Thursday, August 15, 2013

How Introverts Cope

It is a well established fact that we are a household of pretty set in our way introverts. We are each introverted in our ways. Some of us are linguistic introverts, some are mathematical introverts, and some are "factoid" introverts, or a combo. What I mean is our strengths are how we comfort ourselves and process the world around us. Can you guess which kind I am? Rob? Caroline? Right now I am a teeming mass of raw nervous energy. I have a valid reason, but I need to do something with it. The doctor says exercise, others say medication, others say wine. Right now, I say words. That means lots of music, reading, and writing. Being introverted (and stressed) I want to do these things on my own. That way I can center and breathe. The problem? I have my own introverted offspring strapped to my ankle, leg, waist, arm, mind, whatever she can get a hold of.

Lily defies definition (is this a theme?). She is very introverted in crowds, but at home, to quote the youth she is "all up in our grill." I love my girl and really she has made progress this summer. She is sleeping and apologizing for hurting feelings. She comes to me after blow ups and can tell me what she needs to do differently. Lily still gets so overwhelmed, she just can't calm down and lashes out. When I am able to convince her to go off on her own and play, she always comes back calm, focused, and delightful. She loves to play with her dolls and legos. She just forgets? I guess like everything else, I need to teach her when to go off and find her space. I never had to teach Caroline this. I think this might be because when she was Lily's age I was so busy with Lily that she learned to go off on her own and read. It was that or be bored.

Lily doesn't have that "go off and read instinct." She seems very verbal and has that "linguistic edge." Her vocabulary blows me out of the water and her ability to figure out words in oral context is amazing. The problem is she can't sit still and stay focused on a book. This baffles me. How can my kid not like to read? Watching her read is exhausting. She's upside down, she's shouting out facts, she's asking questions. She likes numbers and facts like Rob, but that doesn't seem to be her driving force either. The nearest I can tell is it is talking (explaining the need to follow me everywhere). She even talks to herself when she's riding her bike or swimming. I guess it is noticeable. My sister in law pointed it out when we were on vacation. I can't really fault her. My new young teammates have made a joke out of coming into my classroom, hearing me in a full conversation, and seeing that I am all alone. In college, I used to go into a room by myself and talk my way through studying.

Now the trick is to teach Lily to utilize this. All I know right now is she's going to camp for part of next summer. I am more tired now than I was in June:) My ears are exhausted!

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