You were your parents’ last shot at success and your siblings’ biggest nuisance. You’re the baby of the family. Although it takes a few tries for your parents to call the right name and everything you own is a hand-me-down, you know being the youngest isn’t too bad of a job. You’ve had built-in best friends, a huge support system, and, let’s be honest, the title of “the favorite” your entire life. And at the end of the day, you wouldn’t have it any other way. Here are 20 signs you’re the baby of the family.
1. You get away with everything.
You can get away with absolutely everything (honestly, what even is a curfew?). This may be because your older siblings are making worse decisions that require more attention, because you’re an expert manipulator, or because your parents are just tired of dealing with it. They’ve already had to go through the same typical growing up mistakes multiple times; by the time it came around for your turn, these mistakes were just expected and lacked any sense of surprise.
2. You’re everyone’s favorite.
Everyone sees you as the precious baby of the family (except your siblings), and therefore cherishes your every move. You can do no harm in their eyes. On top of this, you’ve spent the most time with your parents once your siblings moved out, so there wasn’t even competition at that point. “I love you all equally” was just to comfort the others.
3. You’re a master manipulator, a born lawyer, and an expert negotiator.
You’ve had your parents wrapped around your finger since the moment you were born, and you know exactly how to get what you want. You know just what to say, how many bats of the eyelashes to give, and how many thank you’s to follow it up with. You can twist any situation in your favor, and this was the reason that when you and your siblings agreed on something you all wanted, you were the chosen one to ask your parents. People everywhere envy your ability to get what you want, but you were just born with this talent (law school here I come).
4. Everyone will always refer to you as the baby.
Your family will never believe your age or height; no matter how many years go by, it’s forever shocking to them. In their minds you are, and always will be, the quiet four-year-old kid coloring on the floor. Are we not all living under Father Time’s rules? If I’m supposedly growing up so fast, then so are you Aunt Deborah, so just chill with the cheek pinching and the gasps at my height (I’m only 5’6″, it can’t be that frightening).
5. You’re considered spoiled, regardless of what happens (let’s be real, you probably are, too).
It doesn’t matter if you do all the chores, get perfect grades, are involved in school, and have a job, your older siblings will always consider you the spoiled one. The jokes and insults will be endless, and you can try to fight them or just accept it, because there’s a good chance you are. You’re the baby of the family, you were the only one left when your siblings moved out, and you’ve spent the most one-on-one time with your parents. Just face it, you’re the favorite, spoiled baby of the family.
6. You’re the Goody Two-Shoes, not by choice, but by default.
You watched your older siblings screw up so many times that you knew exactly what NOT to do. It’s not that you never make bad decisions or are unnecessarily perfect (although that’s debatable), you’ve just seen them walk through the fire before you and now know where to step, what to say, and how to avoid punishment.
7. You grew up on hand-me-downs.
At least 80% of your belongings were once owned by your older siblings. You thought this was awesome at first because you finally had all the cool things your siblings owned, but the allure wore off once your mom refused to buy you new jeans, regardless of the fact that you and your siblings are completely different sizes. “It’s not mine, it’s my sister’s” should just be my tag line at this point.
8. You always get the worst sleeping spots.
Although you’re the favorite, you still could never manage to get a good sleeping spot. This could mean the smallest room in the house, the very back seat of the car where the air conditioning doesn’t reach, or the dreaded air mattress that your dad refuses to believe has a hole in it. The good news is, you now have the ability to fall asleep absolutely anywhere at any time.
9. You’re identity has always been “so and so’s little brother/sister.”
Your reputation and your name was already established for you basically everywhere. Every teacher would call attendance on the first day of school and have the same “oh my, you’re so and so’s little brother/sister!” Whether this was a positive or mournful remark depended on which sibling they taught. The students in upper grades also had a set of opinions on you based on your siblings’ reputations and there was no way you were going to break the mold that had been set for you. Your entire life has been battling preconceived notions of who you are, and all you can do is hope that they work in your favor.
10. You have a lot of people to look up to.
Because you’re the baby, you have an endless amount of people to look up to. You have so many people on your side who have already experienced whatever it is that you’re dealing with and are ready to help you at a moment’s notice. Your older siblings, especially, have always been your role models, regardless of any sibling rivalry, and you will always look to them for advice, guidance, and inspiration (shout out to my sisters, thanks for everything you do).
