Taming toddler energy

toddler in balloon hat

Roy’s activity level hit an all-time high over the weekend. Think: Energizer Bunny on crack. I miss the little snugglebuns who used to sit complacently on my hip. Now, in under a minute, the squirming starts, and then the pleas of, “Walk? Walk? Walk?” Though technically, he means run. Run like the wind, as fast as those chubby little toddler legs will take him.

Clint and I spent hours at a local festival chasing him. It was at a large, grassy park, and attendance was fairly sparse, so we didn’t worry about him disappearing or anything. It was only a matter of tag-teaming the chase in order to keep our energy levels up. One of us could talk with friends, listen to music, or just relax, while the other followed him around as he made a mad dash for the band’s electrical cords, then the feral black cat, then the crabby folks’ cooler. Why oh why does it always have to be the cooler that belongs to the crabby folks?

We had a good time at the festival, just in a very different way than we ever have before. I noticed that we’ve developed a few strategies to help keep the mood up and our sanity in tact.

1) Chase. If you perform the “I’m Gonna Get You” dance well, he won’t even notice you’re steering him away from that older kid’s super-pointy craft project, tempting him there on the grass.

2) Engage, kid-style. Improvise with what’s around you. Caterpillars? Rocks? Tree bark? All worth a shot. We were lucky enough to have a balloon-animal twister at our disposal, who bought us whole minutes.

3) Feed. We’d counted on more and varied available food. Mistake. We later vowed to always bring a selection of healthy snacks that, when eaten together, could stand in for dinner. All that running needs fuel, and without it come serious crabby-crashes. Bonus: No standing in line.

Then there’s always the option we’re employing more and more often: Leave him at home with a sitter. We did that Friday night (thanks, Mom!) and actually got to spend time in a place other than our home, standing relatively still and talking with each other.

That, thankfully, was the same kind of fun it’s always been.

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Tags: | Categories: Development, Food, Fun, Love And Diapers, Travel

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  1. by Eileen

    On June 8, 2011 at 11:36 pm

    I think that the snack lesson is going to serve you well for quite a few years. Never leave the house without some easy to travel, healthy, well liked snacks. It can make all the difference : )

  2. by Berit Thorkelson

    On June 9, 2011 at 11:07 pm

    Yeah, I can’t believe I’m a year along in the game and decided to rely on fair food. Never again!

  3. by Laurie Moulton

    On June 11, 2011 at 6:01 pm

    I have two crazy boys, and although they are 5 and 7 now, they still have tons of energy!

    The upside is that it has caused me to become very creative in an attempt to channel that energy. This week we read Where the Wild Things Are and had a “wild rumpus” in the backyard to use some of that energy. Very fun!

  4. by Berit

    On June 11, 2011 at 7:07 pm

    Well, clearly I’m going to have to stay creative!