Thing 2

I Don’t Have A Middle Child.

Yesterday was evidently “Middle Child Day” according to Facebook. I kept seeing notes and photos and tributes from friends and family regarding their own Middle Child. The first one I saw one I thought “Maybe I should say something about Nikki?” But then it hit me – You know…I have three kids…but I don’t really have a “Middle Child”.

I have known tons of Middle Children in my life and most of them will admit to demonstrating some sort of “typical” middle child tendencies. Tendencies that seem entirely logical which is why they are so common. I’ve heard the phrase, “Yeah…I’m the typical Middle Child,” several times in my life. Or maybe, “She/He’s my Textbook Middle Child.” But I just don’t think Nikki’s situation will manifest the same way. She tends to show more “Oldest Child” tendencies. Definitely shows some “Only Girl” tendencies. But I don’t know if she has ever actually behaved or been treated like a Middle Child.

I know I’ve never referred to Nikki as that – a Middle Child. She may not even be aware that it’s a thing that people talk about. And if she did – she would totally milk it – because she loves any reason to put a dramatic focus on something.

But, here’s the thing. Her brother is eleven years older than her. For awhile she was “The Baby” of the family but when Wes was born it was more like she became “The Oldest”. I mean, E has obviously been around a lot, but in terms of parental attention? He requires minimal amounts. She never got his hand-me-downs, she didn’t suffer in his shadow often because they rarely share the same type of attention. She gets way more of The Oldest treatment more than anything because it’s typically just her and Wesley living similar schedules. She gets to stay up late but gets the crappy chore list. He has to go to bed early but isn’t responsible for much.

She’s also our only girl. So, she gets a lot of focus for that. Middle children tend to feel like they don’t get the attention of the oldest (which she actually does get because she often is the oldest during a typical family day) and they don’t get the attention of being the youngest. So, if there were true with Nikki, it would be balanced by the fact that she is the only girl which gives her extra attention. And it’s another reason why she never got hand-me-downs, because the few things that made it 11 years were for boys.

Is anyone out there a non-typical Middle Child and see the same thing? Or are you one yourself? I’ve never really thought about it before yesterday so I’m curious if there’s any others out there who feel like being born 2nd in a set of 3rd doesn’t always instill Middle Child treatment if the age separations are enough. I definitely think her personality will be much more reflective of being The Oldest than being The Middle.

6 thoughts on “I Don’t Have A Middle Child.”

  1. There is a book by Kevin Leman called The Birth Order Book that talks about this. He would classify Nikki as a “functional” first born, due not only because of the large gap in ages between her and Eliah, but also because she is the first girl. So those firstborn tendencies you see make lots of sense. I was the last of 4 kids, but with a 5-yr gap between me and the next oldest sibling, I have some firstborn tendencies as well as the “gotta love me” personality of the baby of the family. It’s a fun book to read and will have you seeing all these character traits in your family and friends.

  2. So funny you posted this… I had this EXACT conversation with a friend who is having trouble with her “middle child”. She asked me how I deal with my “middle child” and I just looked at her like she was from another planet. I had never really thought about having a child in the middle since Harrison is so much older than Reid. Same situation as you.. Since H is so much older than Reid there really is no competition for my attention or feeling like a middle child… So weird… Anywho, just wanted to “second” this post and say I feel ya!!

  3. My mother likes to say something similar about me and my brother. We have a 19 year difference so both of us act like only children. Well, except when we are together because there is something engrained in our DNA to bicker as siblings do. 😉

  4. Swistle – Thistleville – Swistle lives with her husband Paul and children Robert (born 1999), William (born 2001), twins Elizabeth and Edward (born 2005), and Henry (born 2007). Email: Swistle at Gmail dot com. "Swistle" rhymes with "thistle."
    Swistle says:

    I read that same Birth Order book and came racing to mention it! He says it kind of resets after a 5-ish-year gap. We have four years between our 2nd and the twins, and yet our secondborn acts more like a youngest, and the elder twin acts like a firstborn (she’s an only girl, too).

  5. I am the 5th of 6 kids and this is a 5 year gap between me and the next oldest. I am only 21 months older than my younger sister so I felt like the oldest, youngest and middle. I was in the middle, my sister and I were “the babies” but I was the oldest out of my sister and I. I showed traits from all three!

  6. I am one of two sisters, but with six years between us my Mom has often said it was more like having two only children. It’s sort of the best of both worlds, because we are very close and definitely sisters without the same degree of competition others describe.

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