If ever there was a perfect study for this debate, our oldest is it. She is cursed with being the oldest which makes her our very own crash test dummy.
Her eleventh birthday is looming and she is blossoming in front of our eyes. She is bright, inquisitive, loving and an excellent conversationalist. She is personable and empathetic.
She tells people that her aspiration in life is to be a historical novelist and own a fromagerie.
She wears her heart on her sleeve just like her mama and will be useless at card games as she is completely lacking a poker face.
We adore her. But I also worry about her endlessly. This may be the lot of a mother but for me it sometimes feels like it's all I do in regards to her.
You see she has what one might benignly describe as anxiety issues.
A less tactful person may describe her as a completely neurotic psycho who drains her mother of her energy with the amount of 'worry' that she finds in the pursuit of daily life.
As her mother, I naturally blame myself for her boundless anxiety levels and often ponder what I have done to 'nurture' this creature who still sucks her thumb going on 11 and on a bi-monthly basis has anxiety attacks about sleeping alone in her bedroom and has had one successful sleepover in her primary years to date.
Who knows if it was my overenthusiastic applications of the 'sleep nazi' techniques that I had assiduously learnt from an applied study of the Robyn Barker baby book.
In retrospect, this could be one of those 'nurture' moments where mummy insisting that she go to bed and leaving her all alone in her bedroom in that enormous cot may have created insecurities virtually out of the womb.
Or maybe the toddler years...where still getting used to life with one child (her) we introduced another one into the mix who happened to hate sleep and refused to co operate with any of my well practiced settling techniques.
I seem to recall being veeeeeery unhappy and overwhelmed...memories a bit vague as I did get diagnosed with post-natal depression and ended up on the happy drugs which helped immensely.
Was it during this phase that the anxieties bent started developing...pyscho mummy, no one in charge of the plane...pilot asleep at the controls...oh oh!!
I'm buggered if I know. We love her dearly, I just wish she would take a chill pill every now and then :)
Is it just me or are all oldest children neurotic...even if slightly less than mine?