Category Archives: Introvert

A little like a kid in a candy shop.

Excited. I’m excited.

The clock is ticking. The beginning is near. I feel like shouting out, channeling Braveheart, “freeeeeeeedom!!!” at the top of my lungs. Because it’s coming. It’s so close. It’s .  .  .  school!!!!!

12805753_10153612783538860_2237067384010573543_nOnly two more weeks until our school year begins and thus will begin the yearly onslaught. Getting up early, getting the kids to school, packing lunches, homework, earlier bedtimes. All massive pains in the ass. But this year is different because it’s the first time that my youngest is entering the formal public school system. He did morning preschool last year and those 2.5hrs to myself every day were magnificent. But short. Now, it’ll be a full-on school day all to myself where I can focus on finding my sanity, tidying up the house which has invariably fallen apart over summer, working on my Magic Forest books. I can even go to a doctor’s appointment without dragging a child along with me, calculating with the precision of a scientist, the likelihood of making it out alive, without meltdowns, based on food intake, time of the day, and dealing with waiting room curve balls. It’s the first time in 8.5 years (yes, I’m including pregnancy here!!) that I will have some alone time. Some adult, do-the-hell-whatever-I-want time. I’m positively giddy.

I admit sending my little escaped mental patient off to kindergarten will break my heart in two and may be quite challenging for my little 5-year-old introvert. He adored preschool, but those 3 hours a day were a lot of effort for him. Most days required a sort of grounding for him once we got home. He needed to snuggle his touchstone (me) until he could find balance again. So I expect a challenge there.  I had to deliver a crushing blow to him yesterday. He knows school is coming up and that he’ll be starting Kindergarten. I discovered yesterday that he thought his teacher would be Ms. Alisha, one of his teachers from last year, and I had to inform him that it wasn’t. Uh-oh. I don’t know who his teacher is yet but I’m confident in the abilities of our school’s teachers.

My dynamo is entering 2nd grade and I’ve heard good things about her assigned teacher so I am hopeful for a good year. I know, as always, homework will be a battle. I was getting good at honing our skills towards the end of last year, so if I can nail that routine down quickly, I’m hoping it wont’ be so bad.

I’ll miss my duo a little bit. However, I’ve really, really missed a level of autonomy that most adults enjoy. I’ve missed my sanity and my patience (haven’t seen that in years!!). Society says I should be embarrassed that I’m so joyful about the upcoming absences. After all, the myth of the perfect parent says I should be in a puddle of tears, pining after my children every minute that they are in school, and that I will only feel whole once they are in my presence.   The societal pressure of parenthood, especially motherhood, is ever crushing because it’s simply a myth, an unrealistic hole you are meant to dive into and never come out of. And what’s worse, this legendary myth that you are supposed to achieve also says you pretty much must carry the burden alone. That’s not how we, as humans, behave. We are mammals, animals, that thrive best in packs. I love my children with my heart and soul but I’ve pretty much forgotten who *I* am. What I’m like as a person when children aren’t around. That was one of the greatest things I took away from my time in South Africa. I had so much fun, and was quite a nice person to be around, when I wasn’t constantly worrying/watching/refereeing/feeding/negotiating/monitoring my children.

So no. I don’t feel bad for looking forward to school. I’ll get to be me again. And I cannot wait.

 

Please stop touching my child.

Dear lady behind me in the check out counter,

I fully understand that you are being sweet and friendly, but persistently trying to talk to my introverted 3-year-old as he squirmed in the shopping cart seat makes us all uncomfortable. I politely told you he was shy, but you never let up. You caught him on a good day – he didn’t start crying as a result of your constant attention. But once you kept rubbing his back while saying hello, he began trying to climb out of the cart to escape you. I know you had no ill-intention, but please understand that not all children are extroverts. My oldest would have talked to you long enough to see you in your grave, but my youngest is an introvert to people he doesn’t know. 536677_10151609850588860_878600609_nOnce he knows you, really really knows you over the course of several months, he turns into the outgoing child you expect all children to be. However, to strangers, he simply wants to hide or bury himself in my arms to try to disappear. This isn’t a result of some childhood trauma. It’s not a lack of parenting skills to force him to talk to someone who makes him uncomfortable. After all, aren’t we supposed to drum “don’t talk to strangers” into kids these days? It’s simply his personality.

He is shy. He’s an introvert. Nothing you do or say will change that. I know you didn’t know that to begin with, but once I tell you he is shy, and you see him struggling to get away from your attention, even down to trying to physically escape when you touch his back, that should be a clue for you that he’s not that outgoing kid society seems to expect. So please, stop trying to touch him and just let him be.

Thank you.