Monday, May 18, 2015

A Very Quirky Life

It's been hectic. No end of hectic here. We now have activities five days per week, and my being a moderately introverted homebody means I'm up to my eyeballs, and not particularly digging it. But, it's just for the summer. I can manage for the summer.  Anyway! Blogs may be a little sporadic as I try to keep my sanity as best as I can. One of these seasons I'll remember to not overschedule the blazes out of us, but it seems this is not the season. It does, however, bring me rather neatly to my point for today: the quirks of the gifted. How does this fit? Easy - one of my own quirks is the driving need to DO ALL THE THINGS!

Mad Natter and I actually share quite a few of the same quirks - we sleep better when we can hear someone else breathing, we don't do things if we can't do them well, we will watch the same movie over and over, repeating the dialogue as we go...  I think that might just be us, though.

Anyway. Some of the more common quirks that we see here in our Mooselandia home are fairly widespread amongst other like-type people:

Moving: Mad Natter needs to move. Not a little, and not sometimes. Not for exercise, and not for the sake of moving. He needs to move to think. To talk. I do the same thing, I've realized - I can't have a steady conversation (especially not on the phone) if I'm not somehow in motion. For me, it helps me keep a train of thought together from one end to the other. For Mad Natter, it seems to burn off some of his excess energy, allowing him to learn, concentrate, talk, and work - whether that's on math, or on LEGO.

Chewing: Oh, goodness. We have chewies all over the house. Mad Natter went through a phase of chewing his shirts, which is happily past now, but we have these chewy necklaces which allow for focus. For me, when I get stressed, I chew. I chew the inside of my cheeks, I chew my tongue, I chew my fingers, and I used to chew my fingernails. Mad Natter, we seem to have curbed with the chewies. For me... I'm not so fortunate. It's a lot like the moving. I need to do it to keep my mind steady, to expend nervous energy. I can't chew on my own shirts, it's not socially acceptable - so I learned to chew where nobody could see it - inside my mouth. I can always tell the high-stress days, my mouth is sore from molar to molar, all the way 'round.

Many things at once: This is one that Mad Natter, Skeeve, and I all share. It is very rare that you will find any of us doing just on thing.  Right now, I'm blogging, yes, but I'm also half-listening to Skeeve playing League of Legends, and to Mad Natter's Stampy video. And that's not counting the myriad other things I'm thinking about - like when to make time for blogging, what drills to run at baseball practice, what tomorrow's school day looks like, and when our downtime is.  Mad Natter, while I'm doing all this, is eating dinner, watching his Stampy video, and playing The LEGO Movie game on his DS. This isn't an uncommon state of affairs. We're all usually involved in several activities at once, and those of us over four feet tall usually have a minimum of two books we're reading at the same time. I'm not sure how it works, but we all seem to be able to focus better if there's something going on in the background. We're actually exceptional multi-taskers, and it's something we actively need to be doing in order to keep our thoughts corralled, and keep us moving in the right direction.

Disinterested in Sustained Effort: This seems to apply to Mad Natter more than to either Skeeve or myself, but there is a definite preference for all things to be easy. If an activity requires time to master, Mad Natter is not interested. If it doesn't come easily, he will often just decide he either knows it, or doesn't want to know it, and he quits. This is something we're working on, and something that I seem to remember being a challenge in my own childhood. Now, I'm perfectly fine with sustained effort, and I often choose it (blogging, anyone?), but as a child? Nope.

Preference for Adult Company: This is unsurprising for Skeeve and myself. We're grown people, if we preferred the company of children, we would likely be viewed with a large stink-eye.  Mad Natter, however, also prefers the company of adults. When given the option, he would much rather hang out with his coaches than with his teammates, he would rather stay in and play with Omero than go out and play with the neighborhood kids, he would rather chat with MY aunts than with his cousins. Some of this is due to the cognitive peer / age peer thing, but often, when given the chance to interact with other gifted children, he would still rather stay by the grown ups - at least, until the kids get a good game of running and screaming going. Then he'll go play.

There are a lot of quirks involved in gifted households. There are probably at least a dozen more I didn't touch on because I don't realize they're quirks because we all have them. However, this is a blog hop!  I'm sure that any one of the entries that can be found at Gifted Homeschoolers' Forum will cover more quirks in more interesting ways than I have here!  Please, go take a look!