family fun · Kids

Day 187: Middle Child

It’s Rosh Hashana, so I’m taking a couple of days off from writing. For those of you who need your daily dose of me (yes, all three of you!), I’ve set up autoposting until Monday. Enjoy!

I’m sure that you’ve heard plenty (as I have) about “Middle Child Syndrome,” where the kid in the middle feels overlooked or ignored in favour of the eldest and the baby of the family. But from my observations here at the cottage, R might just have the best position among the siblings.

She’s old enough and (just) mature enough to not annoy K all the time. They decided early on that they would share a room at the cottage and they’ve gotten along surprisingly well. K is messy and R is neat, but R loves to tidy and K doesn’t mind if she does, so their room looks great. The girls have found a secluded spot by the water where they like to go and eat lunch together; no boys or baby sisters allowed. It’s sweet to see that K and R are friends.

K is a bit too old to play dolls, though, and that’s usually what I find R and E doing together. Here at the cottage, R and E love to swim out to a floating foam pad in the lake and play “slip ‘n’ slide” on the pad. They conspire, giggle, and play like a couple of little kids — which they are. R has a ready and willing playmate in E.

You might not know that R and N are only 15 months apart (PSA: simply not spending $10K on IVF is NOT a reliable method of birth control. Ask how I know.) When they were little, many people assumed they were twins (they look very much alike.) Although they didn’t share a womb, they did share a room — and toys, and baths, and absolutely everything else — so you could say that they kind of grew up like twins. Neither remembers life without the other. When we’re at home, they like to have “sleepovers” in each other’s rooms. They often share books and are currently doing the same read-aloud book with Mr. December.

In this family, at least, I think we can put the notion of “middle child syndrome” to rest. Far from being ignored, R seems to have the most options of all of us: she has her role model/confidante, her “twin”, and her playmate. What more could a middle child want?

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