Once Upon a Time: Personality

Gratuitous cute pic of baby me – look at that enormous forehead!

I know the whole reputation of “terrible twos,” but, really, toddlerhood is one of my favorite ages. The blooming of a little person: exploration of their world, exploding verbal skills, learning to pretend and to be funny, and establishing a personality. All of the kids I’ve watched this past year are within a few months of each other. My nephew is nearly 2, and I have several good friends with toddlers. It’s so fun to see how crazy-different and how strong these little people’s personalities are!

My parents have told me many stories of how early many parts of my personality and tastes appeared. And if I look back to early, preschool memories and feelings, I can see the strong thread of Me all along.

  • I think I was 18 months old, or younger, when my mom saw me line up all my Fisher Price Little People on the edge of bathtub facing me… in age order from grandma to the baby. Yep, an organizer from the beginning.
  • I have always been a touchy, affectionate person; I can remember finding my way into every houseguest’s lap by the end of their visit.
  • I used to iron my doll clothes. For fun. Yeahhhh… that’s actually one I’ve outgrown!
  • Always the fashionista, I was just as happy to wear my tutu and leotard or dig in the dress-up box for daily wear.
  • On a visit to my grandparents before I could walk, I crawled away unseen and was finally found sitting in my grandma’s closet, sucking my thumb, cooing, and stroking all her long dresses hanging down around me. I still often unconsciously reach my hand out to touch and stroke clothes as I walk through a department store. Color and texture (and clothes!) have always fascinated me.
  • Anytime a new American Girl or J.C. Penney catalogue arrived, I couldn’t wait to look through every page with someone. I didn’t want to just look at the pretty things, I wanted to discuss everything. My patient mom spent a lot of time debating which shower curtain on a particular page was her favorite (yeah, I mean the whole JCP catalogue – I was in to decorating even then!). It was never a question whether I was an extravert or not.
  • My tender heart was easily manipulated by my family. It wasn’t uncommon that I would “sorry” myself instead of a family member when we played Sorry! I couldn’t bear to send someone back to the beginning. And I’d like to point out that they certainly took advantage of this play-pouting any time I tried to do it! To be honest, I still have some level of anxiety with competitive games; I’m normal and don’t like to lose, but winning makes me guilty.
  • I can remember how much I loved the magical days when a bath, clean jammies, and clean sheets all happened on the same night. It was such a wonderful feeling of CLEAN.
  • I have never been a morning person. On Sundays, my dad used to come into my room and make my dresses dance around and talk to me, competing to see which one I’d choose to wear to church. Eventually I’d start to laugh and join in, but without that I think I was a dreadful grumpy bear.
  • I can remember playing a game with my Playmobils where I would organize them on the floor into massive family trees (and yes, that was it). People, relationships, and organization. 🙂
  • Although I knew my stuffed animals were just fake fur and polyester filling, I couldn’t bear to say which one was my favorite. I just couldn’t risk hurting their feelings. It still doesn’t take much for me to impute feelings to animals and objects!

What about you? Did you have a personality that showed itself early on? Do you remember things which you know can see as “you”? Have your parents told you stories?



2 thoughts on “Once Upon a Time: Personality

  1. I can relate to several of these, especially the games thing. My family plays a lot of Uno and it still makes me uncomfortable to have to Draw Four someone.

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