I've been reading this great book called "Raising Your Spirited Child," which has totally opened my eyes about lots of toddler behaviors. One major thing that I've been talking to Mark about a lot is the idea of being an introvert or an extrovert. I was really surprised to learn that the labels have little to do with whether you like people or or shy. It has to do with how you recharge your battery - being around people, or being alone. I've thought for years that I am an extrovert because I'm reasonablyoutgoing, but the book made me think about the fact that in college and after I chose to live alone, and that when I was little my favorite thing to do was to play alone in my room. It also explains why I completely don't understand why my outgoing husband is on the phone all the time, drops in on co-workers to chat during breaks at work, and needs to tell me about his day before bed. That just sounds totally exhausting to me.
Anyway, I had decided that Sam was an extrovert, but I think I'm changing my mind. For the last week or so we've been going to coffee shops with playrooms and our exercise class, and I've been spying on him. The other kids would be clamoring for the attention of the caregiver, and Sam would be over in the corner playing by himself with a few little cars. At the coffee shop, he'd play happily with the other kids, then go sit on the couch in the corner and just sort of watch them for a while. I'm really proud that instead of throwing a tantrum or lashing out when he feels overwhelmed,he knows to just go off by himself and get some alone time. I know adults that can't do that.