Last Child Syndrome

Today’s guest post comes from Pluto.

We all know the story. First child gets all the brand new clothes, thousands of photos, scrapbooks. Second child gets a few new clothes, some photos. By the third child, it’s all stained hand-me-downs and no photos.

Well I’m the ninth child.

No new clothes and the only photos were from a distance, blurry.

Then it got worse.  At one point, some people who were desperate for attention make a big deal out of announcing that I’m actually a runt and a cousin, not the 9th child.

You’d think that this would be devastating but it’s turned out to be great for me.  I was suddenly the center of attention. Groups were formed to voice outrage over how I was being treated, t-shirts were printed. Somebody even started a Facebook page for me!

And now finally, after many years, lots and lots  of miles and a few snapshots, it turns out I’m not so insignificant after all.   In fact, I’m kind of fascinating.  Not just the baby of the family, I’m much much younger than all my relatives. They were forced to admit this when they got a clear look at my complexion – cool and moist without too much acne.

It’s not nice to gloat, but at this distance, who cares?   I’ve had my close up, and it turns out I look pretty good!

What rank do you hold in your familial Universe?  



63 thoughts on “Last Child Syndrome”

  1. I don’t want to brag, but I’m my mom’s favorite daughter. No really. Also my aunt’s most favorite niece. (What’s that you say? I’m the only daughter?…pfff – technicalities…and the only niece? well, I can’t help that. Not my fault. I’m still the favorite. Mom and my aunt told me so…)

    Liked by 6 people

  2. Rise and Shine Baboons!

    This is a complicated, and somewhat sore subject. On Dad’s side I am the oldest of three. Dad was an only child and the youngest cousin on one side of his family. His family is vast and large but we were lost on the edges somewhere.

    On Mom’s side I am Cousin #20/39 (Star Trek numeration), an oldest child and at times the Lieutenant Mother and at other times the Scapegoat Who Caused All Problems.

    I have enjoyed recent posts, but have been unable to participate much during the day. And Off I Go for the day.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. I am an only child, so I suppose that could mean I am the Sun, the center of the universe and everything revolves around me. It could also make me a solitary comet, winding my way on my solitary orbit, doing my own thing.

    Liked by 6 people

  4. hey welcome to the new blog poster. pluto you rock. no i mean you are good. i am not belittling the nature of your composition. i hope you and uranus are doing well and that we hear from other galactic bodies in the future. a new perspective is always good.

    my family has become a topic of tension since the days of reunions at my folks summer place. i am the oldest and was the alpha sib before dysfunction snuck in and took over. now i have a brother who i thought was trying to rekindle our relationship instead of calling only when he wanted or needed something but when i told him i didnt want to give him the vintage amplifier he covets he went away again. i have a sister who we do not speak of. really, lets not speak of her, and a sister who is my kids access to family on my side of the family.
    wife is oldest also and her family is a different kettle of fish wher ethe dysfunction is the parents . the kids all understand this and have figured out how to take care of their parents needs but i think they miss being cared for as only a mother or faterh can do.

    my personal family is a mixed deal where the two older ones have a mother we shudder at the mention of. i have apoligized for bad judgement and 3 in the second half who are part of the whole but also a separate entity. there is a difference in treatemnt between a mom and a fathers second wife who you call by her first name.

    wife family had similar deal where her dad died and she was raised by moms second husband in the tier of first family before the child of final couple occured.

    pluto is not the only one with identity crisis.

    when i was a kid, divorce and second husbands were odd. today 30 year anniversaries are out of the ordinary. im not sure a 30 year anniversary is a ticket to the winner club but swapping situations is a sure way to distract from the issue of getting it right where you are at the moment.

    speaking of that. here i go…
    thanks again pluto for sticking your orbit in.

    Liked by 6 people

  5. 3/3 boy girl boy, no, boy, nova, boy. Only one grandparent, who saw me once past the age of 3 and was unimpressed. These are facts, not an emotional burden.

    Liked by 3 people

  6. I’m the older of two. Got to do everything first, lay the groundwork, all that stuff. Younger sis got to do way more stuff than I did, and she’s the real achiever career-wise. I’m told I was the easy one to raise, i.e. hung with the tame kids, while she found a boyfriend that would tick them off.
    I had the more traditional family (for a while), she adopted at 45 as a single mom.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I have two children, 9 years apart. They, too are suns around which everything revolves. They were the only grandchildren of my parents, so they were really doted upon. Son would grumble and say sister is spoiled. He was pretty resentful in the past. I am glad he grew out of that. Daughter would say son is too much like a parent to her, and annoys her and is too critical.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Husband is the youngest of three sons. His oldest brother is nine years older, and they have never gotten along well. In fact, husband despises him, and they are no longer on speaking terms.


