This post is about my own personal experiences and feelings about being an only child.
I was about four I think when I realized that I didn’t have any brothers or sisters. At the time I played down the street at my babysitter’s house while my parents worked. The babysitter had two young children — a boy older than me and a girl younger than me. One day when we were talking about marriages and how you couldn’t marry your brother or sister, it dawned on me that there wasn’t anyone I couldn’t marry because I didn’t have a brother or sister. From that day on I started to notice other families when I was out with my parents or babysitter –families with multiple children running after a single parent, families with children tumbling out of mini vans, families that had noise and shouts and laughter following them everywhere they went.
Family watching became a habit for me that still continues to this day I admit. When I went to my friend’s homes, there was always noise, chaos of toys and kids running all over the house; this was such a stark contrast from my own home where my mother and father would watch TV or read books, and I was left to my own devices for hours on end. When I was alone I rarely talked out loud, even when playing, because who was there to talk to? All my games were played silently in my head and thus the silence of my house stood out to me so much when I realized that other homes weren’t like mine.
I started to bug my parents, mostly my mother, about wanting a brother or sister. My parents would demure of course, and side step and dodge the questions. I was persistent. I started to try to find out how babies were made so that I could make my parents have a baby for me. Luckily for everyone (myself included), my conclusions at the tender age of five lead me to believe that babies came from kissing on the mouth, so for months I would constantly try to shove, push, and even try to trip my parents into one another. Clearly this got me nowhere.
I won’t lie in saying I wasn’t lonely growing up. I was. Being lonely and bored were the number one reasons I wanted a sibling. My friends would tell me how lucky I was not to have a sibling, how annoying it was to have one and how they hated having to share their toys. I thought about how I would have loved to share my toys if only I had someone to share with. My situation was also compounded by the fact that my mother was deathly afraid of all animals big or small, leaving me with goldfish as the only real option for a pet.