Nature not nurture?

When you have kids you learn many things. Like how to yell in that quiet way so your child hears your insane threat at the shops but the lady in front of you (hopefully) doesn’t. Or that it really is possible to survive on 4 hours’ sleep a night. And that you are indeed capable of rocking a baby to sleep while cooking the dinner while playing fairies with your toddler while reading up for a uni assignment.

At the moment, Bookworm and Picasso are teaching me all about nature over nurture. My two boys are only 16 months apart, and while poor Bookworm copped the full force of my probably neurotic and crappy first-time-as-a-mum parenting, they have had a fairly similar experience. But no two different boys could you find! A couple of weeks ago I did the Myer-Briggs personality test for kids on each of them and was astounded at the accuracy of the results. While I know they are young and will change, I found it really helpful information. Anyway in the three categories (they only have three for kids) Bookworm got an E for Extrovert, N for iNtuitive and a P for Perceiving. Picasso, on the other hand, got an I for Introvert, an S for Sensory and a J for Judging. Yes, completely opposite on every scale.

It was reinforced for me as the school year began, and I watched them do their homework. Bookworm complains dramatically and when he finally gets his book out he dashes it off as quickly as possible. It’s barely legible and as one of the teachers pointed out to me this year, he’d write with his feet if he thought that would make it easier. Despite him talking the whole time it’s done in about 5 minutes. Now we come to Picasso. He is so painstakingly slow I want to tear my hair out, and I could, because it would actually grow again by he time he finished. Every word is perfectly formed, and rubbed out and redone the minute there’s a stroke of pencil out of place. And since his teacher told him to leave a two-finger gap between words, he has fully embraced the letter of the law. Two-finger spaces are carefully measured with a precision that would make an OCD sufferer proud. When I suggested he didn’t ACTUALLY have to be QUITE so specific his eyes welled up with tears so I hastily just left him to it.

Funny kids. It will be very interesting to see how things go as they grow up!


Excerpts from school scribblings…

This week Bookworm and Picasso brought home their school books for the year. As I flipped through the pages I was at times highly amused – and at others rather alarmed – by what they’d written. At times like these I can only imagine what the teachers must think! So for the enjoyment of all, I will share.

“Last night I ate nuggets on bread. They were yummy. I wish we could have them again. They were as good as McDonals nuggets” – Picasso. High praise indeed.

“On Sunday me and my family went to my grandmar’s house with our couzzens and had ice cream and donuts and chocolate cake and chips!!! But our grandmar had an olser in her eye” – Picasso. Felt like explaining to the teacher that on occasion we do eat vegetables, and poor Grandma did not have an eye ulcer because she suffers from some kind of vitamin deficiency.

“My school holidays. I got up so early and played ipad. I went to a random house and played there. One night burglar Bill went to rob a house” – Picasso. Hmmm.

“On the weekend I and my family put up the Christmas tree and the decorations. We got an early Christmas prezzent because a person on my house and it was a Christmas decoration!!! An angel decoration!!! And I put all my Christmas decorations in one spot on the bottom of the Christmas tree” – Picasso.  (He did, too – couldn’t convince him to spread them out).

The following is taken from Bookworm’s spelling books where he had to create sentences with the words considered, essential, calm.

“I considered to commit suiside.

“Life was very calm in heaven. Life was calm till it was essential to go to hell.”

I had to agree with the teachers’ note which read, “?? Theme??

Then we moved onto plurals, where he had written,

“There were heaps of ladies on the toilets.” Wonderful.

Then I saw,

“It is safe to jump off a cliff because there will probably be an acid pool below.

“It is safe to go up to strangers and have chats too.” Argh! No wonder the teacher had written ,”Is it opposite day today?” underneath.

Hopefully we won’t end up in the school counselor’s office 🙂