I’m starting to get an inkling of what I’m in for down the line.  I mean, I knew given Keen’s and my respective families that it was a distinct probability, and I remember (in the hazy fog of memory) how my brothers were… but it’s really starting to sink in. 

My son has a lot of energy. 

I didn’t really think he had too much more energy than the average child.  They ALL have energy, especially compared to my tired butt.  And it’s not like he’s one of those excessively hyperactive individuals (like, ahem, Keen’s brother or my dad) but I should have paid more attention when other people started making comments.  People like doctors.  For example…

Doctor:  “Give him this medication and he’ll be fine.  Honestly, I’d be a lot more worried if your son wasn’t playing like normal.”

Me: “What? No, no, this is only half-speed. That’s the first thing that told me he wasn’t feeling well.”

Doctor (eyes popping out):  “This is half-speed?!”  Doctor observes Chance for a minute. “Well, you two are in trouble.”

There were also a few random “Wow, he’s fast!” by passersby at the mall, park, etc., which I wouldn’t have taken seriously except they always seemed to be made by adults accompanied by 2 or 3 older children… you know, seasoned parents. 

I should have clued in then.  I should have noticed that where other kids Chance’s age were “toddling”, he was flat-out running.  I should have more clearly remembered the two of my brothers who were diagnosed with ADD.  (Though in 20-20 hindsight I think they were mis-diagnosed – they both could concentrate on, typically, computer stuff for hours – there is a difference between being hyper and not being able to focus.)  But I honestly didn’t really think about Chance’s energy levels compared to other kids’ (and, more importantly, compared to my own).  Partly because, I think, I did come from a family of hyper people.  I mean, when I was a girl the kids I considered really hyperactive were the ones jumping off the roof of houses and setting things on fire. (Ah, the 70s.)  My brothers didn’t do that.  Except for the occasionally torching of the report card.  (Keen, on the other hand… well, remind me to tell you about his fun with M80s and galvanized metal buckets.)

So I’ve just started Chance at Gymboree.  Today was our third session (or maybe fourth, I can’t remember, I just know what time and day to show up).  It’s pretty basic stuff, mainly playtime with a few “group activities” thrown in.  (The hefty sum you pay is for the privilege of playing with equipment with “Gymboree” stamped on the side.)  I know it takes a while for kids, especially at this age, to get comfortable and start to participate, if they participate at all.  But I noticed that the other little kids who refuse to participate simply find a safe spot on the sidelines and play quietly. Chance, on the other hand, runs around the room in big circles shrieking at the top of his lungs.

While they were doing the freeze dance, he ran around in circles. When they rolled balls down a ramp to learn “top” and “bottom” (or “rocking” and “rolling” – everything is multi-purpose at good old Gymboree), he ran around in circles.  When they did parachute time with all the kids underneath it like a bubble… he ran around the outside of the parachute, in circles. 

You get the idea.  I even noticed some parents discussing how good their kids were at paying attention and following instructions.  I might have imagined the elbow nudges and eye rolls in Chance’s direction, but I’m not certain.  About the only thing he truly participates in is bubble time.  Chance loves the bubbles.

At least he’s happy while he’s running around in circles.  Those ear-splitting shrieks are shrieks of glee, though I might be the only one who appreciates his delight. I think my little love bug in a rug even wears on the teacher after a while.  (Clap your hands, damnit! CLAP!)  Technically, sometimes he does “participate”… after the music’s off and everyone else has left the area.  By the end, Chance is completely pooped.  Which is great, because I am too.  I’m basically living for ice cream and a giant mug of hugely-caffeinated tea at that point. (LOVE his three hour naps after Gymboree, btw, love them!)

I’m starting to get an inkling and it kind of scares me.  He’s small enough to handle now, or at least man-handle.  I’m not so sure later. 

I think I’m in need of a plan.  I’m thinking a lot of structure… and no firecrackers.  (That means you, Keen.)            

                   – the weirdgirl


P.S. Thanks, CJ! It took me a little while, but I didn’t forget your suggestions.