"All boy" is what my neighbors say about our son. "Wow! He certainly is all boy, isn't he?" This was said to both my husband and I while our son danced like a madman in the rain puddles or tried to ride his Hot Wheels down a flight of stairs or fell off his Hot Wheels into a mud puddle, but didn't care and kept on trucking. And we know what "all boy" really means. It is the nice way of saying, "Your kid is out of control!" Yes, we know. He never sits still - and I mean never. He's got an agenda called GET INTO AS MUCH DANGER AS I CAN and no one can stop him.
Throughout the course of the block party, I was told by different people, some adults, some children: "Wow, your son is rambunctious!" and "Wow, your son is rowdy!" and "Wow, your son doesn't listen very well, does he?" and "My sister's son is quite a handful, although I don't think he is as big of a handful as Max!" and the grand finale, "Wow, your son is ALL BOY!", which we heard twice. Oh, and another one: "Remember last year at the block party when your son was so still and easy to handle?" Yes, I remember. He was 9 months old.
And none of our neighbors meant any harm. We are friends with them all. They just stated the obvious - our son has more energy than Robin Williams on crack.
In the small amounts of time that I was able to stand still and catch my breath, I looked on with envy at the other parents who were able to let their children run and play without constant supervision. There were several kids there in Max's age group and their parents all looked relaxed and well-fed with chips and coleslaw and baked beans and hot dogs, while they laughed with other adults and had interesting conversations.
My conversations were all, "Max, you are not going to ride your Hot Wheels down this flight of stairs." and "Max, come back here right now!" and "Max! Look out!" and "Max, don't touch that cat!" and "Max, you need to go this way. Turn around. I said, turn around!" and "Max, don't put that soggy pine cone in your mouth!" and "Max, don't take that tricycle away from that little girl!" and "Max, we are not going inside this person's house. This is not our house. Get away from their door!"
Yes, we are the parents of "that kid." My husband and I really didn't enjoy ourselves all that much at the block party because we had to chase our son at all times. We were never able to sit in a lawn chair and relax. We had to shove hot dogs down our throats on the go. At the end of the night, we were exhausted. I had trouble getting my pregnant body out of bed the next morning because my muscles were so sore!
The pictures at the bottom of this post were the only ones I was able to take at the party because I had to throw my camera to the side right after we got there. I needed both hands to re-direct my son away from traffic and steep driveways. The picture below was the only time he stood still.
We are hoping that next year he will be calmer as he understands boundaries and the dangers around him - like moving cars or trying to ride a tricycle down a steep, concrete driveway and crashing onto the pavement like a bird that has been hit by a windshield.
Our son is virtually unafraid of everything. And as a mother, that is a scary, scary thing.