Tuesday, December 24, 2013

"The Night Before Christmas" Middle Child Makeover

          As Middle Children of all ages brace themselves for perceived Christmas party snubs and prepare to feel like their siblings are getting better (and more) gifts, it's time to tell the tale of what really happened on Christmas Eve. This is definitely not your father's Christmas classic -- unless he also has Middle Child Syndrome!

The Middle Child's Night Before Christmas

'Twas the night before Christmas in some other house
the first born and last born were quiet as a mouse.
The one creature stirring, I probably should mention,
was the Middle Child constantly seeking attention.
The stockings were hung by the chimney with care,
still the Middle Child complained, “Theirs are bigger, no fair!”
While the oldest and youngest were snug in their bed,
visions of hand-me-downs danced in his head.
And mamma in her ‘kerchief, and I in my cap,
were so sick and tired of his Middle Child crap.

When out on the lawn there arose such a clatter,
now what was he up to, now what was the matter?
My wondering eyes through the window could see,
a person I’ve seen many times on TV.
She whined and she moaned, did this blonde haired young lady,
I knew in a moment it must be Jan Brady!
“Marcia, Marcia, Marcia,” I heard her exclaim,
“She gets all the glory, I get all the blame.
If just for one day I could feel like the favorite,
I’d relish the moment, and always would savor it.”

Monday, December 23, 2013

MIDDLE CHILD SYNDROME ADVISORY ALERT!!

WARNING: The International Middle Child Union (I.M.C.U.) has raised 
the MCS Advisory to CODE RED in anticipation of Christmas.

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Giving Gifts to a Middle Child: 5 Helpful Holiday Tips

     As with pretty much everything else involving a Middle Child, buying presents for us can be very tricky. To help make the holidays happier (and to avoid making matters even worse for us), I’m posting these handy Middle Child gift giving guidelines. Pass this information on to parents, friends and siblings, and let them know if they choose not to follow these tips, they do so at their own risk. They can't say they haven't been warned!
    Of course, even if they follow these suggestions to the letter, we'll still think they did something wrong, but we'll deal with that in next year's tips.
WARNING: Do NOT try this at home!

1)   Whatever you spend on the other siblings, make sure you spend the exact same amount on your Middle Child. Not a penny less. Whoever said, “It’ s the thought that counts,” definitely wasn’t a Middle Child.
2)   The only time you can disregard Tip #1 is if you plan on spending more on your Middle Child than on their siblings. This is perfectly justifiable. It’s the least you can do to make up for years of neglect.
3)   Always buy the same number of gifts for each sibling. Even if you spend more on your Middle Child for fewer gifts, it doesn’t matter. Trust me. (Of course, as in Tip #2, it’s always okay to spend more for more gifts for your Middle Child.)
4)   Do not buy your Middle Child and any other sibling the same gift. Even if it’s something your Middle Child really wants. That will just ruin it.
5)   Never justify a gift by saying, “Your brother/sister has one just like it!” Just don’t do it. Do I really have to explain why?

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Thanksgiving is NOT the "Middle Child of Holidays!"

          I can always tell when Thanksgiving is approaching because people are dusting off their “Thanksgiving is the Middle Child of holidays” and “Thanksgiving suffers from severe Middle Child Syndrome” tweets. When I saw these messages popping up last year, I wrote a post about it that contained links to several articles detailing why the authors believed Thanksgiving is overlooked, forgotten, and overshadowed by Halloween before it and Christmas after it. I didn’t think much about it at the time, but I’ve given it much thought over the past year and have come to the conclusion that these people are  friggin’ nuts!  While these Thanksgiving thoughts certainly aren’t the first Middle Child metaphors I’ve ever heard, they might be the most egregious. (For a list of more, read “The Metaphorical Middle Child.”)
          Forgotten?  Overlooked? Are you kidding me!? People love Thanksgiving.  Some people look forward to their Thanksgiving dinner the entire year.  I mean, what’s not to love about Thanksgiving? There’s food, football, and lots of pie. In fact, I would argue that Thanksgiving is more than loved – it’s BEloved. (Ask a Middle Child how loved they feel.  Go ahead, I dare you. I’d be happy if I felt liked!)

