Ah, to be the oldest child. All the attention, the new clothes, the pressure to succeed in everything all the time. Social scientists have told us lately that firstborns are actually smarter than siblings born further down the line because Mom and Dad simply spent more time with them, enforced homework rules and, frankly, cared more about their success than subsequent siblings. As the youngest of eight siblings, I quote Edna Krabappel and say, "Ha!"
Firstborns may have the good SATS, but they also have some unfortunate personality traits to go along with their high verbal scores. In response to that study, the HuffPost Parents editors put together a crowd-sourced list of 28 signs you're dealing with an oldest child.
I felt compelled to represent the other end of the sibling spectrum: the neglected, jaded, free-range youngest sibling in a big family. I think we've done just fine for ourselves, even if our GPAs don't match up to our older siblings. I'm no Ph.D., but I have a few theories on the traits of youngest children.
Here are 28 signs you're dealing with a youngest child:
1. Entitled to nothing. Really. Not even a seat at the dinner table is guaranteed.
2. Happy to sit in the back seat of the car well into adulthood. The way, way back? Totally fine with that, too.
3. Buys used cars, second -hand clothes and "vintage" furniture. What is this thing you call "first-hand?"
4. Will never make fiancée sit through the traditional post-engagement evening of Going Through the Family Photo Album to Look at Pictures of Childhood because there are no pictures of childhood.
5. Answers to almost any name. Literally, any name.
6. Constantly surprises older siblings with references to "playing on the high school tennis team" or "going to college," as older siblings have no recollection of any of these events.
7. Has photographic memory of every event that happened to older siblings, including what they were wearing and what Mom yelled.
8. Rarely expects a bed at large family gatherings. Prefers futons, couches or tent in the backyard, just like childhood.
9. Has a record collection that includes four copies of Boz Scaggs' "Silk Degrees" inherited from older siblings.
10. Has a book collection that includes seven copies of The Catcher in the Rye and four copies of Go Ask Alice.
11. Never expects to be served first.
12. Does expect to do have to do the dishes anywhere, anytime, at any event.
13. Occasionally stuns family with competency...
14. ...But still treated like 14-year old.
15. Pleased as punch to finally make it to the Grown-Up Table in mid-thirties.
16. Personal motto: I wasn't born yet.
17. Will never bore you with stories of family trips to national parks because the car wasn't big enough for the entire family, if you know what I mean.
18. Barely got a word in edgewise until age 15. Now a very good listener.
19. Enjoys being decades younger than siblings in adulthood. Really, really enjoys it. Like not in a healthy way.
20. Leaves the room when older siblings reminisce about "the Christmas we all got new skis."
21. Keeper of all the family high school yearbooks for some reason.
22. Thrilled at spacious college dorm room and awesome bunk bed.
23. High levels of proficiency in laundry, sandwich-making, entertaining oneself and waiting.
24. Large vocabulary.
25. Never even reaches for the remote. Why bother?
26. Learns from others' mistakes.
27. Stays under radar.
28. Gets away with murder.
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