Thursday, March 5, 2015

The Stand Off

I am a middle child. states: 
As the oldest child is special to the parents for being the 1st, and the 3rd child is special for being the baby of the family, the middle child is never the favorite child.

I am a middle child and embrace the position that defined me a few times throughout my tween years.  There are things that you can change in life but this is one is static so I dealt with it an moved on.  My older sister was wise and mature, never made a bad decision and was very proud of following the rules.  My younger sister commands the attention of a room, charismatic, friendly, and unashamed of anything.  I am the middle the silent, stealthy of the group. I learned to be patient and quiet in moments of celebration, sorrow, and panic.  I loved and challenged the boundaries of my birth position and always thought that I would have 4 children so the "middle" wouldn't be so lonely. 

Things you plan don't always turn out to be the best realities and I find myself raising the exact sibling situation I come from. 3 girls, 9, 6, 4 and 1/2...almost the exact separation my sisters and I have endured.  So it is reasonable that I can predict with the utmost certainty when conflict will arise with my children.  

Today was no different.  6:15AM everyone is up, eating, lunches are made, coats are laid out in front of backpacks we are on a roll.  Grace (the oldest) helps me get the dogs food and cereal for the bunch so I give her a bit of smoothy (oldest gets special attention) Lillian bumps her knee getting her shoes on...I give her the last monster high band aid storm is brewing. 

I pack all the bags into the car "T-minus 2 minutes, great job guys we could be early today." As the last word is yelled over my shoulder through the open front door I feel eyes on me.  I turn from the car, shut the passanger door, and Makenzie (my middle) She is outfitted for the day, backpack is on, but she is standing on the sidewalk in 15 degree weather not moving a muscle.  I turn and ask "Why don't you get in the car? I'll be out in a second!"  She smiles and says, "I'm gonna wait till Lilly gets in. She got the band aid, I get the good seat. " 

I should have seen it coming from a mile away, but the hustle and bustle blinded me to her place.  I paid not attention until she commanded it, and I paid the price.  20 minutes of reasoning with 2 very cold and stubborn girls.  Trying to convince them that the purposefully identical booster seats are equally comfortable was a futile task for me, but the middle got to shine for a moment. Hopefully next time I can shine the spotlight instead of forcing Makenzie to commandeer  it herself. 


  1. I had to read more with this title and also raise 3 girls so stand offs happen here too and I wish I could share they go away but they still surface once in a while.

  2. I grew up in a family of 4 (as the baby), and now I have 3 girls. It was helpful to read about your thoughts on being the middle child of three from the child and parent perspectives. I often think it is my oldest who I need to be more intentional about giving her enough attention - she is my quiet one and also the most independent because of her age. Regardless, it is tricky making sure that I feel like I am giving each enough attention.

  3. It is a balancing act. You did a great job setting the scene and helping your reader understand the emotional roller coaster in play.