It’s been quite clear from earlyish on with Ava what type of nature she would have. She is a sweet natured child. I know some would think all children are sweet, but they are so vastly different in personality. I have 2 nephews, brothers, one is a sweet child, in the same way that I describe Ava as a sweet child, the other, is a wild child. So when I say sweet, I’m not talking about whether they are “nice” children, just that sweetness for me is very much a personality trait that one either has or doesn’t have. I would not describe myself as sweet, I was not a sweet child, I was a painfully shy and timid child. When interacting with other children, she always does so with kindness. She’s the type of child that will walk up to other children, with her little hand out stretched and non verbally communicate her intention to be friends by extending her hand and placing it on their shoulders. Some children will reciprocate this intention by reacting in the same, sweet and loving way, by either hugging her, or touching her arm in the same way. Other children will act as though they’ve been burned, yank themselves away, sometimes with a look of horror or disgust on their faces, some will run away. I think children’s nature’s are most evident when we watch them interact with each other.
We have learned that Ava is a kind child. She is sweet natured and sociable. She is also a bit of a dare devil and really quite fearless. From the time she could walk, she has not been content to play on the little children’s jungle gyms. Oh no, little Missy makes a bee line for the big jungle gym and has never once been afraid of running along the sway bridge, or launching herself off the type of the very high slide. She loves being thrown in the air. Loves standing on the couch/bed and throwing herself backwards. She is FEARLESS.
But what is becoming more clear as time passes is what a sensitive soul she has. You may recall the posting I did about the biting incident at her school where she got a really nasty and seemingly (according to her teacher) unprovoked bite on her arm. It has been almost a month since that incident and it seems to have profoundly affected her. She will, on regular intervals, throughout the course of the day, say:
“Liam – bite me”
“Liam – bite me”
(Liam is the little boy that bit her)
She’ll then take her arm up to her mouth and sink her teeth into her own arm. I hate this reaction. I hate that almost a month down the drag and she still seems to be traumatized by it.
Last week at her swimming lessons, her swimming teacher mentioned to me that she felt we were going to have to pay extra attention to how we handle traumatic experiences with Ava as she’s clearly a very sensitive child, most especially to anything that frightens her or causes her trauma.
Just that day at swimming, we had been practising climbing out of the pool and then playing Humpty Dumpty, where the littlies sit on the side of the pool and on the “had a great fall” part of the rhyme they launch themselves off the side of the pool and into their parents arms. Ava has always loved this game. But on our first round last week, her foot slipped and she fell backwards into the pool, luckily I was right behind her and caught her before her head could go under. But after that, for the rest of the swimming lesson, she screamed each time I tried to get her to climb out of the pool and refused to play the Humpty Dumpty game, instead she just clung as tightly as she could around my neck.
Later on in the lesson, she was walking on the step and her foot slipped off the step and she bopped under the water, again, for the remainder of the lesson she flat out refused to walk on the step and would cry and cling to me each time it was required.
After her swimming teacher mentioned to me that she felt Ava was a very sensitive soul and we’d have to watch how we handled trauma situations with her, I have spent sometime thinking about this and I can see so many examples of this sensitivity throughout the course of her life.
It’s definitely something Walter and I will have to watch and carefully deal with going forward. Like the biting incident, the trauma of which is lasting way longer than it should, I would really like to avoid having the trauma of a situation outlast a reasonable amount of time.
I was a very timid child and it’s certainly not a quality I want to cultivate in Ava.