My 2-year-old daughter is a hyper-active Goblin.
Let me define to you what hyper active means in a toddler-friendly vocabulary.
Not that she’s medically diagnosed with hyper activity disorder type— NO, she’s just super active.She has this thing like a green-blue-yellow-purple goblin inside her that makes her moves so fast, so lithe, always on the go and full of energy. She’s a picture of curiosity,touching, exploring, wiggling, running, climbing hyper-type of toddler. An active fireball monkey disguised in an angelic face. I remember so well that when I was pregnant with her, I always hide my bump in my desk at work because she makes my bump looks like there is an alien about to pop. She gets hard numerous times in a day and my bump looks scary. Maybe that’s the reason why she’s in transverse position and did not rotate even though I was induced for labor for almost 3 days!
She started cruising early , learned to walk at 10.5 months I think, and already attempting to run. She climb out of her crib and fell once so we immediately switched her crib into a bed. Back then in Kuwait, we live in the 7th floor, she loves to climb the flight of stairs by herself automatically. I know that she’s a climber when at 11 months,she mastered climbing the steep Dutch stairs.
I thought only boys are active. I am mistaken. What I read online was a LIE.
My little girl has the stamina, speed and enthusiasm of a toddler-athlete. Always on the go.She runs everywhere.She can’t sit still for longer than a minute especially during feeding so a high chair for us is a must, but not too long.Later on, I saw her standing on her chair, she managed to remove the strap, I don’t know how, but she did it. She runs like crazy the moment I let go of her hand and start looking into my purse for my keys. I dropped my iphone three times already and changed the screen because of panic that she might be ran-over by a car or that she bump into something. She can dance and jump in muddy puddles the entire day and still jumps around once we get inside the house.
Whenever we are out, I am always doing ‘the check’. I look out for doors that can she can open, handles that she can turn, open stairs, glass doors, and especially breakable, fragile items she can run into. As of this stage, it would be a disaster if I go grocery shopping without a stroller, alone. I am afraid that I might pay for damages for broken things. In a restaurant, my eyes scanned the area for any possible danger zones, or things that she might find ‘interesting’, like a table already set-up with knives and cutlery. She can easily get loose if nobody’s watching her. One time I caught her licking the knife!
My real definition of horror: She managed to run so fast while I am closing the door while we need to get into the elevator in our building. She’s on top of the stairs, scaring the horror out of her already-half-traumatized mother. I screamed so loud and cut my lips when I tripped myself running like amok to grab her before she make the next move. I was shaking after that incident and never leave her loose in the hallways. EVER. Not again!
The moment you take a walk with her, she zoom like a fireball, cruising like a maniac and touching everything that goes on her way. Leaves, walls, garage doors, trees, plants–anything.We have a garden but when I let her play there, she climbs the gate leading to the main side street and crawl to the holes in the hedges where the cats go. She’s a pure genius! She can even roll the lawnmower If i will just let her. She loves anything that wiggles, ran after a dog, and count all the cars in our neighborhood plus I need to say the color of each cars.
She climbed out from her crib at around 9 months, you see that photo above, yes, that’s her trying to do acrobat stunts, testing how sturdy her crib was, or was she looking for her Poo bear that fell out. She has a very strong grip of things that she stayed in this position for a minute I think. One time that I let her be alone, she’s already on top of the table, dancing, and playing with the roller shutters.
Going into a friend’s house can be a daunting experience, especially if they don’t have kids like her or they don’t know my daughter’s personality. Our decors and furniture now were set to minimal. Nowadays, we can only eat in peace out in a restaurant if there is a play area nearby. Nearby means it’s beside our table–that is why we love dining out in our local restaurant here that has a play area, like for example in Dinea in Galleria, or doing some shopping in DM where in they have a play area right inside the shop. Total lifesaver!
Honestly, I love to but I don’t really feel comfortable leaving her to be watched (even for a short time) by anyone who doesn’t know her REALLY well. Even friends who we regularly see don’t necessarily realize the speed at which my daughter can do, and how quickly she can get herself into precarious situations due to attempts at climbing, investigating, or get herself drowned because she wanted to dive right into every fountain she sees.
We’ve enrolled her in a dancing class and guess who becomes famous the very first day? Yup! She doesn’t need introduction because everyone knows her name in an instant. We became the center of attention from other parents and kids because we ‘make the best moves ‘ all the time!
Does this sounds like your kid too ?
If this looks like your tot, here are some practical things we do to handle the worries and anxieties and embracing the energy of my hyper attached tiny Goblin. I realized that not all mothers do the “check”as I did, only those parents with an active child. So here it is:
- Treat your child like a dog! – We make it a point that she goes out at least an hour everyday and let her loose in a place where in she can climb, run like crazy and just burn her energy. This way, she can sleep fast because her energy is depleted.
- Avoid putting yourself and your child to uncomfortable situations– Make playgroups outdoors, as much as possible in places where your child can have more freedom of spaces where she can be herself without damaging yourself and your child be branded as ‘misbehaving’. I try not to bring her to functions where in there is limited activity or crowded places that she might easily get bored and create scenes. I am so thankful that here in Germany, we have play grounds ( Spielplatz ) in almost every corner. We avoid libraries and crowded malls.
- Choose activities which feeds her curiosity and the ones you can comfortably handle – We are engaging in Creative Dancing Class or Tanzmaus. Here in Germany, there are so many activities that are suitable for active kids to satisfy their energy such as gymnastics, swimming etc.Find one that suits your schedule best.
- Embrace the positive side of being an active child – Her hyper activity makes her personality so different, so unique and special.She is the perfect companion in my Wandertags. She loves nature and being out so you can count on her being out for longer hours. Give her a box of Duplos, Legos , wooden blocks, and books and even by that she can still rock! I can’t count numerous times that we got comments from strangers on her being so friendly and sweet, she could be active, but she’s not the annoying-agressive type.
- Remind yourself that toddler stage is temporary – Every child will outgrow toddlerhood . Eventually, you won’t be running after your child anymore. You will realize that time flies so fast that your adorable munchkin no longer asks for your company and becomes independent. I know things will change for her this year that she’ll be in Kindergarten soon and she’ll have more educational and social interactions.
My life with my active toddler had been a roller-coaster ride for the past 2 years. Our long haul flights together are as unforgettable as it could be and she is such a jet-setter! I know that it’s still early years of her toddler life, but the wisdom of just being around such a positive energy is both challenging, yet the most fascinating joys of motherhood.
Have you ever been around with active kids?
Photos in this post are from my Instagram feed. If you’re on Instagram, follow me for more Expat life stories ! Thank you and see you there!