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. πŸ˜‰

what have you learned recently about your little one?


10 Responses to quiet time

  1. robin says:

    that is so sweet!!! you are a marvelous mama πŸ™‚

  2. Kelly says:

    I’m impressed you figured that out this early in the game. My first used to wake up so crabby every day and it took me forever to figure out she needs quiet time alone (not sleeping). It’s funny how we are all so different.

    And that doll your mother made is gorgeous. She could sell those!

  3. Alli says:

    As she gets bigger that alone time will be more and more important to her, from one introvert to another and it is so good that you’ve worked this out already & can encourage Ramona to just be herself.

    I love the doll, I agree with Kelly, your mum could sell those!

    • emily says:

      that’s great that you say that, alli, as i believe ramona got the introverted-ness from me. and it took me a while to figure that out about myself (end of college?!). i’m hoping for jp and i to nurture this good balance for her as she grows so she will know how to balance it for herself in the future. wish me luck!

      there’s a handful of people in our family and community that are not that way (more extroverted, certainly, and sometimes really in-your-face) and, though she has lots of fun with them, i find myself getting really protective of her after she’s had so much interaction with them bc i know how exhausted it makes her.

  4. melinda sue says:

    i adore that doll your sweet mama made ramona.

    good job figuring out so early that this is what ramona needs… my cousins little girl is the same (she is 6 now) and often when all the cousins are together and playing (there are lots of cousins, and usually playing spans lots of hours) we can find layla behind a closed door with a single barbie or a coloring book, needing some time to herself.

    ramona is beautful, and you 2 are fabulous parents.

  5. Karolina says:

    This is interesting. Phoenix wakes up so crabby from his naps, usually crying, and I immediately run in to get him. After a few minutes of quiet time in my arms or looking in the mirror he starts giggling and is happy. I wonder if this would work for him. We are not of the cry it out method (not that this is what you are doing), so I’m always cautious with the crying in the crib. Did R ever do that? Cry after a nap? Did that change after you gave her some time to herself? I always hear of babies waking up and playing in their cribs and P has never done that once. I appreciate any advice!

    • emily says:

      hi karolina!

      there are certainly times ramona wakes up crying. i’ll wait a little bit to hear her out and see if she’s just fussing to herself or calling for me to come get her. i definitely go get her if that’s what she needs. sometimes she’s just talking loudly to the world, presumably telling it she’d rather be asleep again. πŸ˜‰

      and she hasn’t *always* woken up talking to herself, content to lay there and play. this has seemingly come about since she started sleeping through the nights and sleeping in her own crib (we bed shared until she was about 11 months old). i think she’s finally figured out this is her space and her time. and i try to respect that.

      so what i will say is that ramona doesn’t do this bc we made her. it’s so odd but it’s something i really think she figured out on her own. and it just involved me working on figuring out and reading her needs. that’s what’s fun about this age: it’s more than changing diapers and making sure bellies are full! their little personalities are starting to have major preferences and requirements!

      but i’m definitely guilty of going to get her right when she’s woken up happy just bc i want to play with her!

  6. Marcie says:

    Its great to hear all the “love” for the doll as I loved making it for Ramona – using material from a favorite skirt and a favorite blouse that had both been ripped in years past but I couldn’t quite part with the material. I’m hoping the doll has a seat at the many tea parties Ramona will have with her ‘friends’.

  7. Melanie says:

    I really like this observation and how it shows how kid’s personalities blossom so early on. I’m excited to learn more about Beck as he grows.

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