Lately I feel like I have a little hurricane on my hands. She is always running from one activity to another, demanding "up" in the chair and then a moment later pointing down. Here to there, this toy to that, she has the attention span of, well I guess a 17 month old. I feel as tired as if I'd run a marathon when I finally leave to school to work at 4:15 each afternoon, and that's before I even start working! It doesn't help matters much that she is raring to go every morning by 6:00 or 6:30 as I groan and pull the covers over my head one..last...time before going in to her crib to start another whirlwind of a day. Every day we are out of the house by 9:30 (or earlier), because if we don't, both of us being cooped up in the house makes my pressure-cooker of a toddler start crawling up the walls with her boundless energy. We go to the library kid hours, to the musuem, to grandma's, to a playdate....we get out. We have to, because I don't want to let my natural response come out and scream at her. I have to keep my calm somehow, so we go out.
One day last week I mentally cheered as I left for work that afternoon. I was elated to have the chance to walk to my car without running behind a toddler squirming out of a jacket and toward a pile of leaves. Or to be more accurate, running from the neighbors' dogs to a pile of leaves and toward the road that leads out of our condo complex, as in--where the cars are. I kept telling her "No sweety, that's where the cars come by" and scooping her up, and not ten seconds later she was charging back through the leaves and down by the road again tickled pink in hysterical laughter, to my neighbors' chagrin who sat with their dogs watching every bit of it. Of course it was a game to her, as I left rubbing my aching back as I finally was able to scoop her up and get her to walk back to our place. By that time she had been awake for eight straight hours and showed no signs of sleepiness, even though she did take a break for a an hour or two when I finally got her down for a nap that day.
At the bookstore, the other toddlers sit on their parents' laps as the stories are being read. She proceeds to stand on the book already read, on the floor next to the story teller, until the story is done. Before story time, she had been running around delighted to be in the midst of so many other little ones, climbing on the (empty) fireplace cutout, climbing up to the top of the benches, and back down, peeking in carriers to offer her goldfish snacks to young babies, and grabbing blankets out of strollers. Is it any wonder that most days I must lie down while she naps, just to gather my frayed nerves...
As I've mentioned, I am an introvert. Big time. And as is becoming quite apparant to me as each month goes by with my daughter, she is not. She has a lot to teach me, I think about the joy of living and the freedom of letting your personality shine, shine, shine. If I were watching her in my pre-baby days, I shudder at the judgements I would have had for myself as a mom. "Get that kid to behave!" "Make her shut up!" "What is wrong with you, why do you bring a child into a bookstore?" Funny how the perspective changes once you're on the other side of that fence.
Even so, I wouldn't change her personality for the world. Like I said, I have a sneaking suspicion that this little whirwind was perfectly suited for an introvert like me for a reason.