“Individuals with rainforest minds are often intense and quite bright. They love learning new things and sharing what they learn with others. But you may run into trouble when your cohorts don’t appreciate your long detailed descriptions or your esoteric musings.”
~Exuberance and Unending Curiosity
It described me exactly. I love to find an article or blog or research paper about something interesting that has lots of other links to study it further. I read the links, I check the cited books out of the library, I soak it all up until the next subject is discovered. I love to share what I’ve learned, usually with my husband or sister, who humor me kindly.
Sometimes, I get so excited about it, that I forget to check my surroundings before I start spouting off.
One night, the husband and I had a Trivial Pursuit night with his best friend and wife. One of the questions reminded me of some random subject of interest that I had just finished reading about. I don’t remember exactly what it was, but I do remember saying, “Oh! I was just reading something about that, and what actually happens is…” and it being so interesting to me, but the eyes of our friends began to glaze over. My husband started doing the “cut” sign across his throat. And the sound of crickets.
I may just be over-analyzing (yes, I do that too. Sigh.), but I believe that was the last time we were invited over to their house. The guys hang out all the time, but our families haven’t gotten together in a long while. Are we just all busy, or did I accidentally cross the line of letting too much of my wiring out?
It’s so rare and comforting to run across someone besides my husband who “gets” me. It feels as is a big sigh of relief washes over my entire body. I can be myself. I can talk about my kids. I don’t have to pretend. Most of these people, however, I have only found online, and I am a proximity person. I typically need to see you often to be able to feel close to you…but maybe I will have to train myself to be different in this area if I’d like more real friends. I have been making a concerted effort to be more involved in a few of my online groups, and I’ll see how that goes.
When I was in middle school, I was part of a gifted program that grouped those of us that qualified together for language arts, social studies, math and science. Those school years were my best – I was surrounded by people who were so much like me. We had different interests, and we understood how exciting it was to share them with each other. Then came high school, and several moves, and we fell out of touch. Since that time, I have made a few friends that have lasted with me over time, but they are not “spill my guts” friends. And certainly not “spill my guts about my kids” friends.
Over time, I have just come to the realization that I am who I am, and I like who I am. I have become an expert at toning myself down and fitting my personality into the circumstance, but it’s so cramped in that box!
As I watch my kids grow and develop, and see that they have acquired many of these same traits, it encourages me to not keep myself folded up in that box. I want them to love and appreciate themselves for who they are, and the best way to teach them is by example. Of course, they will need to learn some situational cues and behaviors in order to survive in this world, but I’d like them to be confident in themselves and not be convinced that they need to camouflage their personalities, as I did for 30 some years.
So, here’s to getting out of that box and exploring the rainforest.
C told me from the backseat the other day, “No, I do not sleep on Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday, or 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 days. I only sleep on Mondays.”
Isn’t that the truth.
The girls have a regular bedtime schedule. They get their pj’s on and brush teeth around 7:30pm. We read together until 8pm. Hubby and I turn on their music, tuck them in, give goodnight kisses, leave. The girls have a small light in their room that is on a timer, and turns off at 9:30pm.
B usually stays up and reads until the light turns off, and occasionally we find her laying on her belly, book stretched out to reach the light from the hallway. She goes to sleep on her own when she is finished, and wakes up happy in the morning, so it works for us.
B was a LOVELY napper. When she was a baby, she set herself on a sleep schedule…napping from 9:30am – 11:30am, and then from 1pm – 4pm. I didn’t know how good I had it. I had time to blog, time to read, time to clean, all in a quiet, serene environment. When she woke up, of course, it was a different story, but those hours throughout the day were so revitalizing. She went to bed at 7:30pm, and slept until 5am, and although that was an early wake up call, she was almost always in a good mood upon waking, and would keep herself busy for awhile in the morning. She has always enjoyed her own space, so co-sleeping was never an option.
C, on the other hand…She tells me she does not like the dark, and does not like to close her eyes. When she was a baby, she would nap for 45 minutes during the day at the most, and only after crying and fighting until she had nothing left to give. Those short naps disappeared around 18 months. She would sleep for about 8 hours through the night, but often only if she was snuggled right next to me. She was intense for every single other one of the 15 hours and 15 minutes left in the day.
Whew. I am worn out again just thinking about it.
These days, she is still intense, she rarely naps and it only occurs if we are driving around in the late afternoon, and that is ALWAYS worse than her skipping the nap altogether. She wants me to snuggle her at bedtime until she goes to sleep, which although I love it and try to soak all the snuggling up that I can before she gets to be what she thinks is “too big for that”, my moments to myself and with my husband are few. If she does sneak in that nap, she is up for hours in the evening, and would like some entertainment, please. Most times, she is just tired and on the verge of hysteria and meltdown and the slightest thing sends her over the edge…it’s a tightrope event every night.
Then there is the morning. I set my alarm for 5:15am daily, hoping to have some quiet time for myself to drink my coffee and do some writing, but most days C is up by 5:40am.
“Mama! The sun is up, so I am up!”
After we watched Frozen for the first time, I started calling C “Anna” in the mornings…such similar wake up calls. 🙂
She is not always a pleasant little bird in the mornings like her sister, and I have learned to just stop whatever it is that I am doing and pretend that I have just been waiting for this early morning moment to greet her, when my mind is screaming, “Can I just get 30 minutes of peace here?”
It can be very difficult some days. The worst ones include me feeling drained of patience at bedtime and my last words of the night coming out short and frustrated, causing tears (her) and guilt (me). Others leave me feeling like I am just spoiling her and giving into to her every whim and if I would just toughen up and tell her no, everything would be better. But I think anyone who can empathize with my plight knows that is just not the answer.
So what to do? For now, I am adding more activity to our day, attempting to keep her going non-stop to avoid the nap, wear her out sufficiently without sending her over the OE cliff. This will be a difficult transition, assuming it works, for B and I, who are more of the quiet-homebody-never-leave-the-house-if-we-have-a-book types, and it may result in some meltdowns of a different color for her. Maybe me too, to be honest…but there has to be a solution, right?
I’d love to hear ideas that you have tried, what worked, what didn’t…because as I am sure you are painfully aware, what works one day may not work the next, and my bag of tricks could always use some refilling.
For now, I’ll rest, because that sweet, sassy face will be popping through my door to greet me soon…