Friday, February 26, 2010


I had an interesting experience at work once.  (Not in my current job, so I'll talk about it.)  An "expert" in the Meyers-Briggs personality types came to our workplace and talked about the different personality types.  It was interesting.  Then she gave us the test, and I began to get nervous.

It was my first day on a new job, you see, and I didn't know anyone.  The expert had talked to us for a good two hours about the difference between introverts and extroverts, and I already knew which one I was.  Next thing I knew, just as I feared, the room was divided with the extroverts (95%) on one side, and the introverts (myself and two other people) on the other.

Welcome! that said to me.  Especially the other music teacher, who walked over to me during the break and said, "You're an introvert?  You really chose the wrong job!  Ha, ha!"  Hilarious.

The one good thing that came from that day was that it explained to me why I had always been so "anti-social," "unfriendly," "withdrawn," "shy," or any other number of negative adjectives.  It's just who I am.  Introverts have to have time alone, or they become completely exhausted.  They have to have time to "recharge" because they find being around other people draining, to the point that they can experience physical symptoms.

Before I had children, "alone time" was the majority of my day.  I read, watched television, or slept a good bit of the time I wasn't working.  Sven was around, and the cat didn't count, but I really got all of the alone time I could want.

Even for me, though, it got to be too much.  It got to the point that I jealously guarded my "nothing" time; if I found out, for instance, that I had to be at an appointment that would take 45 minutes, I would be resentful of the 1-1.5 hours of "nothing" (literally, nothing other than reading or watching TV) that I would miss.  I turned down things, actual things that might have helped me or others, to do nothing.  Nothing became more important to me than anything.  I worked very hard at doing nothing.

Then came the children.  I have almost no "nothing time" anymore, and I can look back on those days with real regret.  How much time did I waste?  I now know my introversion was no excuse; I am tired, yes, and sometimes long for some peace and quiet, but I get along just fine with very little "nothing time."  I make sure to get up extra early every day so I can have some quiet time to myself (anywhere from 10 minutes to an hour, depending on the children), and I snatch a few minutes here and there.  But I'm much happier now that most of my time is filled with "something" rather than "nothing."

Specifically, two somethings who always give me sticky pats and moist kisses and tight-to-the-point-of-painful hugs.  It's awesome.  And I completely mean that.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Confession: I Really Like It

"So," the person will say, after our conversation has exhausted other small talk, "how are your kids doing? How old is the little one?"

"He's two," I answer, as the other person rolls her eyes and laughs.

"Don't worry," they say.  "It will get better.  Is he sleeping through the night?"

"Sort of," I hedge.  "He still gets up and comes to me, but not until 4:00 or so."

"He'll be sleeping on his own soon," they assure me.  "It will be great to get a good night's sleep again, right?"

"Right," I laugh, nodding along.

Confession: I don't want Dexy to sleep in his own bed all night long.  Not yet.

You see, both of our kids were co-sleepers at first.  Princess was an accident; I wasn't planning on a C-section, and Sven's brother passed away the day we brought her home from the hospital, so I had to have her in the bed with me.  We cuddled with her in the bed for about four months, then spent the next six trying to get her to sleep in her own bed.

With Dexy, I talked to Sven about sleeping plans, how I would nurse in his room, maybe set up a little cot or a comfy chair so I could nap in there, and he said, "I just thought he'd sleep with us the way Princess did."  Okay, so he did.

Believe me, those first few months were rough.  When Dexy was tiny, and Princess still didn't want to sleep in her bed, and we all shared the big king-size in our bedroom and I had to literally get out of the bed if I wanted to shift position...well, that wasn't fun.  Fortunately, most of those days are over; Princess has her big-girl bed and Dexy sleeps in his bed for most of the night.

I said "most" of those days are over.  Even though he is a Big Boy with his own Big Boy Bed, at 3:30 or 4:00 a.m. Dexy wants his Mama.

One of the sweetest parts of my day is when Dexy walks into our room and comes to the side of my bed.  "Mama," he whispers, patting my face.  "Mama, want seep."  I pull him into bed with me and we cuddle under the covers.  He goes back to sleep immediately, completely at peace.  Two or three hours later, when he wakes up, his big blue eyes will look into mine and he will smile with complete joy.  "Good morning, Mommy!"

So, I suppose it will be a good thing when Dexy sleeps in his own bed all night.  I understand that.  I'm just not looking forward to it as much as everyone seems to think I should.  Still, I promise I'll let it happen as it happens.  I won't hang out in the hallway, coughing loudly, just in case he happens to be awake.  That was just pathetic.

I've said too much.