Thursday, March 11, 2010

Guest Blogger Vicki Lewis Thompson

The Playground is tickled to welcome back one of our favorite members of the royal family - Queen Vicki Lewis Thompson! Pull up to a swing and join us as we discuss family dynamics complicated by a little magic...

DOES BIRTH ORDER MATTER?

Wheeee! I’m back on The Playground! Thank you so much for inviting me to spend the day with you. In return, I’ll give away books! One commenter will get BLONDE WITH A WAND and one will get CHICK WITH A CHARM. Good luck to everyone during this month of leprechauns, four-leaf clovers, and pots of gold.

These two books, published back-to-back in February and March, feature a pair of witchy sisters. The older one, Anica, gets angry and turns her boyfriend into a cat in the first book. The second book is about the younger one, Lily, who gives a devotion potion to a guy who frequents the bar where she works. In my family, I’m the oldest and I’m fourteen months older than my sister. I can totally see myself getting angry enough to turn a guy into a tomcat. But I would never administer a devotion potion to a guy I had a crush on. That would be just wrong. My sis, on the other hand, would do it in a heartbeat.
I’ve read a little bit about birth order over the years, and I have to admit the description of the oldest sibling sorta fits me. According to what I remember in the pop psychology books, the first-born is usually the responsible one who goes around checking to make sure everyone else is doing what they’re supposed to be doing. We’re the over-achievers. Yep, that would be me. If you happen to be an only child, then you’re supposed to have a double-dose of first-bornitis.
In actuality my sister is a middle, so she should be the peacemaker, but there’s a six-year gap between her and our little sis, so I think with big gaps the whole thing starts over. Feel free to correct me if you’ve heard something else!

I don’t recall my nearest-in-age sister being exactly the peacemaking type. She was more the let’s-see-how-much-trouble-we-can-get-into type. I’m not making this up. Our family actually moved from one state to a neighboring state to get her away from the boyfriend they didn’t like. Sure, there were other reasons for the move, but my mother eventually told me jettisoning the boyfriend was one of the major issues.

Don’t get me wrong. I adore my sister and she adores me. But we’re as different as night and day, as different as Anica and Lily.

So tell me, do you believe that birth order affects your personality? Why or why not? And where do you fall in the order? First-borns and onlies, you can come sit by me. The rest of you had better behave yourselves, or else.

Don't forget to comment today and pick up fab copies of Blonde with a Wand and Chick with a Charm!

29 comments:

Laurie said...

I have two siblings: a brother almost 7 years older and a sister 20 months older.

My brother has always been driven to succeed. He's also a Leo which may partially explain this. I'm not very close to him as he went to college when I was in the 6th grade.

My sister was never a peacekeeper. I remember her having problems with anorexia in college which is common with middle children. We are a lot closer today but we have very different personalities. She's a Taurus and VERY STUBBORN! She loves to shop, loves to attend every sports event available. Likes to have a lot of friends around.

I hate to shop, I like to stay around the house. My husband's my best friend. People say that the youngest is always spoiled. I never felt that I got any special attention. I was always striving to do as well as my brother and my sister.

I'd love to read your books with the two sister witches!!

Playground Monitor said...

I'm a first-born with a sister who is 3 years younger. And in many ways our personalities are switched. ::shrugs:: Go figure.

And welcome back, Vicki! It's always fun to have you here.

Smarty Pants said...

Technically I'm the oldest, but as you mentioned, if there's more than a five year gap, it starts over. Since my sister is 24 years younger than me, technically, we're both only children in terms of psychological development. Oddly, though, we're very different, taking different facets of the only child persona.

I was quiet and kept to myself, very introverted. I liked to read and draw. Was never a "look at me, Mom!" kind of kid. I didn't want every toy I saw and I didn't really care what clothes I wore. I was responsible, consciencous, and worried about everything.

Little Sister, on the other hand is every bit a diva. Its all about her and her clothes, hair, toys. She's lobbying for a cell phone and she's 6. She isn't much for occupying herself. She has this sense of entitlement that its other people's responsibility to entertain her.

At the same time, we both did/do well in school and are very performance driven. She's very smart, like I was, it just remains to be seen if she uses her powers for good instead of evil. :)

Vicki Lewis Thompson said...

