Why Introverts Don’t Have Lots of Kids
I am an Introvert. I prefer to think things through, to have deep one-on-one conversations, to really delve into the philosophy of something rather than just skimming the surface of a lot of topics. And sometimes my kids make me feel like I have a ringing alarm clock strapped to my head.
I am reading (or trying to at least) a fascinating book by Susan Cain called Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking. In it she discusses fascinating research into personality and neurology, that aims to figure out why some of us draw our energy from being outgoing and interacting with others, while others (like myself, my husband and a bunch of the kids) draw their energy from being solitary and really thinking deeply about things. Breadth versus depth, warrior commanders versus philosopher kings, you get the idea.
So a book like this is right up my alley. Each page is more fascinating than the last. Until I actually tried to steal a few quiet minutes to read it. As I bent my head over the page…..
Baby started screaming and hysterically laughing, while banging the side of the tub. Yes, I was trying to read a few pages as I sat next to Art Girl and Baby in the bathtub. Art Girl’s new Allergist recommended daily baths to help her eczema. (By daily, he meant up to three times daily. It’s hard enough for me to remember to remind her to brush her teeth, so I am really hoping that her skin is dramatically improved by her trips of the Upstairs Main Bath Spa.)
Art Girl was oblivious to all this. She was busy squirting water with a latex rubber octopus all over the floor and walls.
“Mom, look! The Octopus has to go to the doctor!”
At this she piled poor, sickly Octopus into a floating bucket (why is that in there?) filled it with water and proceeded to dump it all over Baby’s head.
Baby is not amused. She now starts crying while trying to climb out of the tub, splashing water and furiously clutching for my dear, neglected book that I am holding over my head as I try to find a place that hasn’t been covered with 3mm of water from all the flaying and squirting.
“Stop it! Hold on! Wait a sec!” I cry. Then….
“Ring. Ring. Mommy. Ring. Ring. Mommy.”
I grit my teeth at another interruption. Princess, who was banished from the bathroom 2 minutes ago for encouraging Baby to climb out of the tub, is back. She is standing on the other side of the closed bathroom door, calling me on her imaginary cell phone, which is really her fist put up to her ear. For some reason, this always compels me to put my fist to my ear and answer her.
“Yes, Mommy here. I’m really busy and I have to call you back.”
“No!! You don’t know who this is yet, Mommy. We have to start over. Ring. Ring. Mommy….”
“Helllo-who-is-this?” I interrupt trying to answer my hand while towelling a wriggling 10 month old with the other.
“Hi, Mommy. It’s me. I’m sending you a letter. Are you having a nice day?”
“Yeah. It’s great. Bye” I say in my “I don’t want to be remembered as the 21st Century’s Mommy Dearest” fake nice voice. By now, Baby is dry and I am wrestling her into a diaper, and then sleeper. I open the door and ask the nearest older girl to play with for 5 minutes while I help Art Girl with all her medicated creams and ointments. As I walk past my book, my dear abandoned book, it reminds me of the deep thoughts I was going to have. Something about personality and kids and….
Knock. Knock. Knock. “Mail delivery for Mommy! Mail delivery for…YOU SQUIRTED WATER ALL OVER MY LETTER!! MOMMMY!!”
One day I’ll finish that book. It will be a good day, a very good day.