middle children are okay!

hi, my name is anne and i’m a middle child.

growing up, i was the second of 3 girls.  my older sister is 2.33 years my senior, and my younger sister is 2.97 years my junior.  there is a fourth sister, but she was born when i was 13 so she’s basically a whole ‘nother generation.

3sisters
[my shirt is backwards here.  probably because i was a neglected middle child.]

recently, i’ve had multiple people with children ask my opinion on the welfare of their youngest if they have another kid.  one posed the question with concern by asking, “how do you think our second will fare, you know, if we have…a third?  will they be okay?”  another posed the question almost with contempt: “well we have the two, and we WANT more, but we don’t want the second one to suffer, you know, as a middle child.”

can i just say something here?  being a middle child is AWESOME.

unless you are an extrovert and/or like attention.

as far as i’m concerned, my childhood was a freaking blast.  i was always flanked by my sisters.  i was the 2nd of 3 but i always felt special and unique.  i got to try every sport i had a hankering for.  i got to quit every sport i had a hankering for after 1 year when i got bored with it.  i liked team sports the best because i wasn’t solely responsible if we lost.  once i got good enough at tennis to move from doubles to singles, i quit, because i didn’t like the attention.

3sisters4
[totally content being the mickey to my older sister’s minnie.]

i had my own birthday parties, i had my own identity, and it was the best.  no regrets, yolo, and all the jazz.

now i also must disclose that i was a painfully shy child and did not like attention.  one time, at the mall of america, i made my younger sister return something for me because i was too embarrassed to talk to the salesperson.  i didn’t like attention in the first place, so not being the center of it did not pain me one bit.

and as an adult, there is no pressure to show up to things because i’m the only child or one of two or something.  i never felt like i was compared to or competing with either of my sisters.  i like being part of a crowd and being able to slip in and out, taking a backseat and watching from afar.  i am comfortable with this.

[which is why it is EXTRA weird when hubs and i are the only “kids” at his parents’ house at christmas.  it’s like someone holding you down and tickling you and watching to see if you pee your pants.]

3sisters5
[just because they didn’t let me sit in the chair with my sisters doesn’t mean i wasn’t loved equally, probably!]

here are some fun facts about middle child syndrome that i found on the interwebz, and would like to dispel:

“Middle children often feel left out and invisible” – just the way i like it!

“Middle children tend to be more outgoing and flexible than their older and younger siblings.” – not even a little bit true in my case!

“Middle children tend to be ‘rebels,’ more so than their other siblings.” – nope, i am a giant chicken!

“Middle children are characterized by low self-esteem and extreme introversion, sometimes even leading to psychotic behavior.” – no…wait, am i a psychopath?  tbd.

“Middle children are also usually considered outcasts in their families.” – alright, let’s relax, everyone!

3sisters2
[if i close my eyes will i disappear completely? i wondered at the tender age of 4.]

now, are there times when i wished i was maybe a little more at the forefront of my parents’ thoughts?  maybe.  has one my parents’ forgotten the “e” on the end of “anne” on more than one occasion?  perhaps!  are there downsides to being a middle child?  probably.

but current and future parents, you need to calm down.  love your kids all the same and they will turn out fine.  and if they complain about being a middle child someday, tell them to calm down, too.

3sisters3[see? WE ARE AWESOME!  everybody calm down.]

Getting Pulled Over By A Cop On Foot

When I was 17 years old, I was lucky enough to have my own car, or rather, “The car temporarily assigned to you” (thanks Dad).  While big pimpin’ around my hometown in my ’97 Nissan Altima, I was often tasked with carting around my two younger sisters, which was fine with me as long as I got to feel the wind in my hair and listen to Mandy Moore as loud as I wanted (don’t judge me).  One afternoon, Sara, who was 14 at the time, and I picked up Stacey, who was 4 at the time, from preschool.  Then things got tricky.

While approaching an elementary school that had not yet let out its students for the day, I saw the crossing guard frantically waving his arms at me and motioning for me to pull over.  Not being one to challenge authority, I pulled off to the side of the road in front of the school, because crossing guard = cop = prison, which is what I was thinking at the time.

The guy walks up to my window, and we have this exchange:

“Miss, how fast were you going just now?”
“Um, the speed limit, I guess…”
“Well it looked like you were speeding, and this is a school!”
“I’m sorry sir, I-”
“Who is that sitting in the back seat?”
“My sister.”
“How would you feel if your sister back there was crossing the street after school and some IDIOT like you came speeding along and HIT her?”
“I’m sorry, I-”
“I don’t care if you’re sorry, how would you feel?!”
“I would feel very bad, sir!”
“Oooh, if I had a radar gun, I would write you a ticket so fast-”

Which is when the incredible happened.  Stacey, 4 years old, from the backseat of the car, upon hearing the word “gun”, starts yelling in her little chipmunk voice:

“I’M JUST A KID!  PLEASE DON’T SHOOT ME, OFFICER!  I’M JUST A KID!!!”

The crossing guard was so flustered after making a 4 year old think that she was about to get shot that he reluctantly waved us back onto the road without another word.

The three of us then made a pact never to tell my mom.  But like the time that I threw a party in the basement while my mom was asleep two floors above us, or the time that I let someone drive my car and they backed into a cement wall, or the time that I hid bottlecaps in my bathroom drawer and claimed they were to make “bottlecap art”, everything comes out eventually.

Quit Typing 2011 Already

Apologies for the December sabbatical that I took from the blog.  I think I needed a break from life over the holidays.  Any grand plans I had to be productive were abandoned for some good old fashioned me time.  Here’s what I did over the past few weeks:

Read
The Hunger Games: all 3 books in the trilogy (The Hunger Games, Catching Fire, Mockingjay) in about 7 days, only interrupted by Christmas day itself.  I was obsessed.  The movie looks killer and much better than Twilight, probably.

Then I started Mindy Kaling’s book, Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me?  And Other Concerns.  My Dad gifted it to me for Christmas with a “is this book about insecurities and lack of self-confidence, or…?”

Watched
A shit ton of movies, for me: Winter’s Bone, Pretty Woman, The Kids Are All Right, Heathers
{Fun fact: I convinced hubs to watch Pretty Woman by telling him that there was a surprise twist ending.  Spoiler alert: there wasn’t.}

Rode
In the car for lots of hours between my in-law’s house and my own.  It was Buster’s first road trip, and he did pretty well, aside from the nose prints and the couple of times that he insisted on riding up front with me.

Ran
Hubs and I began a Couch-to-5k running plan that we are constantly trying to catch up with (completed workouts on the “Meh-xercise” page).  I timed it perfectly to coincide with a Valentine’s Day themed 5k in February, and then we almost immediately fell behind for various reasons.  But we’re committed to doing all of the workouts before race day.  And by race, I mean waddle.

Familied
Most importantly, I spent time with my entire family, and loved every second of it.  Especially the moment when I realized that the confetti I had intended my nephew to dig through to find his Christmas presents would become airborne as soon as he opened the box.  My bad.

I hope you also had a restful and me-time-filled holiday break of some sort.  Now back to our regularly scheduled job-hating, sleep-depriving, stress-causing lives.