      1. My DIL is a firm believer in family togetherness and really got after son when he was negative about his sister. He listened to her far more than to me, which is as it should be. DIL was adopted and knows the value of family ties.

        Liked by 3 people

        1. My mom used to be this way as well; whenever I would visit, she would fill up the days with family events so we could all be happy together. I took a big flipchart home once with a grid of “be happy”, “be somewhat happy”, “be unhappy but smile anyway” for the week. She didn’t think it was very funny. Luckily she has mellowed with age and doesn’t force family fun any more!

          Liked by 1 person

        2. While I think it a bit severe that husband will have nothing to do with his oldest brother, I can also understand it. They don’t share core values. Like Vs said about her sisters, if they weren’t brothers in the first place, they would never have had anything to do with each other.

          Liked by 1 person

      1. Ha ha – that’s what my dad and I used to say about the fact that we couldn’t be together too long before we start fighting about something … that it was too difficult for two centers of the universe to be in the same space for too long!

        Liked by 1 person

      1. I wanted to finish my PhD before we had another child. I also was a little leary, as son was premature and I didn’t want that to happen again.


      2. I know this makes family therapy theorists perk up their ears, but I repeated, without thinking, my parents’ history. I had my son when I was at the age my mom was when she had a son, who was premature but who died. I then had my daughter nine years later, just like my mom did when she had me nine years after her first tragic pregnancy.

        Liked by 2 people

        1. For all intents and purposes you were an only child, Renee, but I would be surprised if your parents’ parenting wasn’t influenced by the loss of their first child.


        2. I have followed a similar trajectory to my mother and grandmother, except for only having one child instead of two. But each of us had a child later than “normal” for our generation: my grandmother was out of college and in her mid-twenties when she had my mother (in 1934). My mother was in her late twenties when she had my brother and early 30s when I came into the world. I was on the down side of mid-30s when Daughter was born. If Daughter follows the pattern, I will be in assisted living, or possibly dead, before I see grandchildren…


  8. My father was the oldest of four. My mom was the second of four. Dad’s younger brother was the favorite. Mom and her sibs were treated pretty equally. My paternal grandfather was the 10th of 14. All the boys were treated well. The girls were not.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I, too, have a younger sister. We’ve always been very different, both physically and temperamentally. She married the boy next door – literally – while I married one from a different continent. Neither marriage lasted, but she got two children from hers, a boy and a girl. We both remarried, but while I’m still hanging in there, she divorced again eight years ago.

    During our childhood, I think it fair to say, dad favored me and mom favored my sister; not ideal, but that’s how it was. But since I separated myself from the family ties at eighteen, I’ve maintained a certain distance both physically and emotionally; I stay clear of family feuds.

    But what constitutes family, really? The aunts and uncles I grew up with are all on dad’s side of the family, but as he was an adopted child, none of them are blood relatives. But these are the people I’m closest to. Mom’s family, all in England and Ireland, I’ve only had sporadic contact with, and from what I see on Facebook, it’s not people I have a lot in common with.

    Liked by 2 people

  10. CB got me thinking about this – thanks for inspiration!

    I have 2 sisters. Middle sister is 3 years younger, baby sister is 17 years younger. All three of us could be from different galaxies – and not much overlap. If we weren’t sisters, I don’t think we would be friends/acquaintances.

    I’m a classic “first child” – overachiever all around. I was also my dad’s favorite. This didn’t become really clear until we were adults and it was a hard dynamic for all three of us to deal with.

    Liked by 2 people

  11. Middle of three girls – was either too young or too old (or old enough to know better). Both sibs are loquacious – rarely got a word in edgewise as a child, still happens when we are together today. I was the moodiest child – difficult teen age years especially. Dad has been gone for 15 years – Mom is still kicking at 90. Both sibs had/have a closer relationship with parents. My relationship was/is more superficial – steer clear of intimate subjects. My sibs and I get along well now.

    Liked by 2 people

  12. I used to think birth order had a predictable effect but now think it is important but works differently in different families. My dad was the second of three sons, but in that family he was seen as far less accomplished than the first son and nowhere near as cute as the third.

    I’m the older of two. My parents were almost fanatical about being even with us in all ways, but perhaps that is because my sister (Crystalbay) was convinced from the start that I was favored. Her conviction she was the outsider might have helped to make it true.