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Are Middle Children an Endangered Species?

Birds of a Feather: It looks like
Middle Children are going the
way of the Dodo.
          As if Middle Children weren’t already getting their unfair share of the short end of the stick, I heard something a few weeks ago that I found truly disturbing. I was talking with a radio host about D.C. dysfunction and the newly formed Middle Child Party, and after I was off-air I continued listening to the station and heard the host say something like, “Well, if family size keeps shrinking, soon there won’t be any Middle Children.” He was so flip about it. I think he even laughed a little when he said it – like it was no big deal. I mean, really – people get all up in arms when some obscure insect is in danger of extinction, but the possible end of Middle Children, well, that’s pretty funny, huh? Naturally, I was horrified, so I had to look into it. Much to my dismay, it turns out he was right. Households are definitely getting smaller. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the average size of the American household has diminished by one person from 3.67 in 1948 to 2.55 in 2012. Okay, so families are getting smaller. Maybe that has less to do with fewer children and more to do with higher rates of divorce? I mean, that would certainly account for the loss of one whole person per family. Maybe it’s not all gloom and doom for Middle Children after all. Not so fast.

Monday, October 7, 2013

Why Politicians Need to Think Like a Middle Child

     Like most people, I’ve been growing more and more frustrated about Congress’ inability to seemingly get anything done. And that was before they shut down the government. Over the last few days, I’ve been trying to figure out some way they could work this all out, and that’s when it hit me. Politicians have to stop behaving like stubborn firstborns, spoiled lastborns, and selfish only children and take a page out of the Middle Child playbook. I mean, if anyone knows about not getting everything you want, it’s a Middle Child. Experts agree that since most Middle Children feel our older and younger siblings get special treatment, we learn early on how to negotiate for what we want. They also say that we’re agreeable, diplomatic, compromising, handle disappointment well, and have realistic expectations. Sounds like damn good qualities for a politician, if you ask me. That’s why today I am officially announcing the formation of the Middle Child Party. Our goal is simple: to tell Washington that it’s time to stop behaving like politicians, and start acting like Middle Children!

Saturday, September 28, 2013

A Smack Dab Sports Report: The Middle Men of the NFL


I'll probably get sued
for using this.
     Almost everyone is familiar with the exploits of the NFL’s most famous Middle Child, Peyton Manning. In fact, in the NFL it’s the quarterback that usually gets all the attention: Brady, Luck, Rodgers, Brees, the “other” Manning. Even not-so-great QB’s get to bask in the limelight. (Did someone say Tim Tebow?) But often lost in the shuffle is, what some believe, the 2nd most important position on the team. The NFL’s true Middle Men. No, not the center -- even though you could make the argument that they are literally at the center of it all as they touch the ball more than anyone during a game. With direct snaps and what not, they could theoretically touch the ball more than even the oh so precious quarterback! Even more central to the game than the center is the Inside Linebacker. A.K.A the Mike, the Mac --the Middle Linebacker. Or as I prefer to call them, the Middle Child of the defense. None of the glitz and glamor of a shutdown corner, or the glory of a blitz-happy outside linebacker. Yet in true Middle Child fashion, always demanding attention. They are the quarterbacks of the defense, shouting out adjustments, calling the scheme and aligning players.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Sandwiched Siblings: A Study in Middleocrity


If you're a Middle Child, welcome to
the club -- sandwich, that is.

         I’ll be the first to admit it -- I used to be a birth order bigot. I was so parochial in my definition of what was required before you could be called a Middle Child, I even went so far as to say in a previous post that Malcom wasn’t really in the Middle! Crazy, right? But there’s a simple explanation. I was a product of my upbringing. My views were shaped by my personal experience. Being the Middle Child in a family of three, I viewed Middle Child-dom through the most myopic of lenses. In my mind, only the very middle of an odd number of siblings was a true Middle Child. All others laying claim to the title were not worthy.  Pretenders to the throne. Since Malcom was the third of four brothers for the first five seasons, he did not meet the stringent criteria required to be considered a Middle Child in my eyes.
          Clearly, I was so blinded by the effects of severe Middle Child Syndrome, I could not see the flaws in my thinking. Does the third of four feel any less neglected than the second of four? What of the Middle of three who ten years later had another sibling? Surely she had been damaged enough in those ten years that she deserves to retain her Middle Child bona fides. Fortunately, over time I have come to see the light. As with all matters of great social import, my thinking has evolved.
          If there was any doubt that I have already given way too much thought to the topic, this will convince you. I recently analyzed the varying degrees of Middle Childness across the Middle Child Spectrum, categorized them, and then gave each group a name. I have even made a chart. (Yeah, I’ve definitely given this way too much thought.)