Laurie, your older brother sounds like a classic first-born. LOL about your stubborn sister. Mine loves to shop, too! Me, not so much. And you don't sound spoiled to me. :-)

Playground Monitor -- it's so fun to be here! Interesting about the switch in birth-order personalities. Oh, and by the way, at a conference I attended, a huge percentage of the writers there were either first-borns or onlies.

Smarty Pants, I have a theory about why you and your sister are so different. I saw this in my family. With the first kid -- me -- my parents were somewhat strict, and I knew not to ask for every toy and to entertain myself because it was expected. And I was, like you, very conscientious. But by the time my youngest sis came along 7 years later, the rules were WAY relaxed. She got a horse, for crying out loud! 8-O

Anonymous said...

In my family,I have a brother 2 years older, a sister 2 1/2 years younger, a sister 7 years younger, and a brother 9 1/2 years younger. In the South, being the oldest daughter makes me the one responsible for taking care of everyone, as well as being the peacemaker. Because of the age diffeneces, there were lots of sibling dynamics.

However, the most interesting dynamic was that our mother and father were the youngest in their families. Now that made for some interesting and fun times!
Marie

Vicki Lewis Thompson said...

Marie, I can absolutely see that oldest daughter responsibility, and it probably happens in other parts of the country, too. Wow, raised by two youngest! It must have been party time!

CrystalGB said...

Hi Vicki. Good to see you here. Il love your books. I am the youngest in my family. I have older brothers and no sisters. It always frustrated me to be treated as the baby girl.

Problem Child said...

Hi Vicki!

Birth order, Nature vs. nurture -- these discussions fascinate me. Probably partly because there's always the family member who skews it somehow! My brother -- who is 2 1/2 years older -- totally brings the whole nature vs. nurture thing into question, and half the time he seems more like a youngest child (I'm the overachieving praise-seeking busy-body).

I have an only, though, and she's definitely trying to turn my hair gray(er) by adopting the annoying traits of oldest and youngest (and some middle, too!) children. Y'all think I'm a Problem Child -- look out for AC!

Sherry Werth said...

Hi Vicki! It's great to see you here again. Congrats on the new releases, they sound like a really fun read! :D
I'm the eldest by 9 years but the birth order thingy did not start over where my brother was concerned. He was spoiled and could get away with anything. I was the one who got in trouble when he didn't behave. So, I sorta ended up being more like his mother than his sister. Wonder what my teachers thought when a high school senior showed up for his parent/teacher conference? LOL

Vicki Lewis Thompson said...

Crystal, I can remember my youngest sister complaining about this, too. Although I think getting a horse sorta made up for it. :-)

PC -- there's always the gender issue to throw in there, too! I'm in awe of anyone raising an only. I had two kids partly so they'd have someone else to torture besides me, LOL. But they say onlies turn out to be presidents and astronauts and stuff, so hang in there.

Vicki Lewis Thompson said...

Sherry, hi! It's good to be here. Ack, to be responsible for a baby brother nine years younger than you sounds like a nightmare. I'll bet he delighted in torturing you. I hope he's reformed by now. :-)

Instigator said...

I love this discussion! I'm a firm believer in the fact that birth order affects us. I'm definitely the oldest child. In fact, I'm the oldest child of two oldest children and married another oldest child. I'm definitely the organizer in our family. If we're all doing something I"m the one assigning jobs (you bring potato salad and dessert) and making sure everyone knows their job/responsibility.

Sometimes I feel sorry for my own oldest child. There was no avoiding her strong streak of stubborn independence.

Instigator

Liza said...

I'm in the middle. My sister is 3 years older and my brother is 4 years younger. However, I was the more responsible one when we were growing up. I'm close to both of my siblings, but they check with me to find out about each other for the most part. Hoping my sister gets to come in next weekend since my brother will be staying with me starting Sunday and we can all get a good visit in.

Jean said...

I am totally in agreement that it starts over. My sister is ten years older and I never felt like I had a sister so much as I had three parents. She always complained that I got to do things sooner than she did, if she was ever allowed to do them at all. And it's true. I don't know if she had just exhausted them or if they knew I was such a boring predictable child that I would never come home drunk, do drugs, join the circus, get pregnant, start a pyramid scheme, or call from Tokyo for them to come get me.

