Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Shy + Quiet = Social Butterfly?

I'm not sure if this will come as any surprise to anyone...but I'm not all that outgoing. Oh sure, stick me behind the relative anonymity a blog and I'll "talk" your ear off...but stick me in a room full of people I don't know and I will find a way to blend with the wallpaper. You won't even know I'm there. The Man is a quiet kind of guy too. How then, tell me, did we give birth to a social butterfly?

I guess I have to back up a little...it wasn't always that way. As an infant and a toddler in full time daycare, my SweetPea was the one who liked to sit there and soak it all in. She wasn't afraid to be in the middle of a group of kids...but she liked to hang out on the fringes and watch what everyone was doing. If you got her one on one, she'd tell you all about what was most important to her at that very moment, but with "the pack", she'd stay pretty quiet. I honestly can't tell you when the transition happened...but it did. Next thing you know, she was the kid out on the playground trying to make new friends and engage other kids in conversation. She'd see someone playing and jump right in, albeit uninvited. She became fascinated with my next door neighbor and would sit by the front window waiting for DeeAnn to come home from work, then would BEG me to bring her over so she could tell "Miss DeeAnn" all about her day.

I take that back...I have a theory about the sudden morph into the social butterfly. When we moved into our new house a year ago, we had to pull SweetPea out of Montessori school. It just wasn't in the budget anymore. I guess being pent up with Mommy and Lil Buddy all day, having very little interaction with kids her own age made her desperate for social interaction. Well, interaction that didn't involve US. Suddenly the mailman, the UPS guy, the pest control guy who comes every three months to treat the house...ALL suddenly became the most interesting people...EVER.

Of course it broke my heart to realize how much she really wanted...no NEEDED time to be with other kids her age...so, I combed over and beat our family budget to death...and found a way to send both SweetPea and Lil Buddy to school for two half days per week. Immersion into an unfamiliar school environment actually brought back "SweetPea the Observer"...for a little while anyway. Every time I'd ask, the teachers would tell me that she was more than willing to participate in class activities...but that she never said much...until...one day, 2 months into school, she decided to bring one of her favorite toys, Marvin, the giant stuffed gorilla, to school. Marvin must have been the ice breaker she needed, because...the head teacher told me...she all of the sudden started talking...and didn't stop for the whole four hours she was there. She had every teacher STUNNED.

It's kind of funny to see my little butterfly in action. Whenever someone comes to the door at home, she is right next to me greeting them and introducing herself and her baby brother. If someone comes IN the house to visit, she insists on bringing them to her room and showing them all of her favorite things...and then her brother's room...then the toy room. I'm thinking I should rent her out to do White House tours. When we're out and about lately, like shopping at Target or WalMart, she'll try to catch people's eyes and wave at them, shouting "Hi!" like she's known them forever. I'm hoping her new found outgoing personality lasts and that it helps her make friends...and survive social situations a lot better than either The Man or I ever have!


  1. I have a social butterfly too and she's always right there next to me when I answer the front door. She also says hi to everyone when we go to the store. I'm happy she's so outgoing but at the same time, it's hard to get her to STOP talking. :oP

  2. I know the feeling, Holly! Mealtimes are hard, because Amelia likes to talk...and not eat. She's the only one who takes 45 minutes to eat a meal. We still have to learn the fine art of internal monologue. A couple weeks back we were walking into the bathroom at a restaurant and she comments...very loudly to boot "Mommy...that girl is washing her hands...did she get poopy on them?" Maybe, but I'm not about to ask her!

  3. Aren't kids great?! My hubby can talk to anyone, I like to listen (which works good in our relationship). We have 2 boys, the oldest is like his dad, the youngest is more like me, though he is starting to talk to "strangers" more than he used to.

  4. Aw, cute post. I refer to my little one as SweetPea on my blog, too. Come by and check it out :) I've got pictures of her first day of preschool today.

  5. My soon to be first grader (Less than a week away!) was that way. I would always hold my breath when she would venture out and try to make friends. She was fearless. I was always afraid her feelings would get hurt -- my hang-ups.

    She has gotten a bit more cautious as she has gotten older, worried what others will think. I miss when she was less self conscious. But yesterday she had 7 butterfly barrettes and 4 flower barrettes in her hair because she was "The earth". So, she's still got some fire in her (or maybe a molten core being the earth and all).

  6. You know that I love all of your posts...this one is the best so far! Wonderfully written with a truth and understanding that only a parent can have.
    This was my first mamadramalogues visit, I'll have to stop by more often:)

  7. Aw, cute post. shy + quiet = social butterfly... Who would have guessed! I have two social butterflies, but I'm a social butterfly myself (mostly. Sometimes it takes me a little bit to warm up, but only when I feel VERY out of my element) and my hubs is DEFINITELY a social butterfly, so my kids were doomed to flit from person to person, as they gab their way around a room.


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