Tuesday, April 22, 2008

How Do You Fit In?

Where are you in the picture?

I've been thinking about birth order. Some psychologists say it pre-determines many aspects of our personalities. I know all my kids think the other kids had things a lot different (and a lot better) than they did. Their siblings were younger with fewer responsibilities and more laid back parents, or they were older with more attention and less exhausted parents. Or they were in the middle and could get away with anything.

How do you feel about where you fit in the line-up?

Five perks of being the oldest:
  1. I was the first to do everything so it was always exciting.
  2. I always got new clothes instead of hand-me-downs.
  3. I was an only child for eighteen months.
  4. My siblings have always looked to me for wisdom.
  5. I didn't have anyone to live up to.
Five drawbacks of being the oldest:
  1. I was the first to do everything, so it was always a battle.
  2. I was forever told I had to be a good example.
  3. I was a dork because I had no older siblings to teach me the cool things.
  4. I was the babysitter for nine years.
  5. Everyone else was too little to go, so I had to stay home, too.
It's funny to think that my brother missed out on having a brother. My oldest daughter grew up in a household full of babies, and my youngest daughter didn't ever see me pregnant. The middle kids played on the same teams, took lessons together, wore matching outfits and had duplicate toys. (The two youngest kids each inherited two of everything.)

Unless we're twins, we grow up in totally different families than our sisters and brothers. And they had it a lot easier! What was your experience?


Ashlee said...

I am #3 out of four. Or, the middle child. I had not only a mean big sister, but an annoying little sister as well. My brother was a middle child too. He was #2 in the line. We were buds.

mama jo said...

i'm the perfect baby in a great family...yours...being the baby was great sometimes..but not so great others...i was the one that was teased (orange head), i wanted someone to play with when everyone left, i couldn't get away with anything since mom and dad already had it figured out, i had to babysit for my older sisters (you)...on the other hand, i knew i was loved, i coould follow in my great bro and sisters footsteps...i had people to take me places...i could and still do, call for the great advice everyone will give me...

diane said...

I'm the second oldest and oldest girl. My older brother passed away unexpectedly in December. I can't believe I'm the oldest now and I'll be the first to turn 50. It is weird because he knew me my whole life and had the same frame of reference.

gab said...

I think even twins grow up with different parents. Luke has a nice mom and Sam's is always yelling at him. Hmm.

MissKris said...

I was #3 out of 4. The only girl and 'baby' of the family for 6 years until my younger brother came along. I always had my own bedroom. Hand-me-downs from family friends, but top-quality and I was one of the best-dressed girls in my class! I was a tomboy. Independent. Always told, "Just because you're a girl doesn't give you an excuse. You can do anything your brothers can!" I was feisty, sassy. And, due to family dynamics and things that happened along the way, I was basically 'mom' to my younger brother. He and I are still very close. I have no contact with the brother closest to me in age and very little contact with the oldest.

Nance said...

I was third of three but consider myself both a youngest child and an only child. I was so much younger than my siblings that by the time I was 11 I was the only kid at home. My siblings call me the golden child thinking I was spoiled. But then they tell me stories of how my mom had cinnamon rolls baking for them when they came home from school and how our house was the neighborhood hang out for all the kids. I didn't have that. My siblings and I were raised at different points of my parents' lives.