11. Your parents may tell you that they perfected their parenting style by the time it got to you, but realistically they’re too tired to care anymore.
The others turned out okay, right? Your parents were terrified and overly cautious with the first one, they started figuring out their ways somewhere in the middle, and when it was your turn to shine, they were just hoping your older siblings would take up some responsibility and babysit you. Plus, you spilling juice on the floor for the millionth time (the carpets will never be the same, sorry mom and dad) wasn’t really considered a big deal as your older siblings were getting caught out past curfew, with a new piercing, or on the arm of some suspicious boyfriend/girlfriend.
12. There are videos and pictures of every moment of the first born, a couple hundred of the middle child, and about four of you (three of which include your siblings).
Once you get past the first kid, the magic of a baby starts to dull, and once you get to the last kid, it’s just routine. “Been there, done that” really became your parents’ motto. You quickly became another charm on your mom’s bracelet, and a spot on the chore chart. I once found an hour-long video of my oldest sister playing with a dust pan when she was an infant, and yet there is no real evidence that I was even a baby at all. Those hundreds of jokes about me being the adopted sibling became concerning when I had to use the same baby picture for every school project ever.
13. You are a wealth of information.
Every member of your family has believed you to be a sweet, shy, quiet baby of the family your entire life, when in reality you’ve been taking notes and collecting dirt on every last one of them. They all thought that because you were the baby, regardless of your age, you wouldn’t understand what they were talking about, so they went right ahead with their conversations. They’ll rue the day they cross you; but good news is, no one ever will, because, after all, you’re the innocent baby of the family, right?
14. You had the chance to skip the awkward stages.
Your older siblings had to go through all the weird stages of style and attitude because they had no one to stop them from making those questionable decisions (seriously, body glitter was never a good idea). Luckily, they tried to guide you away from those choices so that you would skip the awkward stages. This was mostly to save their own reputation, but, still, thank you to my sisters for not allowing me to get terrible chunky highlights, unlimited amounts of graphic tees, or frosty blue eyeshadow.
15. You were dragged along everywhere.
You’ve been to more than your fair share of doctor and dentist appointments, dance recitals, sports events, school open houses, and award ceremonies. You’ve been dragged along to so many of your siblings’ events that by the time it was your turn for these life moments, no one cared, including you.
16. You respond to any name at this point.
You’ve been called everything you can imagine, from your older sibling to the weird neighbor across the street (borderline offensive) even to the dog’s name (honestly unsure how this happens, we’re so different). Your mom could yell out anything and she’s probably talking to you, and, unfortunately, you’re completely used to this.
17. To this day you only know how to work the second player on games.
Your older siblings wouldn’t dare let you have the honor of being first player, if they even let you play at all. The amount of times that your turn never came about made you question sibling loyalty. Whenever you were actually allowed to play, the second player position was forced upon you. so now you only know how to dominate Mario Kart on the bottom screen.
18. Everyone accused you of being shy when in reality you just never had a chance to speak up.
You were overshadowed by your siblings for years because, honestly, your spelling test grade was quite mediocre in comparison to them graduating high school and getting into college. By the time your siblings moved out and everyone got around to asking you questions, they were amazed at your voice and your opinions. Turns out I haven’t been a mute child my entire life, but thanks for never asking.
19. You will always sit at the kid’s table, no matter how grown you are.
As the baby of the family, your entire life has been taking the secondary option, whether that’s been questionable hand-me-downs, awkward sleeping arrangements, the smaller room in the house that actually qualifies as an office, the weird back seat of the car, and especially your indefinite reservation at the kid’s table. Every family function you’ve attended since you were born has resulted in you sitting at the kid’s table, regardless of the fact that you may now be a legal adult in college living on your own. That one precious, spontaneous moment that you get the prized seat at the adult’s table is a major let down because no, grandpa, not one part of me wants to discuss how you think religion is influencing politics. I promise.
20. You’ll always have a best friend.
Although you’ve spent endless amounts of time fighting, teasing, and getting back at your older siblings, you wouldn’t trade them for the world. You grew up knowing you were protected and safe, as your siblings were always going to look out for you. Plus they’re the only people who can truly understand you because you were all raised by the same crazy family and share the same hilariously unfortunate childhood memories. They have been, and always will be, your best friends.