I have heard people talk about how the youngest child in a family is always the most pampered; the most cared for; the one who gets everything she wants. I have also heard people say that the youngest child is always the luckier one as she is the baby of the family. As the youngest in my family (I have an elder brother), I beg to differ. When I call myself the youngest, I am not just referring to the status quo with relation to siblings, but being the youngest person in my family as such. Yes, I’ve been pampered more – not because I was the youngest, but since I have always been a person who likes being pampered by people close to me, and more so because my brother is exactly the opposite and hates being pampered and in general, any display of affection. I have been cared for in exactly the same way my brother has been cared for. I have had things that I needed, but nothing that spoiled me or gave me a sense of being privileged, nothing that my brother did not have. But at least in my personal experience, being the youngest has been a gigantic pain in the ass.
You know why I say so? For the very same reason I have mentioned in the beginning – I have always been considered a baby, and not very happily so. From the time I can remember, every time there has been an issue at home that I was involved in (I would be, considering I am a part of the family), I have been told that I should have said or done something differently to have ensured that the issue did not take place. Whether it was something my parents got angry about or whether it was something my brother did not like, I was always given stern lectures on why I was wrong. I am sure that it is definitely part of raising a kid, letting her know where she goes wrong. But then it seemed I was always wrong, always the one to end up getting the lecture.
It did not stop with my immediate family alone. Thanks to detailed complaints from my parents to other close relatives, I was always “blessed” with never-ending lectures from them too. I remember that it was always on the lines of how parents sacrifice everything for their children and how children have no right to make them sad in any way. I had no choice other than to sit and listen meekly, when deep within I always wanted to run away from the humiliation of being judged by relatives who did not even know who I really was. Everyone felt that it was okay for the baby of the family to go through that. No one seemed to understand that although I was merely a child, I had my ego too which was getting hurt. Just like no one seemed to understand that a child would feel sad and angry, in the very same way an adult would.
The irritating part is that it never changed. No matter how grown up I became, I was always considered a baby. Even at 32, I am still considered a baby. I do not have any privileges that a baby is supposed to have though. By saying I am considered a baby I mean that I am still considered immature and not really fit to have valid feelings of my own. I am still given lectures on how I should have said or done things differently to make everyone happy. Even in instances where I am hurt by something someone said I am conveniently branded the trouble maker who should have “handled things better”. I am still considered a baby, because the focus is not, and has never been “How did she feel?” It has always been “How did she make us feel?” There are times even now when I wish they would at least listen to what I am trying to say instead of sidelining it as overreaction from an immature soul.
When everyone comes to me to speak for everyone else and tells me what I should not have said or what I need to do to fix things, I keep wondering why I never see anyone speak for me. That is in fact one aspect where even Hari has failed me. In his effort to make sure that he does not make my family feel bad (which is in fact a great thing), he has to stay silent even when he knows the trouble did not come from me. He does hug me tight later on and tells me quite sincerely that he understands it was not my mistake and asks me to let it go instead of explaining myself to anyone. But that is kind of a pathetic state to be in, you know? Kind of like being alone on one side every time there is a problem, only because I am the youngest.
So yeah, if not being heard and not being spoken for are considered privileges, yes I am a privileged younger child. If being branded the default trouble maker in the family is a privilege, then again, yes I am a privileged younger child. If being taken for granted is a privilege, no points for guessing, yes I am a privileged younger child.
I don’t think whining all over two pages is helping my cause in any way. But who cares! I am a baby!!! 😀