Its a tough gig growing up and being the oldest, sure there are plenty of positives (probably mostly seen from hindsight and adults) however when you step back and view it from the shoes of a kid it really must be tough, as the oldest your expected to do the right thing all the time, to know better and behave better than your younger siblings, continually help out more than the others, the list goes on. This is then compounded by the fact that it appears you are no longer cute or as lovable as the younger siblings who appear to get more ohhs and ahhs – you can then also pretty well rinse and repeat that for the middle child, i’ll let you know about the third in a few years
Parenting for me is like continual battle of unwavering patience (mine does waver tho, often), discipline, cleaning, making school lunches (don’t wind me up about school lunches) and washing punctuated by moments of sheer joy from the acts of empathy and selflessness that they exhibit. Its those moments that keep you going thru the epic pile of unfolded washing and inside out shirts and tights…or the tantrums when your meant to be at a 9am meeting or the snot on your shirt applied when hanging up and its too hard to reach the tissues
Those moments of joy are hard to capture in images, possibly because your still operating on anxiety level 14.5 million and 2.5 hours of sleep, but i’ll share two here, one captured in images and the other simply in words.
Its 9pm, time for bed and its been a long day when Chaos says
to me “how about you put tickles to bed while i fold the washing” I’m sure you can imagine my skepticism here, especially when it seems at any available moment when not supervised she is doing something she probably should not be doing, fingers in the icecream, biscuits in bed, stashed lollies, eating dads chocolate, putting makeup on, using all of the hair conditioner in one go etc
“really dad…i promise you can trust me this time”
so, in another moment of unwavering patience i take mayhem (aka tickles) off to bed to sleep, fully expecting to come back out and to see two socks folded and chaos laid back on the couch with a bowl of icecream watching married at first sight or something equally inappropriate
20 minutes later i return and yup, its one of those sheer joy moments, she has folded all the washing, pretty darn well too and started to put it away – now this is no small feat in our household where a mountain of washing large enough to cover a small island nation is regular occurrence every couple of days. Well done chaos, you have restored my faith in humanity.
The second, and this is actually somewhat more common, often in a more malformed way tho:) – the act of pure kindness to mum or dad in the way of breakfast in bed, or a variant thereof. here chaos had dutifully made several cups of tea and a few pots as a tea sampling morning for mum they were pretty good too…