as i’ve become more and more comfortable with being away from ramona and having other people besides jp watch her, i have come to realize something quite significant about her personality. little miss ramona bean — my social, charismatic, and engaging child — is an introvert.
i started to notice this when we began to put stuffed animals in her crib. there’s a giraffe and a little doll (i’ve named it beatrice, or bea bea) that sleep with her. when she goes to sleep, she puts her arm around bea bea and falls asleep. and when she wakes up, she sits there and babbles to the both of them. on the days where i get her immediately upon waking up from her nap, i have a grumpy monster on my hands. when i give her time to sit there quietly with the dolls and talk with them and giggle, i find she is much happier and rested after she has had that alone time (not just the sleeping time).
so, from this first observation, i learned to let her be until she called for me after a nap. and then another thing started happening: as i mentioned before, we’ve been leaving her with other people for periods of time at least once a week. being away from her for more than two hours, and not just after bedtime, is relatively new to us. it became apparent that when she was dropped off or we picked her up or got home from being away this girl 1) cuddles like never before. she just sits quietly in my lap and soaks in “home base.” and 2) shows signs of desperately needing a nap (even if she just may have had one while we weren’t there). so i put her down in her crib and she sits there and talks with her dolls for a good half hour. this is her requested alone time. and then, when she’s had enough, she calls for me and is ready to interact again.
it’s precious, really. somehow, this one year old knows nothing of the annoying distinctions we (including myself!) try to label and project onto people to try and figure them out (introvert/extrovert. personality types, etc) but she does know that she needs alone time. and all i can do is make sure i’m reading her cues and allowing her the space and volume and interaction levels she needs (or doesn’t!).
this is not bea bea. this is the doll my mother made for ramona for her first birthday. ramona’s very first doll made just for her. it hasn’t been named yet and it’s about as tall as ramona so it’s pretty wonderful to see her try and lug it around. she’ll grow into it. 😉
what have you learned recently about your little one?