Growing Up 8

Many things were discovered and became law, rule and foundation of our youth.

I am number 4 of 8.  I am the first girl.  At the end of the accumulation of babies the final tally was 5 boys and 3 girls.    Some of the things learned growing up are still applicable as an adult.   I just learned to apply them a little differently.

#1 believes himself to have been a prince for a very short time before his life was  ruined  changed by the birth of #’s 2 and 3.  Who happened to come out at nearly the same time.   Less than two minutes apart if I recall.   I have no sympathy for his dethroning.   At least he had that period of time where it was just him.  None of the rest of us got that privilege.

#’s 1, 2, 3, 6 and 7 believe boys rule.  They are mistaken.   Though I’m sure it took until they had female rulers in their own lives to accept that.   I am certain they have all accepted this.  Now.

If you are younger than you are the slave  servant   smallest and got stuck being the gopher.

Yelling “I call my seat” only works if you are the oldest sibling in the room when you get up to go do something and everyone else in the room is scared of respect you.

Telling on your sibling for doing something stupid that will get them in trouble was a crap shoot.  Sometimes the parental units would think the teller was the bad child who should learn a lesson.  But sometimes as the tattler you caught a break and the other one got in trouble.

Whenever you got told on the tattler never got in trouble.

Full names being yelled out always meant “oh crap”.

Being a girl after three boys did not mean you did not get hand me downs (might that have something to do with my sense of style?).

Girls have to do the same kind of work boys do.

Boys never have to do the same kind of work girls do.

Eating fast does pay off at the breakfast/lunch/dinner table.   However, it has its drawbacks later in life when you are in social settings.

If the parents can’t cajole you in to liking your siblings it is acceptable to threaten you that you damn well better love them or else.

You don’t hug the siblings closest in age because that is just gross.   But it’s okay to hug the baby.

Boys never ever have to get up with the crying babies.

Girls get the babies put in their rooms.   It just makes it easier for us to help.  Quote un quote.

Being teased means they love you.

Fighting means they love you.

Getting pushed off of the chair they called and you sat in means they are bigger.

You are not cute unless you are the baby.

You are not allowed to date unless you are a boy.

You have no idea what privacy is.

There is never a quiet moment.

The boys never have to wear a dress!

You realize you do not have a first name and a middle name.  You have all of your siblings names and then your name.

There are two groups in the family:   the boys, and everyone else.

Quiet means there’s a problem.

Noise means trouble.

Singing is acceptable.

It’s a bonus to like a food the rest of us couldn’t stand.   Extras!

Nicknames are forever.

“Near beer” though acceptable as a substitute for real beer during Lent is not acceptable as a take to school lunch time beverage.

There are never enough pillows, toilet paper and light bulbs in the world.

Some vehicles are not meant to haul 8 children without layering.

So many lessons!  So many changes from being one of eight to being one in the world.

Today I can compromise.   If I have need to.

Today I can laugh at myself.   I long ago learned I could be a moron.

Today I can get shoved around, and take it.

Today I can easily go through ten names before I get to my child’s right name.

Today I can easily dismiss a male who thinks he’s tougher than me.

Today I can pick my battles and seldom need to tattle.

Today I trust a person who trusts their relationship with me enough to disagree or argue.

Today I know that there is no “fair” or “unfair”.   It’s what you make it, do with it, accept or rally against.

Today I know the blessing of a baby who depends on you.

Today I believe in locks on bathroom doors.

Today I don’t care what my style is.  I am my own style.

Today I believe in stocking up on toilet paper.

Today I know the value of everyone regardless of their position in life.

Today I know the sum total, and the value, of one through eight.