Thursday, July 16, 2015

The Youngest Child Syndrome

I used to wonder how parents could justify the seemingly blatant favoritism towards a youngest child.  It's so glaringly obvious.  What about the other kids?  What about hurt feelings?  I just knew these terrible parents were leaving emotional scars on their older children.  How dare they?!  What are they THINKING?!  

And then Bubbs came along...   

I'll admit it.  

I hold this guy 10x longer during the day than anyone else.  And he doesn't even need it!  He's way - WAY - past the time of needing any assistance to walk.  The stroller has been gone for a year.  He also does not need help putting on his shoes, getting dressed, served a snack, etc. etc. etc.  

(His brothers were doing ALL of this by age 3.  Bubbs is almost 5.)

I'm a complete hostage.  But I go willingly - happily - into the action.  Because this little guy is the last soft weight in my arms.  He's the last rounded tummy I get to tickle.  And the cute little hands I'm constantly fascinated with watching.  His little laugh is already phasing into that older laugh - still good.  But not quite as...precious.   

I could literally watch Bubbs non-stop.  I experience so much joy and awe in the simple things he does.  Partly because I know now - not before with my oldest, or my second, and even with my third - but NOW that these darling mannerisms are so fleeting.  

So so fleeting.   

When Bubbs crawls into my lap at night while we read together as a family, I secretly mourn that my older babies no longer fit the same way in my arms.  Of course, that never stops me from grabbing and squeezing them as often as possible - but it's just not the same.  I wish I could hold them longer.  

So yeah, I'm the guilty parent.  The parent that I've shaken my head at for decades.  

I've arrived.  

I hope the other kids will eventually forgive me.

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