the middle child

I didn’t know whether to trust those cliches, the one’s about the troublesome middle child. Surely they were folklore? Surely they can’t apply to every family?

I’m here to tell you that Poet got the memo about the official role of the middle child and right now, she is fulfilling it incredibly well. Some would say she is excelling. That little hand that fits so well into mine has been poking and prodding Percy every time I turn my back. A few days ago she back-chatted me and told me I would be the one sitting on the step if I didn’t listen to her!

Her high-pitched giggle has a tinge of mischief about it and her little tongue has been poking out at the most inappropriate of moments. She also knows exactly how (and when) to push Che’s buttons and whilst he is quite adept at ignoring her, even his patience is wearing thin. She is bubbling with energy and sass; she goes, goes, goes all day and come 7pm she is, quite literally, out like a light.

Gosh I love her but goodness she can be hard work. She really is the spark in our family; the jumping, climbing, dancing, bouncing, singing, leaping, yelling, pulling, tugging one. She fights and loves with all her might. Her knees are grazed and her brow is bruised and her pigtails are becoming more Raggedy Anne as the days go by.

And yet her affection is at an all time high. Countless times a day she will say: “I love you SO much, Mum. More than a double rainbow and a unicorn.”

The middle child about to turn 4. Equally rambunctious and adorable.

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Showing 13 comments
  • Meeresrauschen

    I love to hear this. I have such a spark in my family as well. The words "She fights and loves with all her might." are the best description. And although our spark is the oldest of our two children, your words characterized him accurately. So I am unsure whether Poet is the way she is because of her middle role or just because it is her.
    Best greetings,
    Kathrin from Germany

  • Lisa Loechel

    Hmm, we don't have a middle child – we have a newly made eldest who has just turned four and she sounds incredibly similar! And I am told by my mum, who had three girls, that her behaviour is very normal, four year old girl behaviour. But yes – the back-chatting and deliberate desire to push buttons all of a sudden is very testing!

  • Erin

    It must be quite the adjustment for the whole family.

    Erin | Being Erin

  • Carie

    My middle girl is little miss independent, she's 2 and she knows exactly what she wants and where she's going but the button pushing and the sass and the outpouring of affection sounds very much more like my eldest – who's four – so I wonder whether some of it is just being a four year old girl!!

  • Reply

    I believe you just summed up my Finnian! He got the same memo Poet has read. I think age is a huge factor, plus personality, but there is something about being middle, it's that limbo land of being so little and yet so big all at once.

  • Saskia

    Jodi, she sounds almost identical to my middle – George! (except being a female, oh and I don't get many 'i love you's' but lots of hugs instead). Its a challenge but they are full of life and love and Im sure they will grow into beautiful adults! xo

  • Mother Down Under

    My just turned four year old is the eldest but he too is figuring out where he stands in our family and in the world. I have been getting a lot of, "You're not the boss of me!" lately.
    But equally he has been actually asking for cuddles again…I think because I so often have a baby on my lap he wants to make sure he gets a turn too!

  • Reply

    Bless her, she sounds like a live one! My 5 year old daughter can be a bit of a firecracker. It's all a big adjustment for her I guess x

  • FairieMoon

    I don't profess to be an expert, but I will tell you what I did that brought a bit of fun into the tongue sticking out sass when my daughter was that age. She kept being cheeky and sticking her tongue out at me so I told her that every time she did that I would know that she was secretly telling me she loved me. Put a whole new twist on it. Also, my son was born when my daughter was 3.5. She was an extreme pill to him. He was a delightful and content baby who never cried, but somehow every time we got in the car and my back was turned, he'd start wailing. I am pretty sure she was pinching him to make him cry. Cheeky thing. They are 18 and 15 now.

  • dear olive

    The age between around three and a half until around four and a half was an extremely challenging time for us with Olive – and my sister consoled me with a similar time frame with her daughter. We enjoyed brief but wonderful smooth sailing for about a year and all of a sudden we seem to have found ourselves back to lots of yelling and crying and boundary pushing. I find Olive SO challenging and exhausting on an emotional level. (And Clancy on a physical one. Ah!) Hang in there xxxx PS I'll send you an email soon – I've just sent a sample of Olives hair off for analysis, to see what's going on at a biochemical level, if there are any deficiencies etc.

  • Shionagh

    You know, I was the middle child and I still am. In fact, I can always tell an adult middle child, we are the risk takers, we still jump before we look too closely, we tend to get further in life than some and have we usually the most interesting careers. We are still cheeky and kind, impatient but accepting and we don't take the world too seriously. So celebrate your middle child, encourage them to be different and to push through the barriers. They are our future entrepreneurs.

  • Leigh

    she sounds so much like my eldest daughter! (who is seven now) it can be so challenging on a daily basis but the love such spirited children give is wonderful and amazing.

  • Happy Bandits

    I agree with Shionagh, I am a middle child and I have always been the risk taker, the loud and screaming one, the one that would scream louder than my dad whenever I thought he wasn't being fair with me or my sisters (my sisters would run hiding in their room haha). But also very loving and sensitive. I remember feeling unloved. Insecure. I agree on the jumping before looking too closely and learning lessons on the go. I don't know if I'm going further in life than my sisters but I surely moved some 11 000 miles aways from home and have to cross 1 continent and 2 oceans to go back to France now 🙂 good luck. Embrace her roughness!

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