I think I knew early on in Toby's little life, but I've recently come to the conclusion that he is very possibly an introvert. His personality is still revealing itself, but so far what I see is awesome and I actually like the fact that he is one to keep to himself.
Oh sure, I try to get him out to be around people and have opportunities to play with other children. It's actually because of these interactions that I've noticed what his personality is like. When he's in group settings with other children his age, he might interact a little here and there, but generally he's that kid that picks up a toy and smiles as if he's just found the rarest diamond on the planet and proceeds to walk around holding said toy in the air like Gollum held the ring:
As I was saying, Toby tends to play in the midst of other kids around him. If it's a one on one play date, he tends to keep his distance until he feels comfortable. When we're home he's pretty good at finding things to entertain himself, but he does check in with me every so often to make sure I'm not getting into anything I shouldn't, like the dishes or laundry. It's just how he is.
This is just my opinion, but it seems like the world is run by extroverts and therefore the dominant mindset is that being an introvert means there is something wrong with you. I should clarify here: I'm an introvert at heart, so this could just be my natural tendency speaking, but if you'd be so kind as to hear me out that'd be great.
Not that there's anything wrong with being an extrovert. They are necessary to our society. If there were no extroverts no one would interact and then what would people like me do without stuff like "The Bachelor" to entertain us, even though we would never dare participate in something like that. Introverts are vital too. If everyone spent every moment interacting with each other who would come up with concepts like a cell phone or E=MC2. Okay, maybe that's a stretch but you get the idea. The point is there is a purpose for each personality type and everyone is vital to their community.
What has been interesting for me as a mom to a little introvert is that I've noticed how much emphasis is put on making sure that we teach our children to socialize with other kids and have play dates, and take them places where they'll meet other children, etc. These are all wonderful opportunities for our children, absolutely, and I really do want to make sure that Toby and any other future kiddos know how to be polite and function in social situations. What I don't want to do is crush his natural tendency to be satisfied- maybe even comforted- by spending time alone.
Of course, the little guy is only 15 months old and there is lots of time for things to change. For all I know he'll turn 2 and seem to thrive off of meeting every single person in the world and hate being alone for even one minute. I think there are phases. When I was in my late teens and earlier twenties I went through a more extroverted phase where I wanted to get out and hang out with friends a lot. Nowadays the life of a hermit is the life for me.
Anyways, I don't know where I originally planned to go with all this. My brain all of a sudden stopped working and I really have no idea what I'm doing here. Ugh, I hate it when that happens.
"Where did mom's brain go?"
This is all just my speculation and I'd love to hear what others have to say. Any moms of introverts out there? Any extroverts want to chime in?