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“I hate being the baby! ” That’s a common statement one hears all too often. I’m the youngest one in my family,and the only girl among two brothers at that. Quite a number of my friends are the eldest among their siblings, and from what I’ve heard from them, their little sisters and brothers are probably just a few years away from the friendly neighbourhood psychiatrist. What with all the abuse, it’s a miracle how they avoid becoming physically and emotionally retarded. ( sorry guys, I just had to stand up for those poor kids! ).
However, I firmly believe that every cloud has a silver lining, even if it’s not always visible. Being the youngest, we do gain a few vital skills to survive in this dog eat dog world. In the process of getting pinched, slapped, punched, and kicked around by our older siblings, we develop a strong retaliation mindset that keeps us from being obliterated by our demented siblings. You decapitated my Tropical Swimsuit Barbie ? Look, your Hot Wheels were so hot, they melted! Undoubtedly, my brothers have suffered the wrath of my active self-defence mechanism more than once.
Even if I fail to get back at them physically (I’m just a gentle, innocent girl, okay? ), I generally make sure they pay by spiriting away their beloved possessions. It’s amazing how many nooks and crannies one can find in a standard double- storeyed house. Sure, it’s mean, petty, spiteful and selfish, but hey, who ever said anything about being an angel? Once, I remember grabbing hold of a handful of my brothers’ beloved computer games and throwing them over the gate onto the path of an incoming car.
I got a pretty good hiding for it, but ahhh, the satisfying sound of cds cracking under pressure out-weighed the punishment by about a hundred times. As the youngest, we are the worker ants around the house. That is, when our parents are not in. As a result, we acquire very important characteristics such as being responsible, efficient, hardworking, etc. There’s this really misguided notion that the queen bees are always the responsible ones. All they do is to order us around, belting out commands like a drill sergeant.
Being the only girl in the household during my mum’s absence, I get “ample preparation for a future married life” (or as one would think, a future career as a house-maid ). Being the youngest too means that my brothers become deaf to any kind- hearted suggestions I have to increase their work efficiency. (eg. Why don’t you just get your lazy butt off the floor? ) With all the practice we get, most of us have the persuading skills of a politician. I find this especially useful when I’m short of pocket money. After a few minutes of ‘manja-ing’, my purse would be filled to the brim again!
(Like magic! ) I guess this is a privilege available only to us. Somehow, older siblings who act ‘manja’ are not generally accepted by society. Those who have the audacity to do so are usually met with the curt “don’t-pretend-to-be-cute” reply. Still, not everything we gain by being the youngest is good. Haven’t you noticed? The youngest one is almost always the fattest. Sadly, I’m a living testament to this. While both my brothers are lean, slim and thin, I’ve always been kind of chubby my whole life. The last cookie left?
Let your sis have it lar. The last piece of pizza? Give your sis… All this food stuffing has left its mark on me physically. (Sigh) Well, I guess you just can’t have your cake and eat it too… literally. All in all, I think life was intended to be a bed of roses for us young ones. Unfortunately though, a few durian husks got in the mix. However, at the end of the day, what really matters is having a family that loves you and cares for you, regardless of whether you’re the eldest, the youngest, the in betweens, or even the only child.