The firstborn, dethroned

July 26th, 2010 · 67 comments

I think it’s actually pretty amazing how Kathy‘s six-year-old daughter — feeling a wee bit neglected now that there’s a baby brother on the scene — has managed to capture the love/hate essence of the “I’m no longer an only child” crisis in words, however adorably misspelled. (As the oldest of four kids myself, my mother will never let me forget that my method of expressing those feelings — temper tantrums — was considerably less cute.)

Do not come in.  I never get [attention].  Thank you.  Love Samantha. [Only] come in if you give me [attention.]

related: Sibling rivalry, the rift that keeps on giving

extra credit: “Does Birth Order Matter?” [nytimes.com]

FILED UNDER: family · kids · New Hampshire · siblings · signed with love


67 responses so far ↓

  • #1   Laura

    As the grown-up oldest child and grandchild, I’d love to loose some of the attention! Being the role model to siblings and cousins comes with a lot of pressure, relish it whilst you can Samantha!

    Jul 26, 2010 at 8:51 pm   rating: 16  small thumbs up

    • #1.1   park rose bang

      In my experience, being loose only gets you a whole lot more attention.

      Jul 26, 2010 at 9:19 pm   rating: 79  small thumbs up

       
    • #1.2   Canthz_B bang

      Not as much attention (on the hole) as being tight and loose! :-P

      Jul 27, 2010 at 12:50 am   rating: 6  small thumbs up

       
    • #1.3   Wench bang

      Good attempt at spelling attention I thought… just keep it and bring it out at her 21st birthday party LOL!!

      Aug 5, 2010 at 1:23 am   rating: 0  small thumbs up

       
     
  • #2   Sheri

    Heyyyyy… who stole the sign off my office door?!

    Jul 26, 2010 at 9:07 pm   rating: 55  small thumbs up

     
  • #3   Quite Contrary

    I say Samantha is ready to have her birthday ignored on Facebook.

    Jul 26, 2010 at 9:14 pm   rating: 72  small thumbs up

     
  • #4   veritybrown

    My oldest son had no jealousy issues at all when younger brother came along. But as soon as younger brother hit about 18 months, younger brother started pushing older brother away from me: “NO! MY mommy!” Good thing he outgrew that attitude by the time younger sister came along. :~)

    Jul 26, 2010 at 9:26 pm   rating: 8  small thumbs up

    • #4.1   FeRD bang

      See? That just proves it. Us First Sibs can be saints, and what does it get us? (Metaphorically) butt-raped by the spares, all the same.

      Team Atroshus Spelr.

      Jul 26, 2010 at 9:46 pm   rating: 37  small thumbs up

       
    • #4.2   Froget Menot

      Oh yeah? First sibbiyng seldom spares you physical damage so you can look pretty holy
      where the Spares look like hell .

      Jul 27, 2010 at 5:49 am   rating: 0  small thumbs up

       
    • #4.3   Nack

      Hrm, I usually find it’s the other way around. First Sibs get to break in all the rules, and spares end up getting to do all kinds of things you never got to dream of doing.

      Jul 27, 2010 at 2:00 pm   rating: 12  small thumbs up

       
    • #4.4   hungrygrrl

      Team First Child here. I was an angel. I didn’t cry much, I cooed. Tricked my parents into having more kids- and my younger brother was a colicy hellion of a baby (no cooing stories, instead, “washing dishes with one hand while holding him so he’d stop crying” stories.)

      Jul 29, 2010 at 8:35 pm   rating: 1  small thumbs up

       
     
  • #5   Roundredhead

    I just love the part where she says that you can come in if you are willing to give her the attention she craves. When I was six I wasn’t nearly that honest. My parents had to coax me out of my room with loads of attention which by that point I also made them coax me into accepting.

    Jul 26, 2010 at 9:45 pm   rating: 17  small thumbs up

    • #5.1   Dixiechick

      Passive-aggression at its purest, Roundredhead!

      Jul 26, 2010 at 9:55 pm   rating: 10  small thumbs up

       
     
  • #6   Canthz_B bang

    I’d have paid a fortune to get my kids to stay their asses in their room more often.
    I ignored the fuck out of them, but they just kept saying, “Hey, Dad? Guess what? Dad? DADDY?!?!

