I have an alarming pain in the left side of my torso, and I've decided I'm probably dying of some dread disease the name of which I have yet to Google. Not wishing to shuffle off this mortal coil without tying up some loose ends, I must explain to anyone who will listen that our cute-as-a-button Susie is the caboose of our family, and - as such - has never had the salutory experience of being replaced by an infant interloper who demands all the attention.
In other words, it is not my fault that she is spoiled.
You see, I would have happily continued having babies until the arrival of the first grandbaby, thereby keeping any one child from being the youngest in this family for too long. Alas, my peri-menopausal body, apparently deciding enough is enough, has inadvertently granted Susie the coveted title of "Baby of the Family" well into her kindergarten-age dotage.
Susie, unlike all her displaced siblings at age 5, needs help. She needs help getting dressed; she needs help amusing herself; she needs help foraging for something to eat. I envision her at age 40, showing up at her siblings' households and demanding food, entertainment, or a ride to Target.
Susie does not take "no" easily. Meaning that, in the throes of overweight, under-fit middle age, I must summon the strength to carry a kicking, screaming almost-5-year-old out of Michael's. I tell you, it is no mean feat to get a grip on 36 fighting pounds wrapped in a snow jacket while being kicked in the face by a pair of size 9 rainboots. It is even harder to maintain said grip while crossing a humongous parking lot (whose idea was it to get extra exercise by parking far away, anyway?) in order to restrain our not-so-little monster in her car seat. And, unfortunately, a 5-year-old - unlike a toddler, say - possesses the manual dexterity and mental acuity needed to unbuckle her seat belt and lunge for the automatic sliding doors while the driver is attempting to transport her little darling home.
[Thank you, Toyota, for the automatic-door override button on the driver's side armrest. Without it, I would still be sitting on she-who-will-not-be-refused in the Michael's parking lot, waiting for my husband to come rescue me. Or to be arrested, whichever came first.]
So tell me - how does a parent, without the aid of a needy younger sibling, remove the former baby of the family from the center of the universe? This tired 40-something mother would like to know.
[Baby picture credit: A Baby Shower Gift]
[Calvin picture credit: Let Go, Laughing]