Monday, August 19, 2013

#MidKidStrike: The Day in Review

     I never thought I'd say this, but Middle Child’s Day was a pretty good day! With all of the attention from my efforts to raise awareness for the day, I almost felt like a first-born. Here’s a quick breakdown of some highlights. (For a complete list of all the Middle Child’s Day coverage, see "International Middle Child Union in the News" on the sidebar. If you know of any others, please let me know.)
LISTEN to
interview.
WATCH the show.
An article in the Ft. Lauderdale Sun Sentinel was sourced by MSN and shared on Facebook and MSN almost 400,000 times. Who knows how many more people actually saw it? And that was just that one post! I spent most of the day talking to newspapers, radio stations, and TV stations from Pensacola to Portland, Spokane to Springfield  -- and beyond – about our efforts, and also provided a view of life through the distorted lens of a Middle Child. On line, Vanity Fair wrote about the #MidKidStrike, as did iVillage, Jezebel and many other sites and blogs. Apparently, the news also crossed the border, with coverage from Toronto all the way to Victoria, British Colombia. They were even talking about it in Australia and Ghana! But you really know you’re making news when you get a shout out from Al Roker on the Today show! So, even though actual participation in the #MidKidStrike might have been below expectations, media coverage far exceeded them.  But clearly, our work is not over.
LISTEN to interview.
READ the article.
          For example, many didn't find out Middle Child's Day was on Monday, until Tuesday. Others thought Middle Child's Day actually was on Tuesday. And you can be sure there were many more who still have no idea when it is or that it even exists. So the crusade continues, because the struggle for Middle Child rights is about more than just one day. That’s why here at the world headquarters of the I.M.C.U (my kitchen) we are totally committed to the cause -- 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, except when I have other stuff to do. Remember, it’s easy to ignore one Middle Child, but if we all band together, we can get the attention we so desperately desire. Hellooo!?  I said it’s easy to ignore… oh, never mind.
LISTEN to report.
LISTEN to interview
          Follow me on Twitter @MidKidMusings, on Facebook and here at the blog for updates and all the latest on anything and everything Middle Child-ish.


Thursday, August 8, 2013

Who needs Hallmark? The MidMark Middle Child's Day greeting cards are here!

     Don't you just hate fighting those crowds at the store to get your Middle Child's Day greeting cards? Oh, that's right - there aren't any Middle Child's Day greeting cards. Well, now there are. Presenting the 2013 Middle Child's Day greeting cards from MidMark. Each card captures the joy of being a Middle Child and reminds us all of the special place they hold in the family. Boy, will it remind them. Of course, there's a belated Middle Child's Day Card -- because maybe, just maybe, someone might forget. And fittingly, there's even a hand-me-down greeting card. You can copy and e-mail them, or better yet -- just send the link to this page and they can have them all!. What better way to tell the Middle Children in your life that you're thinking of them -- a little.




Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Change Your Profile to Help Give Middle Child's Day a Higher Profile.


     This coming Monday, August 12, is Middle Child's Day. What's that? You didn't know August 12 was Middle Child's Day? You didn't even know there was a Middle Child's Day?? Of course you didn't, and that's the point. It's like we were given a holiday just so everyone could ignore it! Typical Middle Child treatment. It's truly the forgotten Middle Child of holidays, but we can change all that.  On August 12th, (that's Middle Child's Day -- did you forget already?) change your Facebook profile pic for the day to a Middle Child you know and love. Or can't stand. It doesn't matter. It can be someone famous, like Bill Gates or Abraham Lincoln. Or maybe a little infamous, like Britney or Joaquin Phoenix. Or maybe someone who wasn't really a Middle Child at all, but just played a Middle Child on TV, like Malcom or Lady Edith. And of course, Jan Brady. They don't even have to be a real human, like Chris Griffin. In fact, They don't have to be a human at all, like the Chipmunk's Simon Seville. Your choice. It's just a simple way of telling the Middle Children in your life, "Okay, I will acknowledge you exist for just one day."



Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Poetic Injustice: The Poem That Changed My Life

       I can’t tell you when it was I came to the realization that I was a Middle Child, but I can tell you exactly where it was: right in the kitchen of the house I grew up in. That is where my mother taped this poem to a wall. It stayed taped there for over 30 years. They don’t make Scotch Tape like that anymore. I always found it ironic, because I’m pretty sure my mother stuck it there to make me feel better about being a Middle Child, but until I saw that poem, I never really even thought of myself as one, or that it was something I might feel badly about. I certainly didn’t think there was anything poem-worthy about it. So why all the fuss? Why the poem? What was it about being a Middle Child that made us so "special" we even came with our own syndrome?
      There weren’t any “First Born Son” or “Baby Girl” poems taped to the wall, and that was weird. There was no doubt my brother was my father’s favorite child. My sister, “Daddy’s  Girl,” was a close second. I had a lock on the Bronze medal, a distant third -- but it wasn’t so clear cut with my mother. While it was obvious my sister was her favorite, I thought maybe, just maybe, I might have an outside chance of eking out a second place finish with her.

Thursday, June 6, 2013

The Birth Denouncement

I have an old trunk that I keep in my study. It’s the trunk I used every summer when I went to sleep away camp. Just looking at the outside brings back all kinds of memories. Inside, it’s filled with all sorts of things from my childhood. Old photos. Ticket stubs to concerts. MAD magazines. I don’t throw much away, so pretty much anything related to my youth can be found inside that trunk. I thought I had recalled every memory that old trunk held, but one day I came across the most incredible thing. I found the reason why I am the way I am today. There it was, next to my hospital birth wristband and a plastic bag with a clipping of hair from my first haircut. It was not a written report from the elementary school psychologist. It was not a vile of my DNA. I found my birth announcement:
     Second billing, on my own birth announcement!?! REALLY!?!

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Couldn't Have Said It Better Myself








 Sometimes, a picture is worth WAY more than thousand words! This one, captioned "The Moment He Realized He Was A Middle Child," has been posted on Reddit, the Huffington Post, and a million other places -- but it deserves a permanent home here. Poor kid, he has no idea what he's in for. Then again, maybe he does...

Friday, April 26, 2013

The Best of "MidKid Wisdom"

     If you follow me on Twitter (@MidKidMusings), you might have seen #MidKidWisdom Tweets from time to time. It's a collection of well known adages, proverbs, axioms, maxims, and other assorted pearls of wisdom, but with a uniquely warped Middle Child twist. If you follow me but haven't seen them, well -- you know what they say. (I actually don't know what they say. I was hoping you did!) Of course, if you don't follow me on Twitter, that's a whole other can of Middle Child worms -- but here's a chance to redeem yourself. And please, feel free to add to the list. Comment below, or email me at
midkidmusings@gmail.com

MidKid Wisdom
- “Hell hath no fury like a Middle Child scorned.”
- "Some are born great, some achieve greatness, and others are Middle Children."
- "No man is an island unto himself -- unless he's a Middle Child."
- "The grass is always browner on the Middle Child's side of the fence."
- “If at first you don’t succeed, blame the Middle Child.”
- “Middle Children can’t be choosers.”
- “I gripe, therefore I am.”
- “Some see the glass half empty. Others see the glass half full. The Middle Child knows his siblings both had full glasses, and he got what was left over.”
- “Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, still shame on you!”

Monday, April 8, 2013

The International Society of Middle Children is now the International Middle Child Union!

