Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Lost Somewhere In Between

I was chatting with a friend the other day and somehow, the conversation veered to her telling me how she felt she was the least loved of all in her family. She has an elder sister and a younger brother, and being the middle child, she felt ignored and unloved all the time. All things new, from clothes, shoes, toys, books and everything else would go to big sis and my friend had to settle for hand-me-downs. Food? Oh, she had smaller helpings and the least juicy cuts of meat, while the drumsticks and all the tender pieces would be piled on kid brother’s (nicknamed Little Emperor) plate. And outings? Oh, big sis got to go by virtue of she being the big girl and when Little Emperor got to tag along, it was because he was the baby of the house. My friend hated being the middle child. She would give anything to be the eldest or the youngest.

This brought to mind a young relative who is the eldest girl among 3 siblings. She is unhappy because being the eldest of the brood, she had to help the most with the chores and is reminded over and over again that she has to give way to her younger sisters and brother. To buy a new pair of shoes? Oh no, she can’t have it, because the money is for 2 new school-bags for her sisters. An extra scoop of ice-cream? Oh no, she gotta keep some for the younger ones. This young teen hated being the eldest in the family. How she wished she is the youngest.

And a friend’s daughter….she is the youngest in the family, supposedly doted on by her 3 elder brothers. As much as she enjoys the attention, she dislike the way her brothers ‘over-protect’ her. She is already in her twenties and yet, everything has to go through her brothers…from choice of college, choice of friends, choice of dressing, make-up, hairstyle, etc..etc…has to be scrutinized. She hated all these and she felt suffocated and yet, she felt powerless to rebel. How she wished she is the eldest and maybe can then boss her brothers around.

Three different people, three different positions in the family and three different views. I am the youngest in the family and honestly, I would not want it any other way. I felt so blessed to have an elder brother and elder sister who doted on me and love me to pieces and I reciprocated unconditionally. Both of them being more than 10 years my senior, I am the baby of the family and both of them cared for and protected me fiercely too. They held on to my hand when I was small and slowly learned to let go bit by bit as I grew and finally letting go of their hands to let me walk my own. Nevertheless, I knew they were never far behind, standing there and watching from a comfortable distance, seeing me wobble and stumble and ever ready to dash forward to break my fall. This, I will forever cherish and be thankful.

So are you the number one or, are you the baby or, are you lost somewhere in between? Care to offer your 20sen worth?

 
posted by nyonyapenang at 1:45 AM, |

26 Comments:

  At 2:30 AM Blogger angel said:
Errrmmm...

I think only you & I are the ones who are satisfied lor...

I'm the eldest & you the youngest.. hmmm... ngam lor hor??

~1 sen oni~
*too poor*

Seriously, I've never felt being treated differently by my parents altho' the sister is smarter than me :) And nope, never forced to do any housework either, yippie!
  At 2:40 AM Blogger AceOne118 said:
Being number 1,2,3 or 4th..my parents treated all of us equally fair with all the love, shelter they can give.
  At 2:46 AM Blogger U.Lee said:
Hello Nyonya, I guess life's like that, 1st, centre or last. Only boy, only girl in family, hand me downs, hand me ups, negelected, overloved, unloved. Most families tend to have those faults, including us the big brothers or sisters doing the same to younger siblings. We tend to unknowingly bestow 67% more of our affections to one or the other.
First child mother will boil pacifyer, second child she'll just blow on it, ha ha.
First child wakes up crying at nights, both parents come running, including the grandmother. Second child? Mother nudge father vice versa, "you go la...I want to sleep"!
Look at first borns, if a boy he's called "Ah boy". Girl? "Girlie", or "Ah girl"? Second child? His or her name. Third child? "Hoi"!
And the neglected son or daughter grows up, marries and the cycle begins again.
"Love all, service over".
You have a great day Nyonya. UL.
A lot has to do with the child's character.

I am the middle kid.

Once when I was a teen, I yelled at my parents: Why you love sis (elder) so much? You always have time for her. For me, I have to brace everything myself.

Only many years later, I know I am very very naive not to see the real situation.

My parents let me handle all the situations myself, because they know I can do it. My sister does need more help.
  At 9:33 AM Blogger William said:
I love being the youngest. :D. But I recently acquired an unofficial little bro of my own. So I guess I finally get to play big bro!
  At 9:40 AM Anonymous JL said:
i'm the eldest, the middle & the youngest... apa macam ni ;P
  At 12:14 PM Anonymous mott said:
*sobsSssssssssssssss*

how to be a good parent????
  At 1:18 PM Blogger eve said:
i m the youngest too and only daughter...i have 2 elder brothers who always groaned that i always get whatever i want...i have nothing to complain about cos...memang betul pun..i do get whatever i want..muahhahhahhaa
  At 4:02 PM Blogger famil said:
im the 4th out of 6. so-so only. the best thing is that you can be totally independent.

Parents, if you cant be fair, please have 2 children only!
totally identify cos i'm the middle child, memang teruk one woi..i don't even have any baby photos, if have also tumpang with somebody one...sob sob sob...
  At 6:08 PM Blogger savante said:
Only two of us in the family so there isn't much comparison. Oldest and the youngest. Either get along or be bored alone :P
  At 6:17 PM Blogger zewt said:
this only shows how humans can never be satisfied with whatever they have... life is like that.

i am the eldest, and i think i am happy with my role. and i am certainly glad that i did all that i need to do thus far as the big bro of the family.
That's why I only have 1 kid...and she's grateful for that.
  At 8:56 PM Blogger may said:
I think my parents are fair in treating us all as equals, but more because I'm the daughter than the son, that I get more house chores than the older boys... cheh! LOL!
  At 8:59 PM Anonymous kat said:
No wonder you are so well-balanced and nice, nyonya! I think it shows when people come from affectionate homes. I'm trying to create that for my children!

