Twice now when I've picked up B from school the teacher has commented - laughingly - how he came to school bouncing off the walls and they had to tell him repeatedly to settle down and/or take him outside to run off his energy. I'm so used to him being like this that I don't even think about it; I only notice on the rare occasion that he's not like that, how shocking it is when he sits quietly or is gentle or contemplative. The other day when he was watched for a few hours by a sitter and then I had a few hours with him before heading out to my next gig, I was dreading having to take him out somewhere or dealing with him climbing the walls at home. To my surprise he pulled out some books and read them quietly, then spent ages stacking and playing with packs of wipes. He never does this. And I had a moment of, oh my God, is this what other kids are like?
Our typical day involves letting B out of his room in the morning to have him immediately run all over the house screaming, banging into walls and kitchen appliances, smacking into me hard and trying to pull me into the floor, stomping on my feet and hitting and kicking me repeatedly. Evenings are like this as well. Try getting this Tasmanian devil to sit down and eat, brush his teeth, put on socks and shoes, etc etc...it's a Herculean task.
Is my kid hyperactive? I don't think so, although the jury is still out. I think he's high energy but I don't think he's unusual from what I've observed in other boys his age. But oh my God would my life be easier and more enjoyable if I had a quiet little kid who built model airplanes and worked on puzzles. Most days I just can't handle being a punching bag all day long, I really can't.
Still and all, I know his energy, and spunk and defensiveness, are good qualities for later in life. I see little boys who let other kids take their toys or get pushed around and do nothing, and I worry about them. Bumpus...Bumpus'll cut a bitch.
For now I can only channel his energy in positive directions, be thankful for the quiet moments, and pray for the day his brother is big enough to be his grappling partner.