    Jul 26, 2010 at 10:27 pm   rating: 23  small thumbs up

    • #6.1   Jonathan

      A snip in time saves the vaginal clown car.

      Jul 26, 2010 at 11:05 pm   rating: 14  small thumbs up

       
     
  • #7   Having Fitz

    Now see, in my family they were at least honest about the fact that my younger brother was the favorite. None of that “We love you both equally” crap. If nothing else it was good training for the real world. Samantha, yes, they DO love the baby more than you. He’s new and shiny and at six you’re already stale to them. (Me? Bitter? *stabs picture of parents with knife* Why do you ask?)

    Jul 26, 2010 at 10:28 pm   rating: 37  small thumbs up

    • #7.1   Z

      You get to get even when it’s nursing home time.

      Jul 27, 2010 at 12:22 pm   rating: 13  small thumbs up

       
    • #7.2   Froget Menot

      oooh so it meant Z for Zorro(r)

      Jul 27, 2010 at 12:29 pm   rating: 1  small thumbs up

       
     
  • #8   Canthz_B bang

    Sweetie, the baby only gets attention because he craps on himself.
    Take my advice, start crapping all over yourself, and you too will get extra attention.

    Write and tell us how that works for you.

    Jul 26, 2010 at 10:39 pm   rating: 38  small thumbs up

    • #8.1   Meesh

      And if that doesn’t work, relish in the knowledge that your little brother was almost certainly a mistake.

      Jul 27, 2010 at 7:55 am   rating: 17  small thumbs up

       
     
  • #9   TheOldSchool bang

    Whenever I see a child referring to himself or herself with a lowercase i, I can’t help but feel a bit remorseful.

    I see these tortured young souls as being representative of two things.

    (1) How we, as a family-based society, have gotten derailed from our core values.

    (2) Future sales for my soon-to-be-published books on raising kids’ self esteem.

    (My own remorse comes from my failure to recognize how many messed-up kids are already out there. I should have been cranking out well-meaning-seeming schlock for this market all along. Twenty years ago, I wouldn’t have had Big Pharma poking its nose along side me in the money trough. Greedy bastards.)

    Jul 26, 2010 at 11:50 pm   rating: 7  small thumbs up

    • #9.1   ammali

      Then again, it’s possible that at the tender age of 6, she’s a fan of the work of e. e. cummings.

      Jul 28, 2010 at 6:59 am   rating: 7  small thumbs up

       
     
  • #10   TheOldestAndOverIt

    Wow. This one opened a BIG ol’ can of birth order passive aggression! Breathe, people. Call your siblings after work tomorrow, and wish them a happy Wednesday. Then drop your kids off at the orphanage where they’ll be paired with less bitter and psychotic parents. Yowza!

    Jul 27, 2010 at 12:40 am   rating: 17  small thumbs up

    • #10.1   Canthz_B bang

      The Dickens you say!

      Jul 27, 2010 at 1:36 am   rating: 4  small thumbs up

       
    • #10.2   Froget Menot

      Absolutely , and linguistic summercamp at the Thenardier’s.

      Jul 27, 2010 at 1:42 am   rating: 4  small thumbs up

       
     
  • #11   Froget Menot

    RED-RUM ! RED-RUM! RED-RUM
    redrumredrumredrumredrum ..Red-Rum! etc…
    (pedals away on tricycle)

    Jul 27, 2010 at 1:37 am   rating: 6  small thumbs up

     
  • #12   Canthz_B bang

    Cry all you want you firstborns.

    You’ve been compensated for your lost attention by never having to wear hand-me-downs.

    Know what it’s like wearing a faded-ass, 1955 Davy Crockett Show T-shirt (with a fudge stain that was probably put there by your big brother during the Kennedy administration) in 1967?

    Not cool.

    Jul 27, 2010 at 1:51 am   rating: 18  small thumbs up

    • #12.1   Calia

      Yeah, but do you know what it’s like to watch your younger sibling(s) get HANDED everything you worked for?

