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When the baby’s no longer “the” baby

Submitted by on Thursday, 8 April 2010 One Comment

If anyone’s station in life seemingly was secure, Boots’ was.

He’s the youngest grandchild on each side, thus ensuring his lifelong position as “The Baby.”

Ay, but no one ever warned him that there would be other babies in his life. It’s an omission that’s causing problems of late.

Boots can handle small fry in small doses, and he’s always quick to coo, “look at that cute little baby!” if we see one when we’re out and about.

All bets are off, though, if one tries to invade his turf – particularly if it’s a baby Big Guy bestows with the adoration he’s always withheld from his brother.

Big Guy: Over the moon when The Baby visits.

Boots: Wants to launch The Baby to the moon.

To make matters worse, The Baby has an older brother so she’s used to playing with boy toys. She has a special fondness for Thomas, too. “No, Baby, no!” Boots will shriek, confiscating trains as quickly as his little hands can grab them. “You’ll tear it up.” How she could tear up a die-cast engine is beyond me, but Boots isn’t thinking. He’s parroting what Big Guy’s told him his entire life.

She’s also close enough to the same size as Boots, who is small for his age, to inherit clothes he outgrew only recently. Nothing starts a fracas around here quicker than seeing someone else in your former wardrobe. “Oh, The Baby has a Lightning MaKeen shirt just like mine,” Boots smiled. And then he saw the tell-tale paint stains on the cuffs. “No!!!! That one is mine. Mommy, why does she have my shirt?”

The final insult, though, is that The Baby often calls me “mommy.” It’s perfectly understandable to everyone but Boots – “mommy” is, after all, what she hears two other people call me. For Boots, it’s the final blow. She’s taken his brother and his clothes, but she is not about to take his mother.

“Mommy, just make The Baby go home. I don’t like her here.”

There has been slight progress of late, as Boots made sure The Baby knew that the coveted Lightning MaKeen shirt makes noise when you press it. “See?” he demonstrated. He actually smiled at her giggles, though it didn’t last long.

“Mommy, I don’t understand why she has my shirt. I could still wear it, you know.”

It was my turn to giggle, because I’ve heard those exact words from Big Guy. It appears you don’t actually have to be siblings to experience sibling rivalry.

Copyright 2010 Debra Legg. All rights reserved.

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One Comment »

  • Mountain Mom said:

    Oh my goodness do I ever know what you are talking about! The teen had a really tough time when she was younger (I won’t say at what age she out grew the symptoms). Any visiting youngster, especially if it was someone I was babysitting, was in for it! When she was three she smacked her six year old cousin in the head with her favorit Tonka truck; he only wanted to hold it he said. It was tough because she had much older siblings to baby her, not just parents. She outgrew it and is cool with kids now. Actually quite the mentor. Just giving you hope. =D