Happy Middle Child Day!
What, you weren’t aware?
Typical, a middle child might say.
I happen to have a middle child laying around the house (hey, it’s summer, and we just got cable), so I coaxed her into an interview for today. (Middle children are said to lack the attention the oldest and youngest sibling take for granted. I think our middle kid gets every bit of lovin’ her sisters do.)
What’s it like to be the girl in the middle, Marie?
Dad: All right, Marie. So, what’s it like to be the middle sister? Do you think it’s a good thing?
Marie: In some ways. You get to know what it’s like to be a big sister and a little sister.
Dad: What’s a good thing about being a big sister? What do you help Grace with?
Marie: Pretty much everything. I help her clean up, I help her get ready.
Dad: When you were littler, did Elise do that for you?
Dad: Is that how you learned to do each other’s hair? You know, girl stuff. Isn’t that how you learn from each other?
Marie: She didn’t teach me. She just did it.
Dad: Do you think sometimes it’s not fair to be the middle sister?
Marie: Yeah. Like, when you’re fighting over something. Parents say, ‘well, she’s older,’ or, ‘well, she’s younger.’
Dad: So what do you think about the other people who were middle children, like Martin Luther King Jr. and Pippa Middleton. Do you know who Pippa Middleton is?
Dad: Do you know who Kate Middleton is?
Dad: She married Prince William and had a baby.
Marie: Oh, yeah.
Dad: She’s a middle child. She’s cute and I like her a lot, but I don’t know what she really does, so maybe she’s not a good one to mention for you to emulate, right? But you could be like Abraham Lincoln.
Marie: I’d get shot.
Dad: Eee. That’s a good point. You don’t have to do that part of it. You can skip over that. I think middle kids should have a club. You could have T-shirts.
Marie: I like T-shirts.
Dad: Have you ever heard of the show Malcolm in the Middle?
Dad: That’s a show based on a middle kid. I don’t think we’ve watched it. It’s probably TV-13.
Marie: There’s no such thing as TV-13. There’s TV-14, or PG-13.
Dad: We should watch it. You can see what it’s like to be a boy in the middle.
Elise, interrupting: Dad, what kind of system do we use?
Dad: I’m going to use the 3-3-1 – three defenders, three midfielders, one striker.
Elise: I’m talking about math – metrics and stuff!
Dad: I thought you meant a football system!
Marie, giggling: Why would she ask that? (To Elise) Why would you ask that right now?
Elise: I’m writing about the thing in my book, and they’re in America, but they’re not using our stupid system. They’re not using feet and inches, they’re using meters. What do we use?
Dad: You mean, what’s it called?
Dad: Does it have a name? What is it called? I’m going to have to look it up. I’ll look it up right after this interview. We have, like, 1 or 2 minutes.
Elise: Lucky Marie!
Dad: Maybe we’ll go 10 or 15.
Elise: But I’m answering this question now. I’ll go put my pajamas on.
Dad: OK. I’ll be up there at 9. Or 10. (To Marie) So … if you had a choice to be a middle sister or not be a middle sister, what would you do?
Marie: Hmmm. I probably would still be a middle sister.
Dad: Did you know there’s a wine called Middle Sister?
Marie: Have I tried it?
Dad: No, did you know there is such a thing? And, other great things in life come in the middle, like the white stuff in Oreos. Isn’t that the best part of the Oreo?
Marie: I don’t know if it is.
Dad: The best stuff is in the middle of a burrito.
Marie: Unless you have some butter on it.
Dad: Then the tortilla’s the middle. Sort of. The butter’s on the outside, the beans are in the inside, so the tortilla AND the butter become the middle. I can deal with that, can’t you?
Marie: Middle sisters are just different from the other sisters.
Dad: Really? How?
Marie: They just are. But I don’t know why.
Dad: Maybe it’s like a pattern. Remember when you studied patterns in school? You know the square-circle-square?
Marie: Have you seen the picture on the refrigerator, from soccer? Grace and Elise look exactly the same.
Dad: True. She’s a mini-me for Elise. And then there’s Marie in the middle.
Marie: And they’re even matching.
Dad: I know, they have the same color uniforms!
Marie: Look at their faces!
Dad: Yeah, yours isn’t shaped the same.
Marie: And their eyes are the same. And their smiles.
Dad: I wonder if there had been a fourth sister, she would look like you then. Or, if it’s a pattern, she’d look like Elise, and the next one would look like you. The pattern is A-B-A, so the fourth one would look like her again. It’s kind of cool to be the middle sister then.
Marie: In some ways.
Dad: Bill Gates was a middle kid. And he’s a billionaire. Could you handle that?
Marie: I could help out Elise in her crap hole. And Grace in her shoe box.
Dad: They’re pretty lucky to have a middle sister then. I read somewhere the middle sister doesn’t make as much as the big and little sister, but they ask her for money more.
Dad: I don’t know.
Marie: How do you prove something like that?
Dad: It’s on the Internet. Everything’s true on the Internet, right?
Marie: Yep. Everything.
What’s your take on the world of the middle kid?