I learned something interesting the other day. I was looking up information on personality types as described by Cathy Duffy. The four types are Perfect Paul/Paula, Competent Carl/Carla, Wiggly Willy/Wilma, and Social Sue/Sam. Rachel fits squarely in the Perfect Paula category. I began reading about the characteristics of a Perfect Paula. They are dependable, hard working, consistent, and organized. They like rules and they like following them, and they expect others to follow the rules too. They do best in a well ordered, quiet, and highly structured environment.
Highly structured? *gulp*
Flashback to a conversation between Rachel and I yesterday.
Me: Rachel, what's wrong?
R: Promise you won't laugh or get mad if I tell you?
Me (bracing myself): Promise.
R: I'm mad.
Me: Ok... At who or what?
R: I'm mad at you.
Me (holding my breath): Why?
R (tears beginning to form): Because I just want to do what I want to do!!!
With that, her tears burst and she got down from her chair and ran toward me. Thank you Lord that she is still running toward me and not away. She climbed into my lap, with her gangly six year old arms and legs, and she held me close. I hugged her tight. I prayed for words, for wisdom, with each stroke of her golden hair. This was not like her. After a few minutes, some thoughts came to mind and I started piecing everything together.
Perfect Paulas thrive in a well ordered, quiet, and highly structured environment.
Me: Rachel, I know how you're feeling. You want to draw and play and you feel frustrated every time I call you to come back to the table to begin homeschooling again. (We start and stop a lot throughout the day.) You never know what to expect because every day is different around here. Would it help you if Mommy made a schedule that we could follow so you know what to expect?
R (sniffle, nod): Yes, Mommy.
...to be continued...