Friday, January 26, 2007

Typing lessons

Jenn and I treated the girls to dinner at the local Friendly’s the other night, sort of a quasi-reward for the H-Belle behaving at daycare. The girls love to eat out.

Hannah plopped herself next to me and started chatting away.

“Babci, will you color with me? Oh yes, I want macaronis and cheese but no pickle. Can I have chocolate milk?”

As little sister continued to jabber, Sophie quietly took out her complimentary crayons and started her own busy work. She glanced our way and sighed. She and her mom know what they’re up against when we gather as a group - the “I’s” against the “E’s”.

Who would have thought that my older granddaughter would already grasp the concept of psychological types?

It started months ago. Sophie and I were hanging out, doing some project or other, when she turned to me and exasperatedly noted, “You’re an ‘E’!”

“Excuse me?”

Eyes rolling and repeating to dense grandmother, “You’re definitely an ‘E’, Babci. And I’m an ‘I’.” My need to talk a lot was obviously wearing the kid out. She had learned from her mom that some people were “the life of the party” and called extroverts while some people loved their private time and were introverts. She and her mom were in the latter camp; I and Hannah were definitely cut from the former cloth.

Shades of Carl Jung. Sophie was sizing us all up and had a pretty good understanding of how humans tend to behave. She seemed to like the idea that she could explain to herself just why she needed to be alone and play quietly at certain times … that it was good for her, felt right. On the other hand, even though it was frustrating to be bombarded by the exuberance of the other type, like me or Hannah, she also found it highly amusing.

It came full circle at the restaurant with Jenn at her side. Sitting across from us, they watched as Hannah proceeded to chat up the waitress, the older couple across the aisle, and then a family group as they passed our seats.

“No pickles on my plate!” as a final reminder to the waitress; “Why you not getting ice cream?” to the retired couple as they got up to leave; “I know you!” to the woman passing by who was a helper at Hannah’s daycare.

Jenn had Sophie giggling when she commented on the family dynamics. “Can you imagine going to the movies with Babci and Hannah?!”

I picked up on where she was going. “So, I guess you two would have to sit in another row just so you’d have some peace and quiet.”

Sophie chimed in and pointed at me and Hannah, “Oh yes, mommy, they’d be talking all through the movie!”

The die is cast. Hannah and I will continue to bounce and babble while the quiet ones, the deep thinkers, the family introverts will continue to sigh patiently and endure.

My son-in-law? “Daddy is an ‘I’ and an ‘E’”, observes Sophie. I think she’s right.

Move over Carl Jung, here comes Sophie.


Birchsprite said...

Such a wise little head! I think she's an old spirit....definitely been around before!

slouching mom said...

That Sophie, she is a sharp tack.

I can imagine the scene at Friendly's, because it would be so like my family's scenes, Ben being the most extroverted child who ever lived, and Jack being, well, like me. Jack came home from preschool the other week saying that sometimes he didn't want to play with his friend Kate as much as she wanted to play with him. He said, "Sometimes I just need down time." Out of the mouths of babes...

I was trained as a clinical psychologist, though for now the only way I'm using my training is to analyze my kids, which I'm sure they'll thank me for later. :)

Tell Sophie to come talk to me, and I will dissuade her from wanting to be a psychologist.

She's destined for greater things than that.

Simon said...

We should totally get your grand-girls together with my boys. There's only about two years between the pairs respectively, and if my wife has taught me anything it's that going for slightly older chicks is totally the way to go. Besides, you broads live longer so it's only fair to make up part of that difference at the get-go!

My older is more the "I", preferring to wile away time on his magna-doodle or stack and topple 'castles' with my never-used poker chips. The younger, nearing a year, rarely ever shuts up though we have no idea what the heck he's saying. Perhaps he'll get clearer when his first teeth finally start coming in?

I read pretty much everything you jot in here, Mater, though not so frequent with the comments any more.

Me, I'm definitely the "I" kinda guy.

geogirl said...

As a true-blooded "I" (and having spent time with you) I can totally sympathize with poor, exasperated Sophie.

However, I will say that hanging out with an "E", can also sometimes be oddly comforting. There is no pressure on us to uphold the conversation.

Plus, "E's" make excellent tour guides. I swear on Billy Penn's hat. ;-)

velocibadgergirl said...

Sophie rocks. H-belle, too. Must run in the family ;)

Birchsprite said...

Mater following on from your comment over at mine.... I'm not getting married til next christmas!! So you haven't missed anything

anonymom said...

It cracks me up that every picture of H-belle is blurred!

The Mater said...

Loving all your comments and, yes, Hattie is perpetually in motion, mouth and body! Although, she does like to cuddle every once and awhile.

When Sophie was newborn, a visiting nurse looked in her eyes and exclaimed "This child is an old soul."

birchsprite, so glad I didn't miss your wedding :>)

kirsty said...

Three generations of perceptive women! An extraordinary child, I think :)