Updated: Jan 21, 2022
I started my thinking on this by doing a facebook quiz, where you were asked to rate who did what amongst your siblings. I am happy to share this with you if you are interested - you will find it at the end of this blog.
The answer to whether it's more cool being the youngest is, that no, it’s not always perfect. However, being the youngest child in a family is way better than being the middle child or the oldest child. I believe, that each child in the family is given a role. The oldest child is usually looked at as the “experiment” child, meaning the parents are experiencing everything for the first time with this child. In my case, this is Carl, the Worlds very best big brother. I can only imagine, looking at his personality as an adult, that there was a lot of swearing, straight-talking, and frustration around Carl as our parents made their preliminary parenting mistakes? The middle child in our family is Amanda - in a lot of cases the middle child is seen as the “forgotten” one in the family or the “overlooked” one. I am not sure about that, my amazing sister has certainly made sure she has never been, and will never be overlooked or forgotten as an adult. Then there's me, Martin, the youngest child. The one that is looked at as being the one that gets everything and gets the most attention because they are the “baby” of the family. From my perspective, this is absolutely untrue of course, and as I am the one writing the blog, it is only my perspective that counts.
Being the youngest child is the best. It is the best because I got so many perks that the older siblings didn’t get. I am not talking about gifts and stuff, I think we all have dicey memories of Christmas' past. No, I am not talking about who got the best bird feeder or the biggest satsuma from Father Christmas, I am talking about real, tangible life-changing perks.
Our family - that's me on the far right in the cream coloured hotpants...
Firstly, You get away with pretty much anything | Let’s face it: my parents were probably exhausted after having to deal with the first two high-maintenance kids. By the time they got to disciplining me, they were more than likely so over it, they’d rather just let me do me. Also, it should be argued that I was only following my older siblings' examples.... So, I was quicker over the line at most things - I learned that if you're going to smoke, do it secretly, not in a hayloft; I learned that if you are going to go to pubs and clubs at 15, it's always best to have a 23-year-old brother leading the way, passing the bouncers and straight to the bar; I learned that if you are going to throw a house party and cause aggro with gatecrashing arseholes, its always good to have back up from somebody bigger, older and handier in a spot than me... In my life, in my 16 year old heyday, this was David. RIP Dave, whilst you weren't my blood brother you never shirked the responsibility of being married to my sister, and hence an honourary big brother also. ❤️
Then there's the girlfriends and boyfriends 😳 OMG. They might be for another blog, but we all dated some absolute fucking horrors... None more horrific than my first choice(s) though I tell you. Actually, I should have learned the lesson on going out with an 'unapproved' suitor from my sisters experience... I didn't and really blew the doors off my parents' cupboard of patience 😂
You get all your siblings’ hand-me-downs. Good or Bad. | This might sound like a negative, and when it comes to lederhosen (or really uncomfortable heavy nubuck dungaree shorts that chaff your bollocks to within an inch of their life), then this may in fact be as negative as they come... but think about it another way: how often have you seen older, vintage pieces come back in style? Being the youngest meant that I had access to my brother's vintage wardrobe because by the time they were fitting me - he was, well probably 8 years too big for them. Our parents never wasted any opportunity to save a few quid on clothes, and so I was handed down Infinite cool t-shirts, and some crazy jumpers that had lasted in the fabric sense, but not always the fashion one. How many 7-year-olds could claim ownership of a Stones bitter tee shirt or retro shirts with massive collars - straight out of 1974? Not many l tell you. I was caught in a real-life crossover episode of Life on Mars and Ashes to Ashes. All this stuff felt really cool up until I went to comprehensive school, then I realised just how far off the fashion pace I was... 8 years off it actually, but I didn't give a damn, this was my brother's clobber, and if he thought it was cool when he was my age, it didn't matter what the other 150 kids in my year thought. It is not just clobber either, it's really cool stuff like music taste. We were born to parents who love jazz, my brother has always been on the edgy side of punk and rock, and my sister lived The Bay City Rollers, David Soul and lots of candy floss pop through the 70s. It is no wonder I have such an eclectic taste. There's a fun game - whats your first 5 songs from your liked Spotify songs, when played randomly?
