It’s hard being a younger sibling

            “Margorie, my younger son has come down with a cold, and I don’t want him around your kids because it is pretty nasty.  If I could drop him off, Zachary could still come over for his playdate.”

            “Sure,” she replied.  “Will he let you do that?”

            “I’m not sure.  I wanted to talk to you before I asked him.  I’ll talk to him now and then call you back.”  I hung up the phone and went over to Zach.

            “Zachary, Tom wants you to come over to his house.  But Benjamin is sick, so I can’t come with you.”

            “But, Mommy, you could drop me off!”  Well, that answered that question.  If only it had gone so smoothly in execution.  Don’t get me wrong; Zach was perfectly happy to be left at his friend’s house, and the friend was perfectly happy to have him there.

            Benjamin, however, was considerably less sanguine.  He has come to regard playdates as a joint activity, and he was not pleased to discover that he was to be excluded from the event.  Zach got to take off his shoes, enter the house, and go play with the trains, but Benjamin remained shod.  As we walked away to spend the hour tooling around the neighborhood, he screamed: “HOUSE!  HOUSE!  Shoes off!  Shoes off!”  Only the promise of blueberries could soothe his soul.

            Pickup went no better, with the child apoplectic that he had been barred from the festivities.  Zachary, on the other hand, was happy as a clam.

            “He’s really mature for his age,” the other mother said.  “He can come back any time.  He plays so nicely and behaved himself so well.”  If only the same could be said for the shrieking twenty-one-month-old I was trying to drag from her front hallway.

13 responses to “It’s hard being a younger sibling

  1. It is so hard to be excluded. With 6 years between them. my boys don’t do everything together, but we do have some friends that have boys the same age, and when one goes over, the other expects to go over as well and it doesn’t always work out that way.

  2. My daughter (at 6) gets pretty grumpy when her big brother gets to have a play date and she doesn’t. He’s better about it, and knows it will flip the other way, eventually.

    Poor Benjamin, sick and no play date. And poor mommy.

  3. Oh oww. He’s before the age when he could grasp the concept that fair doesn’t always mean the same thing for each person. Perhaps he has his own special friend that he could fix up a date with for when he gets better?

  4. It doesn’t end. Get used to these words…”IT’S NOT FAIR” I think I’ll be hearing them when I’m 80.

  5. It will be interesting once my twins are in separate classes & make separate friends & go on separate playdates….

    Meanwhile, their two-year-old brother always feels like he’s getting shafted when they are off doing something. He hates leaving the guys at school– he sits down at a table & starts an activity while I get his brothers out of their coats, etc. He’s ready to enroll.

  6. Being the younger sibling really IS hard and will stay that way for a long time …

  7. I was the younger sibling, and it’s NOT fair, it’s NOT! My sister got hepatitis right around my birthday ON PURPOSE (I’m sure) just so I couldn’t have a party. Not that I’m carrying a grudge. For more years than I want to count at this time…

  8. You know, I expected a big deal with that here with my girls. But it’s been okay.

    I think he’ll settle and it’ll get easier.

  9. Hey!

    At least you have one that is mature for his age! 😉

  10. We have a similar situatioin with my boys. It’s been okay until now because my older has always been happy to include the younger. but now he is a teenager, and not so inclined to have his younger brother hanging around. There have been a few incidents lately that have Diminutive One bereft at being excluded. I hate that for him, I really do, but being the oldest, I also understand that Pubescent One needs his space sometimes. SIGH.

  11. Aww. Poor little guy. I feel the same way about my Tommy. He wants to go to school so badly. He watches with such a sad face as Joey walks into school.
    It sure is hard to be the younger sibling.

  12. Oh my. It sounds like we have the same younger child. Holden would have done exactly the same thing. He wants to do everything big brother does. And big brother wants nothing more than some space. It make my heart ache, but I guess I was the same way as an older sibling.