Thursday, November 12, 2009

On the Extrovert/Introvert Scale

For those of you who know the Myers-Brigg personality test, I'm an ENFP. E stands for Extrovert, as opposed to Introvert. It's about where you get your energy and what you need to feel refreshed, and it should not to be confused with outgoing versus shy. Though I am on the E side of the scale, I'm so close to the middle that I'm probably an X (the Myers-Brigg designation for when you are right in the middle).

Years and years agow, when I told my sister that I was an ENFP, she expressed surprise that I'm an E. I told her, "Just because you are WAY over on one side of the E on the scale does not mean that I'm slightly more of an extrovert than I am an introvert." She laughed, because it's true. She is extremely extroverted. (We are both very friendly, outgoing people.)

My daughter, the Pumpkin, is not only super outgoing but she is most definitely an extrovert. The extreme kind like my sister. I realize that I never shared a story about her that I'd always meant to, which I will do now. This story might show more of her outgoing personality than her extrovertedness, but it really is an example of both. Excuse me while I digress...

Last July, the Pumpkin had to have her blood taken to check for nut allergies. (I never wrote up the post about the outcome of that, either. I will get to it soon.) Thanks to good advice, I called ahead and made an appointment. This was my first time away from the Pookie, and I was going without Londo. I was still a bit out of it and totally forgot to repack my diaper back for the Pumpkin, including things to occupy her in a waiting room--but that was partly because we had an appointment. Unfortunately, even though we got there on time, there was a wait. In fact, the waiting room was just about full.

So there we are in the waiting room with nothing to entertain the 2 year old except a pen and piece of paper (which worked for all of 10 seconds). The Pumpkin started climbing in and out of her chair and running across the room. She was basically quiet and good, just needed to be up and moving, and I stayed with her. But even that got boring.

Then, she turned to a woman sitting in a chair. Having recently learned how to introduce herself, she said, "Hi! I'm Pumpkin*."

The woman had been watching her with a smile, so I didn't stop her from going up to the woman. The woman said hi back to her and told her her name. Then the Pumpkin showed her the squiggly lines picture she drew on the paper I had. They had a little exchange. Then, the Pumpkin was off again.

I looked around to gauge the room. There were a few people in watching my girl and smiling. A few had chuckled at the exchange with the woman. No one seemed annoyed.

The Pumpkin went up to another woman. Introduced herself and asked the woman's name. The woman replied and commented on her picture. The man next to her commented to me about how outgoing she was and how old was she. I answered, and the Pumpkin went to him and exchanged introductions.

I gave a general apology to the people around or the room or whoever in case we were disurbing anyone. A couple a few seats away spoke up and said that it wasn't bothering anyone, that she was being friendly. Now, everyone in the room is watching her, and she keeps going up to people and introducing herself. Someone else spoke up, saying that they didn't normally have entertainment in the waiting room, so it was a nice change.

She was as happy as I'd ever seen her, the center of attention and chatting it up with seemingly-nice strangers. It made it easier when I got called into the back. I apologized to everyone in advance for the screaming they were about to hear, and got words of encouragement back. When we left, with her sobbing into my shoulder as I carried her, we got sympathetic looks. But most importantly, the interaction she had prior to the bloodwork was good as a distraction and for her extrovertedness to get recharged.

That's my daughter. The extreme extrovert.

My son, the Pookie, however, is different. He is definitely more introverted than his sister. Since he was a baby, I've noticed that he would get overwhelmed and overstimulated at times. When my husband and the Pumpkin would be running around and playing in the family room, I'd notice that the Pookie would be getting more and more fussy. I would take him upstairs for some quiet time.

Although my daughter did amazingly well at stores, restaurants and parties as a baby, the Pookie does not do as well. This past weekend, I took him with me to a baby shower. At first, he was fine. Doing cute things and seemed happy. But as a lot of people were watching him, talking to me about him and trying to play with him or get his attention, he started getting more and more fussy.

Being more used to his sister, I had forgotten. I couldn't figure out what was wrong. I tried to feed him, but that wasn't it. I tried to walk around with him, but that wasn't working. I brought him in a back room, put him in my sling and tried to get him to sleep, even though he had just napped. He started to calm down, but didn't fall asleep. I finally realized that he had been overstimulated.

I brought him back out as the presents were being opened. It was much calmer in the room then, and we sat in a chair behind the couch and everyone else. I had him happy and giggling in no time.

These two kids of mine, coming from the same parents, really do have their differences. Just like my sister and I do.

*She used her real name (or rather nickname that she goes by).

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Apparently It DOES Need All the Parts

Last night, I went to bed without doing any dishes. That means that I didn't even wash the parts for my pump, which I used every day (twice a day) at work. Which means that I would have to wash them in the morning, while I'm hurrying around getting myself, the Pumpkin and the Pookie ready for our day. This is not an unusual scenario, and I bring it up only to point out that I was in a hurry this morning. Also, I'm not especially great about cleaning my pump parts.

So this morning, I quickly washed up all the little and big parts that need to be washed for the pump. I noticed that there was some gunk in the crevise of one of those parts (the connector piece, for those who care, which connects the bottle, tubing, shield and valve). So I took the nipple cleaner piece from the bottle sponge (you know what I'm talking about, right?) and tried to dig the gunk out. It was in pretty good--it had probably been there a while. I finally was getting it out when... Snap!

I broke a piece of plastic off the connector. I examined the entire connector. Was that piece really needed? It didn't wall off anything completely. It was just kind of hanging down. Surely the pump would be okay without it.

No, it wasn't. It turns out that these things are designed to work a certain way and needs every piece to be where design. Who knew? (Don't answer that!)

When my first pumping session this morning went abysmally with really no suction on one side, I quickly came up with a plan. I happen to work a few blocks away from a baby store. I could buy the parts, but I was pretty sure you are supposed to sterilize them before first use. Aha! They will surely have those sterilization bags, too!

After lunch, I drove up there, bought the connector pieces (they come in a pack of two), another set of valves with membranes (because those pieces are as old as the one that broke, and I might as well get some new ones) and a package of the microwaveable sterilization bags. I got back to work, got the pieces and some water from the bathroom in the bag, used the microwave in the kitchen and got myself all set up.

Now, I'm happy to report that I've got a good amount milk to make up for the lack there of from my morning session. I will also pump again later this afternoon, which will be my real afternoon session. Let's hope this crazy morning of delayed/poor pumping doesn't affect my supply (and that my nipples hold up, though my pumping experience has been MUCH better this time). Because the baby boy LOVES to eat!

Monday, November 9, 2009

Question of the Week - We Love to Laugh

I call my baby boy Smile Guy because he smiles so much. He also laughs a lot, and we're finding more and more ways to make him laugh every day. It was really easy to make the Pumpkin smile and laugh, too. We love to make these kids laugh. There is just something about the sound of kids and babies laughter that can make everything feel right with the world.

This week's question of the week is:

What do you do to make your kids laugh?

Still being a baby, the Pookie laughs at physical sensations. You'll surely get a chuckle from him if you put your hand on his belly and jiggle side to side. He cackles when you tickle the back of this thighs or kiss his jawline. He laughs with gusto if you lift him in the air and lower his face to your for kisses. Heck, sometimes he even giggles if you just look at him and smile!

We make the Pumpkin laugh mostly with silly songs or silly faces. She doesn't yet get jokes, but she does love it when we use the wrong words in songs. She also laughs for joy when she's swung around or running around playing.

How about you all? How do you get your kid going? And isn't it just the best sound in all the world?