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extroverts

This weekend was my sister's annual pirate party and I missed it! I mean, not the whole thing... I was there for two hours. But then I got sleepy and passed out at like 10:30 because I have lost all my ability to stay up late. The night before I lost sleep because my allergies are kicking my sinuses around, I couldn't find a way to lay down without my nose running out of my face, so I was going on Not Much Sleep and kinda blame that.

My darling child, on the other hand, was up until 12:45. Dancing, spinning, yelling... this happens every year. She is that baby at the party who people look at and say "Whoh how is she still up?!"

I told my parents that I'd noticed this about her: as long as there is a crowd of people to perform for, and a table of party food to maintain some minimum blood sugar level, Josie can stay up indefinitely. They said "She probably gets that from one of her parents." and I laughed and said it's true I do like parties and they said "Uhm, no dear, not you."

I wonder if you can detect livelong personality traits at age two. All two year olds sort of have a generic "I'm crazy" that overwhelms most of what they do, they all break stuff and throw tantrums and love new toys... but I'm wondering if there are introverted and extroverted two year olds. Josie has taken after Marc in every other way, maybe she'll be an extrovert like him. I thought for a while that I was a little extroverted... but since I met marc, I realized that I was just an extrovert compared to other engineers. That's a really low bar. No, marc is a genuine people person. If I take the baby to the park and give him "time to himself", odds are when I get back he'll either be gone or there will be people at the house. We've had some random guy on our couch more times than I can count. When we've had parties, he's stayed up until 6 in the morning... at which point I wake up, realize the party is going on, and go offer people coffee and toast and have a lovely breakfast conversation with whoever drifted in.

Josie picks random people to flirt with. She also strikes me as highly perceptive to social cues... always wanting to do what bigger people are doing, but that might just be a baby thing. In her group of two year old friends, she's clearly an instigator, showing them how to jump off stuff and leading everyone around, laying low when a fight breaks out because there are some really dramatic kids, and getting back into the group when it suits her. They are different, at this age. I'm just curious about what sticks.

Comments

( 3 comments — Leave a comment )
aliki
Sep. 17th, 2012 03:18 pm (UTC)
"All two year olds sort of have a generic "I'm crazy" that overwhelms most of what they do, they all break stuff and throw tantrums and love new toys... but I'm wondering if there are introverted and extroverted two year olds."

There definitely are. Erika at one year old was happy to go with anybody, laugh, run, and go crazy. But now at two years old, she's a definite introvert like her dad and I. She has her moments when she throws tantrums and pulls things apart to examine them and loves a food one day but hates it the next; but when we go to the playground, one of two things will occur: (1) if there is no one at the playground, she runs around like a lunatic, climbing fences, pushing herself on the swing, climbing up the slide the wrong way and laughing. (2) if there are other children, even ONE child, around, she clings to my leg and whispers in a terrified voice "There are CHILDREN here" like they are some monstrous disease she will catch.

She only hates one thing more than a crowd of strangers, and that's when the entire crowd knows her and comes running over to oooh and aah over her. Erika hates being in the limelight and will clamp up. A talkative, bubbly child turns into a dumb and mute toddler. She wont respond to questions and she will refuse to eat. She averts her gaze and whispers "I want to leave NOW."

So yeah, I think personalities form fairly young.
dreago
Sep. 20th, 2012 05:08 pm (UTC)
I teach a whole section on temperament in my early childhood development classes. We teach that extroversion/introversion are DEFINITELY a temperament trait. It's genetic and unchanging. How your extroversion is expressed can be modified of course, especially since temperament is just a part of your personality. And especially since temperament is just your initial reaction to the environment. As adults, we do a better job than our toddlers around impulse control so we may feel like partying all night but go to bed early for our meeting. Trauma can also seriously impact how and when we curb our initial reactions and I'm imagining that attachment style to a caregiver may also come into play- though usually, not always, trauma causes insecure attachment too.
Jesse Crockett
Oct. 3rd, 2012 10:51 pm (UTC)
beliefs about child psychology
I have no authority on the subject, but I'm aware that many authorities believe a person's core psychology establishes by the age of two. Then we spend the majority of our lives in the recognition of being responsible for our actions. Hence the "terrible two's." Of course, I have no children, so please toss this over your shoulder and laugh.
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