Paul's Blog

Birth Order in the House

My beloved daughter Kate is nine years old. Her brother Jack (6) and Erin (8) annoy the bejesus out of her sometimes… well, a lot of the time.

Being the eldest child, from time to time I have unrealistic expectations regarding what she should do and how she should be. I guess sometimes I forget that she’s just a little kid. Recently, she was a little short with her siblings and I admonished her… “Katelyn Rose, you need to be kind.”

Exasperated, “Dad, I’m doing my best to look after these little buggers.” (Buggers (n) Brit slang… used as a term of affection or respect, typically grudgingly)

“Honey I know you are… and thank you. I just need you to think about how you’re being whilst you’re doing.”

“What do you mean?”

“If you’re not being nice whilst you’re looking after them, are you really looking after them?”

A slightly puzzled and moderately annoyed look hijacked her expression… and then the dawning of awareness… in a non-sassy inquisitive tone she asked…“You mean like when you’re with us and your mind is on work and you say you’re hanging out but really you’re somewhere else?”

“Yep, sweetheart… just like that.”

“That’s not nice or kind when you do that Dad.”

“No it isn’t sweetheart. No it isn’t. I’m sorry. I’m going to work on that. Will you point it out when I do it?”

“Sure.”

“Thanks. Now please go take care of those crazy little buggers… and be nice.”

“You’re not funny, Dad.”

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