Raising JUST One:
When I was 6-7 I told my mother that if she had another baby, that I would run away. This was the beginning of my only-child saga…
Only children get a bad wrap, I know…because I’ve been dealing with being one for 27 years now. It’s an interesting thing these days, more couples are stopping at one or at least considering having a single little mouthbreather…so here are some tips, tricks, and insight about only children, straight from the mouth of the beast.
-Holidays Are Weird: Christmas and Thanksgiving in most households are days filled with noisy ruckus, family football games, endless bad holiday movies, and half-pajama clothed kids running amok. Cue holidays at my house…quiet Christmas music, mimosas, lots of open napping spots, and an 8 person table set for only three. I used to be jealous of people’s large scale celebrations and then one day I realized…wait, small holidays are f*cking awesome. No fighting (except that one time I cried because I got too many pairs of shoes, yes I am aware I am the WORST), no messy cleanup after Noni throws up after finding out she’s allergic to jellied cranberry sauce, no sharing attention/toys/food, and having access to all the medium-priced champagne my body could ever want. Think about effortless, relaxing holidays from here on out…ah yes, one child can be a good thing.
-Sharing Sucks: Alright, so here’s where things get a little dicey. I suck at sharing. Don’t touch my plate, don’t wear my clothes, and no, I don’t want to split the meal. This is one point that I’ll concede…I am an asshole about sharing. BUT…and here’s a big BUT, I am awesome about giving things away or just buying you, your own thing. I’m not gonna be generous with my own shit, but I will find a way for you to get yours! In my opinion, that’s way better than divvying things up.
-Making Friends Is Easy: I moved every 3-4 years of my life and you’d think I would still be recovering from that mental trauma as we speak. Here’s the thing…moving a lot and being a solo kid taught me to be a Terminator of meeting buddies. Unless I wanted to just be friends with my parents and their dumb amigos, I had to figure out ways to meet other chitlins’ and convince them that I was normal and would be an amazing addition to their game of Disney Merry Go Round *. (Note: this is a game where you make a younger weaker child push the merry go round as fast as they can while singing disney songs, meanwhile their knees were turning to ground beef from the gravel) Needing to meet people for your own sanity makes you learn social cues, be fearless when talking to strangers (except the ones in vans with free candy), and eventually helps that flirt game y’all.
-Miniature Adult: One thing to be wary of…only children typically mature WAY faster because we are constantly hanging out with grown-ass people. I remember laying in bed as a 10 year old, staring at my ceiling fan planning out evac routes for when that serial killer eventually came to my house. Every detail was planned including: how I would negotiate my parents out of the hostage scenario, getting Candy the German Shepard to a safety zone, and which of my Barbies were going to make it in the “go-bag”…sorry Asian Barbie, you did not make the cut. Make sure to keep your only-child around plenty of other kids…that way they stay dumb and compliant. Otherwise, they WILL figure out how to outsmart you. (NOTE: DO NOT GOOGLE ADULT BABY TO FIND PHOTOS FOR YOUR BLOG POST…THAT IS ANOTHER THING)
Look, I know having siblings was probably mind-blowing and you guys are all well-adjusted and shit…but someone’s gotta make a case for having just one.
For more insights on being an single kid…check out this post on the Thought Catalog that inspired today’s Be Better.