Thursday, October 21, 2010

Only Children

I bet your mind immediately went to a visual of a screaming, kicking child who wasn’t getting his way and was having a “come-apart.”  Right?  Well, this entry isn’t about that, but we will explore the deep complexities associated with folks who are only children.

Hi, my name is Zach.  I am a Tennessee Squire and an only child.  There, I said it.  Some maybe saying “Oh, that explains it!” or “Wow, he is very well adjusted socially to be an only child.”  Put your seat belt on because here comes another revelation – I am an only of two onlies.   Yep – Mom is an only and so is Dad.  No aunts.  No uncles.  No cousins.  Family reunions could be held in a Mini-Cooper.  I give you this background because Momma Squire and I had a discussion the other day concerning kids being at the house that weren’t our offspring.  So, I thought it would be a great public service for me to share some insights into only children and how we think.  Maybe this is worth what you paid for it or maybe it will be a revelation that will help you break through those relationship issues with your only child spouse or it will give you something to read while you are eating lunch.  Bet you thought I was going to say reading while in the bathroom, but (are you really coordinated enough to carry a laptop in there with you? (for typing ease, I will use OC)
Only Child Time - OC’s are used to being by ourselves.  We typically think it is ok to eat alone in a restaurant.  We grew up alone and have grown to like having solitary time.  Most OC’s require a certain amount of alone time each day.  Mine is early in the morning from 5:00 until it is time for the rest of the family to wake up.  This is why we get grumpy on holiday trips or vacations when there are people around us 24/7.  It is also why we will disappear during family events, weddings, etc. and our spouses will find us on the back porch or in the car.
Inappropriate Games – Please think before purchasing a game for an OC.  No, I’m not talking about Halo or Grand Theft Auto.   I am talking about two person games.  I remember receiving Candyland as a present one year – Yes, Mom was a stay-at-home Mom, but really?  Who would sit and play Candyland with me?
I also got a croquet set.  Really?  You think I would set up the hoops, sticks, and then go around the yard banging a ball with a mallet?

I also got Yard Darts (Yarts!) one year.  Use some common sense people and I’m not talking about stabbing myself in the temple with one.  That would be hard for an only child to do.  Wait – maybe.  Yarts could be only for only children; but I would get tired of throwing them and then having to fetch them since no one was there to return them.   Having these multi-player games actually make only children more creative.  We had to figure out how to play them or change the rules so we could enjoy them.

Touching my things – Yes, we have issues with people touching our things.  I really don’t think it has to do with selfishness.  It has to do with location.  If you touch my things or play with my things, it won’t be where it was the next time I want it.  That’s why I don’t let people read my newspaper before I do.  You will probably turn it inside out, get it out of order, or the worse thing – when it is time to read the next session (yes, I have a particular order), you will have that section.  This is where the discussion with Momma Squire centered the other day.  She asked me whether I ever had folks over to spend the night with me when I was a kid.  My response – “No, because they would touch my things.” 
Hopefully these points will help you understand OC’s.  We really aren’t bad – just misunderstood.

Zach, A Tennessee Squire and an Only Child