The best word I can think of to describe our son is: exuberant. He just turned two (two weeks ago) and I am running into challenges disciplining him.
Before I get to the challenges, I need to give you the easy parts: he will sit and look at his books for 30-40 minutes, he loves to sit and be read to for at least an hour at a time (he wakes me up by giving me a book to read), he loves to color and will sit at his table and color by himself or with me for at least a half an hour, he will play outside with his trucks in the sand pit for hours (checking in and asking for me to play periodically), and he loves other people. What I am trying to say is that he has a nice balance of moods, activities and activity levels.
The challenges we are facing is that his zest for life/exuberance/excitement sometimes include un-desireable behaviors: hitting children to get their attention (especially those who aren't as socially engaged as he is), hugging other kids too much (combined sometimes with jumping), throwing objects, playing rough and just getting over-excited.
None of these behaviors are done in anger; he always has a big smile and is happy. (I have seen him frustrated when he can't have a toy another child is playing with, and he will say 'I want' in frustration, but never hits or gets physical - completely different behavior.)
There are certain kids in our play-group that are frequently the recipient of the unwanted behaviors, and they tend to be (as I said before) the less engaged kids. This doesn't happen with kids 5 months older than he is, or when it is 1:1. I do see this over-excited behavior at home too - usually when he is getting tired, waiting for Daddy to come home, adult friends who he really likes visit, or is just bored.
One side of me wants to keep him out of the playgroup situations that present the biggest challenges (both for me and him; I get extremely stressed and hyper-vigilant so I can redirect him or try to teach him that these behaviors upset others). The other side of me worries that I am not presenting him with enough of these situations and maybe that is why he gets so over-excited. (To clarify - we are out in the community frequently during the week; I try to have one day a week when we stay home the entire day, but we are out varying amounts of time for various activities the other days). We eat organic, mostly home-made foods, no television in the house, lots of outdoors time, family bed transitioning to his own mattress next to ours, still nursing, very stable household.
Is this his age?