Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Nerves of Steel

My labor with Hannah was induced mostly because there were no accelerations in her heartbeat. Yet, she was born were perfect Apgar scores. Since I've gotten to know my stealth baby, I've come to realize that her heart rate probably rarely accelerates even today.

In school I learned about lo-gain and high-gain personalities. Those with high-gain personalities receive more stimulation from a situation or experience than one would expect. Those with lo-gain personalities receive less stimulation from a situation than one would expect. They are the risk-takers. They seek out new and exciting things to do, all while seeming slightly bored.

John is the perfect example of a high-gain personality. John is an intense person and every event is the most thrilling, most terrifying, most sad thing in the whole world. Perhaps it's his personality. Perhaps it's a symptom of his emotional issues. But many of our family members have determined whether the correct present has been selected for John's birthday based on whether he exhibits the excited face rub or not. Evidenced by his earth shattering wails, I thought the poor boy was going to die right then and there with Marley when we went to see Marley and Me, thinking it was simply a sweet movie about a dog.

I've decided swimming is a great sport for John. There are only four strokes and only 25 meters of pool. Every practice is strikingly similar. It's safe and calm enough for him to enjoy. I think that's why he enjoys camping so much, he can go at his own pace and explore as his personality dictates. Amusement parks are too harried for this kid.

Hannah is closer to lo-gain than the other end of the spectrum. Nothing much excites her. I think she enjoys life all around her, but she likes to enjoy it from the height of the bookshelf or from the top of the kiddie roller-coaster. (She just isn't tall enough for the good stuff yet.) She moves slowly and sure-footedly. She calculates and takes risks. When Hannah experienced the rather intense Marley and Me she asked me several times in her sweet, mildly concerned voice, "Oh Mommy, that doggy is sick? They gonna fick it?"

She'd be the kind of person who would make a good surgeon or lifeguard or military leader. She is methodical and unflappable. When it is all just too much for nine-year-old John, and he goes to his room in hysterics, Hannah will calmly inform me that she will go check on him. Then she enters his rooms and says, "Awww John, you need a hug?" She sees and acts on what needs to be done and isn't influenced by the electric emotions buzzing all around her. Nerves of steel, that one. Nerves of steel.

On our recent camping trip, we took a beautiful train ride to a mining camp. Hannah adores trains almost as much as babies, shoes and letters and yet, she did not exhibit the behavior of an over-excited two-year-old, bouncing in the seat and giddily talking about being on a train. She was very absorbed in her surroundings and enjoying the experience. She staunchly insisted on standing in the seat and hanging half her body out the window for a good portion of the trip. My mother diligently held onto her so she could experience the ride safely from that angle.

Look at her face in the picture above as she watches the passing scenery with all the relish her lo-gain personality can muster. Don't worry, she is, in fact, having a fantastic time. I know, because when we talk about the trip, she calmly and assuredly says, "Again. I want to do that, again." Notice the lack of exclamation points.


~p~ said...

I would love to meet your children. I feel like I already know them. :)

MamaHolly said...

We'll have to get together, Penny!