There are disadvantages to being the youngest (handmedown EVERYTHING, and everyone perpetually thinks of you as a total baby), but there are advantages too. In many ways it's like being the firstborn, except you get to have your turn at being Only when you're old enough to appreciate it. Henry gets to be the Only for 2 hours a day this year, and next year it'll be more like 6 hours a day, unless I
Plus, he gets his "only child" treatment when his siblings are aware he's getting it, which is valuable currency, especially in a large family. If a sixth grader thinks YOU'RE lucky? That is GOOD STUFF.
It's good for me, too. It's like the mirror image of my experience with my firstborn. When it was just me and Rob, I thought of him as a big kid; when it's just me and Henry, I think of him as my baby. "Just me and Rob" was business as usual; "just me and Henry" is a break from the usual. Not a BREAK-break in the "lunch break" or "taking a break" sense, I hasten to clarify, since in many ways I find it more difficult to have "just one" than to have the entire roiling mass---but a break FROM THE USUAL, the way doing a different job at work is a break from the usual. And it IS a break from the usual "several people talking at the same time ALL THE TIME" thing, and from the "so many people! wanting so many things from me! all at once!" thing. It's nice to be able to FOCUS on ONE THING---even if that one thing talks incessantly.