Someone told me her husband wouldn’t let them have three kids “because he doesn’t want the middle child to have middle-child syndrome.”
I didn’t reply as I should have, that maybe if he was worried about that, he should parent his kids better. I did say, “In that case, you should have four kids,” but she said no, that would never do. I guess only a maniac would have four kids.
Keep in mind that when she said this to me, I was pregnant with Kiddo#3, and she left the very strong implication that we were going to ruin Kiddo#2 because she was the middle child. And somehow, being a middle child is Teh Awful.
Which is ridiculous. You can analyze birth order any way you like (and some people have) but no one ever declares that babies born in a certain family position are doomed. Well, other than my friend’s all-knowing husband.
Kiddo#2, laughing when she sees me knit with four double-pointed needles: “Is that for when you have four hands?”
Kiddo#2 is sensitive and compassionate. She has a heart deep as a river, and she’s richly intuitive. Observant, she takes in the world and processes it and reaches conclusions without stating them.
It’s hard to tell how much she absorbs because, like Mary, she “treasures all these things in her heart.” As above, she laughs a lot at the ridiculousness of the world.
Has she fallen into the peace-keeper role? Somewhat, but it’s not certain she wouldn’t have done that anyhow. She, like me, is an NF, and NFs are the diplomatic personalities. We find common ground. We sense hidden needs and meet them without always knowing how.
Falling in the middle position of the family structure would only heighten those skills in her, while taking off the pressure to perform which would have dominated had she been the oldest.
Of course, now we have Kiddo#4, so there are two middle children. And while Kiddo#3 is many things, no one will ever accuse him of being quiet, shy or retiring. (He’s another NF, but he’s more outgoing and he’s a rule-breaker rather than a rule-follower.) I haven’t seen the spectre of Middle Child Syndrome looming over him lately. If it ever does, he’ll probably tackle it and laugh and then go ride his bicycle around it.