I am one of two children in my family. My mom planned to have my brother, and then me. She got what she always wanted, one boy, and one girl, and none after that- leaving me forever as the youngest child, and the second child. I never got to be an only, or a middle child- just the one had second.
My brother, the typical a-hole Alpha oldest, seemed to relish his position. To me, it always looked like he could do no wrong, meanwhile, I was always told I could do nothing at all. I grew up being jealous of him. He seemed to be the favorite, while I had to scream just to get noticed, which always got me in trouble. I didn’t stay jealous of him my entire childhood, but I always wondered why he seemed to be treated so differently than me.
The life of a second child looks much different to the second child than it does to the parent of a second child.
As someone who has both been one, and has one myself, it’s pretty weird to finally understand why I felt the things I felt, why my mom did the things she did, and why it seemed like my brother was the favorite, when really- my mom disliked us both equally. Okay, kidding (sorta)- but seriously. I get it now!
The first child has overly cautious parents. Helicoptering hovering, but still learning- so many things first child should NOT to, parents of first child do not know first child should not do. Trial and error. Human guinea pig. First child (assuming first child is not a twin) got to experience being an only child. To have a loud, red-faced potato come in to a place where they feel like Lord and Ruler, the Golden Child, Master and Commander, and take attention away from them? Bring on the A-hole Alpha effect. The First Child is self-assured, which causes them to be sassy, and stubborn. Soooo very stubborn. Since they have a taste of being an only child (even if not for very long), they don’t feel the need to scream to be heard. They are contemplative.
The second child is stepping into a territory that has already been claimed. They may get more attention at first, but second child learns quickly that more attention is gained by being louder than their older sibling. And assholier. Parents of first and second child already had guinea pig child to fuck up, so they know a little better with second child, meaning the second child may get to do less things they want to do, because the parents now know that it’s just a bad damn idea and will not end will. Second child will feel stifled. The parents, who are now more knowledgeable, may seem more strict to the second child, yet less strict to the older child- who couldn’t get away with half the shit the second child does, because the parents didn’t just learn what is a bad idea, they learned to lighten the hell up and give more leeway. Second child is a tester, constantly pushing boundaries and buttons. Second child tries to act older than they are in hopes of getting to do the things their older sibling gets to do.
Both kids think they have it worse than the other, but the fact is, neither of them have it either way. They just have it different. Of course, they don’t know that, and so, Second-child Syndrome rages hard against the A-hole Alpha First child in between these four walls. Save me.
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