This was the mid 80's, during my Rodney Trotter period...
The baby of a family gets no respect | I was always the one singled out as the troublemaker, irresponsible, attention-hungry, get-away-with-anything brat. On top of all that, for most of my childhood, I was the easy, gullible target for my older siblings' pranks. Oh yes, I was always needed when I was told to ask Mum for something, but not to say it was them asking - but when it came to a small piece of elastic sticking out the back of my homemade shorts - how hilarious it must have been for them both to twang that elastic on that 6 hour journey to the Lake District... How incredibly thoughtful it was for them to pile 12oz of Cow Heel on my plate as Grandma left the room and how nice to think how hot I must have been, as they tipped a washing up bowl of water over me... Its no wonder I urinated on the monopoly board ?
Finally: No one takes you too seriously | Okay, again, this sounds like a negative. But when you consider the perks, it can actually be a huge positive for your reputation. I don’t know how many times I announced to my parents that I’m going to do something left field. Of course, being the baby of the family, not many people take my life ventures too seriously. It's as though everything interesting happened with the eldest 2. What this does mean, is that when I end up failing, getting bored, or giving up, there’s no one to be disappointed in me. On the flip side of course, that also means that there's nobody there to catch you when you fall, so you tend to get on with the next thing under the radar.
Being the youngest child is nothing short of amazing. Yes, there are some cons to having older siblings, but nothing beats the unlimited amounts of attention, praise, and general awesomeness thrown your way. Fellow youngest kids, how lucky are we?
The best older siblings in the World
This is me, in my favourite Tee Shirt in about 1977. Whilst others were following a crowd of Fred Perry and Adidas Samba wearers - I was in love with 3 items of clothing - my 'Front Back and Sleeve' Tee Shirt, my 'Wacky Races' shirt complete with massive 70's collars, and my brothers 'Stones Bitter' Tee Shirt. Oh, I also had a soft spot for a very weird 'Cool cats drink milk' tee-shirt, which I seem to remember came free from the milkman. You see, being the youngest may appear to be the worst, and we are not shy about making it sound like it is the worst... but deep down, we know it is the best, just don't ever ask us to admit it to the others.
START YOUR OWN SIBLING DEBATE!
Who's the smartest academically? Difficult to answer - we all had our moments of reach and fail. I have got a degree though #justsaying
Most spoiled? Amanda
Most sensitive? That's a toss-up... Me or Amanda I would say
Worst temper? Carl... With some great examples for after-dinner stories - ask him where he keeps his cagoule, or what it's like riding a really big horse...
Most annoying? Again - probably me on balance over the years, I did a lot of stuff just to get noticed.
Most stubborn? Amanda - she is a woman
Who's Mum's favourite? Not sure... Depends on what the situation was I guess... I seemed to be the one always asking the difficult questions on their behalf...
Most likely to fight someone? None of us - we lost the guy who took care of that!
Best at cooking? Carl - by a country mile! Although my recipe for garlic powdered toast is the stuff of legends.
Worst choice of Girlfriend / Boyfriend? Fuck Me, that's a difficult one... ask Mum and Dad
Who was the naughty one? Define 'naughty'...
Who has the biggest heart? We all do of course.
Who's the quietest? I'm the thinker - take after Dad for that, but don't push me, or feed me too much Guinness after dark
Who's the worst driver? Amanda... Yes, you...
Who was better at sports? Me... Did either of you 2 play any sport? I mean ever?
Who has the best hair? Rephrase question... Who has hair - Amanda
Who drinks the most coffee? Me. By the pint usually.
Who is the loudest? Carl is - volume controlled by alcohol
Most expensive taste? Amanda.... Definitely
Who was told they were adopted? I was - frequently, only because I was best looking