First Born Children are Just for Practice

This article, entitled The first-born children are just for practice comes from Nicole Knepper, writer of Moms Who Drink and Swear © on chicagonow.com.

Me: So how was practice?

First Born: Meh…nothing exciting.

Me: Well, did you have a good day at school at least?

First Born: Does anyone ever have a good day at school? It’s school, Mom.

Me: Man, who pissed in your Cheerios, grumpy-puss?

First Born: Meh…I’m just not in the mood for chitchat.

Me: Well, you don’t have to talk then, but guess what? Your sister made jump rope warrior! She is very excited, so when you see her, congratulate her, okay?

First Born: Yeah, well let’s see how excited she is after jumping rope for an hour sweating her balls off for a lousy t-shirt.

Me: SERIOUSLY KNOCK OFF THE NEGATIVITY!

First Born: You just can’t handle the truth.

Me: I cannot believe what a caustic attitude you have today and really, everyday lately. What’s got you so jammed up, home slice?

First Born: I’m not jammed up. I’m a realist. And I’m not in the mood for talking right now, that’s all.

Me: YOU are a pessimist.

First Born: You say potato - I say tasteless root vegetable.

Me: Your sister gets excited about finding a dirty fruit snack on the floor at the grocery store. To her, potatoes mean salty and delicious French fries.

First Born: Meh…happy future heart attack to her then.

Me: Have you ever heard anyone call the firstborn kid a practice kid?

First Born: No. Are you going to tell me a boring story?

Me: Yes. The firstborn is the kid parents make the mistakes with. We screw up, worry too much, project our issues, hover, etc. The first kid really gets the shaft. Maybe that’s your problem. We ruin you first-borns with our unrealistic expectations and enabling. So that's where the term comes from. Parents practice on the first kid, totally screw it up and then learn from our mistakes and do better with the second, third, etc.

First Born: So you ruined me?

Me: Pretty much. Dad helped.

First Born: Can I sue you guys?

Me: I guess you could try, but there’s no precedent for this. You’d probably spend a million dollars and still lose the case. If you want to hear more boring stuff, I have some interesting and very good news for you.

First Born: Lucky me. I’m sure my mind will be blown.

Me: Yeah lucky you! Did you know that a large percentage of first-born children grow up to be very successful? CEOs and Physicians! It’s true! First-born kids tend to be over-achievers. Almost all the Presidents of the United States were either first-born or first-born sons or only children. Your chances of becoming the President are much higher than your sister.

First Born: Yeah? And so are my chances of getting assassinated. Or sued for malpractice or…

Me: MAN you are such a buzz kill! If you didn’t want to talk, why didn’t you just say so?

First Born: I did say so. You didn’t listen.

Me: Oh right you did. Sorry. See what I mean? Practice kid! I’ll get it right eventually.



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