The Houdini Children

shutterstock_50792863To say my children are full of energy is an understatement.  “Mine too”, I hear you say.  Except my boys are those children who never stop running – be it across fields or escaping from playgrounds, and it’s generally away from me.

Don’t get me wrong, they’re not naughty boys; not most of the time anyway!  It’s just that since they could both move they have gone to great lengths to explore everything and everywhere.  When ‘L’ was a baby and discovered he could roll over he would wait for the second I turned away and roll across the living room to empty all the soil out of the plant pots.  When he started walking and we went to play grounds he would run straight off, without a glance behind him to see where I was.  I couldn’t get him into a swing (he couldn’t stand to be restrained for that long) and instead headed for the tallest slides and climbing frames, invariably climbing to the very top with no thought about how to get down.  I looked jealously at those Mums having a chat while pushing their little ones on the swings or watching as their child dug happily in the sand next to their feet.  A trip to the park was always a major work out for me.

Second Time Around

When ‘E’ was born I wondered if he’d be the same. He started rolling and miraculously didn’t try to escape from me.  Hurrah, I thought, this one’s going to be a bit easier!  How quickly I was proved wrong.  We started going to a Mum’s group and while all the other babies were sitting in a circle playing with the toys, ‘E’ was trying to find his way out past the parents and into the kitchen.  Again, absolutely no chance of me sitting down with a cup of tea.

At playgroup he is more interested in repeatedly trying the (locked) front door to see if it’s open, escaping into the toilets and wandering into the church.  He is the only child there that notices if a door or stair gate has been left open and he’s through it like a shot.  I wonder if any of the other Mums have explored the church yard and staff corridors – I have.  And talking of other Mums, I rarely get chance to speak to them at playgroup because E is always on the move.  It certainly takes away the social aspect for me!

Swings (or Not)

In the playground after we’ve picked ‘L’ up from school most of the toddlers wait for their Mummy to help them onto the slide or roundabout and don’t venture off too far.  Mine however, runs straight across the football field to see the cows and chickens on the far side – without a backwards glance.  Even now I still look longingly at the swings – why doesn’t he want to sit there while I stand and push him for just 5 minutes?  Children love swings don’t they?

It often feels like I’m the only Mum with ‘Houdini children’, everybody else stands chatting while their children happily play close by.  I’ve recently realised though that it’s very likely there are more of us out there; I probably just don’t see them because they’re on the opposite side of the field chasing after their own little monkeys.

Next Generation 

My MIL informs me that my husband was exactly the same as a child and could always be relied on to find the way out of a playground or the gate out of a field.  I know I was an adventurous youngster too so I think this is probably Karma for us both.  I also realise that I’m lucky to have 2 boys who are happy and secure enough to run off and play, knowing full well that they don’t have to look and check where I am.  They’re independent boys but if they fall or need me, they instinctively know that I’m right there behind them.

So, to my ‘Houdini children’, when you’re old enough to have children of your own I know they’ll be active, adventurous and probably as fearless as you are now.  And I will sit back, savouring a cup of tea, as I watch you chase after them – smiling and remembering your complete craziness at the same age.


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