Wikipedia remarks: Middle child syndrome is the feeling of exclusion by middle children (those with one younger and one older sibling). This effect occurs because the first child is more prone to receive privileges and responsibilities (by virtue of being the oldest), while the youngest in the family is generally considered the “baby”. The second (or middle child) no longer has their status as the baby and leaves them with no “clear role” in the family, or a feeling of being “left out”. Despite being used to explain a child’s behavior, middle child syndrome is not actually a “clinical disorder”.
Ergo, according to the ever brilliant Wikipedia, my sister was birthed receiving the accolades of being the eldest facilitating the parenting patterns established by my mother and father. Then I entered existence extoled for being the newest, novelist creature at that particular point in time. Once my brother arrived, he became the new, forever novelty (boo, hiss) as my parents never had any more children, and I became displaced.
Extrapolating this explanation, my inner “strength,” let’s call it, is a result of my birth order displacement, seemingly completely out of my control, a circumstance that happened to me and cultivated my personality. However, is it possible that the remarkable middle child mentality exhibited across families is something chosen rather than imposed? Could it be reasonable to assume that, even at incredibly young ages, middle children are exceptionally shrewd and have figured out a viable technique to bypass the traditional birth order?
As a child, I would be the one to persevere and complete the construction of the newest Lego extravaganza while my siblings moved onto other things. I was always in charge when we played restaurant, of setting up the stage when we were a pretend band, and of being the architect of our yard leaf houses. I sprouted into a young leader, preferring things my own way, seeing them through to the end.
Noticeably, I fancied the eldest role embedded with privilege and responsibility despite that it was endlessly out of my reach. Was my defiance and assertiveness secondary to my being willfully displaced or because I was a willful displacer? Is middle child syndrome a type of emotional mutiny against older siblings everywhere or did I artfully construct my middle child role as an offensive strategy to secure my status as queen of the Legos and leaf houses? Something to ponder.
Dearest blog readers, welcome to the musings of this middle child.