Oh, I have 2. And because the age gap is 5 years, and they are of different gender, there are no hand-me-downs. They have different sets of rules simply because she is older and he is younger! For now-lah, anyway... But I will make sure they both do household chores!! :D
  At 9:04 PM Anonymous kat said:
Oh, I'm the youngest of 3 girls. Pampered baby?? Hardly!! Bossed around? Oso dun have. Hand-me-downs? I'm sure got. Happy childhood? Hmmm... I think we are a very emotionally detached family!!

*peeks into emotional baggage... stuffs it under the bed again...*
  At 10:38 PM Blogger angel said:
Uncle Lee arr, I was never called "Ah Girl" or "Girlie" or "Babygirl" or "Darling" by my parents!

*tries to 'counter' the Service Over*
Haha...
"14-13, match point."
angel,
I suppose when there are not that many siblings,(say, like 10 to 12, macam gerabak lidat), and the age gap is slightly bigger, then the sibling rivalry would not be so intense. The elder child would understand better and would not feel threatened by a new addition.

aceone118,
you have great parents.
i remember a friend's family...6 siblings in all...should one fella got into trouble, all the others pun kena rotan sama sekali. that's fairness for you. :)

Uncle Lee,
What you said is so true. Parents are more kancheong with the firstborn...same saja la, like when the momma is pregnant for the first time...everybody also very kancheong and the parents-in-law as well as her own parents will announce to all and sundry. Try getting pregnant every year and then it goes, "AGAIN ar????"

Well, going back to feelings of sibling rivalry/jealousy, I believe the parents play an important role to explain to and reassure each and every child again and again that they are all loved the same.

Have a nice day, Uncle lee.


yenjai,
i guess, at that time, through our young eyes and ears, everything seemed so unfair.
your parents did a good job on you....you finally saw the light. :)

william,
'unofficial little bro'?...good for you to share your love.

jl,
good for you....pau ka liao!
hahahaha..

mott,
you are doing a great job as a super momma. :)

eve,
as much as they groaned, i'm sure they would not want it any other way too. :)

famil,
there you go...you turn out perfect...strong and independent.

and like you suggested....to have only 2 kids "if can't be fair".
why 2 and not 1?

laundryamah,
ok what...tumpang photos with your siblings....more yit lau. :)

savante,
fully agree with you. when there is only 2 of you....have to learn to look out for each other. :)

zewt,
ya, we are never satisfied and complain lots.
if only we can sit down and see things from a wider perspective.

cocka doodle,
reminds me of my nephew...when he was in nursery school, he complained to his mom that he never had the chance to raise his hand whenever the teacher asked, "How many you have sisters/brothers?"

may,
parents do play a very important role in reassuring the kids that all are loved equally...no pilih kasih.

kat,
thanks for your kind words.
yes, i come from a very warm and affectionate family...my parents' roles are very clear...poppa brings in the dough and made all the calls, while momma rocks the cradle and nurture.

i am sure you are doing a fine job with your kids. i can see you are a very devoted mom. :)

and oh, you are the youngest too! good for you.
  At 11:16 PM Anonymous _butt said:
I'm the eldest.. but then there's only two of us hehe. I'd like to think that my folks treat us both quite fairly except..

mom still calls me 'ah girl' (though I'm already 22) while my younger sis been called by her name for as long I could rmb.

I'd always think being the youngest you can get away with anything. But then I don't mind to be the big sis. You get to boss around home sometimes heheh.
i'm a middle child, when i was a kid i used to feel like i have to do most of the chores, but then again probably its just myself, my mom loves us all 3 equally... :)
  At 4:19 AM Blogger U.Lee said:
Hi Nyonya, tumpang sini I serve to Angel.
Angel, ahhh, but I bet your parents called you "Ah Gel"? (for Angel)or "An Gie"?
"14..14...". UL.
Nyonya, what your parents called you then? "Chatty"?
"Winci"? "Chestnuts"? Ha ha, UL.
  At 2:17 PM Anonymous zeroimpact said:
Me youngest and no regrets or anything to rant about
I believe it's the parents, if they are able to teach the kids to take care of each other and be considerate then there will be no problem
:)
  At 4:36 PM Anonymous Angeleyes said:
I'm the eldest... so I have to always be in the Q when buying stuff at the supermarket...
Anyway, guess I'm quite lucky my parents treated us fairly in a way...
  At 7:40 PM Blogger just me said:
youngest of 5 girls here and yes! I receive lots of hand-me-downs, strangely enough, I didn't complain...
_butt,
"ah girl"...that's endearing! what if you momma calls you or your sis 'Baby'? when you're 52, you'll still be her 'baby'.

whether no.1 or no. 10, each have a place in momma's heart.


monk[+]icon,
through a kid's eye, things may seem a lot unfair but when we grow and mature, we will see things in a different light.
we would be thankful that we were not molly-coddled when we were small. :)

Hi Uncle Lee,
No problems...you have PR status here. Just come in anytime!

errr...Angel, what's this 14..14...? playing bedminton here ar? **scratching head**

My poppa sometimes refer to me as 'gua punya loyar buruk'. hahhaha...and I have an Uncle, now aged 84, who calls me 'niniju'...what it means, I don't understand. Sounds manja to me though.

zeroimpact,
ya, the parents play an important role...to assure and re-assure the kids that each and everyone of them has a place in the sun.

angeleyes,
being the eldest, you are taught to love, care and share with your younger siblings. you are actually learning the ropes faster, which is a good thing.
so when, Darrius gets a baby sis or brother, he will learn to love, care and share too.

just me,
i suppose at that time too, we were actually happy that we got to use what big sis had been using. we would have felt..."oh, i've finally arrived."
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