Thursday, February 3, 2011

Big girl blues

It's tough to be the "big girl" in a family. The eldest child has a lot of responsibilities as compared to their younger siblings. E told me this morning that it wasn't fair she had to get her own shoes and put her breakfast plate away when J gets waited on hand and foot. Not exactly true, but J is younger, shorter (for reaching the kitchen sink) and less verbal. She just isn't able to do the same things as an advanced seven year old. Special needs and birth order are two very difficult subjects. So this morning E went to school thinking about all the inequity in her home and how she feels like "Cinderella". (Yes, she said that once.)

Especially when J is recovering from a surgery.  Poor E!

In my defense, I do ask J to hand her breakfast plate to me.  When we clean her room, I do ask her to help me put all her horses into their bin. Sometimes I ask her to hand me books which I then place in her bookshelf. On the other hand, E gets a note on her white board stating her chores..."Clean your room" in big black letters. That is kind of sad! But she makes such a mess!! If you are capable of making that mess, you should be able to clean it up, right?!? Well, not exactly. I do help E clean her room by giving her tips on organizing the mess. I'm like the professional organizer on Hoarders. I will even help her make piles....books, dolls, papers, etc. So she isn't exactly alone. 

Regardless, it's hard to be the overachieving responsible child. A child who is expected to do more, no matter the reason. What she doesn't understand is that someday she'll benefit from being this girl who was pushed a bit and expected to do well. Not that we don't expect big things from's just different. 

Here are some interesting facts about first born children...

1/2 of all US Presidents were first born children
21 of 23 first astronauts were first born children
2/3 of entrepreneurs were first born children

(from Birth Order and Personality)

I totally understand what E is going through. I've been through it. I was a first born child, my brother was cute, and it drove me crazy! But I survived and like I described to her this morning, she will too.


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