Monday, July 26, 2010

On being 'the baby' of the family...

It's no secret that I was the baby of my family... not only was I the youngest sibling, I was also the youngest cousin of the Bellerose side. The baby of all the babies.

Being 'the baby' definitely has its advantages... there is no doubt about that. My sister had to test the waters and break in my parents, she basically paved the way for allowing me to do things bigger, better, and earlier.

As the baby of the family, you always got a little more attention, after all, you were 'the baby' so like most parents, my parents wanted me to stay young and innocent as long as possible, and so in a sense, they babied me just a little bit longer to see that happen.

I always remember how upset my sister and her friend would get when I would try to interfere with whatever they were doing (mailing out magazine subscriptions on behalf of the entire town!) - and I would go crying to my Mom and her friend about how they wouldn't let me in... so, in order to avoid complete disappointment, my Mom's friend would offer me a popsicle as a mediation tool. Being 'the baby' always had it perks!

But, while the perks were good perks, the drawbacks are still present in my memory. Let's talk hand me downs... as much as I enjoyed getting bags of clothes from older friends, it also meant I got less new things - unlike my sister, who was rolling the new duds all. the. time. And the hand me downs were not just in the form of clothes, were talking bikes, skates, skis... the list goes on. I remember the one year I was actually allowed to get a new bike... what a year that was - a purple Toys R Us special... it was such a kick-ass bike, and it was my very own - brand new, all mine! A focal point of my childhood as you can tell!

Aside from that one time, being the second owner of everything definitely shaped my personality for my adulthood - I like new things, and I am pretty sure that's because I didn't get a ton of new things as a child (I know, my mother is reading this thinking I had plenty of new things and wasn't deprived the least bit - and being realistic, I had it pretty good, but the second hand stuff is still present in my 30 year-old memory!).

Now, that I am faced with having a first born and 'the baby' of my own family... I am conscious of making sure my 'baby' of the family does have new things - but at the same time I can see how 'the baby' becomes the queen/king of hand me downs. Finding out I was having a second boy was exciting because I didn't want all the good clothes I had bought E to go to waste! So naturally this baby will inherit a lot of E's clothes - but if I may toot my own horn - they are very decent clothes! However, in terms of other things, I am going to do my best to ensure that 'the baby' of the family has his special moments, and his special things - different from his brother's and new and special to him and only him.

Yes, it will be a challenge, and I am sure I will get in caught up in the 'but, its still in good shape' mentality, but being the baby of the family myself I think it will be top of mind to make sure there are new things for him... starting with his baby room! Although it would be easy to move E into a new room and leave the current nursery as is, all set-up for The Sequel, I don't want to do that. I feel like so much effort went into planning E's room and this baby deserves just as much thought and planning. E will still get a new room, but The Sequel will also get a new nursery... maybe not a complete makeover, but new bedding, new wall decals and new things to call his own.

Of course, PC, being a first-born in his family does not see the point... he thinks its a lot of work and money for something The Sequel will probably not remember, but this is where the 'happy wife equals happy life' theory comes into play. I won't back down on this one, because as 'the baby' of my family, I know starting things off on the right, non-hand me down foot, is crucial!

All this say, I get to go baby bedding shopping again... YAY!

What do you think... are you the baby of the family, or a first-born? Did you feel one way or another about your siblings getting new things, or getting hand me downs?

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