Children, Tolerance and Gratitude

I just wanted to take a moment and thank all you child-tolerant people out there. You can’t imagine the difference it makes to a stressed parent if you’re kind and understanding about a child’s behavior. The relief when you tell us that our kid is fine doing what they’re doing, that they’re not bugging you, is huge. Not that I let me kid run free and swing from the rafters, but…

For those of you who don’t know, Trex is 2. For the first year, he was colicky. Anywhere we went, I was likely to spend my entire time keeping him from screaming endlessly. If we went out to eat, I’d rarely actually get to sit and eat. Instead, I’d be outside, bouncing the little boy up and down the sidewalks. Shopping was like hanging out with a little time bomb.

Now that he can walk and has opinions, I just chase him. Constantly. There’s still a lot of meals I don’t eat if we go out with family, because Trex won’t sit still in a restaurant. He’s rather be out in front of the place, running around trees and rolling in the grass. Now, my kid has manners, but he’s also two. Some days he sits nicely through dinner. Other days, he literally runs circles around me

On days when he’s tired, it gets even…worse? faster? better? As soon as the Trex begins to wear out, he just sprints. The more tired he gets, the faster he runs. He doesn’t run out of juice, either, he’ll keep going until you force him to stop or he hurts himself. It’s tiring for me as well, because I have to monitor him constantly. If we’re out and about, I can’t stop to talk to anybody we’re with, because Trex is busy running into people and sprinting away. I spend all my time apologizing, chasing and excusing us to everyone he gets in the way of.

Today (Saturday), we went to the Scottish games in Woodland. We thought he’d have fun seeing the animals and hearing the music. Although he did have a blast, he started off exhausted and just got faster and faster as the day went on. I did my best to minimize his impact on other people but with a crowded event like that, it’s a chore. Trex tried to run over people while pulling his wagon, gummed up traffic, and talked to strangers to get permission to do things I wouldn’t let him do.

As parents, we are aware of our kid’s behavior. I know he gets up and down, that he runs in front of you, and he gets in the way. I’m sorry and I do my best, but a tired 2 year old eventually wiggles away, or I’m indulging what he wants to keep him from having a screaming meltdown. At this age, parenting is a trade off sometimes. Correcting the behavior, containing the child or forcing him to hold hands and walk can yield results worse than him getting in someone’s way a little bit (trust me, take the running child over the shrieking child).

99% of people were so fabulous today. He can be such a handful and I find it stressful to be out when he’s behaving like that, but I fall in love a little with every single person who waits for him, talks to him, or smiles as he runs by for the 37th time in a row. All of you who tolerate & engage him win the day. I can’t stress what a relief it is to have people not get upset with him. He’s 2. He doesn’t understand space and strangers and crowds, all he knows is that sometimes he wants to dance, even if your toes are there. And when you smile and clap a beat for him instead of getting upset, I melt a little.

So fom parents everywhere, I thank you.

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