How to be the Baby of the Family

February 6, 2010 at 5:53 pm 3 comments

The very first thing you must do is learn to use your face.  Perfect the pout and the angelic grin.  And the sad puppy eyes: those will be your ticket to success in your family.  They will get you almost anywhere.

From the very beginning, of course, you will be at a disadvantage.  You are the youngest, the littlest, the weakest.  Combine this attitude with the puppy eyes to tell the world that you know you are at a disadvantage and thus should enjoy some special privileges.  Of course, you know that you aren’t really missing out; you can work Big Sister’s special movies and later bedtimes and Big Brother’s ball games – all the things you can’t participate in – to your benefit.  You will get more attention and more activities to make up for the ones you are too little for.  Perhaps your parents will even be more lenient with you, since they’ve had practice learning which parenting ideals hold up and which ones are worthless.

As the baby of the family, you are also responsible to teach your older siblings about sharing.  This way, they will learn an important life skill, and you will have access to all kinds of cool toys and books.  It is important to note, however, that you are only required to share when you have friends over, and that isn’t much of a hardship when it is your own friends. 

As you grow, you will also learn that your position in the family entitles you an audience.  Take advantage of this opportunity.  This allows you to dance when you feel like it, interrupt conversations to tell a story, and sing in the middle of the grocery store.  You will also get petted by all of Big Sister’s friends, something you will thoroughly enjoy, and you may possibly plot how to be a part of more of her activities so you can get more attention.  People will love to watch you perform, as you love to do it, and the only person allowed to steal the spotlight in most moments is that adorable and angelic child.  This is another place where the angelic look and sweet smile will come in handy, so practice them. 

Since you are spending so much time working on these baby characteristics, you can stop now and be thankful for the ones you need never learn, just because you are the baby.  For example, you don’t need to master maps or directions, because there will always be an older sibling around to help you or take you where you want to go.  Likewise, you can be easygoing because the older ones take care of all the worrying.  They will also do the planning for most things, and if you are lucky, might even give you packing lists before any trips.  Some will even inspect the hotel drawers for you when you are leaving, but it is best to not assume that point.  It is good to learn how to use a planner, but you don’t have to rely on it completely, because someone will usually be on hand to remind you of an appointment, event, or rehearsal you have scheduled. 

As the youngest child, you will always try to compete with your older siblings, and thus you will be pretty competitive.  More importantly, however, you will be daring and willing to take risks, because you’ve never bothered to count the costs.  Your older sister is the one who is crippled by constant counting, and she’ll probably tell you if you do something stupid.  Not that you need to listen to her.  You’ll probably get farther ahead in life by risk-taking, anyway.

When you read the birth-order-personality books, you can bask in the enjoyment of claiming all the good traits.  Who cares about leadership, or peace-making?  You are the star.  You can make people laugh, wiggle into people’s hearts, and probably have the best shot at becoming famous.  (You can quote the lengthy list of celebrities who were family babies as proof).  You are also free to pursue such dubious careers, because the pressure to make money or go to grad school has already been placed on your older siblings, and you have no such constraints.  The books promise that people love to be around you.  You are the cute one, the fun one, the natural performer.  You should have your Miss America wave down by about seven. 

And if at some point another child comes along and officially takes that title – say, fourteen years later – you can take refuge in the fact that you were old enough at that point for your personality as the baby of the family to be developed, so you really still are one.


Entry filed under: adventures & misadventures.

and another adventure snowy days

3 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Annie  |  February 7, 2010 at 6:57 am

    haha! loved it. :] even though I’m the oldest kid in my family. ;]

  • 2. Jessina  |  February 10, 2010 at 2:03 am

    This was hilarious, Megan. You are so good at things like this! You should write satire more often. And being the youngest child myself…I can, well, relate. =) Though I think I was not always as content being the youngest…I was always trying to fight my way up to D & A and prove that I was just as smart/mature/old as them…

    And thank you every so muchly for your note that came in the mail yesterday and for your splendid e-mail and your comment on my blog. E-mails/letters coming back your way shortly!

    love & prayers!

  • 3. Joanna  |  February 16, 2010 at 6:14 pm

    I laughed and laughed and giggled and laughed and giggled. Does that suffice?


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