Tuesday, January 23, 2007

She's got... personality!

In October, I shared about my daughter's personality and how I finally figured out her Myers-Briggs type (ESTP). (Now that I think about it, I might have written about it on my family blog. Anyway...) One thing I always, always knew in my heart, and the Nurture by Nature MBTI book clobbered me over the head with, is the fact that I need to keep her busy--not just with crafts, etc., but physically active. It had been a few months since her gymnastics program closed down and I could see a difference. She did get crabbier and into more mischief. So, in spite of my own distaste for chauffeuring my children around town, I signed her up for the next available sport: co-ed basketball.

She was not happy about being signed up for a sport that uses a ball and as we began attending practices, she was beyond upset because there are too many boys. Alas, although technically co-ed, there are--at mos--two girls per team. Before every game or practice she moans and wails about going. On days when the other girl on the team doesn't show up, Marley refuses to practice or play (her middle name could be Intractable*). When she is cooperating, she seems to experience a moderate enjoyment although she is not very assertive yet.

(Marley with the team mom. For the first game, I had to
pry her off of me and deposit her into the team mom's arms.)

Perhaps because basketball has been less than a smashing success, I began looking into the next sport. I promised her it wouldn't be co-ed. She said she doesn't want try gymnastics again so I was checking out softball. My sister was a softball player as is her daughter. As I looked into it, I began dreading the high fee to play, the candy sale and snack bar duty requirements AND Marley's possible resistance. But then, in the nick of time, I was rescued by a flyer insert advertising Cheer and Drill Team lessons. They are moderately priced, have a reasonable meeting schedule, Marley's friend will sign up with her AND... AND... AND... Marley is excited about it. I went to registration tonight and confirmed that this would not be a Hoochie Mama cheer team. So, I signed her up and she received these:

She is ecstatic about getting a uniform and being a real cheerleader although she did ask me in the car later, "Mom, what does a cheerleader do?"

*Trying to get Marley to do something she doesn't want to do reminds me of trying to trim our late dog Bob's toenails. It took four people to hold him down and even then it was a difficult task. I've always attributed her stubbornness to her personality. At five months of age, she figured out--after one night--that a bedtime story meant going to bed and she refused to sit through one for months afterwards. Since I began reading Parenting from the Inside Out, I am beginning to wonder if there isn't more to it.

At 10 months old, Marley had a febrile seizure. She was taken to the hospital for x-rays, blood tests, etc. As is usually the case with this type of seizure, she was perfectly fine. Less than six months later, though, she had another one. More blood tests, attempts to place a catheter, and a visit to our family physician resulted in a protocol for treatment whenever she had any fever at all: rotate Tylenol and Motrin at any sign of fever and a pediatric suspension formula of Valium for its anti-convulsive properties. This was all very successful. However, every visit to a doctor was a drama. I became quite adept at holding her with my leg crossed over her lower body, one arm across her chest and one holding her head. (She is able to manage a visit to the doctor quite well now.) I wonder if her implicit memories--ones she cannot consciously recall because she was too young--are having an impact on how she faces feeling "forced" to do something. If so, Paul and I definitely need to find a new approach to enlisting her cooperation. I hope the following chapters of the book have some insight!

I did it! Have you?


Beck said...

Knowing your kid and meeting her needs makes you a great mama. You look completely different from how I pictured you! I always think that's so funny - I picture people in my head looking a certain way and it's NEVER correct!

Mary-LUE said...

That isn't me in the picture, it is the team mom. I did tell her, though, after seeing this picture that she looks like she could be Marley's mom!

atypical said...

Ah, the force factor. I would say it is possible her memories have something to do with it, but there is probably also a heavy dose of the old "strong willed child" thing going. At least, that is the case with my kids (and I would feel less awful if I were not alone).

Hey, one good thing about that personality trait is the courage to stand up for convictions.

I've been thinking of giving the MB to the older two boys for fun (though I have a pretty strong idea of where they fall).

Good luck with the cheering! "S-u-c-c-e-s-s...that's the way we spell success. V-I-C-T-O-R-Y, victory's our battle cry!" Eeeeek, remnants of high school pep rallies!!!!

atypical said...

I know I just commented, but I had to post again because the word verification is "pukemama" and that's just too funny to resist.

V-Grrrl said...

My son will not participate in ANY sports even though his friends all do and it's a no-pressure community. He does, however, like to bicycle, roller skate, scooter, hike, etc. This means we need to do it with him to encourage him to be active. Too bad he doesn't like just plain walking!

My daughter really enjoys sports. She tried them for the first time at age 8.

I've talked to PE teachers who have told me that organized sports really aren't well suited to most younger kids, that it's better to just focus on keeping them active then have them slog through sports they're not interested in or able to effectively play yet.

allrileyedup said...

I haven't yet read the post because after 5 attempts at trying to make it through the first two sentences, I finally broke down and said, "Yes, son, it's a funny guy!" He was pointing at your hitchhiker's guide to the galaxy face. Does that face have a name?

Shari said...

I laughed out loud at the Hoochie Mama link. :-)

Is Parenting From the Inside Out a good one? My sister loved Parenting with Love and Logic, so I'm definitely planning on getting that one, but I want recommendations for other good parenting books too. I'm probably jumping the gun since I haven't even given birth yet, but it's exciting to me to have a reason to read parenting books.

Mary, I think it's so great that you care so much about your parenting and want to learn more about your children so that you can be a better parent. You're an inspiration. :-)

-From your fellow ENFP

Mary-LUE said...


Parenting from the Inside Out is good but is really focused on the parent and the issues they bring to parenting. It might be a good one to read while you are pregnant so that you recognize issues as they come up. My favorite parenting books are:

*Anything by T. Berry Brazelton
*Active Parenting by Michael Popkin (I think that's his name)
*The Lousie Bates Ames series beginning with Your One Year Old
*Nurture by Nature which I reference in this post.
*Nurturing Good Children Now by Ron Taffel
*Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child by Weissbluth (I think that's his name)
*What to Expect the First Year is a good reference book as well as
*The Children's Medical Handbook A-Z.

That's probably an overwhelming list but it has been compiled over many years.

V-Grrrl said...

I like the Louise Ames books too because they're more "just the facts" and less a philosophy or viewpoint someone is espousing.

Mary-LUE said...

That is one of the reasons I love those books so much, too, V.

Sophie said...

What a helpful post! Thank you! I love the Myers-Briggs but never thought of "typing" my daughter. I'm using that idea. Also, the pictures are great!

Shari said...

Thanks so much for the book list, Mary! It's not overwhelming at all . . . I like to read and refer to many books. It calms me down, especially with such a huge life change coming up. :-)