A few weeks ago at lunch, my coworker and I played a game of "we can guess your birth order" with the rest of our team.
At its basic level, birth order predicts that the first born will be extremely mature and a high-level achiever; middle children will be extremely diplomatic; and the last born children will be more creative and funny. So, my coworker and I went around the table and predicted who was the first-born and who was the baby of the family. We got a perfect score.
Until my coworker tried to guess for me. She was amazed that I was the baby in the family.
If you've never read up on birth order characteristics, I highly recommend it. They are a fascinating look into how much parental attention influences behaviors. The recent studies on the topic all seem to bolster the results researchers have been seeing for years. But, it is important to remember that all children are different.
My son is an only child. He is also first born. Because of that, he basks in his parents' attention, has a high achievement level and adult-level vocabulary skills. But, he is also highly creative and tries to be funny.
You see, birth order isn't an exact science. So it is really fascinating to me when it goes awry. I am the second child - the baby of the family. According to birth order studies, I should be the creative one (I do like to scrapbook), the funny one (I am a delight at parties) and more easy-going (I am very flexible). But I also buck the trends: I display a startling amount of "first born" characteristics in that I am highly organized, highly responsible and very self confident.
So what happened here?
I think that birth order is a fascinating topic, but I also think that a lot of who we become is based off the challenges we overcome in our lifetimes.
What's your place in the birth order of your family? Do the characteristics define you? Tell me in the comments.