We've got a logo! That makes us almost legitimate.
     That's right, we've unionized! (At least we're calling ourselves a union. According to WikiHow, there's a lot of work involved in forming a real union, and quite frankly, who can be bothered? I have more important things to do with my time, like make logos and membership cards for self-created, un-certified unions.) Anyway, what's a union, real or otherwise, without a logo? Or an acronym, for that matter. Well, we've got one of them too!
     The International Middle Child Union, or I.M.C.U, is open for membership to Middle Children of all ages. After all, you never stop being a Middle Child -- even when you're no longer a child. It's the gift that keeps on giving! We also welcome  anyone who's sympathetic to the cause, because sometimes being a Middle Child is more than just a matter of birth order -- it's a state of mind.
     Joining the union is easy, but even more important, it's FREE. You can show your support by doing any of the following:
          - "Like" us on Facebook
          -  Follow us on Twitter
          -  Subscribe to or follow this blog
      If you're a real screwed up Middle Child, you can even do all three! And while you're here, make sure to find out about our upcoming Middle Child Strike. Hey, we're a union -- aren't we supposed to have a strike? Scroll down 7 posts for details, or use the handy Blog Archive. Once you've joined, remember to cut out the membership card below. (No cheating, you have to join first!) It will prove you're a card carrying Middle Child. As if you needed any more proof.


Sunday, April 7, 2013

Just what the Doctor ordered!

The cure for Middle Child Syndrome...
*Side effects may include jealousy, mood swings and sore sportsmanship.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

What EXACTLY Does Being a Middle Child Suck? (Parental Guidance Suggested)

     In the early days of this blog, I had posted an analysis of the most often Tweeted Tweets from Middle Child Twitterers. Tweeters? Tweeple? (See "It's a Love (but mostly) Hate Thing.") While “I hate being a Middle Child” is a frequency frontrunner, “Being a Middle Child sucks” was far and away the winner. We had just met back then so I didn’t think I should elaborate -- I was trying to make a good impression -- but now that we know each other so much better, I feel more comfortable sharing all the gory details...

Monday, April 1, 2013

Middle Child Challenge: Questions 1 - 8

The Singing Seville Brothers
The "Other" Chipmunks
Think it's easy to spot a Middle Child? Take the "Middle Child Challenge" and see how good you are!
     Few performing chipmunks have achieved the worldwide popularity of Alvin & the Chipmunks. They are the most famous chipmunk brothers of all time, with the possible exception of Chip and Dale. The adopted rodent children of father/agent Dave Seville, this triple-threat trio starred in multiple TV shows, recorded chart topping musical hits, and even appeared in a trilogy of movies. While this isn’t the first time a famous animated Middle Child has been featured on this blog, (“The Simpson’s” Lisa Simpson and Chris Griffin of “Family Guy” fame were both subjects of a previous post. See “TV’s Greatest Middle Children”), this is the first (and only) animated animal Middle Child, and definitely the only animated rodent Middle Child. Do you know which of the three singing Seville brothers is the Middle Chipmunk?
Continue the challenge!!

Friday, March 22, 2013

Hand-Me-Down Titles: Part 1

If these books weren't already written, they sure would make great titles for a Middle Child memoir...
(Any other titles? Suggestions welcome!)





Monday, February 25, 2013

Oscar's Middle Children: A Post-show Review

Another kick in the balls
for Middle Child actors.
     In case you missed our exclusive LIVE Middle Child coverage of the 85th Academy Awards on Twitter (@MidKidMusings), here’s a summary. (By the way, it’s really hard finding out who’s a Middle Child, so I only looked at the major acting awards. And I only looked back 20 years, because this was fun at first, but then it just got annoying! Oh, and another thing. I’m pretty sure this information is correct, but I wouldn’t bet the house on it.)
No Oscar for you!!
     In the acting categories, only four of this year’s nominees were Middle Children. In the “Best Middle Child Actor in a Leading Role” category, Joaquin Phoenix was nominated for his performance in “The Master,” and Denzel Washington for “Flight.” Of course, neither of them stood a chance, but Daniel Day-Lewis won for his portrayal of Lincoln who was a Middle Child, so that’s kind of a moral victory. In the last 20 years, the award for Best Actor has gone to a Middle Child just three times. The last one to get the nod was Sean Penn, and he got two nods: in 2008 for “Milk,” and in 2003 for “Mystic River.” Prior to that, Denzel Washington won top MidKid acting honors in 2001 for “Training Day.”

