The Lad sleeps through the night. But he's trying to boycott naps. He doesn't want to go to bed and then gets up at an ungodly hour of the morning. Keeping him up late doesn't mean he'll sleep in later; he gets up earlier. Skipping a nap doesn't mean an easy bed time; he gets overtired and overexcited and fights bed time even harder. His temper is a little quicker and he gets loud and wild, but he's still a jovial, comic little Beastie.
My mother says I deserve this, that I was much the same as a child. Mom says I gave up naps by the time I was 2. Some times, we allow The Lad to forgo sleep. We let him play quietly in the playroom until his brother is up for breakfast or build block castles during nap time. He just doesn't need sleep quite as much as the rest of us and we live with that.
But other times, he needs sleep for his own good -- Momma is only going to put up with so many tantrums in a single day -- or because we need sleep. And these are the times that, frustrating as they are, make me grateful for Beastie's energetic sleep-fighting.
At nap time, we separate the boys into different rooms and I lie with The Lad. He uses my arm for a pillow and I've learned he'll snuggle up close as long as he doesn't feel trapped by my arms. When The Boy fights sleep, I tell him stories and he listens intently and drifts off. My Beastly Little Lad is too inquisitive for stories. They just keep his mind working. So I sing songs -- Mary Had A Little Lamb, ABCs, You Are My Sunshine and the Beastie Song I made up for him when I bounced him into sleep as an infant.
"You are my bay-bee, you are my son," I sing, stroking his head. "You are my bay-bee, the youngest one.
A half dozen times over and his breathing slows and I shush into his hair, remembering the way his blond fuzz felt against my lips two years ago. He isn't really a baby any more. He's 2 and a half and thinks he's more or less the same age as his 4-year-old brother. He doesn't acknowledge there are things he is too little to do -- unless it's pooing on the potty, in which case he'll tell you that he's NOT a big boy yet. He runs and whacks balls and tells jokes and jumps off steps. He lets the dog lick his plate and his face and his hands. He's still squishy and roly poly, but now when I squish his face, he squishes mine back.
He is not my baby when he's awake. But when he's asleep, he is.
"... You are the Beastie Beast," the song ends. "You are the best."