Monday, December 5, 2011


(OK, so it's January, but I'm so far behind in posting, I'm writing posts and backdating them, but tonight I had to do a book club post, so stuck this in here.)

Since both Elizabeth and Andrew were small, we've looked for short simple phrases or really, one word to describe them and their personalities. 

For a long time, pretty much ever since he became mobile, Rich has called Andrew indomitable.  And it's true, there's not much holding this guy back.  But lately, I've hit on the perfect word: relentless.  This boy is relentless when he wants something, and most particularly when he wants attention, especially a response.  Which has led to another descriptive phrase: aggressively conversational.  Let's just say he cannot be placated with a "not right now" or a "hold on a minute" or even, distressingly, a "shh! quiet in [church/restaurant/any public place that requires quiet moments]."

For now (well other than church or other public places) it's mostly fairly charming, so we just try to give him a specific answer to whatever query and hope he gets distracted by something else.  Not that he ever really does, but there's always hope. 

In Sweetpea news, school continues to go well, and we're confident we made the right decision in having her in a second kindergarten year.  She is in a bilingual immersion school, which means one full day in English followed by one full day in Spanish, and so on.  For one thing, in Spanish, she is gaining confidence and even says sometimes, let's talk in Spanish.  She understands nearly everything said to her in Spanish, and she can recite poems and expressions and sing songs in Spanish.  She's still shy about speaking conversationally, but the teachers report her confidence is growing.  And, she's quickly picking up reading in Spanish.  It's nice Spanish is more phonetic than English, though some sounds (like J, which makes an h-ish sound rather than the English "juh") are harder than others. 

A couple of other parents have mentioned to me they want to talk about how we decided to put her in this grade.  The birthday near the cut off is so hard - we initially decided to push her ahead because she was so confident, and verbal, and seemed ready.  But the child we saw at school events was quiet, reserved, and in the background, often non-participatory, whereas at home (and with neighborhood friends) she was loud, assertive, and very much in charge.  Now, though, her English teacher tells us that sometimes she is non participatory, because she is more mature than many of the kids and doesn't want to do silly things.  But overall, we can see she is more confident in class and we think benefits from being on the older side.  But who knows.  I think she would have been fine either way, and we're glad we have this opportunity to have her experience something new this year.  Overall, the teachers (at this school and her previous school) report she is a happy, confident girl who is quick to make friends and easily moves amongst groups of friends. 
I sometimes look at both E and A and wonder how their personalities will continue to develop and what kinds of kids they will be, and compare to what kind of kids both Rich and I were.  Somehow I think (and I hope!) they will have an easier path than Rich and I did.  Though it's not like anyone really enjoys the middle school years. 

In the Myers-Briggs world, Rich is an ISTJ, and I am an ESTP, which means we have fairly similar personalities except Rich is an introvert and I am an extrovert.  Though, for both the S and P I score so close to the middle it's hard to really say.  And, I first took the assessment when I was a senior in college, and my extrovert score was nearly off the charts.  In the (gulp) decades since, I've officially taken the assessment another 3 or 4 times and each time my extrovert score slides closer and closer to introvert.  Now, I'm close to an ambivert.  It's far too early to tell for E and A, of course.  Rich has a more classic scientist/engineer type profile, and while I emphasize the arts at this point for E&A, I have to admit I really hope they both have a more analytic, science-minded focus.

We'll see.  The fun is in the journey, right?  Right?  Isn't that right?  Don't you think so?  Are you listening?  Did you hear my question?  Do you think so?  Whoops, sorry, channeling Andrew's relentless queries there for a sec. 

Are you an introvert or extrovert? Author Susan Cain explores how introverts can be powerful in a world where being an extrovert is highly valued. Join From Left to Write on January 19 as we discuss Quiet: The Power of Introverts by Susan Cain. We'll also be chatting live with Susan Cain at 9PM Eastern on January 26. As a member of From Left to Write, I received a copy of the book. Fascinating, though I haven't finished reading yet! All opinions are my own.