Triticum Turgidum

Lying Dormant and Waiting to Bloom Since 2005

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Location: The Prairie, Illinois, United States

I am a beauty-loving ambidextrous higher-order primate who learned transcendental meditation at 7, statistical analysis at 23, tap dancing at 30, and piano at 35. I tolerate gluten, lactose, and differences of opinion, but not abuse. Or beets.

Monday, December 04, 2006

Report Card

We had our first parent-teacher conference today. Isn't that a hoot? Fi goes to the early child development lab school at the university where I work, and they have parent-teacher conferences even in the infant program.

She has three teachers so G and I sat in her classroom facing all three of them while her primary caregiver (my favorite of the three) led us through her evaluation.

There's not much you can say about a 9-month-old academically, so they were stuck rattling off observations about her motor and emotional development.

Highlights: She loves playing with the crackly laminating paper and pulling velcroed things apart. She likes exploring textures (e.g., cornmeal, the other infants' hair and nostrils -- not such a good idea) and shapes. One day when the other babies were using markers to scribble on a huge sheet of paper, Fi spent the entire time exploring the details and textures of the hollow end of the marker where the cap is usually jammed. (It was a visual arts exercise but she preferred to do performance art, you see.) If you try to feed her baby food with a spoon, she'll clamp her lips and deflect the spoon with her forearms, ninja-style; she prefers finger foods, and feeding herself. She can get absorbed in a single activity for quite some time. She sleeps for exactly 1/2 hour every afternoon. She's very serious and sensitive and has a low pain tolerance (just how do they test that?).

Basically, she's just like I was as a baby. The teachers were surprised when I revealed this because they thought G and I were jovial, lighthearted people and figured Fi would be too. I wanted to say, "It's all a performance. I smile on the outside but I'm crying inside," but I feared they wouldn't catch the sarcasm.

As challenging as it's been to have a daughter who's more Strindberg than Helium, in a strange way I'm proud. Still waters run deep, and all that. We live in a culture that idealizes extroversion, so I know that Fi is going to run into many of the same challenges I've experienced as a natural introvert. But I think the world needs our special gifts. While the extroverts are scribbling all over the paper, we're quietly figuring out how to design a better pen.

4 Comments:

Blogger violetnoir said...

Our youngest used to have those parent-teacher conferences, too, when he was in pre-school. I found them to be very amusing, yet helpful, because our family absolutely adored his pre-school teacher. We were lucky enough to have her for four out of the five years that he attended pre-school, and we still keep in close contact with her and the pre-school owner.

Hugs to you, G and Fi!

10:59 AM, December 06, 2006  
Blogger Bela said...

Isn't it a bit premature to decide what kind of character this little baby will have later? I am proof that one can change drastically at any age. For half of my life I was the most introverted person on the planet and then I became more outgoing (maybe not the soul of the party all the time, but still). I redid the Gaston Berger test a few years ago and the results were very different from those I got when we did it at college.

Fi sounds to me like a typical 9-month-old little girl: fun and cute.

11:23 AM, December 07, 2006  
Blogger Jonna said...

I'm late, but I was always an introvert (still am, though people are surprised to hear that), and it was hard, but, as you know, there were about 100 million benefits to it that I never expected. I am happy to be alone, more self-sufficient and probably more sensitive to other people than my wildly extroverted counterparts. Yes, it sucked growing up when going to parties was the last, the absolute LAST thing I wanted to do, but as an adult, it's made for a much happier, fulfilling life (one I can fulfill myself, rather than requiring the presence of others).

1:35 PM, December 08, 2006  
Blogger Anjali said...

Fi sounds amazing, just like you. Extroversion is overrated!

Love from the world's biggest introvert,
A

4:40 AM, December 15, 2006  

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