Thumb Suckers Make Big Bucks

There’s this weird thing that I notice for those of us with multiple kids. Okay, maybe it doesn’t happen to everyone but I have to make an educated guess that maybe it’s true…


That birth order has something to do with IQ and your first child is your smartest and each subsequent child is well…notsomuch. (Now believe me I don’t want to believe this as I am not a firstborn)

Now I’m talking ‘book smarts’ only and I’m measuring things as all things equal when they are two years old.  Two years old people, not 22. For example, at two Eloise knew all of her shapes, colors, letters, could count to 30 and I swear to Jesus she already could read some sight words.   Esther at two knew all of her shapes and colors and many letters but damned if that child could not count worth a damn.  Astrid, well we just kind of throw bacon at her and clap when she catches it with her teeth.


Now this could have to do with how much time we spend with our first child versus the others, or maybe we just to used up the smart genes early on. Also I find that firstborns love to show-off their mad ‘smart’ skills and perform on cue. The other kids give us looks that pretty much equate giving us the finger when we ask what color that block is.

But what I cannot explain is that I find the exact opposite true with their street smarts and common sense. Now Eloise might be a rocket scientist but my god that child cannot open up a box of cereal on her own or at least figure out that maybe SCISSORS would work and try a few different things before coming to ask me to open it for her.   Esther is a little bit better and I do believe she could survive for a few days without me around. But Astrid on the other hand…I truly do believe that if I just left, that the child would go out and get herself a job to support the family.


In fact today she told me she was going to work and walked across the room and told me to call her on her cell phone and when I did that she told me she’d be home by five. When she walked back over to me ‘at five'(but actually 20 seconds later) she handed me $20,000 of play money, a plate of food because she brought home dinner, and some new black sandals and a matching purse just because she loves me.

That girl can take care of me anytime. I just hope she lets her sisters live with her.


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About Tracy

My name is Tracy Morrison and I live in sunny Minnesota. I'm neither British nor a nun - I'm just a Midwesterner with a headache. This is mainly a humor and lifestyle blog that documents the lighter side of parenting. I am an ex-corporate ladder climber turned freelance writer, social media manager, world traveler, and marathon runner. I would love for you to contact me at

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  1. Leah says

    Hilarious – I agree – my husband and I always say that our oldest would be our lifeline on Who Wants to be a Millionaire and we would take our youngest with us if we were on Survivor, cause that girl would get us out of there!!

    Our youngest once told her first grade teacher “I don’t need to read, I have people for that” :O

  2. says

    this is probably not the place to tell you that I still do suck my thumb from time to time at 42, but I do. It’s better than migraine meds and it calms me down. I think that Astrid is on to something truthfully.

    Plus I know how to take care of people. Truly.

    love the pictures, my thumb was my best friend.

  3. says

    Whenever I’m getting cranky today, I’m going to picture you asking Astrid, “What color is that block?” and her giving you the (metaphorical) finger.

    Hi. La. Ri. Ous.
    julie gardner recently posted..Teenager

  4. says

    It is definitely the same in our house. Ash is super book smart but I think because I did things for her for so long she can’t do the simple things that Bean can because she has had to them on her own while I was doing them for Ash. Oh, what do we do to these kids?!
    Also, if you are ever lost or stranded in wilderness, Bean is the one you want. She loves survivalist shows. Ash would scream that there were bugs and would ask you to tie her shoes every 20 seconds.
    Kristen recently posted..To Be A Cloud – Memories Captured

  5. says

    all of my children were thumb/finger suckers. I just returned from a SENG conference (Supporting Emotional Needs of Gifted) — Sounds like you should attend with me next year… What you describe is totally ‘normal’ within the gifted.
    Karla Porter Archer recently posted..Celebrating Every Day

  6. Kathryn says

    Funny…we call our third son the retirement fund (privately, of course). His brothers are smart,, but this third one…he’s mind boggling. His 4.5 years older brother would ask him how to spell our last name, or what Daddy’s phone number was when this little guy was only 2!! He even calls himself “mommy’s memory!”

  7. says

    For us, book smarts are the opposite. At 2 1/2 the boy knows way more than either girl did at his age. I think it comes from subsequent children hearing all the yelling during homework time so it sticks w/them. As for street smarts — TOTALLY. I trust this boy could make me breakfast whereas the oldest girl would cry at the number of buttons on the stove.

  8. says

    What about my middle child, you know the one who is cute as a button but doesn’t seem to have either? I guess he’ll get by on his looks, the little stinker. 😉
    Elaine recently posted..Birthday Bonanza

  9. says

    Lil’ Bit has far more street smarts at 2.5 than I ever did or still do. She has this whole bit where her “peoples” (which are actually her bath toys) are going to see their Nonnie and Pop at the beach, so they need to fly on a plane, but they have tummy aches because they ate some bad food, so first they need to go see the doctor. I mean, seriously…

    And thanks to Winnie the Pooh, she also knows she’s not supposed to talk to strangers or open the door for strangers, and if a stranger tries to touch her, she’s supposed to run away shouting, “Step the fuck off, motherfucker!” (i.e. “No, no, no, no, no, no, no!”)

    So basically, I can totally put her on a plane all by herself and ship her off to Florida and feel at ease knowing that if a stranger tries to kidnap her, she will kick their ass.
    Kristin @ What She Said recently posted..Closer to God

  10. says

    Talk about bringing home the bacon & frying it up in a pan!! Love this & it is SO true!!! My baby girl is a thumb sucker, too, only one out of the bunch…I have a feeling there will not be much she can’t do if she puts her mind to it!