If you have a child who is all systems go from dawn till dusk, and whose emotions run high 24/7, it’s likely you have a spirited child. If the giant bags under your eyes as you feverishly reach for your third coffee of the day aren’t enough of a giveaway that you’re living with a “spirited” child, here are a few other signs that might be familiar with…
1. Your child bounces out of bed every morning at 7am, 6am, 5am or earlier.
2. Food is consumed on the go because they don’t sit down long enough to eat.
3. “Sleeping through the night” is myth perpetuated by people with less-spirited children.
4. If you take your child to a cafe they get up and down from their place and generally run around until it’s time to go. Their bottom may or may not ever actually touch a seat.
5. Every decision is a battle. Yes, it’s raining and you need a jacket. No, sandals are not appropriate for a hurricane.
6. They bounce all day long and refuse to nap.
7. They even bounce into and on their bed at bedtime, and you end up pleading/begging/bribing them to go to sleep.
8. You usually get a visitor during the evening when you’re asleep—sometimes more than once a night.
9. No matter how active you keep your child during the day, it never wears them out.
10. Your child literally passes out asleep in the middle of singing, chatting and insisting they’re not ready for bed.
11. At preschool, your child is the one who wants to play chasing, hiding and dress up games all day long, when other kids like to draw, look at a book or have a nap.
12. Meltdowns are around every corner. It’s a minefield out there.
13. If you cut their sandwich in triangles instead of squares, they’ll cry like they’ve been stabbed.
14. You have to meet with your child’s preschool teacher yet again because he or she has been throwing things/stamping her foot/being generally defiant again.
15. Other people’s kids look pretty easy to you, even when there are three of them and you only have the one.
16. You answer the question “When are you having another child?” with, “Are you crazy?”
17. A trip to the playground is an activity that needs close monitoring as your child is always the one who wants to climb equipment for older kids, or tries to follow bigger children when they climb up giant trees.
18. At the end of the day, you are so exhausted that the mere thought of going anywhere, like, say, the gym, is a hilarious joke.
19. When it’s time to leave a playground, your child cries as if you’d told them they can never play again.
20. Saying goodbye to a friend? It’s like they’re never going to set eyes on their face again.
21. When things don’t go their way, the tears and foot stamping are almost enough to make you give in, just to shut them up.
22. Your child has extremely good vocal projection. Lovely when they sing, not so much when they’re yelling “no no no no no no!”
23. Playtime at home involves climbing over the backs of couches and on top of kitchen cabinets. It can also involve launching oneself off of these pieces of furniture.
24. You use words to describe your child like “intense,” “high energy” and “emotional”—and they’re only three years old.
25. You’re dreading the teen years because the toddler years and preschool years have been emotionally exhausting already.
26. When your child actually wants to focus, they can get so immersed in what they’re doing that disrupting them is a last resort (see #12).
27. You get sick of hearing the word “please” because the context is usually, “please can I?” and it’s repeated a million times until you give in.
28. You wish you could capture all that energy and bottle it. All of that enthusiasm could power your house for a year.
This article fist appeared on MommyNearest.
Christine is the editor of Adventure, Baby!