The '90s is pretty much the best decade ever just in general — but you know what made it even better? Enjoying it as an only child. What were the best things about being an only child in the '90s, you might be wondering? I mean, yes, only children can sometimes get stuck with a pretty bad reputation, whether it's because people think we're spoiled, entitled, or lacking social skills; as such, it can be rough out there for only children to get a little celebration. (I should know; I am one.) When it comes to some '90s nostalgia, though, trust me: There are loads of awesome recollections many only children who grew up in the '90s have tucked away in their memory banks.
Despite the reputation issues, being an only child actually has a ton of benefits: It teaches you how to use your imagination to entertain yourself, how to be self-sufficient, and how to be responsible for your own things. It also provides some valuable lessons in how to manage your time and respect others — for example, your parents might not always be around to play with you, or a babysitter might not "get" all of the fun games you play in the neighborhood right away. Being an only child can teach you patience and people skills, in spite of what the stereotypes like to say.
So, what in particular was so awesome about being an only child in the '90s? Well, let's just say that many of us can relate to these 11 things:
1. You Knew That No One Was Going To Steal Your Jelly Shoes
Who didn't love jelly shoes, mood rings, and overalls in the '90s? As an only child, you likely had a more limited wardrobe (not having siblings meant fewer hand-me-downs and no one to borrow clothes from) — but you also didn't have to share anything. That meant that you never had to worry about looking everywhere for your favorite pair of jellies, only to discover that your younger sibling had "borrowed" them without asking.
2. You Always Had Complete Control Over The TV Remote
Whenever I got to watch TV, the first thing I put on was one of my favorite '90s sitcoms. Whether it was a marathon of Friends or sneaking episodes of Sex and The City, I definitely loved being able to watch my favorite shows and movies without interruption.
3. You Were Easily Able To Keep Your American Girl Doll Collection Pristine
As a kid, my family really emphasized the importance of keeping my room clean. This meant that I couldn't blame my messes on anyone else, but it also meant that I didn't have to worry about my siblings messing up my stuff or rearranging my prized possessions, AKA my American Girl dolls.
4. You Always Had Your Baby-Sitter's Club Books All To Yourself
I was a pretty nerdy kid (and proud of it), which meant that I always had a bunch of book series on rotation. I loved all the usual suspects: Nancy Drew, Goosebumps, The Hardy Boys , and The Baby-Sitter's Club. I did not, however, appreciate anyone moving around my bookmarks. Luckily, I had no siblings, so I didn't need to worry about it.
5. The Furby Shortage Didn't Ruin Your Holiday Season
Does anyone else remember the Great Furby Shortages of the holiday season? To this day, my grandmother reminds me that it was way easier for her to go Christmas shopping that year than it was for many other relatives of small children, because she only had to find one Furby, not two.
6. The Only Person Who Could Accidentally Kill Your Chia Pet Was You
Fastidious in all things, I of course wanted to raise my own Chia pet. They were pretty low maintenance, but if someone knocked it over, it would basically "die" (by which I mean all the chia sprouts would come tumbling off the ceramic base. Horrors!). So of course I was meticulous about keeping mine on my bedroom windowsill and never letting anyone else touch it, ever. If it died, I would have only myself to blame. (Remember that whole thing where being an only child teaches you self-sufficiency?)
7. You Always Knew Where Your Beanie Babies Were
Remember when your parents told you that your Beanie Babies would be worth mad money someday, so you had to keep them in excellent condition? As an only child, I was meticulous about keeping my stuff in working order anyway, but I was especially careful with my beloved Beanie Babies. I even kept them in a certain order on my bed at all times — and luckily, my parents did not bestow upon me a little sibling who would have inevitably wanted to play with them (and rip the swing tags straight off).
8. You Were The Star Of 'Take Your Child To Work Day'
Whenever your parents got to bring you to Take Your Child To Work Day, you didn't have to share any of the attention with your siblings. What only child doesn't love extra attention?
9. You Never Got Kicked Off Of AOL
I didn't get a computer at home until I was a little older than most of my peers, but the reality still stood: There was nothing worse than having someone kick you off of AOL when you went to get a snack, because if someone did that, well, how was anyone going to see your super deep and introspective away message? At least the only people I had regulating my internet time were my parents, and they didn't kick you off so much as they held your unfinished homework over your head until you finally logged off.
10. There Was No One Around To Tear Up Your Lisa Frank Notebooks
Ah, Lisa Frank, my little artist heart's first love! The notebooks, the stickers, the bedding sets... Perhaps nothing made my heart beat more than seeing all those rainbows on rainbows on rainbows kept in mint condition on my little kid desk.
11. You Made Your Way Across The Oregon Trail All By Yourself
We all know that when it comes to '90s computer games, Oregon Trail dominates. It's educational and teaches you about decision making and long-term thinking, if not actual life skills (although, hey, it's always good to know the symptoms of dysentery just in case). And when you didn't have to share it with a sibling, it put you and you alone in the driver's seat — because someone had to steer those oxen, right?
Images: Nickelodeon; Giphy (11)