Embracing Your Energetic Preschooler

Amy Kuras
April 2, 2009

When we found out the sex of our second child, the conversation almost invariably went like this, “A boy, huh? Watch out, boys are crraaazzzyy.”

And invariably my answer would be “After almost three years with my daughter, I think I am ready for anything a boy can throw at us.”

Our writing prompt for this essay was “I never had brothers — how one mom got over the constant ricocheting of her very physical child.” Well, I did have a brother, and he was definitely the kind of boy that never stopped moving and was practically on a first name basis with the emergency room physicians in the town where we grew up. So I should have been ready for a kid to be a human hurricane.

But when I found out our first child was a girl, I know we were both expecting what most people think of when they think of a girl – docile, not especially active, happy to sit and color or play quietly. A girl like, well, me.

And then she got mobile. She wasn’t especially quick to be on the move –- she crawled and walked at the outside edge of “normal” parameters. But once she started, she never, ever stopped. She runs almost everywhere – just now, at four and change, is she calm enough to mostly walk when she’s supposed to. She gets so worked up when she’s with friends that she sort of wiggles and hops even when she’s just standing and chatting. And let’s just say my thought to name her “Grace” was thankfully abandoned, because that is one attribute she doesn’t have. A frequent sequence of events in our house is as follows: THUD. “I’m okay!” Giggle.

Essentially, after four years of this one, my nerves are shot, and her brother appears to be just as active but in different ways. Here is what I have learned in the time I’ve been mom to Energy Girl:

  • Don’t expect them to sit still, just don’t. Plan for walking around breaks, at a restaurant, at church, at your in-laws' house, wherever. If you know that won’t be possible, make the visit short. And if you are not at all able to control the situation, like at the pediatrician’s office, do everything you can to have backup from another adult. And bribery never hurts.
  • If you’re nervous, like me, let the park visits and physical play come from someone else. I am trying not to infect my daughter with my inherent wussiness, so my husband and dad tend to do a lot of the park trips and so on.
  • And finally, enjoy the kid you have. Yes, she gives me cardiac arrest on a daily basis, but I would not want her any other way. I am proud of my little fearless girl, and when both society and her genes predispose her to obesity I am awfully happy she already has the joy in physical activity it took me until my late 20s to learn. She’s active, busy, and enthusiastic about everything in her world, and that is something that’s going to serve her well. I’ll take a few heart-stopping moments for that any day.
Amy is the Detroit City Editor for The Savvy Source. You can read more of her work every day at Being Savvy Detroit.  

From the Parents

  • Parent # 1

    my goodness i thought you were speaking of my daughter shayla who is going to be 4 in may; every noise i hear im saying are you ok or whats wrong because if it can it will happen to my baby. it is taking a toll on me but never the less i love my girl.

    over a year ago


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