      After two years of perfect grades, nigh-perfect behavior, and lots and lots of pleading, begging and cajoling, my parents finally got me a gameboy color at age twelve, for my birthday- and it was my only present that year. It cost $99. My brother was 5 at the time.

      Three years later, he says “mommy, my friend got the new gameboy. I want one.” $129 later, he’s got a GBA SP, for no reason. Wasn’t even anywhere near his birthday or christmas.

      When I asked for their reasoning, my parents simply said, “well, you have one…”

      That’s BS.

      Jul 27, 2010 at 2:07 am   rating: 41  small thumbs up

       
    • #12.2   Froget Menot

      CB ,
      Post 10000 $ in unmarked USD banknotes
      or i the picture will be seen by all.
      you have till tomorrow.

      A friend.

      Jul 27, 2010 at 2:10 am   rating: 4  small thumbs up

       
    • #12.3   Canthz_B bang

      Calia, that had nothing to do with birth order…boys are just better loved!
      Title IX…yeah, in your dreams girls!
      The guys have the Rose Bowl…you’ll never have a comparable “Roseanne Bowl”.
      Not that I think you shouldn’t have one…Hell, I’d tune in and watch on the edge of my seat.

      Besides, I’ll bet they’d have gotten you any Barbie you wanted before they got him one! LOL ;-)

      Back edit: Calia, don’t cry…you get to go to college first…while the ‘rents can afford a good school. Try watching your older sibling go to an Ivy League school, but not being able to go there yourself because your parents are still paying for the first go-round.
      Frame the acceptance letter, and dream of what might have been if your bitchy older sister had just gone to community college.
      How important is that toy now?

      Excuse me…gotta work. Will that be paper or plastic, sir?

      Jul 27, 2010 at 2:28 am   rating: 6  small thumbs up

       
    • #12.4   Froget Menot

      Being the second child and only daughter of a 4 boys family , i ‘d totally agreee with you but soon i developped built-in 86 ‘colt peacemaker glands.

      Jul 27, 2010 at 3:48 am   rating: 2  small thumbs up

       
    • #12.5   Froget Menot

      http://www.nydailynews.com/entertainment/2010/03/18/2010-03-18_fess_parker_who_played_davy_crockett_and_daniel_boone_dies_from_natural_causes_a.html

      Oh what an unusual spotty racoon skin blanket you have here .. Been travelling much lately?

      Jul 27, 2010 at 4:18 am   rating: 0  small thumbs up

       
    • #12.6   Meesh

      CB, that’s all true. But the minute the daughter gets pregnant with a grandchild, the sons may as well evaporate into thin air for all the attention their families are going to get.

      Jul 27, 2010 at 7:52 am   rating: 11  small thumbs up

       
    • #12.7   Splint Chesthair

      I was a first-born and I got stranger’s hand-me downs. That’s far worse.

      Jul 27, 2010 at 8:38 am   rating: 19  small thumbs up

       
    • #12.8   You're All Wrong

      Calia, I’m the youngest of six. The oldest 3 got cars, weddings, furniture, everything.

      I got a dead, overworked father and an alcoholic worn out mom.

      The oldest sibs get all the good stuff.

      Jul 27, 2010 at 11:23 am   rating: 6  small thumbs up

       
    • #12.9   MyssAnthrope

      I was an only child. I still got hand me downs from my cousin. It took me forever to develop a sense of fashion since for the longest time 75% of my wardrobe was not chosen for me or by me at all.

      Jul 27, 2010 at 11:35 am   rating: 5  small thumbs up

       
    • #12.10   Froget Menot

      Less is more , that s one of the 2 points where you can trust the French
      Wear the 35% , i m sure you look gorgeous in them :)

      Ann Saint Laurent.

      Jul 27, 2010 at 11:43 am   rating: 1  small thumbs up

       
    • #12.11   April Grill bang

      I am the eldest of 10 children. I am the only girl. I was not spoiled; quite the opposite. It was always told to me “You’re the oldest, get over it,” when they received things I never got. I had to work for everything. My privilges (sp? oh it’s so late) were very restricted. Once my parents realized that I went to sleep-overs and parties without dying or getting abducted, my brothers had free reign. Being a mother now, I was very hard core health nut when I was pregnant with my first. My second, not so much, now that I know that eating tuna from a can has no risk of mercury!

