Friday, August 19, 2011

A Leopard Dosen't Change Its Spots

The other day I was reading a magazine article that basically said a child's personality (i.e. sense of humor, temperament) is pretty much set by the time they are 12 months old. When you think about it, that is pretty amazing! Were we really the same person at the age of 1 or 2 that we are today? And it got me thinking about how Miss Paige's silly, exuberant personality as a toddler will translate into her teenage and then adult self. I think I may have a wild ride ahead of me : )

And just today I was going through a box of childhood mementos my mom brought over - report cards, journals, crafts from when I was a child. Right on top were two report cards / progress reports from my nursery school - The Homestead School. The first was dated January 31, 1987, which means I was 3, about to turn 4. we were evaluated by letters - O for "Outstanding", S for "Satisfactory", N for "Needs Work". I received all S's except in two categories... I got an "N" for "Holds Pencil Correctly" with a comment that said "Tends to grab pencil the majority of the time". And I got an S- in "Physical Education" with the comment "Distracted by others around her". And here are the teacher's full comments (verbatim, with quotes, capital letters, italics and underlines):

Erica has progressed nicely in both her social skills and pre-academic skills. She plays well with other children in the classroom and outside.

Erica approaches her "work" and "play" with an enthusiasm that is wonderful to watch. However, at times this level of enthusiasm and excitement can get in her way as she will want to participate in all that surrounds her - SIMULTANEOUSLY. This causes her difficulty in staying focused on what is in front of her for any length of time, especially during morning exercises. Without losing any of this "energy" or enthusiasm we will continue to work on lengthening her attention span.

Compared to the beginning of the school term, Erica's self confidence has been strengthened, as this can be seen in her dealings with her classmates and her movements around the school. When given "free time" Erica will take the initiative to select materials off of the shelves to do on her own and put them away when she is finished.

Erica is doing well in the area of penmanship though she does have a tendency to GRAB the pencil as opposed to holding it correctly. While we continue to work on this in school, I would recommend that this be worked on at home with her also, whenever the time is appropriate.

Overall, Erica's "bubbly" personality is a delight to have in the classroom!!

And now we have the report dated June 5, 1987. I made an improvement in holding the pencil correctly (from an "N" to an "S-") and in Physical Education (from an "S-" to an "S"). Here are the teacher's comments:

Still a "bubbly" personality, Erica seems to have a better control over her excitability and is able to focus her attention in one area for a longer period of time.

An improvement can be seen in her grasp of the pencil, though this still needs to be refined. It might be helpful for her to work on this over the summer!

The thing that makes this so hilarious is that I'd probably get the EXACT SAME report card at the age of 28 as I did at 3 years old. Not only am I regularly described as "bubbly", but also "excitable". My brother-in-law used that exact term to describe me in his Best Man speech at the wedding : ) Still distracted easily? CHECK! A desire to be involved in EVERYTHING all at once? CHECK! And the real kicker of all this? I still hold my pencil "incorrectly"! I guess all that practice over the summer didn't help much, because people still describe my pencil holding as a "grab". But I have great handwriting... so I guess it doesn't matter all that much, now does it? : )

But how funny is it that the little person your child is right at this very moment is almost identical (minus the diapers and temper tantrums, hopefully) to who they will be as an adult? I love it! Even when she is checking me into a nursing home one day, I'll still see glimpses of the little Miss Paige from these early years... and that makes me one very happy mama!!