    I tell Liam he is my favorite grandson (there are no others) and he tells me I’m his favorite Grampy (there are no others). What I like is he gets the joke.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Like you, I’m sure there are a lot more things that affect personality in addition to birth order. Both of my parents were the youngest in their family (2 of 2 for my dad, 3 of 3 for my mom) but I see that they (and their marriage) were both much more shaped by being children of abusive alcoholics.

      Liked by 1 person

  13. OT: Liam (now five) saw a doctor two days ago to have his blood drawn. He left the doctor’s exam room, walking through the waiting room where four moms sat with their kids waiting to be called in. Liam delivered a little speech meant for the kids: “They say it isn’t going to hurt but it hurts A LOT! Don’t go in there. They’re a bunch of LIARS!” I feel sorry for the moms who suddenly had to say something to their kids.

    Liked by 6 people

    1. OMG, that is too funny! When my youngest boy with autism received a shot as a toddler, he screamed bloody murder. He wasn’t verbal at the time, but he glared at the nurse and turned his back on her — rather like banishing. I might have yelled some gibberish at her he was so mad.


      1. Reminds me of this. When I was five years old, I had a boil in my nose. Our family doctor prescribed a shot of penicillin to be administered by a nurse who came to our house to give me the shot. When she rang our doorbell, I ran upstairs and locked myself in the bathroom; I didn’t want a shot. No amount of pleading or shaming by my dad could get me to come out. Finally, dad went back downstairs, and made a big deal of apologizing to the nurse, opened the front door and said goodbye, and closed the door again. Then he came back upstairs and told me that the nurse was gone, and that I could come out whenever I was ready.

        A minute later I ventured out, and he grabbed me. The nurse was still downstairs, and I got that shot. It made no sense to me that a shot in my behind would help a boil in my nose, but it did.

        Liked by 2 people

  14. I am 5 of 7 in my family — 6 girls and one boy. Plus, he was the first boy in my Dad’s family (2 of 11), so he was definitely favored nephew for a while. He always had his own room, got special treatment, etc., etc. But Drew is a great guy and I truly love and get along with all my siblings. I had awesome parents — all the in-laws loved them like their own parents; or better!

    Liked by 3 people

  15. I have one brother who was born 2 years after me. I think that being the first born of two has some advantages and some disadvantages which have not been very noticeable as far as I can tell. The major differences between my brother and I are probably due to differing personalities and other genetic traits. Our parents didn’t favor one of us over the other. So it seems my brother and I have been propelled along similar paths in the universe while having somewhat different characteristics and slightly different launching points.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. At 47 years old, my folks still refer to me as “the caboose.” My sister is 9 years older than me. My identical twin brothers are 8 years older than me.

    When I was 5, my brothers used to tease me that I was adopted because I didn’t look like them and my sister used to “play dead” until I started to cry.

    When I was 14, I went to my mother (who was cooking dinner) and pointed out this age discrepancy between me and my siblings. I asked her if there was ~something~ I should know. Without missing a beat, she said, “Yes there is. We love you anyway.”

    Liked by 6 people

  17. My folks were both from pretty large families – Dad 4th of 5 and Mom 5th of 7. I grew up going to large family gatherings for some of the holidays, and having lots of cousins around whenever we’d visit the grandparents. May have been one thing that attracted me to Husband, who is 3rd of 8 – lots of fun times with the relatives. Boy, did I get that in spades!

    Liked by 1 person

  18. One birth order pattern I’ve seen often: a kid born in the middle of a large family (like 4th of 7) often becomes a performer (like an actor or comedian). Makes sense. Middle children in a large brood need to work to get attention.

    Liked by 1 person

  19. OK, I am exposing my ignorance. If Pluto is #9, does that mean that the planets evolved in order from the closest to the sun appearing first to the farthest from the sun evolving last? Or is this a question I will have to ask God if ever see her?

    Liked by 1 person

  20. Hey all – I feel like I’ve played a trick on everybody today, but I swear I didn’t mean to. I’m the poster today – if you look at the very top near the picture, Dale has my name, but then he put “by Pluto” in bigger letters because we wanted to make sure that it was clear the story was from the viewpoint of Pluto the planet (or dwarf planet depending on your astronomical slant), not me.

    Liked by 5 people

    1. Didn’t fool me. I spotted you there right away, but for a moment lost track of Pluto all together and wondered when you picked up all the extra sibs we’d never heard about. Excellent channeling of the dwarf!


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