Thursday, August 20, 2009

Spirited Children, Revisited

Way back in January I wrote this post about a book I had just read. I can't believe I've only had the book for eight months. I'm into my 4th reading of it! In that post I outlined five things I was going to implement into our routine. Well, lets just say that a downside to being an irregular personality is that it is hard for me to get into a routine and bring that to my girls. We ended up moving back to almost the point we were at when I first purchased the book.

On re-reading I've learned an interesting thing. I do not, as I originally believed, have one regular spirited extrovert (Chaya), one irregular spunky extrovert (Shira) and a regular spunky introvert (Batya). In fact I now believe that Batya is the only true spirited child. Shira is on the cusp but that could actually be a side-effect of being multiples since her spiritedness shows up mostly when she isn't the center of attention. Chaya is firmly "spunky" but very extroverted. It seems that Chaya and Shira's extroverted personality simply overwhelmed me and I mistook that for spiritedness.

The hardest thing right now is finding a balance between their needs. It isn't like any of them are at a point where they can recharge without me or even recognize that they need to recharge. Also, the two extroverts don't seem to recharge each other. So I'm left with a lot of chattering and activities with them while trying to give Batya some down time.

Aba and I are talking about getting her this chair from Ikea that she likes. Its the egg-shaped one with the shade that pulls down. It would be perfect, but we need to figure a way to convince the other two that it is just for Batya. I don't want 3 of them in my crammed-full-of-furniture house and they are $80 each! We are thinking of making it a holiday gift and getting something for each of the other two, too. It would be nice because we will likely have a lot of guests over the Yamim Noraim and I'd like it if she had a private spot without leaving the gate upstairs open.

Baruch HaShem that Batya is my lightest girl so I can still wear easily!

In the end I'm back to where I was in January.

  • Consistent wake and bed times.
  • Consistent breakfast, lunch and dinner times.
  • Make snacks more of a mini-meal.
  • A 45-minute siesta after lunch.
  • Time outside in the morning to help your brain regulate its time-keeping.

Question: For those of you who have an introvert and an extrovert, how do you keep the extrovert from bothering the introvert when they need down time? Batya's favorite relaxing spot is my bed, but if I leave the gate open then the other two go join her and soon she is crying and I don't want to lock her upstairs. I've tried explaining that she wants some time alone or wants to rest or plain doesn't want to play but that doesn't work. Redirecting them is hard because they are stubborn, too!