Last week Little Bear met her cousin, S, for the first time. They are just a week apart in age, so it was fun to compare similarities and differences. But the actual interactions between the two turned out to be anticlimactic.
I don’t know why, but I expected the two to bond through smiles and coos. Well, that didn’t happen. First, they are on totally different internal clocks. When one was happy, the other was cranky. When one was awake, the other was sleepy or sleeping. When the two were finally put together on a play mat, one was trying to touch the other while the other was trying to push the first away. Finally, the moms held the babies face to face (a few inches apart, of course) to let them see each other. Wow! Did the personalities ever shine through.
During the face-to-face meeting, S was leaning forward with wide eyes trying to get closer to Little Bear. Little Bear, on the other hand, leaned back into me, literally put her arms across her chest, and pulled her chin into her neck. Can we say introvert? And can you guess which one was which in the paragraph above?
It is my hope that Little Bear will be great friends with S and her other cousins. I remember first becoming acquainted with my cousins, Jen, Lin, and Matt. Between the three of them and my two sisters and I, we were like stair steps in age. I looked forward to the times we could be together; and now I have fond and not-so-fond memories of things like road trips in a Volvo station wagon, clear shower curtains, prickly pear cacti, “chocolate” tapioca, and buckets of mud. Oh, and a silly song about some guy with whiskers on his chin.
I know that Little Bear will likely have to work at overcoming tendencies toward being shy. After all, her daddy and her mommy had to do so and at least I still struggle with it at times. We are purposely keeping Little Bear isolated for the first three months to allow time for her immune system to become a little more mature. After that, it is time to take her out and introduce her to church, classes, library story times, and play experiences.
Do you have any suggestions for gently socializing introverts? If so, please comment below. I am open to ideas.