OH. NO! What If He Stays Like This Forever?

I have learned so many things during in my two short years of parenting. One of them being, you take the good with the bad, and be thankful for your blessing... no matter how spirited. 

I hate to say it, but I wish my boy was just a little more... cautious? calm? I'm not sure of the word, because I do love him so much and am so proud of him, but sometimes, I wish he would take it down a notch or twenty. Ever since I can remember my kid has been running from me.  Fearlessly turning corners well before me, running and hiding in stores he has never been in, climbing every stair and ladder he comes across, and then trying to jump off. And while I am so thankful for his abilities and sturdiness on his feet, it's challenging being the mother of the kid who is so busy on his feet.
18-months-old. PEACE OUT, MOMMY!
It bugs the crap out of me that it's next to impossible to hold him for two minutes while I have a conversation with an adult. Or when I turn away for thirty seconds I find him trying to do a cannonball off the back of the couch, or combing up then jumping from retaining walls that are two feet high,. Yes, I am so proud of his athletic abilities and fearlessness--to a certain degree.  It's just that I wish this wild and fearless behavior was not what seems to be 95% of the time!

Just yesterday, FTD and I met the greatest couple with a little boy who is 6-months older than Ollie.  Instantly we all became fast friends. Which, is surprising since the majority of the time I was chasing or reprimanding Ollie, or when I stopped for a brief moment to talk, having to explain why I was not chasing him three yards away or yelling NO! While,it was very embarrassing, after a year of dealing with his "spirited" nature, I'm used to just smiling through the insanity. Plus, I have learned to choose my battles, and not chase after him since it usually proves fruitless. It jus sucked that the whole time her little boy was within arms reach of her, and sweet as can be.  I couldn't help but be a little jealous.

This was taken on his 1st birthday!
Already hauling ass. 
Since clearly my kid never runs out of steam, I cannot help but wonder, what if this is not a toddler phase... What if my kid is a wild ass daredevil for the rest of his life? What if I am raising the next Evil Knievel? Seriously, what if this is not a phase, but only a warm-up of what's to come?

I really don't have any desire to be the mom on the playground begging her son to get down from the roof of the school, or explaining that trying to jump a bike from one roof to another because they look close enough to do it, is a bad decision. More or less, I don't want to spend the rest of my life saying, NO! or begging my kid to not jump off the roof in make shift bird wings.
It took him 3 seconds to get up there. 

Truthfully, the hardest part of all of this, is trying to figure out how to parent him through this. Do I yell no all of the time an make him walk next to me, even if that does mean one of those backpack leashes, or do I let him run ahead and climb the stairs?  Sometimes I think I should just be full-on mean mom for as long as it takes to make him walk next to me and not climb on things, but then I wonder if I am being overly sensitive. Sometimes, when I am positive he is being psycho toddler, an employee at a store will say, Oh no, he is actually really good. You should see the kids who come through here.

I try hard to remind myself that he is two, and nuts... and full of wild happy energy... and a love for life, and that's an AWESOME thing. And yes, as much as it makes me a little crazed at times, I would not want to inhibit his abilities and natural happiness to make my life a little easier. All I know for sure, I hope this really is a phase and that eventually he will run ahead a little less, climb fewer things, and jump from lower structures, and hopefully all of this happens before I rip out all of my hair and lose my mind.

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April is an award-winning writer and blogger. Her work has been published in over ten countries and four languages. From books to newspapers, to print/online magazines and everything in between, you can find her work. For more on April, Visit AprilMcCormick.com


Mrs. K said...

I loved this! You are not alone, I feel the same way!!! I feel like I'm constantly saying "no" too. I don't have a boy but I have a 4yr old DD whos is super high energy and athletic, some days I think she may as well have been a boy lol She used to run away in stores, she turned that down 1 notch lol. Drives me nuts that shes not calmer and more girly, I have to run after her all the time too. Forget bows and pretty dresses, it lasts all of two minutes before she's dirty and the bow is missing lol But like you said, when I think I'm being and overly mean mother someone compliments her on her behavior, and it gives me hope and encouragement. I did hear that theres a switch that takes place when kids hit puberty, the wild ones mellow out and the mellow ones get wild? I'm praying its true because I don't know if I can handle DD as a teenager lol :P

Christy Garrett Uplifting Families said...

I will say that my oldest son was a brat, dare devil, and annoying when he was a toddler. I turned my back for a few minutes and that boy was INTO EVERYTHING. It got better as he got older and he stopped climbing the walls. He has a few new quirks but he isn't hell on wheels like he was as a toddler. I wish you luck mama and hope that he grows out of it.

April McCormick said...

Hi Christy! The brat factor is exactly why I am so hyper-sensitive to his behavior, especially in public. I refuse to raise a brat. Don't get me wrong he has his bratty moments, but for the most part those moments are the ones I stop to address immediately. I hope the high energy does come down a notch of two with age, in fact, I am praying for it nightly!

April McCormick said...

HA! Wouldn't that be a nice turn of events... All those mothers with perfect angels looking down at me and the wild one, will be the ones with the wild one in a few years! HAHAHAHAHAHA! I would be so happy if my kid mellowed out at the teenage years, it would be an easy trade-off for all these years of spirited-ness!

Smash Attack Ash said...

My little boy is only 3 months, so I have no advice. However, I do know of the 1-2-3 Magic technique (http://www.123magic.com/) and have taught it to parents (I'm a social worker). It is truly effective if used consistently. 2 years old is the perfect time to start, too. Maybe it's something to look into? I say this with a grain of salt because I have not used it on my own child, so I won't pretend to understand the difficulties you are experiencing. I do know that it will be way harder for the parents to be consistent and not give in, so it will take a lot of work on your part. I've seen the struggles my clients go through! There's also the limit setting technique (example: http://www.santacruztherapist.net/Articles/Setting%20Limits.html), which can also be useful. I've used this in a group setting with ADHD kids, who definitely bounce off walls!

I think he sounds pretty average as far as his energy goes. I'm both excited and fearful of when my little guy gets to that stage. Much luck to you and FTD. :)

Christina said...

Sound like a he has a lot of energy. Hopefully he can find ways to keep active such as running around and when he is a little older sports.

mel b said...

Sometimes moms with the quiet kids wish they were a little more adventurous. Maybe Ollie and the new kid will be good influences on each other ;)