Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Birth Order Baby Drama

We had friends staying at our house a couple weeks ago for about 5 days. They have two kids, 7 and 4 (...and they're going on a crazy road trip from California > Florida and back with those kids!).

They're pretty skilled at just about everything. They both swim proficiently and ride bikes and the older can read and is partially fluent in Spanish. They're awesome.

The oldest is also very cooperative and listens the first time. He's well-mannered and behaves and is typical of a firstborn.

Their youngest is a little wilder, tends to be more mischievous, must be asked many times to complete a task and often will answer with the naughty "no" instead of being agreeable. Typical second born.

We have local friends whose kids are identical and identical in ages, too. Sure wish they were in town to meet! Their family dynamics and similarities are off the charts (Marriotts!).

My friend (the mom) commented about Benjamin not being typical of a firstborn and more of a second born. And while he isn't a firstborn (and she knows), what does that say about birth order family dynamic when the firstborn died at birth? While Benjamin is not the firstborn, he very well should be assuming the role, right? He's never lived with an older sibling and it hasn't changed his daily dynamic. Is it in the gene makeup of the kid? Was he born with second-born traits because he actually is the second born?

The speculations and what-ifs of life with Andrew continue always. It makes me angry knowing that I'll never know what the family dynamic would be like if Andrew were here. What I do know is that if my second born had his firstborn brother here, things would be a whole lot sweeter (and the second born might be more mellow). Parenting after loss is all kinds of loaded. Among the many things I wish I had after losing Andrew, I wish I just knew what he would've been like and how he would have shaped our family. The ever gaping hole will always be present.

Can you guess their wild card? You easily know mine. ;)


Brooke said... [Reply to comment]

I have had multiple people tell me on different occasions that Caroline reminds them of their younger child, or that she's acting like a typical second child. I've always thought that birth order was about nurture, not nature, so I'm not sure what it is about her (or me?) that brings out these qualities. But of course my mind goes to the same place--how different would things be if her older sister were here? Did we both miss out on our mellow, cooperative kiddos? I wouldn't change my little firecracker for anything, but I sure wish I had a basis of comparison with her big sister.

Caroline said... [Reply to comment]

Now I'm all for a good road trip, but that one is CRAZY. Kudos to them!

I think Finn acts more like a first born, which makes me sad, not because I want him to be different, but just because it's so damn complicated that he acts like a first born but isn't.

Anne said... [Reply to comment]

Gracie acts like a "typical" middle/ younger child...has from the beginning. Its odd, doesn't make sense, but is what it is. In some ways I like it because she is my middle child and in others it really makes me miss her older brother who should be there to balance some of that nonsense out!

A Few Good Eggs said... [Reply to comment]

The triggers are ever-present, aren't they? I had never thought about things from this angle, but it is so true. Like Brooke's comment above, I always thought that was behaviors based on birth order were a product of having those siblings, but maybe it's nature instead? Who knows. But maybe B will turn out to be more like a second born than a first...