Friday, August 16, 2013

Raising the Caboose

So what is a caboose, for this blog that would be a child born 5 or more years after the next older child with no more children close in age after him, more so if the older siblings are close in age. In our home the first set of children are 21,19,16,15,13 all born within eight years from oldest to youngest. 

Our Caboose

Then we have the caboose who is 7, raising him is a lot different then first five. Because it almost like raising an only child but you have older children to.

Aidan wants to do things that kids his age do like playgrounds, children's museums, play in the sand, and so on all the things that I loved doing with the older kids. We did those things as a family since with 5 kids under 10 I needed to go places to expel their energy and there was something that interested the 8 year old and yet kept the 1 year old happy to.

Making sure to have fun stuff for him and his friends to do.
The hard part is doing those things as a family, since really there is not much at a children's museum that is going to keep a 16 year old happy, and having a 6 ft man who might only be 15 playing on the playground can come across as a little creepy to the other adults.

So I have started to make a effort to do these things with just Aidan making it happen, yes it's not as a family but he needs to do kid things to. We do a lot as a family and most of these things are older kid activities that Aidan can enjoy.

For example yesterday after dropping of the 15 year old at Civil Air Patrol which is a meeting that takes 3 hours and is 45 minute's from home, I brought Aidan along for the trip . 

Side note that is one of the problems it is a lot easier to leave Aidan home with a older kid then take him with me shopping, trips to town and so on. Since I have built in sitters which I didn't have with the first set of kids, who went every where with me.

He can make it though a 3 course meal, and loves to wear suits

We headed to a playground that the older group of kids had enjoyed a lot when they were younger, we spent over 2 hours there. He rode his bike, and played forever on that playground, yes I could have left him home with the older kids and enjoyed 3 hours to myself. But taking him was the better , not easier choice.
You can learn to beat any game with a older brother around

Others things about raising the Caboose that I have noticed and am trying hard to correct are things like :

Chores the older set were doing a lot more at his age then he does, because it is so much easier to have a older kid do the dishwasher then to teach the youngest how. As I said earlier it is easier to leave him home with a older child then to take him shopping and teach him how to behave in a store. It's easier to send a older kid out to play with him then it is to do it myself. I see a theme here, easier, which sometimes is not a bad thing but in this case I think it is. I need to work on making the better choice not the easier one.

That doesn't mean the older ones don't get asked to play with Aidan ( my tennis playing could make you cry or die of laughter) , or that Aidan always gets to go to CAP ( if it's raining there really isn't much for him to do). But it does mean making the effort.

Pluses of being a Caboose, he is not shy, he can walk onto any playground and just join in with any group of kids. He is totally comfortable with older kids and adults. He is a great sous chef since I know that a 7 year old can use a knife to cut up veggies safely, I would say he started at 5.

Need a egg cracked, a carrot diced I am your man.

 He doesn't seem to get hurt as much as the older boys did at his age, not having close in age brothers telling you climb higher, ride faster, jump further might be the reason. He is great at pick up games of soccer, held behind the bleachers while his big brothers and sister are playing their games. 

Older brothers are great for adventures

Plus he has an older brother who buys him the cool clothes that mom won't and will fish with him, a older sister that will coach his soccer team and worries more about him getting hurt then his mom does.

Older sisters who love you lots and think you are the cutest thing
Another older brother who will play endless games of tennis with him.Another older brother who will show him how to beat that game on the Wii, and another older sister who shows him the best spots for finding frogs, turtles and which berries to eat. 
This is a old picture, those games of tennis have been going on for a long time
So while raising the Caboose is different that raising the main part of the train it is still a lot of fun.
Only a caboose could get his older brother and sister to play with capes in public