      Jul 28, 2010 at 10:36 pm   rating: 1  small thumbs up

       
     
  • #13   Canthz_B bang

    Thanks to little Samantha, the Sharpie Age Restriction Bill flew through Committee and is now before the full Senate!

    Also, Toys-R-Us reported record profits as Techom (Technology Commando) action figures continue to fly off the shelves as soon as they can be stocked.
    Ted Kaczynski has been transferred to the infirmary.

    Jul 27, 2010 at 2:01 am   rating: 2  small thumbs up

     
  • #14   Meesh

    Kids say the darndest things! ~eyeroll~

    Jul 27, 2010 at 7:41 am   rating: 1  small thumbs up

     
  • #15   The Elf

    As the second child, I will say that getting the”atechon” is more than made up for by the torments of the older sibling. My big brother was bigger than me and he didn’t let me forget it. Let’s hear it for the baby siblings and our mental scarring!

    Jul 27, 2010 at 8:34 am   rating: 8  small thumbs up

    • #15.1   Splint Chesthair

      As the bigger brother I have to say that yes, we did torture the younger siblings. However, I noticed the memories get skewed. My sister forgets that she used to get mad because I’d stop her from kicking me in the head, she’d scream for me to let her go, and I would and she’d continue to try and kick me in the face forcing me to grab her again. All she remembers is me grabbing her and not letting her go.

      Jul 27, 2010 at 8:45 am   rating: 19  small thumbs up

       
    • #15.2   Canthz_B bang

      Being tickled by your big sister and brother is fun…being wrapped in a blanket by your sister and brother and tickled until you piss yourself not so much fun.

      Ain’t that a kick in the head…or at least worth one or two? :-P

      Jul 27, 2010 at 9:15 am   rating: 4  small thumbs up

       
    • #15.3   Splint Chesthair

      I asked my sister if she wanted to go on a fun rollercoaster ride. I made her get into the sleeping bag and then I rolled her down the stairs. Hey, it looked like fun to me.

      Jul 27, 2010 at 12:43 pm   rating: 6  small thumbs up

       
    • #15.4   Froget Menot

      No wonder you got a strange endemy ..darn.

      Jul 27, 2010 at 12:57 pm   rating: 0  small thumbs up

       
     
  • #16   Froget Menot

    “Atechoon” ?

    “Bless You” !

    Jul 27, 2010 at 9:06 am   rating: 4  small thumbs up

     
  • #17   oi bang

    I am the oldest one too. My sister was preemie baby so of course she got all the attention from my parents. That was not at all problem for me though. That meant I was free to do all the shenanigans without any consequences. The problem for me started late as she grew up, she would follow me around nonstop and copy me in everything. My parents were like you should be happy she loves you so much. That wasn’t just annoying that actually was in my way of my shenanigans. I knew how far to take things without getting into major trouble. like I would sneak out but would be back by dinner time, this will get me out of doing homework and still would be able to do that next week again as I would be always back by dinner time. my sister was stupid and stubborn. She would follow me when I sneak out and then won’t come back even after dinner time, of course I can’t leave her there and end of that sneaking out forever as it’s dinner time girls are missing! PANIC! PANIC!
    This is just one example. She always got me into trouble. Even that would be fine if we both got equal punishments but my parents thought she was baby and just followed me so she rarely got punished if ever. But I never wanted her to follow me. ah parents, they never understand. The firstborns just. can’t. win. ever.

    Jul 27, 2010 at 10:28 am   rating: 4  small thumbs up

     
  • #18   Matt

    Stuff it kid. At least you never have to worry about beccoming a middle child. It is my life.

    I have been left in a Walmart. My parents have forgotten to get me food on more than one occasion. I was even the smartest of the three kids and that still got me nowhere.

    Oh well, I make more money than my brothers and didn’t have an early pregnancy like a certain older brother.

    Go me.

    Jul 27, 2010 at 10:43 am   rating: 16  small thumbs up

    • #18.1   Z

      No, your parents just suck.

