Working with kids, I have often wondered what they will be like when they grow up. I have heard that most of one’s personality has developed by the time you reach age 7. Certain factors, such as experiences and environment, affect and shape the personality later on but the foundation is set. This is both great and disturbing to me as there are a few kids that I know who are just great little people and are full of kindness and also a couple of them that I fear might turn out to be serial killers.
I don’t believe that the formula (or any formula, for that matter) is set for everyone, but for me it seems to perfectly apply.
Here’s some trivia about Little Outdoorsy Girl….
(Keep in mind that my dad and I are the family jokesters.)
While visiting with my parents one weekend, my dad was sharing with me his baby book that he had somehow uncovered. After making a few jokes about how this documentation, nearly as old as Dead Sea Scrolls was still in pretty good shape, I began to look through the pages that my beloved, late grandmother had written down about my father. Suddenly I read something that cracks me up. “Oh my God, Daddy! You were a fat two year old! It says you weighed nearly as much as the five year olds in my class!”
“What!” he exclaims. “I think that is normal. I’ll bet you weighed that much!”
“Oh puh-lease! If I weighed that much then it’s no wonder you moan and groan so much about your back nowadays!”
To solve the dispute, my mom steps in and pulls out my baby book and I learned quite a bit about the little me. Not only did I find that my hair color, smile, and chipmunk cheeks were nearly the same, but also a few things personality-wise are pretty much unchanged.
For example, I apparently was born independent. When I was two I didn’t want anyone to have to put me to bed like a baby. I insisted that I go to bed on my own after my parents so I carried my own little lantern down the hallway to my room each night (most likely only about 30 seconds after they turned out their light.)
I was a tomboy then as I am now. There is a picture of me at age four with hair spilling out of my ponytail proudly holding up a fish that I caught on the lake with my dad. This weekend I will be trout fishing with my dad, by the way.
I was a born talker. For those of you who know me, is this really a shocker? I was blabbing about my pet cat before I was two. And it turns out that I never met a stranger while we were in the grocery store or wherever we happened to be. I had no problems telling people my name, that I was two years old, and then showing them my M&Ms I talked my mom into buying me.
Oh and now that food has been mentioned…I began having cereal added to my formula when I was only 3 weeks old! I cried and cried until the doctor told my mom that I must be hungry and to add the cereal. Right away, I began to sleep all night and started smiling and laughing and doing the other cute stuff. Once a pig, always a pig!
I did like to stay up rather late and watch some Johnny Carson. I still stay up late. TOO LATE.
I used to sing “Don’t Go Breaking My Heart” by Elton John and Kikki Dee when I was taking my bubble baths. I still sing (off key) while taking showers and yes, bubble baths! (But it's on to better songs nowadays.)
I always loved to go, go, go! Unlike my wimpy brother, I loved when my parents took me somewhere away from home to spend the night. I loved staying at my grandparents’ home best. I used to hurt my parents’ feelings because whenever they left me, I simply waved and said, “Bye! Bye! See ya!” I never cried. Maybe this was the beginning of the travel bug for me? I can still be easily detached from my home and easily fit right in new places.
Now I have to confess that I did read something disturbing in my baby book. It was right after I had looked through my old report cards and teachers’ comments about my “above average work” and I was feeling like the genius that I still am. Then I flipped to the page that listed my accomplishments. I walked early. I talked early. I proudly scrolled down my list of acts of brilliancy and came to a halt. Right beside the entry “First Began To Read”, in my dear mother’s handwriting was written “Age 7.” WHAT!?!
“Mama!” I exclaimed. “I could read before I was seven! What are you talking about!?” I am clearly unhappy about any future children I may have reading in their mother’s baby book that she was a dumb, slow reader and in turn, making fun of her as much she did of her own father for being such a fat baby.
“I know you did. But that’s when you began to really get into those Weekly Reader Books,” she said.
With a scowl still upon my face, I reply, “Then why didn’t you write that? You need to go back and add “proficiently” next to it. I began to read proficiently at age seven!”
She laughs at me and promised to add it. I’m going to check on that this weekend!
By the way, my dad was indeed a fat baby as we discovered I was much lighter than him at age two. We even pulled out my dear brother’s baby book to compare the numbers.
“Looks like you were fatter than Brother,” Daddy says with a smirk.
I compared the two pages and exclaim, “What are you talking about!? He is three pounds heavier than me at two!"
He looks again and laughs at his mistake. I couldn’t resist the open invitation to slam him once again. “You apparently never learned any math. Now that you should’ve picked up by this age!”
Looking at me with the same smirk and using the same sarcastic humor that so frequently flows from my own mouth, he says, “Yeah, yeah! But at least I could read before I was seven.”
Hmmm. Maybe one’s personality is formed by many various factors. I will always stick by the theory that the majority of it is by genes.
2 weeks ago