Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Landon Bombastic

We all know Landon is what child development experts call the "spirited child". He's textbook case.

Intense: When he's happy, he bursts into peals of laughter, always smiling, laughing and moving. When he's sad or upset, he is inconsolable.

Persistence -- we value persistence in our society, and Landon has it -- he will stick to something for a long time. But he also has the negative kind, stubbornness. He "locks in" to ideas and has trouble unlocking. He can never take "no" for an answer; he'll ask for the same thing 20 times in a row. (He has asked me for a cookie at least 12 times since I started typing this).

Sensitivity -- emotionally; his feelings are hurt very easily. And physically; he hates turtlenecks, hoodies that come up too high, even socks. Everything feels too tight and constraining. He wants to wear the same adidas velcro shoes every single day. Putting his high top converses on is torture for us both.

Perceptiveness -- Landon notices everything around him. The smallest detail seldom escapes him. However, these details provide distractions which make completing other tasks difficult. Perceptive kids are often accused of not listening, when in reality, their attention is simply focused elsewhere. Adults have learned to screen out stimuli which are not important -- for example, we often drive on "auto pilot," not paying attention to anything around us except the other cars. Yet, we complete our task without mishap. Perceptive children have not learned to screen out extraneous stimuli, nor have they learned which stimuli are more important to attend to than others. I was exactly the same way as a kid. Oh, wait...still am.

Adaptability -- to transitions, surprises, changes in schedule or routine. On the days I babysit away from home, he is a meltdown master. Same with church half the time. He's used to our very scheduled routine at home, and doesn't adjust well to change. He likes to go out and do things, he's just very overstimulated. It helps to prepare and notify him. "We are going to church today. After Sacrament Meeting, you're going to play with your friends and fun toys."

Regularity -- Landon's eating, sleeping and elimination patterns are not regular. He's 2 1/2 and still has some problems sleeping through the night. He has a really hard time falling asleep, and is rarely asleep by 10:30. Nothing we have tried improves his sleeping patterns -- that's just how he is, and we are learning to adjust.

Energy -- activity level. Landon has limitless energy. From morning until night he is moving. Even compared to other two year old's, he is constantly moving and into something.

So, yes, Landon is a "handful", but he also has the kindest heart of any kid I know. He may be energetic and moody, but no matter how upset he gets, he never hits, kicks, or physically hurts others in any way. He plays very well with his friends and brother. He is always concerned about the welfare of everyone else. If he hears me run into something or even sneeze, he comes running and says, "Are you okay, Mommy? Are you okay, Mommy?" I hear that at least once a day, and it always makes me smile.

He is also seriously smart. I am stunned by how quickly he picks things up. He started using words at six months, and knew several by nine months. At fifteen months he could hold a conversation. He knows all of his letters and all of their sounds. He loooves books. That's the one time I can get him to sit still is when we're reading.

He is an amazing athlete already. He is so coordinated, can dribble, shoot, hit a ball with a bat, and throw a football as far as the moon. He makes me so tired, but he also makes me so proud.

So, please, stop judging me. He may be the one at the store screaming his head off because he wants the balloon he saw on the way in, or running around the restaurant like a maniac, but one day, he just might be your kid's boss.

10-15% of children are considered by experts to be spirited. If your child sounds like my sweet Landon, read this.


EllieandEvasMommy said...

When Ellie was about 2, I read a book about spirited children, took the test at the end, and discovered what I already pretty much knew-- that she was a spirited child. She sounds a lot like Landon, actually. She has to have a certain type of sock, with the seam just right, her shoes have to be velcroed very loosely, and she also will not wear turtlenecks. Oh, and she always complains that she has a wedgie. She has been stubborn since day one (literally, when she was born we swaddled her, and she glared and popped her armS out of the swaddling blanket EVERY time).
But she is also the sweetest, most intelligent little girl on the planet. She notices every detail, has a memory like an elephant, and cares about everyone around her. I've never had to tell her not to hit, kick, or bite either-- she's just never done it. When a kid took something from her when she was 2, she just got a sad face. When kids cut in front of her in line to go down the slide, she just watches them. When she's up, she's waaaaaaay up high, when she's down, she's really low. And I adore her!!! Here's to the Mommies of spirited kids!

kalisarah88 said...

It helps to know I'm not alone in this! lol. Ellie is so cute! And, Eva! I would love to meet them one day!

nemmy ross said...

aww~ so cute :)