Let me just put here, as a safety measure this statement ……….. I believe it was Mark Twain who said “All generalizations are false including this one”. Of course I do not think my kids will ever read this.
Kids born to the same set of parents and being brought up in the same environment tend to be so different. It is something that gave me (an over anxious single parent) lots of anxious moments and made me feel like I was the suckiest mother ever!!! Then I started looking at other kids. Here are certain gems of wisdom – that one can learn from or discard. Feel free to do either …..
Kid No. 1 : Like the first meal you cook, absolutely memorable, perhaps the most difficult and most probably inedible. I am a first born. I think my parents should have put me on a train with a one way ticket to a land far far away !!!!! New parents get on to the job with more enthusiasm than necessary, I know of a mother who even disinfected the furniture in her child’s room. She must have been a first born too 🙂 Every moment of #1’s life has been photographed, his/her world is dominated by parents hovering, agonising over every move, being over-protective and over disciplining or under disciplining the child. No wonder they tend to be most neurotic, most cautious, most succesful and most pleasing to the adults.
Kid No. 2 : By this time the parents have kind of got tired of the novelty of being parents. They tend to be more easy so they dont feature big in this kid’s world. The world of Kid No. 2 is dominated by this other being who is bigger, stronger, has all the toys, all the attention and privileges and hence must be brought down a peg or two. No. 2 is independent, manipulative, impulsive, rather indifferent to parents and other grown ups. No. 1 is passively aggressive. No. 2 is not!!!! Every thing (specially the favorite toys of No. 1) is MINE. If challenged, the water works start!!! Not easy for Kid No. 1, first being displaced from the throne of being the only baby of the family, and then having to give away your treasured possessions.
Kid No. 3 : This one is seen infrequently, what with the cost of living being so high. I encountered Kid No. 3 in close quarters in my daughter in law. Kid No. 3 is a charmer. This child’s universe is full of excitement and love from a family that’s survived the learning curve. They are bubbling with excitement, amazingly grounded (by product of being constantly bullied by siblings may be) and unique individuals. They have lot of individuality and do not conform to any stereotype. What is noticeable is their sense of balance and the ability to take everything in their stride.
I have not experienced larger families than 3 kids so I dont know much about kid nos. 4, 5, 6 and beyond. Big families are common in farming communities and labourers have large families, as each child adds to their income. I think big famillies must be fun to grow up in, though hell on the pocket of the parent. The kids must be very well adjusted.
And hey kids, if you ever read this …… specially my #1, i was joking okay 🙂