Thursday, September 01, 2005

Good Boy

I have written here occasionally about what an angelic baby Isaac was. And I have also hinted at how that all changed once he became mobile.

By 6 months old, he was army-crawling all over the place--into the cat-food, the toilet, the CD player, the speaker wire. He walked at 1 year, and was running soon after. By 16 months old he could open doors and get himself outside without my help. He is really curious, I guess, and energetic, and these qualities make it likely that he will "get into" whatever there is to get into, no matter where I hide it. He gets bored easily, so sitting quietly reading books or playing with his toys does not appeal to him. He has seen those toys already! He needs new toys, new experiences. He actually gets bored of the playgrounds we frequent, forcing me to drive around LA, looking for new ones.

I realize this is fairly typical 2-year-old behavior. However, other moms, comparing him to their own, call him "active", or say things like "Wow, he's really into things, isn't he?" My sister claims he is much more energetic than most 2 year olds, and while I don't believe that, I do think that he is on the high end of the spectrum for that age range.

This has made things difficult at times, especially when Vivian was a baby. I absolutely cannot stay at home all morning long with Isaac. He will go clinically insane if we do not get out and do something before lunch. So I would schlepp him and his newborn sister out to various playgrounds, Target, the grocery store--anywhere so that his boredom would not disintegrate into screaming crying fits, writing on the walls with shaving cream, or ripping the wires out of the TV.

As Vivian got older--oh, and I enrolled him in pre-school!--things got better. Vivian does not require nearly the care she did as an infant, and I have learned how to better manage Isaac. Still, it can be exhausting, constantly trying to find things to entertain him. And also, being so vigilant, since he can open most any door, including, but not limited to, the baby gate.

So you've heard me complain here.

Yesterday I took the kids for a walk in the neighborhood in their wagon. Isaac likes to do things "all by myself", which means that he does not sit in the wagon, put rather pulls it and Vivian around himself, with me walking alongside, trying to steer him back to the sidewalk while he says, "No, Mom can you please not pull it? I pulling it!"

We were walking along--this style of walk is very time-consuming, as you might imagine, and it takes almost an hour to get around the block--and we needed to cross the street. "Okay, Isaac, let Mommy pull now, and hold my hand while we cross the street," I said. He relinquished the wagon handle without complaint (this is HUGE, because he absolutely hates to hold my hand, and often will clapse both hands together in front of him in an effort to thwart me), stuffed his little palm in mine, and across we went. "Thank you, Mom", he said, as we neared the other side, "it's my turn now."

And I thought--you know, he really is a good kid. Every child is challenging in his own way, but I feel really lucky that Isaac is not aggressive, or angry, or impossibly shy. Yes, we have our challenging times, but overall he is just a sweet, mild-mannered boy.

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