Having children with a large age gap has its pluses and its minuses. Mercer Mayer writes her Little Critter books with titles such as Just Me and My Little Brother and The New Baby that appeals to the toddlers but what about the older kids? Being a child with a sibling 9 years older was dandy for me; someone to learn from, pester and look up to.
Perhaps he did not always feel the same growing up; forced to no longer be in the lime light, be an instant baby sitter and have a tag-a-long – oh-what-a-drag! I see my friend’s 10 year old son struggling with the perils of having a baby sister. No longer is he their ‘centre of the universe’ and much to his dismay, mom has to tote along the baby to soccer games, school functions and events. Giving up his bedroom due to “location” for the baby’s room did not go over swell either….even with the bribery of a new game station wasn’t enough to gloss over the fact that this new addition is taking over and ‘ruining’ the life as he knew it. Forget the fact that he’s at that age where he’ll get embarrassed by the crowd she drawls from absolute strangers about how darling she is or that mom is a little less patient with his needs and demands. Let’s face it, he probably loves her but detests her at times too. The key would be patience and reassurance that despite this new shiny star, he was the first born and still shines brilliantly!
Susan Lee, younger sister to Mike Lee!