Jet. Inventor of words, champion gurner, all round debonair. Never one to rest on his laurels, he is keen to add ‘budding athlete’ to his list of hobbies and interests. Lately, he’s been legging it off at top speed whenever he gets the opportunity, with a typical disregard for his safety. This is driving us to distraction.
“I am going to run this way and that way at the same time!”
Never one to sit still, at all, ever, he is a boy who has to be doing. You could say he’s ‘busy’. Some kind types have said it is a sign of his obvious intellectual superiority, and that this will stand him in good stead. This is the sort of reassurance that the parents of a baby that never sleeps are fed. But my children sleep really well AS WELL AS being extremely busy. Does this mean they are clever or stupid?
If he could put some of that apparent intelligence to good use and make the link between the explicit reward system we have been using consistently for a few months now, that would be great. He now understands that if we are out he must hold the pushchair or hold hands or we will go home immediately. But when it comes to the shops, the penny hasn’t dropped. Not that bright, then!
Now, my boy is tall. He may be three, but he has been mistaken for a five year old. This apparent maturity means that his wrigglyness, although far from ideal, may be fairly acceptable for his chronological age. But it is certainly not what that lady at the shop/park/bus stop would expect to see from a child of his size. Cue the hoisting of judgy pants.
Putting him in the double buggy has ceased to be a viable option some time ago. He is the proud owner of the longest legs in Christendom, and will happily use his feet as a pair of rudimentary chocks in order to stop the wheels from turning.
Image courtesy of toolstop.co.uk
When we are in a queue (aka my worst nightmare) I have a constant stream of questions, challenges, activities to go through with him, in an effort to keep him entertained and distract him from doing one out of the nearest available exit. Can he count how many of those there are? Can he spot a circle anywhere? Can he sing me the alphabet song? What does he think this word might say? Can he show me 4/7/10 fingers? But there is only so long this sort of thing can hold his attention.
Reins have been suggested. We bought him one of these In order to assuage the middle class guilt you feel for inhibiting your children’s liberties, whilst also wanting them to live beyond their fourth birthdays. Ostensibly a device for restraining your child, the attached bag allows you to kid yourself that they will be so bowled over by the concept of being able to keep their stuff in it that they’ll somehow forget about the whole ‘going wherever they want’ preoccupation that dictated their every move up until that point. Surely, freedom itself will become a forgotten concept when compared with the capacious qualities of this reins-come-receptacle? This didn’t wash with Jet. It took him approximately one use for the seams to begin to come apart. A few uses later and it was completely useless. If Little Life are ever looking for an extremely thorough product tester, I am PR friendly blogger 😉
Another thing we have tried is wearing him out. Every morning one of the first of many questions he asks is “Where are we going today?” and we do make sure he always has somewhere to go, for our own sanity as much as his, and the park is a regular haunt of ours. I often feel a great affinity with dog owners as I exercise my boy at the park. Although he does love sticks, luckily I don’t have to clear up his shit anymore.
The thing is, whilst this might take the edge off a bit, the more tired he gets the more unreasonable he becomes. So, if it’s a sedentary afternoon you have planned this is fine. But anything requiring the application of sense and you can forget it. This was in short supply to start with and will have been significantly impaired by tiredness. Not that he runs out of energy. Oh no, he seems to have even more, and without the sense required to put it to good use!
Graph showing the unpredictable, but definitely upward trend of Crazy when plotted against Energy Expended
I feel there is only one option left to us now – no more shops until he grows some sense. Or until they install child-tethering points in Palace Gardens Shopping Centre.