Maybe it is just because I am always sprinting full pelt trying to stop my little pocket rocket from running off the ends of the earth - or into a road - but it does seem my toddler has at least twice as much energy than others his age.
Boy he can move, as demonstrated at my in laws recently when, upset at the thought that I was downstairs and he was upstairs, he launched himself at the stairs and tumbled head over heels to the bottom. No one could have stopped him at the rate he was going. Thankfully, everything was carpeted and it wasn't a big flight of steps but rather unpleasant non-the-less.
But it was at our local soft play, housed in a garden centre, that I admitted defeat and concluded that sometimes I simply cannot keep up with this little one. I paid for a one-hour session, and he trotted off, shoeless, to roll around and let off some steam among the oversized sponge shapes, ladders and slides. This was all fine for ten minutes at the most but pretty soon, having seen me sipping my decaf latte through the glass just outside, he decided that he didn't want to be in there, he wanted to be out in the shop, running around in between the rows of displayed china and climbing on the sacks of compost.
Fair enough, I thought at first, he wants to explore, but after fifteen minutes of me running after him, herding him away from breakables and giving every impression of a mother who was out of control to all the customers, which I am afraid to say I was, I admitted defeat.
Hot, sweating, red-faced (in both senses), we put our coats on and left my poor friend and her altogether much calmer boy alone to finish her coffee in peace. I could almost feel the sighs of relief from those around as we made our exit, particularly from the woman on the next table who rather unkindly I thought put her fingers in her ears while the little man protested at his break for freedom being cut short. Okay he was loud but she could have hidden her discomfort a bit more for the short time I took a rest to get togged up and ready to leave - or not sit right by a children's play area?
I got home feeling rung out and filled with different emotions. Frustration at what the afternoon had turned into. Wonder at why he felt the need to escape when all the other kiddies played nicely in the soft play. Guilt at having got angry with him. And admiration, for while his energy levels can at times be difficult, it is a part of him that I love. He knows his own mind, he is confident, he is not afraid to go off and explore. Exhausting as that can be, it is a side of his personality I would run a mile to crush. And the other day, I reckon I covered a fairly good distance doing just that.