Patient Full Speed is home for the week. It’s not as an intimidating prospect as it used to be because he is much easier to manage. When I was pregnant with him years ago, I had these deluded fantasies that he would accompany me on all my errands throughout the week and we would laugh and giggle and have a grand ol’ time. That was before I understood the subtleties of childhood temperament and the level of movement needed to maintain an active baby’s contentment. In other words, I didn’t know a darn thing about raising a stubborn, hyperactive boy who was constantly in motion.
Almost from the moment I brought him home it was like an assault of shock and awe. He wasn’t fond of sleep, needed constant stimulation and he was a non-believer in staying in one place. My dreams of having pleasant company as I made my way through the mundane tasks of existence quickly evaporated in a hyperactive cloud of smoke. I soon learned to do more in less time and to always be moving when doing so. For example, I could make it through a run for groceries if I did just that. Run. I would literally have to move through the store at a slow and steady jog. If I paused for a moment, Full Speed would freak. Constant movement was the key to keeping him seated and quiet. I would get to the check-out and all hell would break loose because we would be at a standstill. Oh, the fond, fond memories.
Since his little brother has taken over the reigning crown of difficult small person in our home, I am now often surprised to find how much I enjoy my time with Full Speed these days. We have very similar senses of humor and can crack each other up just by a look or a word. He’s comical. He must have gotten the funny gene from my Mom. She was hilarious.
He has been accompanying me to my allergy shots and he loves it. Surprisingly, so do I (the company, not the shots). He is calm (mostly) and respectful (mostly). He can actually entertain himself so even if it takes a long time, there is not a meltdown in sight.
We did run in to a small catch today. An elderly woman came through the door of the allergy office with a walker and Full Speed loudly says, “What in the world is that thing?” He said it rather rudely, too.
Oh, you Moms out there know the feeling of awkward embarrassment a child’s curiosity and their inability to filter their thoughts can cause. Every Mom has a similar story (that is if your child can speak). The kind of story where your child states the obvious and the recipient of this obvious observation is less than pleased.
How did I handle it? I faced it head on. “Full Speed, it is called a walker that helps her to keep steady. It isn’t rude to wonder what it is, but the way you asked about it was disrespectful. I would like you to say, ‘sorry ma’am’.” He did and I’m not sure he totally understood what he was apologizing for but it seemed like the right thing. The woman seemed grateful that I openly acknowledged his comment and let it go after that. A situation concerning a walker or the like (glasses, a cane, etc.) is a little easier to handle than if your child comments on an actual physical, unchangeable characteristic of someone else. I am hoping I don’t have to blog about that anytime soon (fingers crossed!). Other than that (and it was relatively minor in the grand scheme), we had a fine time.
It took five, long years to get to the point with Full Speed that more often than not he is well-behaved and even pleasant on outings. If I do the math, and believe me math is not my strong suit, I have two years and some change for Frick to reach this behavioral/emotional milestone. I don’t know if I have what it takes to wait it out. I guess I have to. My only other alternative is to wait for my meds to kick in.