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Old 10-05-2009, 08:05 AM
 
Location: In the real world!
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I worked at a school for many years and I could spot the baby of the family a mile away and I can spot them where I work now.

They are Mama and Daddy's "little darlings", can do no wrong and think the world is there to cater to them. My own "baby of the family" also has this attitude thanks to his Dad.

While they make it through school, they don't make it where I work now as adults where every man is expected to clean up behind himself, actually w-o-r-k and get dirty.

I know how we all spoiled my youngest brother (baby of the family), always thought and still do, that he is so smart and cute. We spoiled him rotten, but he has done well in life and everyone that meets him loves him and enjoys being around him. Somehow, he didn't turn out self serving or self centered.
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Old 10-05-2009, 08:05 AM
 
Location: Visitation between Wal-Mart & Home Depot
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I always thought that the first child, upon the birth of the second, basically becomes "Dad's kid" while Mom fusses over the baby, so #1 is closest to the father and #2 is closest to the mother.
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Old 10-05-2009, 09:59 AM
 
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Let me tell you the story from my Father's family, as it mirrors many of the stories related here so far...

Dad and his siblings were born 1903(boy, Uncle Eddie), 1905(my father), 1907(girl, Aunt Mary) and 1909(boy, Uncle George). Three boys, one girl. Their father, (my grandfather) died in the 1918 flu pandemic, fully 30 years before I was born, and you bet I'm watching this swine flu. Upon death of their father, their mother, a strict German woman, babied George, spoiled him rotten. (I'm told the widow remarried but it didn't last long; no one will tell the reason why. Was it George?)

George was the favorite, could do no wrong. He married but had no children, the marriage didn't last that long. He was a diamond buyer for an old-line, upper crust jeweler in Baltimore. After Social Security was implemented, he refused to pay the tax. The IRS garnished his pay. George showed them who was boss. He quit. Divorce followed.

During WW-II he did some work with the railroad, but was often out drunk. For a while in the early days of WW-II, my parents, plus George, plus the widowed mother, all lived under the same roof with my Aunt Mary and her husband. Talk about a houseful. Mom was a country girl and hated by Dad's mother. One day, while pregnant with my oldest sister, Dad's mother refused to let my Mom have a glass of OJ, as she was saving it for George.

Then my parents got their own home and George came with them. His family and my parents would give George carfare and lunch money to go job hunting, but George just went straight to a bar. Mom found out and went ballistic; she was raising two babies at the time and dealing with my father's own drinking (Dad's nickname at the railroad shop was "rummy"). George got the boot and went back to live with Dad's only sister.

George lived in a rented room in a working class area of west Baltimore, now part of a sprawling ghetto. His days consisted of visiting his sister (my Aunt Mary) to be the gardener and odd job boy for her and her husband, and the same for Dad's other brother (my Uncle Eddie, the oldest of the 3 brothers and the first born). George kept up his drinking and smoking and his hatred of black people to the day he died in 1962, due to cancer of the throat. He died indigent in a state run hospital in NE Baltimore (Montebello State Hosp). His sister paid for his burial. The baby of the family was a spoiled brat and hateful man to the day he died.

Then, completely different, was Uncle Eddie, the first born. He was a minor success, running his own auto parts shop in Baltimore and he was better to me than my father (hmmmm?). He was likable, friendly and gentle, the complete opposite of George.

Eddie (first born) got out and worked at an early age after their father died; he was 15 in 1918 which was old enough to be in the workforce in those days. By working, Eddie got AWAY from his mother's influence, learned to socialize well and deal with whatever came his way. Meanwhile, George was too young to work and got doted on by his mother.

So, in my Dad's family, the baby turned out to be a rat, the oldest (Eddie) didn't turn out neurotic or driven or overly striving; he led a clean life and was a sweetie to one and all and was loved by one and all.
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Old 10-05-2009, 11:09 AM
 
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It just depends on the family too I think. I have one younger sister, we are both successful although I stay at home with my kids now. I would say that I was/am more driven than she is, however I always felt that I had to play by the rules, she didn't.

My dad's family has seven kids, he's the middle child and the most successful, he would say that it was my mom's (oldest child) ambition and his own smarts that helped along with a defining stint in the military. His oldest brother is brilliant (over 160 IQ, perfect scores on SAT) but drinks and married a difficult woman...so circumstances, drive, who we choose as a spouse, probably luck too...all matter.
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Old 10-05-2009, 01:43 PM
 
Location: Houston, TX
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I am a first born child, and feel what you say is true. Expectations always seemed higher for me as I was considered 'gifted'. Younger sibling got awayf with a lot cause she was Daddys princess. I am much more successful than my sibling, who quits jobs on a whim and still turns to Dad to help with the bills.
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Old 10-05-2009, 04:42 PM
 
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What about onlies? They have a lot in common with first borns. Parents of onlies get told constantly "It is mean you did not give him or her a sibling." We also get told we will have a spoiled brat on our hands with only one kid.

Everyone should do what he or she wants and 'let people decide' what is best. It's too bad people are hard on first borns, especially if they are male.
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Old 10-05-2009, 04:49 PM
 
Location: N of citrus, S of decent corn
32,125 posts, read 40,326,220 times
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I am a first born child and first born grandchild. It manifested itself in me by giving me supreme self confidence, but nothing to back it up. Like, I am wonderful for no reason. This causes me to be confident I can bluff my way through just about anything, but not a great work ethic to actually be great at anything.
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Old 10-05-2009, 07:16 PM
 
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Here's another chapter in my family's saga....my own immediate family.

My parents had 4 kids: 1943(girl, Bobbie), 1944(girl, Mary), 1948(boy, me) and 1950(girl, Barbara).

The parallels of my family to Dad's family are amazing.

My little sister (the baby of the family) was the apple of my father's eye. He spoiled her rotten and let her get away with everything.

Though my dad didn't die young like his dad, my father did have a stroke in 1958 (exactly 40 years after his father passed) and it was almost as traumatic. He couldn't work, our house went to foreclosure, car was re-possessed, etc.

Like my Uncle Eddie in 1918, my oldest sister quit school and got a job to help support the family. The rest of us muddled through. We finally worked our way out of the hole of poverty. Mom wasn't a widow, but her marriage went into deep freeze with a crippled husband.

The first born (Bobbie) has always been a hard-nosed fighter, striving to succeed and be a leader. She's led the way for the rest of us. The second born is laid back and a traditional Mom and churchgoer. I married and put in 30 years with the Army (civilian work) and retired at 55; no kids, as I didn't want the bill collectors at my door the way they were at Mom's door, and those memories are vivid in my memory along with many more poverty experiences. The baby of the family is a free spirited life of the party, horsewoman, loving Mom and a tiger for her causes.

The "curse" certainly doesn't occur in all families, or even most families, but it happens enough to be worthy of its name.
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Last edited by Mike from back east; 10-06-2009 at 05:21 PM..
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Old 10-07-2009, 09:23 PM
 
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I am the baby in my family and I had my parents' hopes all pinned on me after my siblings turned out to be duds (I say that with love ). They looked to me not only to be successful for myself, but to make up for the lost success of my siblings.
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Old 10-08-2009, 11:14 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by spinx View Post
I am the baby in my family and I had my parents' hopes all pinned on me after my siblings turned out to be duds (I say that with love ). They looked to me not only to be successful for myself, but to make up for the lost success of my siblings.
Obviously, the curse works in reverse order as you've reported. Ideally, parenting skills and expectations will some day be taught far and wide so that the raising of healthy, fully functioning, outstanding citizens becomes commonplace.
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