Who is the oldest child in our family can be more of a fluid question than in other homes. Obviously there are years and dates, but that doesn’t always define responsibility, capabilities or who is the most mature for every situation.
The oldest isn’t always going to be the best at teaching his younger siblings how to do a new chore, but he might be the best at introducing his family and their ages to the restaurant server.
You see my oldest child has autism and with that has some social and verbal delays. When I had 2 children in diapers I watched as their milestones grew closer and closer together and I worried. Will my first born feel left behind? Will my second son feel burdened and responsible for his older brother? Well I’ll let you know right now I worried about the wrong things.
My second child doesn’t feel burdened, at least not right now anyways. He does feel frustrated though. That was one of the first things he noticed was different between him and his brother was his frustrations in his older brother not being able to do the things that he had learned to do. And these feelings of exasperation have followed and embittered Mr. C through the years.
There is ebbs and flows as my children have learned and grown and have achieved new milestones together and separately. Their roles change as they grow as people. Sometimes Mr. L is the mature and protective one, and sometimes Little Miss A is the leader, and other times Mr. C is the teacher.
However, yesterday Mr. L took on the roll as the big brother and I was overwhelmed with pride and gratitude. Yesterday Mr. C needed to have some work done on a tooth and all 3 of my kiddos had to go to the dentist because they didn’t have school. The problem with this, was that I knew ahead of time that we wouldn’t all fit in the dental room.
If it was just a cleaning and a check up Mr. C could have handled going back alone, but unfortunately a spacer was being cemented in and he had never experienced this before. I knew that I couldn’t leave the other 2 children in the waiting room. So I asked Mr. L if he would be willing to go back with his brother and sit quietly with Mr. C. My oldest seemed a bit uncomfortable with the idea of facing something new without me as his guide, but I explained how we couldn’t all fit in the small procedural room.
So when they called my middle child up at the dentist I told both boys to follow the assistant (Who gave me a curious- But not quite rude look…) and away the lady and boys went. To say I was a tad bit nervous would be an understatement but what else could I do? I guess I could have herded us all back there, placed Little Miss A on Mr. L’s lap and then stood against the wall for an hour…
I chose instead to trust my middle child to mind his manners and open his mouth to get his work done without trying to ninja kick anyone. I also chose to trust that my oldest kiddo would sit nicely through the whole thing and not try to sneak away out the back door of the office or place his hands over his headphones and yell on the floor.
So for an hour I kept my youngest child entertained by asking her questions about the cartoons on the waiting room tv and silently prayed that my boys were learning to be a little more responsible today and learning to be a little more independent than yesterday. And I can proudly say that my sons did wonderfully! They came out tired, a little worn out and quietly ready to go. The assistant said they did great and gave us some follow up tips for my son’s mouth.
Not too bad for a dental procedure done without any parental over watch. I can’t complain, I’m just relieved it went well.
Small steps are still steps ❤️