Fridays with G: Personality in Progress

G is nearly two years old, and his personality is beginning to shine.  I thought he had a great personality since day one when he arrived, but now others are able to see it too.

Gabriel Day One
I knew hours after Gabriel was born that he has a neat personality!

G is an explorer.  This may be partly his age along with personality.  But I have known kids his age to be much more timid.  As long as I am within arm’s length, G is happy to walk around the corner and see what is there.

G is a social butterfly.  I am so proud!  He smiles and waves to nearly everyone, and if he recognizes you, you might even get a hug.  G likes to win new people over.  When we were eating our weekly cupcakes at Cupcakes, Muffins and More this past Friday, he even melted a city worker’s heart.  G was really into his truck pulled up to the curb, but he made time to acknowledge the worker, give him a high five, and then wave bye and smile at him from inside the window when he left.  The guy said G made his day.  Too cute.

G is a negotiator.  About half of the time, G wants to do something different than what I want to do.  This difference in opinion can be as simple as the door we need to use to go outside.  Most recently, I was at the back apartment lobby door, and G was at the front.  He stood at his door responding with a “no, no, no” when I said to come to the other door.  Then he spoke in his very own language, likely saying something like, “But Aunt Mel, I want to go out this door because there’s a big truck across the street.  And it’s not much further to go around the entire building outside.”  I broke this by using my super excited voice to exclaim what we were going to do next if we went out the back door.

I sometimes give in to G’s opposing ideas, but not all of the time.  I want him to learn that he can’t always get his way with Aunt Mel.  Most of the time, yes.

Overall, G is pretty easy going.  He will make the simplest things fun.  He found a drinking fountain in my apartment lounge and nearly took a bath in it.

Fridays with G

He also finds entertainment in putting Panda and Lion in fun spots in my apartment.

G's imagination

I can’t wait to see what new personality traits come to surface as G gets older.  I have a feeling he may be slightly Type A like his Aunt Mel, as he is often seen lining up his tractors, machinery, and farm animals in a perfect row before leaving them to go to bed.


Being the Oldest Child

My nephew Gabriel will have a new little brother or sister in May. Then he will officially be the oldest child and assume a whole new realm of duties, experiences, and viewpoints. As a first born child and his godmother, I write this post for his benefit.

Aunt Mel and Gabriel
Oldest children rule. 🙂

Being the oldest child means….

– Yelling a little louder to focus people’s attention on you. This is part of the reason why Aunt Mel has a loud voice today.

– Parents expecting you to take responsibility for anything that goes wrong involving you and your siblings. After all, you are the one old enough to know better.

– Being a trailblazer. You are the first child to do new things, and your parents will likely react with firm black and white decisions. Since they will allow little wiggle room, you will develop your negotiation, persuasion, and timing skills. It’s not surprising to find many first borns to be successful leaders.

– Accepting the blame for anything crazy that comes out of your younger sibling’s mouth. Ask your mom about the time she asked someone to “pass the damn mashed potatoes” when sitting around the dining room table at Grandpa Fosaaen’s house. When Granny asked her where she learned it, her little pointer finger went directly to Aunt Mel. I know I didn’t teach her to say that! But my defensiveness was interpreted as guilt. Game over. Just suck it up and put your energy into the battles you can win.

– Having a tendency to be a bit bossy.  You will start to take charge of your younger brother or sister without even realizing what you are doing.  Since your parents deem you to be ultimately responsible for anything they do when you are around, it makes sense to try to take control to avoid any mishaps.  Just take it easy with the instructions.  You don’t want your younger siblings to dread being around you.

– Wondering how your parents could possibly be so laid back when your younger sibling gets older and you have left home.  Your curfew may be 10:00 p.m., but your youngest sibling’s curfew is sure to be at least midnight…on weeknights.  Just chalk this one up to a character builder.

– Being a role model for the younger ones.  Even if your younger siblings seem to not care about you, they are watching every move you make.  No need to be perfect – just keep in mind they are assessing whether they want to be like you or not.

– Learning from a younger brother or sister.  Your mom and Uncle Mitch teach me things all the time.  They may not know it, but I learn more from them than they learn from me, hands down.  You may be the oldest, but you will never know it all.

– Being protective – a la Momma Grizzly Sarah Palin – of your younger siblings.  Even though they will drive you nuts a lot of the time, you will love them more than you realize.

Realizing you are awesome.  More than 1/2 of our U.S. Presidents have been first born children.  Twenty-one of the 23 first astronauts were first born children.  Two thirds of entrepreneurs are also first borns.  And we are in the company of Oprah, J.K. Rowling, John Wayne, Clint Eastwood, and Walter Cronkite.  Not too shabby.

Born to Be Red

If you had to pick a color to describe you, what would it be?  No cheesy quizzes here – just think about it.  Each color is connected to a mood or personality in some way.  However, we are connected to colors in ways other than the typical definition.

Red Rose
My favorite flower!

Until recently, I associated my personal color with the colors I was attracted to the most – pink and green.  I naturally gravitate toward pink and green clothing, and I loved the pink and green color combos in my sister’s wedding and my cousin’s wedding.  Pink was my first favorite color, and it was an even better fit when my favorite band Aerosmith came out with the song “Pink” on their Nine Lives CD.

I’ve begun to appreciate brown and black as both modern and classic colors that can stand on their own.  But I’m too carefree to adopt black or brown as my own.

I was accessorizing my outfit with a red scarf last night when it hit me: RED!  I hadn’t been thinking about my color at all, when it jumped out at me.  Red is my color.  Sure, its definition is cool, but it’s more than that.

I was born with fire red hair.  It has since toned down to a light red, almost strawberry blonde, but I’m definitely a redhead.

Red Christmas Ornament
No “Melissa” or “Mel”: It’s RED!

The Anderson family back in the Burg nicknamed me Red during grade school, and it stuck.  Susie even made me a Christmas ornament with my name – Red – on it.

While I very rarely wore red once I began selecting my own wardrobe (because I assumed it would clash with other things or be too loud for my taste), I chose a red dress for my senior year composite photo.

When I briefly cheered at Simpson College, our uniforms were red and yellow.  I did struggle with this, as every bone in my body wanted to switch it out for black.

I worked in politics for nearly a decade.  Since I worked for Republican candidates, I eagerly awaited for counties and states to appear red on general election nights.

When I worked at Victory Enterprises and ordered yard signs for candidates, the most popular color for campaign logos was PMS 186 – Fire Red.

Target Executives
Lots of red and khaki!

And then I went to work at Target……wearing red and khaki daily, and viewing everything red in my sleep.  Yes, Target’s official red is PMS 186.  It seems I can narrow my red down to a specific hue now!

In the meantime, toward the end of the Victory gig and during the Target adventure, I started using SendOutCards.  I’ll give you one guess what the staple logo color is for that brand.  And now I sell the product.

I recently signed on as a volunteer for the American Red Cross in the Quad Cities.  Obvious redness, but it goes with my recurring theme here.

Elizabeth Dole and Melissa Gesing
EHD and Me – 1999

What’s more: my first political position was with Elizabeth Dole’s presidential campaign, just after she resigned as President of the Red Cross.

My favorite holiday is Christmas, and red is half of the color theme.  (Never mind the”White Christmas” and “Blue Christmas” craziness.)

This red thing could all be a grand coincidence.  However, since I am unable to tie another color so deeply into my being, I am viewing it as a sign.  I was born to be red!