the long awake play time and the little sleep? Does co-sleeping help him relax and subsequently fall asleep?

    1. Declan is usually awake for 2-3 hours if he gets up in the middle of the night. To my understanding, the sleep disturbances in general will continue for the rest of his life. We currently give him a hefty dose of Melatonin to sleep (approved by our Doctor, of course) and understand that prescribed sleeping aids may be next, which I would like to avoid due to side effects. Sometimes co-sleeping helps him fall back asleep sooner, and since we all want him to go back to sleep, we are all willing to try co-sleeping with him. Willing to try anything!

    1. If I were to pick the top 5 ways autism has affected our family, sleep would be up there. Declan wakes up for hours at a time, even on night time sleep aids. He was up again last night from 3AM-5AM. I am the one dragging now, yet, he is ready to go!

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