Despite the fact that I am now very old, and my father is even older, I’ve got a new baby brother or sister on the way.
I’d been the youngest for 20-some odd years now and I was rather enjoying the spotlight. Then, a year ago, there was some punk- nosed kid with rosy cheeks and an endlessly cheery disposition that came into the family. He totally stole my spotlight.
Granted, it could be because he has pudgy cheeks and kind eyes untouched by the horrors that await him in adulthood. Or it could be because he’s less likely to throw food at a table than I am. One new little brother was bad enough, but this second addition is just too much.
My dad remarried several years back with the ambition to have children. Naturally, we all laughed it off because he’d already had children and we assumed he’d learned his lesson. Apparently, Dad didn’t inherit any of my genius, because he didn’t absorb the lesson at all.
This is the age I should be having illegitimate children, not the age I should be expecting little siblings. By the time I’m old enough to legally buy either of my two new siblings a drink, I’ll be too old to go to bars. I’ll hate loud noises and my bedtime will be exactly 8 p.m. after “Matlock.”
Plus, as the older brother, it’s my sworn duty to pick on my younger siblings. He’s so young it just doesn’t feel right. I’ve played keep away with his lunchbox, just like I thought older brothers should, and he just drools and coos at me. No leaping for it back, no crying or pleading. Picking on babies is hardly satisfying.
I could take the protective older brother role. That whole, You’d -better-leave-me-alone-or-my-older-brother-will-beat-you-up! thing. Except instead of being an eighth grader defending my brother from a mean fifth grader, I sue the little bully into fiscal nothingness. Or just run over his tricycle with a rented Hummer.
I remember how much better I was at technology than my parents and how much gloating I did. This kid will be born in an era where high-speed Internet has always existed. He’ll never know the clicky doom of a dial-up connection. Both of the new little runts will know more about technology by the time they’re six than I ever will.
The fact that my dad has the new kid and another on the way is making the other relatives start to hint strongly about stuff I’m not ready for. Like they’d like to be grandparents, or great-aunts or great-grandparents, and how my father had already had me and my older brother by the time he was my age and would it kill me to call once in a while?
My generation is afraid of kids and marriage. Because we know the next generation we breed will be smarter than we are. They’ll know more about technology. And they’ll be younger, willing to work for cheaper salaries.
Children are the future… and I am afraid.
Johnathan Kastner is a senior English major. His column runs every Thursday in the Collegian. He has never intentionally picked on a baby and never will have to so long as no babies mess with his kid brother(s)/sister.