My almost two-year old daughter has a Barbie doll she independently named Lady Gaga. Lady Gaga is best friends with her other Barbie doll, Katy Perry. When did this happen? How did this happen? This is the direct result of being the youngest of three children. Her older siblings have gotten to her.
Somewhere along the line, probably right about the time my second child was born, I lost control. Things used to be simple. My first-born didn’t know what candy was until she was almost four. She never watched TV, she never cried because I denied her access to YouTube (my two-year old is addicted to YouTube). But once you have more than one child, the game changes. The younger ones see everything the older ones do, and they want in. How can you not let your two-year old have dessert when the big kids are eating ice cream? How can you not laugh when your baby asks you to please log her on to the computer? She wants to watch YouTube of course.
Sibling influence isn’t all bad. After all, potty training has been a breeze. But the bottom line is that younger siblings grow up differently than their first-born peers. They are exposed to a wide variety of outside influences that are simply unavoidable when you have big kids in the house. As a mom, I have to choose my battles. A small scoop of ice cream after dinner. A few mom-approved music videos on YouTube. And if she wants to name her Barbie dolls after the pop stars of today, well, I suppose it could be worse. Lady Gaga, Katy Perry, let’s go play house.