      Jul 27, 2010 at 12:27 pm   rating: 3  small thumbs up

       
    • #18.2   Clarice

      A pregnant brother? No wonder he got all the attention.

      Jul 27, 2010 at 12:54 pm   rating: 32  small thumbs up

       
    • #18.3   Donna Martin Graduates!

      I am the middle of three girls. All we did was squabble and fight — “She got more than me! – waahh!” etc

      There is 2.5 yrs between me & my elder sis and 4 yrs between me & my younger sis.

      So how come I got “You two older girls should know better” and then also “You two little girls – time for bed.” Hmmnnn?

      UNFAIR!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      Jul 28, 2010 at 3:32 pm   rating: 2  small thumbs up

       
     
  • #19   You're All Wrong

    As the youngest of six, as the one who was told I was “the mistake” or “the accident” I am here to tell you that it’s the older kids who get everything.

    I was basically left alone, to fend for myself. I call it my “unsupervised childhood.” Meanwhile, the oldest 3 sibs get DUIs, kicked out of high school, get married too young, get divorced and remarried, join the army to avoid jail time, and other various and sundry adventures.

    Quiet little old me was just sitting around, picking up the pieces as they fell.

    So all y’all first second and third borns can go suck it.

    Jul 27, 2010 at 11:16 am   rating: 13  small thumbs up

     
  • #20   Froget Menot

    “Once upon a time, my elder brother loved treating us to Indian Sunburns, one day,he stole”my”specially enhanced Pili-Pili diving googles .

    the End

    after this the surname “Picrate” stuck on me ,meaning bad wine :)

    Jul 27, 2010 at 11:23 am   rating: 1  small thumbs up

    • #20.1   Donna Martin Graduates!

      Is that like a Chinese burn, when you twist someone’s forearm in two directions? Youch!

      Jul 28, 2010 at 3:33 pm   rating: 0  small thumbs up

       
     
  • #21   Froget Menot

    And arent we all brothers and sisters on this board… and havent some already got more Thumbachon than you ever will ? lol

    Jul 27, 2010 at 12:08 pm   rating: 2  small thumbs up

    • #21.1   NoAdditives

      Some of us are only children. We got all the attention. Of course, even though I was an only child I was raised by a single mom and rarely got attention because she was going to school, working, and sometimes just hanging out with friends while I made myself dinner and put myself to bed.

      Jul 27, 2010 at 3:04 pm   rating: 0  small thumbs up

       
     
  • #22   NoAdditives

    This is exactly why my children are only 18 months apart. My daughter will never remember being an only child. And now, at almost two years old she’s a wonderful helper, loves her little brother immensely, and displays a pretty incredible amount of patience for her age.

    Jul 27, 2010 at 2:53 pm   rating: 3  small thumbs up

    • #22.1   Sarah

      My sister and I are only 17 months apart. That has always been great for us. We shared toys, we shared friends and the hand-me-downs I got were only two years old (she’s taller).
      But when my sister was a NO-screaming, constantly-running-away three-year-old and I was a just-learned-to-walk, putting-everything-in-my-mouth one-year-old, our mom almost got a burn-out until a friend of hers offered to take care of us one day a week.
      So what I’m saying is… be prepared!

      Jul 28, 2010 at 5:11 am   rating: 0  small thumbs up

       
    • #22.2   April Grill bang

      I wonder if that will work for me. My sons will be 10 months apart. Go ahead and do the math… I’ll wait =D. Nope, didn’t make it to that 6 week check-up!

      Jul 28, 2010 at 10:41 pm   rating: 0  small thumbs up

       
    • #22.3   NoAdditives

      @Sarah My daughter is already telling us no (although in her defense, it’s mostly to questions like “Is it naptime?” or “Do you want to eat this?” which really are stupid questions to ask a toddler) and she gets into absolutely everything that she can. Our house is ridiculously baby proofed. Until just recently we had to have our dining chairs tied up around the table so that she couldn’t pull them out to climb up. She’s way too smart for her age and we’re always on our toes. Thankfully our son is pretty laid back, at least for now. I’m sure that will change once he’s crawling and exploring, but for now things aren’t too difficult.

