My wife and I accompanied our son to a birthday party this weekend. His buddy was turning the big four. Like at most parties, Felix didn’t know anyone besides the birthday boy, and he didn’t know him well either. Ah, the social disadvantages of not being enrolled in school! My boy’s often the odd one out.
For other reasons as well. Namely? He interacts with other kids as if he were psychotic. For example: the kids found sticks laying under a tree. Some drew in the dirt, or pretended they had magic wands. Felix wanted to play a game in which he came as close as possible to bopping people on the head with his stick, so close that they would get scared and then chase him away, but not so close as to make contact. That way, when I told him to stop, he could say, “Stop what? I’m not hitting. I’m just pretending to hit.”
Oh, my clever little maniac.
No one tells you it’s going to be like this: that you’ll feel like the orderly in the loony bin, trying to stay calm and make sure the patient takes his medication while he’s going bananas. But for some parents, it will be. Some of us will have kids with a ton of energy, a strong defiant streak, a slow-to-develop set of social skills, and a temper they can barely control. If you’re like me, you’ll have a kid with all of the above. Often, these kids will be boys, but not always. I’ve encountered girl hellions too.
I’ve become adept at seeing other members of the tribe. Just today, while leaving the zoo, I witnessed a little boy push a toddler out of his way as he climbed a long flight of stairs. The boy’s mom stopped to comfort the toddler, scared that he was going to topple down the fifty or so steps, while her son zipped away without concern. When she caught up to him and said to apologize, he got mad at her. Like, apologize? What do you mean, apologize? He was in my way?!
Sister, I thought to myself. I know where you’re coming from.
And so, for all you people out there dealing with similar challenges in your children, here is hope. Just imagine the ways — for better and for worse! — in which your crazy little kid is going to be an awesome take-charge grown-up.
Today’s crazy may be tomorrow’s… 1 of 21
Click on to find out!
Your little bossy-pants could be… 2 of 21
Ok, so your kid thinks it's her job to tell you what to do all the time, calling the shots like she's the parent. It can be infuriating, especially when other parents hear it and look at you like, "What, you're just going to take that?" As if you haven't reprimanded her about it before. But don't worry, because she could be...
The next celebrity chef! 3 of 21
The next executive chef of Hell's Kitchen. "You donkey! Did you even taste that? Send it back and do it again!" See, there's a place for everyone in this world, even the unbelievably bossy.
That kid who bolts off into the crowd? 4 of 21
So you're in the supermarket, the mall, or at a summertime event like a carnival, and your kid gets so frustrated that you said NO about something that PABAM! She bolts off into the blue! Scaring the heck out of everyone and getting you those "Why can't he control his kid" eye-rolls. Well, you'll be having the last laugh when ...
Could be the next Olympic track star. 5 of 21
... Your little runner sprints down the track to capture the gold medal! Your horror stories about how she, "ran into the blue pell mell" are going to sound great when they the national news comes calling for an interviewer.
What me? Your little blame deferrer… 6 of 21
He's always got some excuse, right? It's never his fault. "I wouldn't have hit him if he didn't make fun of me. Alright, so it was more like he looked at me funny. But you should've seen his eyes! They were so mean. And really, I didn't hit him hard. I was just playing actually. It was a light hit. I was trying to be nice, start a game." Those excuses are going to come in handy when ...
Might be the next candidate for New York City mayor! 7 of 21
... He's running for the mayor of New York City and his secret online life comes to light! If he spins his tale good enough, he may find himself ahead in the polls, or at least still in the race. And who said cheaters never prosper?
That kid who screams his head in a tantrum? 8 of 21
Don't call them screams, these are sonic attacks meant to burst your eardrums and send you reeling, tantrums turned up to eleven. Sometimes he screams so high you can't even hear it, but dogs up and down the street start barking their heads off. One day, you'll be thankful for those pipes, when...
May one day rock stadiums. 9 of 21
... He's selling out packed stadiums to an audience whose there just to hear him hit those high notes, or belt out one of his patented screams! So don't stifle him, man. He's only practicing for the big time.
Does your kid like to throw punches? 10 of 21
Is her idea of a good time to sock some kid in the neck and then pounce when he's down? It's a problem on play dates, sure. But those lightning fast reflexes, the lightness on her toes, the quickness in sussing out an opponents weakness will serve her well when...
So do plenty of comedians. 11 of 21
... She's getting heckled by an audience member her first night doing comedy improv. Before you know it, she'll be up there at the Emmy podium, thanking you for raising her to be a confident, strong individual.
That kid who blows raspberries at you in frustration? 12 of 21
If you're like me, then nothing grosses you out like the sight of your son's drool slicked chin as he stands there, so full of frustration he's literally spitting at me like some kind of pint sized Daffy Duck. I mean, what's this meant to accomplish? (I know, I know. That's the wrong question to ask.) But hey, maybe one day, when he's...
Might be the next trumpet virtuoso. 13 of 21
... A famous trumpet virtuoso, able to use those sputtering lips to communicate not just frustration but also pleasure, excitement, and joie de vivre, you'll understand those spitty tantrums were just the first blossoms of his talent. Sure, they were gross. But art isn't always pretty, people.
That kid who likes to ruin other kids’ fun… 14 of 21
It was all going so well till your kid came along and perverted a lighthearted soccer match into a torturous descent down his sadistic imagination. Why is it that some kids find so much pleasure in making other kids feel so bad? Don't worry, he's not a psychopath, but rather...
Might want to consider working for the Federal Reserve or IRS. 15 of 21
... A Federal Reserve or IRS bureaucrat in the making, the kind of guy who takes a look at the economic environment and says, "Things are going too well. Time to raise some interest rates!" Alright, so maybe he is a little crazy.
Got a toy hoarder on your hands? 16 of 21
The floor of her room lies hidden under a huge pile of toys, her bookshelves sag, and the drawers of her clothes chest can't close because she refuses to throw a single thing away — even old baby toys, the kind that have teeth marks stippling their sides, are seen as beloved treasures. When will she learn to let go? Well...
You might have a future fashionista with a closet full of Prada. 17 of 21
Maybe you shouldn't encourage her to toss a thing, because in this day and age, one can become famous and nab a reality show simply for looking good and having a lot of everything. Closets packed with designer dresses, special shelves for her massive shoe collection, diamond encrusted accessories for her toy dog — my friends, it all had to start somewhere.
That screen addict… 18 of 21
Can't pry your little one away from the screen? Do you find that even in the drug store, he zones out in front of the TV showing those bladder control drug commercials on repeat? At the end of a family trip to the water park, does he tell you his favorite part was on the trip, when he got to play with your phone? Don't be discouraged, because you may have...
Might be the next tech startup genius! 19 of 21
...The next tech startup genius on your hands! He might just be building up his endurance, so that when he's hit with that stroke of genius, he's physically capable of sitting down in front of a computer for months at a time, banging out code.
Your defiant, won’t listen to anyone troublemaker… 20 of 21
Is your kid so out of control that no one seems to be able to make any difference? No reward seems to great, no punishment too severe. Whatever your kid wants to do, that's what she does. Sounds familiar right?
… May one day grace the big screen! 21 of 21
That's because she may have a future as a starlet ahead of her. One day you may find yourself sitting down with Oprah, telling her, "It was always like this." But then again, great art often comes from a troubled personality. Ok, so maybe not great art, but... art none-the-less.