Yesterday, we took our nieces and our oldest two to see Wicked in Milton Keynes. We didn't think our youngest would be able to sit through a 3 hour (plus intermission) musical and we wouldn't be home until almost midnight. Feeling very guilty, as mothers are wont to do, I booked a babysitter for her while the rest of us were out.
I'm an only child so my only knowledge of sibling dynamics are through my own children and my husband's experience. According to him, the youngest always misses out on stuff (although apparently the youngest always gets away with everything, so I'd assume this would all balance out) and an incident involving the Harlem Globetrotters traumatised him for life.
His sad tale begins in the 70s, when Paul was a young boy. All he knew was that his family had gone out for a bit, but he didn't learn the horrible truth until years later: they'd seen the Harlem Globetrotters without him. Like us, his parents thought he was too young to sit through a whole show...however he learned that they'd taken his cousin and middle brother, who are only 3 years older. The man is now 44 years old and he still talks about this deception to this day. Not that he's bitter or anything.
When Isla isn't included on something he is adamant that she's told outright. Amazingly, she has never once thrown a hissy fit about this. Her siblings have been to Disney, Legoland, and Chessington without her. Either she has no concept what a theme park is about, or she's genuinely not all that bothered about not going. Paul took the other two camping while Isla stayed at home with me (and at nursery.) She was thrilled to be able to sleep next to me and watch movies on my laptop in bed. Yesterday, she was pleased as punch to have a babysitter all to herself. This morning she woke me up with a hug, beaming "I had a great night! I had three bedtime stories!"
So here's to you Isla, my littlest who often gets left behind. Thank you for not having a temper tantrum when you're not included and for finding great joy in the little things that are all yours. This year, you ARE going to Disneyland.