God's Cruel Joke: Birth Order

God's Cruel Joke: Birth Order

Image 8Yesterday, my eight-year-old and youngest yelled up at me from the kitchen, "Mom, "K" took a drink of Coke!" ("K" is my eleven-year-old boy and middle child.)

We don't usually have pop in the house but my husband occasionally likes to have an "adult beverage" with a splash of Coke at night so our fridge will have a half full bottle randomly pop up on the shelf.

My kids only get pop on the weekends if we are out to eat or if we are eating pizza at home. I figure if they're going to have pizza, they might as well go all the way and slog it down with some battery acid eating liquid, right?

Three things to point out here:

1. Clearly it wasn't the weekend

2. We weren't having pizza.

3. It was 8 a.m. before school.

I stopped on my descent down the stairs and gritted my teeth, thinking "Of course he did."

I'm convinced as each of my children were in the womb, there was some sort of instructional script written from God on the inside of my belly. I imagine it went something like this:

Dearest firstborn,

You shall be smart, independent, hard-working, motherly, mature beyond your age, and team-oriented. It is your job to follow the rules and tell the truth. You shall strive to be the best you can be and liked by all who know you. However, boys won't be important until you hit high school and even then, your schoolwork and athletics are your priorities. You shall cherish your family time and will never grow too old to hug and kiss your parents. You shall have a small rebellious period in your life but it will be nothing in comparison to your brother. You are the golden child, a guiding light, a mother hen. Your siblings will love/hate you for it.

Dearest middle child,

You will come into the world quickly and quietly but this is a trick I'm playing on your parents. As soon as they get comfortable, I want you to completely change. You shall be the opposite of your older sibling. You will also do the opposite of what your parents tell you to do, or not to do. They've had it good for three years now and we need to keep them on their toes. You shall choose to be alone rather than the company of your siblings (sorry, you got screwed out of the youngest spot, blame your mother) and challenge the family dynamic at every opportunity. Just when they think you've gone to the dark side, do a 180 degree turn. You shall turn into a charming, persevering, and kind child. Your smile is your best defense. Use it often. Then, when your parents think you've "gone good",  flip it again. Become moody and argumentative again. And even though it's a sin, I want you to lie and cheat whenever you can. Don't worry, I forgive you. Take things without asking. Do things before you consider the consequences. Your parents at this point will think you are a lost cause.

But I've got plans for you. You are just like your father and it will take you a while to figure yourself out. But in the end, you'll have many friends and will make a terrific father. I've got a bet with Satan that you'll play center field for the Royals so don't let me down.

Dear youngest child,

Do whatever you want. Your parents have given up.  Good luck!


Or something like that. Whatever the script, they have it effing memorized.


Do your kids follow a birth order script in your house?