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

The Metaphorical Middle Child

     As the self-appointed “Mouthpiece for the Middle Child,” it's my sworn duty to compile as much information as possible regarding our plight and offer my completely biased insights and totally skewed observations. In keeping with my vigilant reportage of all things Middle Child, I've noticed there are a lot of Middle Child metaphors floating around out there in the Twitterverse lately. (A lot of Middle Child similes too, if you want to be literal about it.) Here’s a representative sampling.
Twist us open and remove our innards.
Being A Middle Child Bites: Some of the implied comparisons I’ve come across pertain to food. The Middle Child has been compared to “the creamy middle of an Oreo cookie.” Do you know what that white stuff is made of? It’s mostly artificial ingredients and chemically enhanced fat. Is this supposed to be a good thing? It is tasty though, so I’ll take it as a compliment. But we’ve also been likened to pâté. Well, actually chopped liver, which is definitely not a good thing no matter what you think about chopped liver.
"What are we, Chopped Liver!?"

Every Day Is Middle Child's Day: There seems to be some disagreement over which day of the week is most Middle Child-like. Some maintain, “Wednesday is the Middle Child of the week,” which kind of makes a lot of sense since it really is smack dab in the middle of the week. Still, others argue “Tuesday is the misguided Middle Child of the week.” Someone even suggested “Saturday’s like the Middle Child,” which makes no sense at all since it’s nowhere near the middle of the week. It is, in fact, on the weekend. Even “special” days have been thrown into the mix. Thanksgiving, Halloween and Easter have each been mentioned as “the Middle Child of holidays.” Here’s the problem with those comparisons: there already is a “Middle Child of holidays.” It’s called Middle Child’s Day! Of course, nobody even knows it exists.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

MidMark Greeting Cards: When You Care Enough, But Not Too Much.

     It's Valentine's Day. Another chance for Middle Children to take getting their feelings hurt to a whole new level! In that spirit, we present these Middle Child Valentine's Day Cards -- especially created for that not-so-special someone in your life. Oh, and in case everyone else forgets, Happy Valentine's Day, Middle Child!



Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Stamp Out Middle Child Neglect!

Save Our Saturday... delivery!
     The United States Postal Service’s planned cancellation of Saturday mail delivery is a direct attack on Middle Children. Well, at least on me. You might wonder how cancelling Saturday delivery could have anything to do with being a Middle Child. Let me explain...   
     Like many Middle Children, when I was growing up I had an insatiable need for attention. (I say that like I don’t anymore.) I did/do whatever it took/takes to get it, and receiving mail was one of the least disruptive ways I could think of. All I had to do was send a letter to someone and they would send one back to me. MAIL = ATTENTION.  So I wrote a lot of letters. I even had a pen-pal. Every week I was assured of receiving mail. When I got home from school, I couldn’t wait to check the mailbox. To this day, I still can’t wait. Even though most mail is now junk, if it’s addressed to me it counts. I admit I have developed an unhealthy postal dependency, but I can’t get this mailbag off my back. Nor do I want to! Middle Children need all the attention we can get. Of course, times have changed, so now in addition to mail, I also eagerly await e-mail, texts, Twitter followers, Facebook “likes” and blog subscribers (hint, hint.) But old habits die hard, so I will always have a special place in my heart for receiving good old fashioned snail mail. It was hard enough making it through Sundays without it, but now Saturdays, too!? It’s almost too much for a mail-addicted Middle Child to bear!  But I do have a way the Postal Service can make this up to me – I mean us.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Is the MIDDLE ever a good thing?

The WORST finger!
     I had mentioned in a previous post that being called a Middle Child has become an insult. When someone says, “You’re acting like a Middle Child” it’s usually not because they think your behavior is exemplary. “You’re acting like a child” means one thing, but stick MIDDLE in front and it’s something even worse. But did you ever take a moment to consider ALL of the other bad things associated with the word MIDDLE? Of course you didn’t. That’s why I’m here! Allow me…
     We learn at a young age how much the MIDDLE sucks. Little kids play “Monkey in the MIDDLE,” not “Lucky Person in the MIDDLE.” And who wants to be called “MIDDLE of the road?” It’s certainly not the greatest thing to be. It’s also the place where you find dead squirrels and other road kill.