Where are all the first born children in the house? My hand is up! We rock, right? Like some people used to tell me, while I was a child, I was the one who paved the way for my sisters to come. Put in another sense, I was the one blocking the others from coming in the first place. But… who cares?! Such ideas are not for this article.
When I wrote the second born article, my sister had asked me why I didn’t write about the first born child. She challenged some of my submissions, which only reaffirmed the type of person, I believe she is as a second born. I’m not wrong; I have had close to 30 years of watching time to come to a conclusion. Before second born babies dominate this article again, let’s go.
Like I said earlier, I’m a first born, and so is my husband, so between us, we run a “kingdom”. Not really oh, but we do get consulted a lot on so many matters that I would rather be left out of, but I guess that comes with the first born territory.
Between my younger sister and I, there is approximately a 15 month gap, so you see, I barely had my mom’s full attention for a short time, before my sister came along to share in the glory. I had to grow up fast, and learnt to do a lot of things faster too.
The bad part was everyone reminded me I was the first born, and expected me to act as such. Let me ask o, does being a first born now come with a prize? When we were old enough to do chores in the house, I had more to do. While my middle sister and our baby sister played with the dolls in the sitting, I was always to be standing at attention with my mom in the kitchen, because I was the first born.
What I did not know was my mom was training me, so I could take over the kitchen duties from her. As soon as she saw I was capable, it started! “Kemi, cook rice” “Kemi, you are cooking for the whole house today o.” I must admit, it was exciting at first but it soon lost its attractiveness and I began to push for helpers in the kitchen. That was when our second born, who already knew some dishes, started to grudgingly help.
Till I left home, my mom merely talked about a cooking roaster, but it never came into existence. I guess it was lot easier to browbeat me or our baby sister into getting into the kitchen than cajoling our second born to agree to cook. Interestingly, my sister is a great cook now, even my kids testify to her cooking prowess.
Hope you got some of the characteristics of a first born from all my theatrics up there; they are dependable and strong people. Yayy! Good stuff there.
Most first borns have to deal with the loss of limelight, once their younger sibling comes on the scene. No matter how old or young that child is, it affects their personality. It could be one of two ways; become a goody two shoes and everybody’s sweetheart or act out and rebel to get that lost attention.
While most firstborns will opt for the former, displaying excellent behaviour, undertaking tasks and chores to be helpful and trying to please everyone around them, others just want you to get rid of that new baby.
Like the story of the toddler I heard, who told her mom to return the new baby to the owner, as the baby was not welcome in their home. It started right from the hospital, as they were preparing to come home, she kept asking who the owner of the baby was.
When her mom tried to explain that the baby was her sister that was inside her tummy, which she (toddler) used to talk to. She cried and said no, it wasn’t, that her mommy’s tummy was still big, that her baby wasn’t here yet.
After days of crying and raising her hand to be carried, every time her mom carried the baby, she set her eyes on the baby and started doing all sorts of things to it. It was so bad, her mom never left the baby alone with her for a moment. Sister and baby bonding was not for this young madam, she just wanted her mom-and-me time to continue.
It took her a while to accept that, truly, she was now a big sister, but she did and now that they are both grown, they could be likened to twins, given their resemblance, and it’s even more fun. The few times their mom told them about her antics while her sister was a baby, she would staunchly decry it and say she hadn’t been such a bad child.
Due to their nature, most firstborns display impressive control over their actions and emotions, but push them to their limits and they lash out in a very harsh way.
Between my older twins, who were born just seven minutes apart, I see this need to be recognised as the first born between them. This is not helped by the Yoruba culture, which claims that the second born, is actually the first born, who sent the child that came out first to go and survey things. To make it easier for me, I have told them they are both first-borns. That calms everybody’s blood pressure. I tell you.
I love being a first born and all that comes with it…control issues and all.
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