      @April Yikes! I can’t imagine having them that close! That’ll probably be pretty rough. Even though my kids are pretty good my husband and I say it would probably be easier to have twins than a toddler and a newborn. Just do your best to give your older son as much one on one time as you can and when it gets difficult ask for help. And take heart in the fact that your sons will almost definitely be best friends for their entire lives!

      Jul 31, 2010 at 1:09 am   rating: 0  small thumbs up

       
     
  • #23   Zee

    “And now, at almost two years old she’s a wonderful helper, loves her little brother immensely, and displays a pretty incredible amount of patience for her age.”

    Hahahahaha.

    You’re not at three yet. Oh, you will regret that post. You won’t feel it until the second crawls.

    Right into the first’s stuff.

    Good luck with that “family planning shall solve all my child rearing problems” thing!

    @ the grown siblings, Jesus freaking Christ everyone, get over yourselves. OMGZ imperfect life, mama didn’t spend all the money on MEMEME!

    Jul 27, 2010 at 3:01 pm   rating: 9  small thumbs up

    • #23.1   NoAdditives

      Oh, so you’re psychic? Or are you just like all those other people who have given me “helpful” in-my-experience advice that hasn’t been at all true for my children?

      And just why should I regret posting the current status of my children’s sibling relationship? I’m sure they will have plenty of fights and periods when they just don’t like each other, but for right now they really love each other. Why should I regret stating that publicly?

      Jul 27, 2010 at 7:27 pm   rating: 6  small thumbs up

       
    • #23.2   Zee

      That wasn’t advice, and I’m not psychic.

      It doesn’t take a psychic to know the cardinal rule of parenting: never, ever gloat in public about how you avoided a problem by your great parenting. You will either have to deal with it here, or in the next life.

      (This ESPECIALLY applies to potty-training and child-proofing.)

      Jul 29, 2010 at 3:48 pm   rating: 1  small thumbs up

       
    • #23.3   NoAdditives

      Oh my god. Yeah, parenting is tough and parents need to be adaptable, always on their toes, and always willing to learn. I don’t profess to be a perfect parents or have perfect children. But my husband and I did a lot of research before figuring out our family plan. And from everything we’ve seen, the closer in age the children are the more likely they are to be great friends throughout their entire lives.

      So yeah, I’m going to have some tough times as a parent, especially once we have another baby. But I’m not wrong in saying that I won’t find a note like this from my daughter because she won’t remember being an only child.

      Jul 31, 2010 at 1:19 am   rating: 0  small thumbs up

       
     
  • #24   “Testosterone-fueled wackjobs make the darndest threats!” | PassiveAggressiveNotes.com

    [...] The firstborn, dethroned [...]

    Jul 27, 2010 at 11:03 pm   rating: 0  small thumbs up

     
  • #25   Noelegy

    I was one of those infamous middle kids. My parents had my older brother, and then when he was 9 years old, because they thought they were unable to have any more kids, they adopted 1-year-old me. From the time I was 3 or 4, they told me that I was adopted and what that meant: that I was special; that they had chosen me; etc. I had a pretty healthy self-esteem about who I was and where I’d come from.

    Then when I was 6, my mom unexpectedly got pregnant. In addition to the usual angst of the sudden status of big sibling, I also had to deal with the fact that there was somehow a baby in my mom’s tummy and my dad had somehow put it there. “Wait a minute. I thought everyone went to a big building and picked out their babies!”

    But even that wasn’t the worst. I lived in a small town where it didn’t take much to get people talking. And adoption just wasn’t an everyday event. A woman actually came up to my hugely pregnant mom in the grocery store, with little 6-year-old me standing right there, and said, “So now that you’re having one of your own, what are you going to do with her?”

    My mom didn’t miss a beat. She said, “Well, the warranty’s run out. I guess we’ll have to keep her.”

    That being said, if I was this little girl’s aunt or friend of the family, I would *totally* spoil her, knowing how it feels to be in her shoes. :)

    Jul 28, 2010 at 8:53 am   rating: 11  small thumbs up

     

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