I made up for it a little in college and in my early twenties. Then, back to being the good one. After all, making the rest of the world happy IS my job.

Minna said...

I'm the youngest in this family, about 20 years younger than my other sisters and brothers and plenty of times they -especially my sisters- have treated me as if they were my parents, instead of sisters. They still do and it still annoys me.

Virginia said...

I do think birth order plays on who you are. I am a middle child! I have a sister that is older and one that is about ten years younger! I had a brother but he passed away a few years back, he was about two years older then me.

Vicki Lewis Thompson said...

Wow, Instigator! I'll be looking for that oldest-child temperament next time I see you! Yeah, your oldest must be an oldest to the tenth power, LOL.

Liza, I hope you all get together this weekend! Actually, my middle sister is the go-between among the three of us, too, but I still wouldn't call her a peacemaker. :-)

LOL, Jean! Yes, I'm sure making the rest of the world happy is your job, and I'm so glad you didn't run off and join the circus. It's a tough life, I hear!

Hi, Minna! See if this sounds familiar -- my middle sister used to day to our youngest sister "If you let me punish you instead of Mom and Dad, you'll get off easier." I guess the alternative was my middle sis would tattle!

Virginia, I sometimes think the middle is the toughest place to be. Hugs on losing your brother. I'm sure you miss him.

Minna said...

Fortunately ny sisters lived far away from home already when I was a kid. I get along with them a lot better when they are not around all time asking things (they are worse than mom) or telling me how to do things.

catslady said...

My sister is 3 l/2 yrs. older - definitely the one who wants to be in charge. I was the peacemaker and overachiever. I'm now 59 and things haven't changed a bit and unfortunately we aren't close. I have two daughters and they too are very opposite but I have I did all I could so that they really do enjoy each other's company. They are now almost 23 and 26.

catslady said...

Sorry I should proof by comments first lol. Meant to say "I have done all I could"

catslady said...

roflmao - Ok, in my defense, I haven't had my coffee yet and I just can't seem to type lol. "my" comments.

going to stop now(sigh)

Vicki Lewis Thompson said...

Minna, sometimes geographical distance is a good thing!

No worries, catslady! It's good to see you here today . . . and again . . . and again . . . and again. LOLOL. Sibling dynamics are tricky, and good for you that you've worked to help your two kids appreciate each other.

PM's Mother said...

I had a very wise American history teacher in high school who said "Heredity deals the cards and environment plays the hand." So, does this play into birth order?

My brother is 5 years younger than I and over the years our roles have switched back and forth because of circumstances.

Linda Henderson said...

I am the youngest in my family and I had a lot to make up for with the failings of my older siblings. Due to my mothers disappointments in my older siblings school performances she exected much more from me. It was a tough road. I don't believe in putting that kind of pressure on kids, so I was very careful not to do that with my own. My daughter's are six years apart but are very close and always have been. I never had that with my siblings when I was growing up. I'm close to my sister and oldest brother now, but missed out on that when I was young. I think birth order does affect a lot of things.

Anonymous said...

enjoyed this posting ... thanks for the opportunity to read this book.

karenk
kmkuka(at)yahoo(Dot)Com

mariska said...

I'm the first child, i have 2 sisters and a lil bro. so I do believe that birth order affects my personality.

I tend to be the be the one who has to control my lis sisters and bro. My mom and dad trust me that i can settle small things between my siblings :) which is sometimes i can't *grin*

And since i'm the first child, I always have to be the last one, when to get something new from my parents. Urghhhh

robynl said...

I can see birth order having it's effects on children. There is :
me and my twin brother: he is older
the next boy is 4 yrs. younger
the next girl is 9yrs. younger
the next girl is 18 yrs. younger
than us twins.

The youngest seems more spoilded because times have changed and the parents are financially better off usually but that time.

donnas said...

I think the oldest tend to be more bossy. But that could be because they were an only child first.

Anonymous said...

3 yonger brothers what a pig sty lol
but love them
cognrats on the books
whoo
kh
kimehak@yahoo.com