I have a lot of relatives with Asperger’s and Adult Residual Asperger’s. Same for my Chinese-American husband. I was prepared for our child to be, at the very least, a little introverted.
Baby D was not. Baby D craved human interaction. He never liked playing with toys by himself. He was fascinated by other children. Once he was mobile, he enjoyed swim classes with other kids, playdates, and even Childwatch at the local YMCA.
When I hovered while dropping him off at his first day of preschool, my three-year-old waved a dismissive hand and said, “You go now, Mommy.”
Baby D’s favorite kids were the older kids on the block. These kids were anywhere from 3-6 years older than Baby D, but he was immediately welcomed into their group. Block Leader A was thrilled to have another player to flesh out imaginary worlds, while Baby D embraced his roles as head of security/ sheriff/ stormtrooper (anything that gave him a weapon).
Baby D loved his neighborhood friends more than anything. The minute he heard them outside, he clamored to join them.
“But we’re about to have dessert,” I’d say. “Don’t you want chocolate cake?”
“My friends are the best dessert!” Baby D declared—to the utter befuddlement of his foodie parents. We would have no peace until he was charging down the block to play “Town” or film videos.
Some of the worst temper tantrums Baby D ever threw were when we had to drag him home for bed while other kids were still playing.
As much as he loved other kids, we shouldn’t have been surprised when four-year-old Baby D announced, “I want a brother.”
I said, “Hahaha, I just got some of my life back and you start kindergarten next year, NO.”
Baby D said, “Please, Mommy?”
“Sweetie, a baby brother is not like you think. He wouldn’t be able to play with you for years. And he would take up all Mommy and Daddy’s attention, just like you once did.”
“I want a Baby Brother. I don’t care.”
“Trust me, you would care. You would have to share everything, including your room.”
“I will share! I will share my I soft blankey with him. And I will share all my stuffed animals, and I will save him if there is a fire and, and, and I will share soft blankey with him.”
Andy asked, “What if it’s a girl?”
“It won’t be a girl.”
“It might be.”
“It won’t be!” Baby D insisted. “Right, Mommy?”
“Right,” I agreed. “It would be another boy, contrary and energetic and non-napping and exhausting, just like you, which is why we are not giving you a baby brother.”
Baby D harangued us about a brother for months. Until his Redheaded Baby Cousin came to visit.
Redheaded Baby Cousin was about six months old, daughter of my youngest, most infamous Boyfriend-Stealing Sister and her new California Husband. They were visiting her in-laws and came by for an afternoon with us.
Since I was absolutely, positively done with babies unless their parents needed me to hold them while they ate, I hired Baby D’s Favorite Teen Babysitter. We adults went out to dinner. We adults had a lovely time.
Baby D did not. Our four-year-old was fuming when we returned. His favorite sitter turned out to be a total baby hog. She carried the baby everywhere, cooing. Her games with Baby D were half-hearted. She outlawed the usual Nerf Wars, lest the infant get injured.
Once our relatives and the sitter left (with one last coo), I asked Baby D how he liked his cousin.
“I do not like her! She is noisy! She is noisy all the time! And obnoxious! She can’t do anything! And she got all the attention! I do not like Redheaded Baby!” he ranted. Before I could point out the obvious, Baby declared, “I do not want a baby brother!”
Andy, smothering laughter, could not resist asking, “You sure?”
“Yes! I do not want a baby brother!” he reiterated, with a glare at his father. “I want a cat!”
16 thoughts on “The Ballad of No Baby Brother (#274)”
This is one smart kid. Most of them don’t learn this fast. What he really wanted was for you to adopt a boy child the same age as he was and he would pick him out.
Right? What he really wanted was an exciting older brother, I think.
This is a wonderful story. I love the switch from baby brother to cat. Same thing, right?
Or maybe better. 🙂
Glad you enjoyed it.
I loved that too. He could have made a much more complicated choice. I want a lion! I want a panda! I want a….
This is hilarious. Who would think just one night would cure him.
My youngest grandson (age 11) has also complained about not having a sibling. Like Baby D, he’s a people person. Luckily, he has lots of neighbor boys and a favorite cousin. Boys, always boys. Now in his first year of middle school, he’s finding that girls can be harder to get along with. He was assigned a project with 3 girls. They thought he was fooling around too much, so they ganged up on him and refused to share some materials with him. He knows how to play with boys, but he still has something to learn about handling girls–esp. in groups.
Luckily, Baby D will play with anyone. And he recently discovered, like the girls in your grandson’s group, that boys do goof off more. So now his goal in school projects is to be in the group with the smart girls in order to get the best grade.
Do you guys get a lot of crap from family for being one and done?
I think we would have gotten nothing but crap from Andy’s parents if Baby D had been a girl. But since he was the much-vaunted son of the son, they said nothing.
Only my older brother asked when we were going to have another (he had three kids). I’m a firm believer in a small family for environmental reasons (as well as for the psychological health of family/ children). My outraged response was something like, “I had to make up for you having THREE kids!”
Great story, haha. And great that only took one evening to make him change his mind!
He’s pretty smart. Especially when it comes to his own self-interest.
Hahaha I love that last line from Baby D! He’s definitely an Ashbough.
Glad to hear he’s so social and energetic!! Baby D sounds like such a character, even at 4 years old.
Baby D is a very definitive character.
The tough thing about being an extrovert, though, is that you really do depend on others for your happiness.
Right on, Baby.
Uh, no kid knows the word “obnoxious” at that age. Unless you have a genius. Good post.
Well, my kid learned both “obnoxious” and “Jesus fucking Christ,” from his mother by age 4 so, it’s kind of a wash?