Wednesday, November 26, 2008


Most children with siblings are pretty sure that they would have been better off as only children. They don't buy into the whole "lonely only" propaganda. I don't actually know very many only children, but I imagine there's a lot of pressure.

I claim that the first is born of ignorance and all subsequent children are born because having the first one killed (or at least numbed) parental brain cells. My daughter and I have another explanation, though. We believe that our parents looked at the first child and said "We can do better than THAT," and had us. They stopped because they had reached perfection. Guess where we are in birth order?

I don't know why parents expect children to be happy about getting a new baby brother or sister. I read something once that really made it all very clear to me. Imagine if your spouse sat down with you one day and said "Honey, I love you so much that I want to have another one just like you. We're going to bring this new member of our family home to live and play with us, all the time. Won't that be wonderful?"

My son thought that was about the funniest thing he'd heard all day. Of course, he's the older child. What does he know?

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Don't mess with my happy

I think of myself as a doggedly positive person. This is partly a reaction to the classmate who wrote in my yearbook (28 years ago) that she envied my pessimistic life view because that way I never faced disappointment. Not being a gloom and doom teenager anymore also helps.

I work hard at being a Pollyanna. This has taken a lot more effort in the recent months and I'm trying to turn myself back around. My basic philosophy is that you might as well attribute the best possible motives to people and make lots of excuses for their behavior because it will make YOU a better person and let's face it - 99% of the time you're never going to find out you were wrong. I also live in hope that they will do the same for me and truth be told, I need a few allowances now and then, more now than ever, I'm afraid.

I truly believe that most people do not go around trying to be jerks and I have no way of knowing what has been happening in their lives to make them act that way. There's also the argument that when you choose to be really nice to someone who is upset it makes them feel better and that makes them change the way they are treating you. Now you both feel good. Way to go!

Then there's the fact (yes, fact, dammit) that acting happy makes you happier and makes everyone around you happier and the concurrent fact is that the converse is also true and I'd rather be a harbinger of happiness than one of doom. If you're gonna spread something, it might as well be sunshine.