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Sunday, August 15, 2010

The baby gets everything

I'm the oldest of 5 kids. For all of my childhood there were only 4 of us. But six weeks after my college graduation, my youngest brother arrived on the scene.

The preferential treatment for the baby of the family began pretty much right away. My dad ordered a big wooden stork for the front yard announcing Nick's arrival. Guess how many of the other four of us got a larger-than-life avian welcome home? Yep, you got it. None of us.

Back in the day, going to McDonald's was a big treat. We very rarely ate inside the restaurant. And we weren't allowed to get a Happy Meal because "you don't need a junky toy and we have pop at home."

By the time Nick was two-and-a-half years old, he could name by sight not only McDonald's, but also Burger King and Wendy's as well. And he could tell you what he wanted at each place. Needless to say, there were junky toys aplenty around when Nick was little.

When he graduated from high school, my dad had a life-size Fathead made of Nick doing a jump serve in volleyball. Then he hung the likeness in the window at my brother's graduation party. I was looking at it when my sister came up and said, "Don't you remember the Fathead Dad had made of us when we graduated?," the point being that there was nothing remotely like it when any of the four of us older kids graduated.

Because I never lived at home when Nick was little, I'm sure there are several other examples of inconsistent and preferential treatment he was given. But what I learned today takes the cake.

The kids wanted to watch TV in my parents' basement and Nick said they couldn't because there was no cable down there. Mom said she thought there was. That's when Nick said that no, the basement TV was too old for the cable so they'd installed the cable in his room instead.

WHAT??? Cable in his bedroom? I had to practically beg to get a phone in my room. Just a TV would have been out of question, nevermind a TV with cable -- that would be downright laughable!

Geez o Pete! It sures pays to be the I'm sure Robbie will attest to in about 10 years.


Anonymous said...

Funny, I was the 2nd oldest of 5 and my youngest brother and I have these conversations all the time. He was 10 years younger than me and got to do all kinds of things that I didn't...he loves to rub it in! Now I have a youngest...his siblings are 6 and 9 years older. His college sister wants to know why he gets to do stuff she never did...the cycle continues!

Amy's Mom said...

Interesting comment, Julie. I'm Amy's Mom, also Julie! And I, too, am the 2nd oldest of 5. My youngest brother is 13 years younger and we "older kids" always had the same conversations, too.

varangianguard said...

Maybe you can take solace in the lastest study saying that the firstborn is almost always the smartest?

Tracie Nall said...

What does that mean for us only children?

In related topics, my mom has told me many times about all the preferential treatment her youngest sister got-including a Europe trip, a college education, and a car at 16 all payed for by their parents. My mom got none of those things. I think it does pay to be the youngest.

Beth Zimmerman said...

I was in a fit of pique over my parent's preferential treatment of my younger sister when I was 10 or 11 and I referred to her as "perfect precious little innocent." Unfortunately (for me) it stuck and to this day my parents call her PiPLI! Sigh!

Stacy said...

My husband is the middle kid of seven and he tells similar stories all the time.

We only have two kids, but they are nearly six years apart and the oldest thinks the youngest not only gets it all, but gets away with it all.

By the way, I'm visiting from Beth's blog and signed up to follow. :)

Anonymous said...



Anonymous said...

Being the former youngest of Amy's family for the 14 years prior to Nick's arrival, I can wholeheartedly attest to the fact that it doesn't ALWAYS pay to the baby. I don't recall getting any special treatment...unless of course you count getting lured into the shower by a certain older sister, in search of a puppy that was stuck in the drain special treatment! :)

Anonymous said...

Oops, I forgot to finish that story -- after being lured into the shower, desperate to save the puppy in the drain, the reward for my compassion was a down pour of water from the shower head! Guess everyone has different ways of showing their love...ha, ha.