I was tired today after first causing a fender bender in the pre-school parking lot, going to a temp job interview, picking up the pre-schooler, making lunch, playing Candy Land with the pre-schooler, volunteering at “big kid” school for a couple of hours, picking up the big kids, making dinner, etc., etc., So I was sitting in the den watching a mindless show and zoning while the girls were playing in the dining room around the corner from where I was. I overheard Evangeline (7) say to Charis (3), “Tomorrow we only have a half day of school. And then we can play together every day over Christmas break!” Charis responded with an enthusiastic and happy sounding, “Yeah!”

Youngest Child Syndrome

Our 4th and youngest child is treated differently than the older ones. I know this isn’t a shock. It happens in most families. I, too, am a youngest child. I know I had it better than my older siblings. My mom had 8 children before me who were all 2 – 2 1/2 years apart. Then I came along 4 years after #8. Those 4 years gave me a cushion of time that allowed me to have my mom to myself more of the time than any other child before me. When everyone else was in school, I was with Mom. Charis, our youngest, is 4 years younger than her 3 older siblings. The 3 older children are very close in age: #1 – 4/96; #2 10/97; #3 6/99. So in a little more than 3 years, they arrived, boom, boom, boom. They really never had a time when they didn’t have each other.

Charis, on the other hand, is a memory to all of them. They all remember when she was born and watching her grow through her infancy into toddlerhood, and now into being a pre-schooler. She is the baby not only to Mark and me, but to them as well. She also has alone time with Mommy and Daddy while the kids are at school. Admittedly, she plays by herself a good bit and she watches tv, but she has us available all the time.

She also has the advantage of Mark and me admiring all her cute little habits while we say to ourselves, “She’s our last one. We’ll never see this kind of behavior again.” So she gets a little special place in our memory because she represents the end of babies to us.

Entertaining herself also brings out the creative side of her, and we enjoy watching that develop as well.

Cute Charis Story
So here’s the cute baby of the family story for the day. . .

Mark was watching Charis “read” to herself today. She was looking at a book we have read to her often. It is a book about colors. When I read it to her, I’ll ask her to say the color. If she gets it wrong, I’ll correct her and say, “No, it’s not blue” (or whatever color). When Mark was watching her, she was saying the lines of the story out loud. Then she would say my part, “What color is it?” Then she would say, “Blue.” She would go on to correct herself, “No, it’s not blue, it’s purple.” I guess as the last child at home, she has to be her own playmate, and sometimes she has to role-play being read to.