In defense of middle children everywhere






I got a lot of kids.

I come from a family with a lot of kids.

Well, a lot for today's standards.

I am a middle kid.

My daughter pictured above is my oldest middle girl.  My number two out of four.

Middle kids are tricky.

But, they are also usually the most well-adjusted later in life. Hmmm.

Kevin Leman's book, The Birth Order Book is a great book.  We saw him at a conference, and he spoke about raising kids and birth order.  He is a real hoot, really hilarious.  And this book is so fascinating, and a great resource.

Anyway, my 8-year-old-middle-kid, has been going through some stages lately.  (read my post about "knives", from last week, to get an idea).

Middle children do not, typically, come on out and say:

"I need…."

"I am upset about…"

"I am really trying to…"

Mother sleuthing is needed.  Our maternal antenna needs to be feeling them out.  Probing with our eyes, observing them from afar, while we busily go about our day, usually listening to the first born, relate in detail what they had for lunch and how they feel about the new playground policy.  Not to mention keeping a lookout the the entertaining/ rascally antics of the baby of the family.

My oldest middle girl has been getting into lots of trouble.

Lots of yelling by both her parents of: "what on Earth are you thinking!"

Lots of talks about: Maturity. Decisions. Actions. Feelings.  Wow, I am already zoning out myself.   And that is just what my girl was doing. 

Ya still gotta lay down the law.

Ya still gotta have the talk.

But sometimes you just gotta spoil them too.

I am sure I have related in the past about my distaste for the over emphasis modern children educators put on self-esteem and keeping your children constantly happy.

 I'm definitely more old-school structure, discipline, adult-centered, homes.

It's a hard tight rope to walk though.  Rules without love (or fun) equal rebellion.

So this week, this old-school Mama, made a vested effort to do less chiding, for the time.

I told her I am carving out a corner of my sacred sewing room, and giving her a table and the old sewing machine just for her. (that's a big deal in our house, and did not make the other girls too happy).

I had our local librarian's ear for about 20 minutes and got on reserve every book on fashion, clothes design, and simple fashion sewing projects. 

She is our fashion girl, could ya tell?

My oldest knows absolutely what her talents are, and pursues them with gusto.

Her, not so much.

Being in household of close-aged sisters, it's hard to stand out; feel unique and special.

She came down with another case of "jealously grumpies" yesterday.

I started in with the usually Dr. Phil thing.

But then I spotted a beautiful red leaf.

I simply handed it to her and did a photo shoot.

I got her to smile.  Made her feel like a diva.

And then told her to finish up her homework.

It was a much nicer evening.  Not perfect or stree-free.  But nicer.  We'll take nice.

In a house full of women there never is a time when everyone is happy.

No lie.

I feel like a rotating counselor, teacher, not to mention short order cook, and maid, all hours of the day.

But every so often that still small voice tells me to shed all that other stuff just for the time being, and zero in on ONE, and have fun.

So here's to fun.



3 thoughts on “In defense of middle children everywhere

  1. Oh, Leah! I love this post–the pictures, your mother’s heart that shines through. It is so true that you have to take time to focus on the kid(s) who do not demand your time. Your children are blessed to have a mother like you. 🙂


  2. Thanks for the comment on my blog. I too spend too much time blogging and reading blogs, but it seems like yours is worth reading.
    I was just thinking about one of my middle children today, in a house full of girls. It sure isn’t easy. But you are right. Sometimes it is worth it to put everything down and focus on the one. Not easy…but worth it.
    p.s. You have a book group right, because I know a group… 🙂


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