"And then I turn my head and he hurts the cat again. Seconds after we talked about it."
- IME, That's cause he's 2. Lots of kids *aren't* that way, but SOME are. It doesn't mean that there's anything wrong with him, it just means you have to work that much harder, unfortunately. I am the mom of 2 very "energetic", curious, bright children - and frankly, it's exhausting. But they also bring a tremendous amount of joy to my life and when they're *not* constantly on the go or getting into things, I worry. ;)
I had runners. I still have runners, albeit 6 and 8 yrs old now, and able to control themselves more. Basically, They were either strapped into something, in a carrier on me, or holding my hand unless we were in a playground, for ages 2 and 3. And I am not kidding - it became part of the routine as much as putting on shoes or locking the back door. Before we got outside a door, before their feet hit the pavement anywhere, walking from the car to a store, etc. Hand in mine, or strapped into something. They weren't always happy about it, but being squashed by a car was not a potentiality I was willing to entertain. Many kids apparently can be taught to stay by their mom with games and reminders and leaving places, etc. But apparently, not mine - believe me, I tried. When they see any plot of open land, be it grassy or paved, they need to run. I think the coping mechanism is just that you keep him safe and don't have the expectation that he's going to stay with you. Then you're not aggravated and pulling your hair out. We didn't go to reastaurants a lot in that timeframe either, they just were not sitting still or being quiet kind of kids, and it was painful for us to have to try to manage them, and others to have to endure them. Now they are perfectly nice, decently behaved kids when they're out in public. But it took time. And maturity. And patience. And repetition. And emotional fortitude!