Interview with a Middle Kid on Middle Child Day

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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?

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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?

Marie: Yeah.

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?

Marie: No.

Dad: Do you know who Kate Middleton is?

Marie: No.

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?

Marie: Yeah.

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?

photo credit: [liga Sagres] Benfica x P.Ferreira : 2 via photopin (license)
photo credit: [liga Sagres] Benfica x P.Ferreira : 2 via photopin (license)
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?

Elise: Yeah!

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?

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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.

Marie: Why?

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?

middle sister quote

48 thoughts on “Interview with a Middle Kid on Middle Child Day

  1. Your daughter sounds witty, quick, and smart.
    And you’re right all the good stuff (with food) is in the middle… Like in pie…. or burritos… or tacos… or stuffed crust pizza… or…………………………. CANNOLI’S!

    I was a youngest of two.. I have no frame of reference on the middle child.
    But, in my mind, she’d get away with the most stuff.. because she could blame it on the older or the younger…

    1. Thanks, I didn’t know how the interview would go! You’re killing me with all the food references, and I just finished lunch!

      I love to see a middle kid turn the tables, though!

  2. I’m one of two kids, and I have two kids, so I don’t know much about middle kid stuff. Except for poor Jan Brady – she hated it. But Peter turned out ok, I think. My oldest wishes she had an older sibling and my youngest wishes he had a younger sibling, so it seems to me that a middle child gets the best of both worlds.

    1. I’m the same way – just a little sister for me. Jan Brady is the posterchild for middle children. No one ever even thinks of Peter.

      Marie doesn’t always see it, but she can be the big kid sometimes, the little one others – I just don’t think she has much control over when!

  3. I love the way food gets involved – every time – and oreos were one of my first thoughts (then jelly doughnuts…maybe you had to be her). When it came to cousins, I was in the middle and there was an age-gap – so my brother was the oldest and was treated as such…and the other 3 were little and cute. And then there was me! I was good for reading stories, changing diapers, and keeping order at the “kids’ table” while bro sat with the adults. It sucked! Marie has a great and grounded attitude!

    1. See, and it’s not just me – she talks about food, too, but it’s likely I brought it up. Or, she knows how to speak my language. I don’t remember a “little and cute” stage for me, either. You kind of sound like you were an indentured servant.

  4. I was the middle kid and born two days after Christmas, work around that one. It’s a strange situation, I had an older sister and she kept me in line and a younger brother. Then another two came along and I was no longer the middle child. Now, unfortunately I am the eldest. What did I learn? That crap runs downhill. Unfortunately we weren’t the happy TV family at all, so life was a hit and miss affair. Good post Eli.

    1. Wow, mate, next you’ll tell me you also had red hair? I think your childhood prepared you wonderfully for the military. I think the happy family TV life is overrated, anyway. How many of those actors wind up in rehab? I’ll take my love and dysfunction over that every single time. Thanks, Laurie!

      1. No Mate, I was born with blonde hair! Yep I was a born soldier, prepacked and ready to go at 17, bit sad really. Those TV shows were so far from reality made a fella want to puke. They set the bar so high that people felt like failures because their lives paled in comparison. I agree, as long as there is plenty of love with the dysfunction it’s, well, normal. I applaud the fact that you have a loving family and what seems to be a great father child relationship with your girls. Keep blogging Eli.

  5. I’m kinda a middle sister. If you go according to Freud, with birth order being important mainly during birth through age five, I’m not at all a middle child. I’m the baby. When I was five, my mom remarried and I gained three new siblings. So I had an older sister, a younger sister, an older brother, and a younger brother. I didn’t feel very middle-ish. I think it’s because I got attention, but I didn’t want it! Worst Leo ever, if you follow that stuff…

    1. I’m not even sure which direction to attack this one. I failed psychology miserably in college, and can’t even tell you what Freud would say about that. So you buck the systems of Freud and the zodiac? That should be a blog in and of itself, sister.

  6. You have a great kid! I love your interview. My husband is a middle kid. I’m the oldest. I enjoyed Malcolm in the middle. Sometimes I can relate to the parents. haha. Maybe that’s not such a good thing. And, everytime I cite the internet for something, my kids want to verify where the info came from. Ugh.

    1. Thanks – I’m a huge fan of hers. Did your husband celebrate appropriately yesterday? The printable Happy Middle Child Day cards were wrought with sarcasm (Happy Middle Child Day! Oh, wait, that was yesterday?)

      I have seen fewer than five episodes of Malcolm, but I have a strange appreciation for his mom. I wonder what Freud would say about that.

      Wow, so your kids are becoming Internet snobs, eh? They want sources. Geez. They could never work for Fox News.

  7. I am a middle. Definitely, the best stuff of an oreo is the middle. I think middles can be overlooked as kids (sob, sob), but they turn out pretty well: independent, yet still needy. Can be the older one, can be the younger on. Forever the peacemaker though. I wonder how much birth order really does influence everything else we do??

    1. Did you strike on middle kid day? My middle child loves the middle of Oreos so much, she sometimes collects the middles of several Oreos and combines them into one mondo Oreo (think double-stuff on steroids). If my middie turns out independent, yet still needy, that’s a score for a dad who wants her to blaze a trail but not go too far she can’t come home for some grilled chicken wings.

      I think maybe a post on the study of birth order is in order, don’t you think, Leah?

  8. Your daughters are adorable!! And that middle kid of yours is brilliant, wise and funny, just like all middle kids (this one included). Give her a hug from me (no, don’t tell her it’s from me. that’s just weird.) Great post idea as always, Eli!

    1. They’re characters, that’s for sure, and I do like to kiss their cheeks. You, Marie, Leah and (kinda) Tamara ought to start a club. She got the hug you ordered, and even a kiss on the head. Thanks for checking in!

  9. This was really cute. I’m the oldest of three girls. We always joke that the middle one is the favorite. She was kind of “the forgotten” one at times too though.

  10. My son is the middle child, and I don’t think he minds one bit, especially if I told him the middle child gets the most ice cream and Wii time. Although, honestly, I don’t think he wold ever lend money to his sisters, And the middle of the burrito is absolutely the best part, along with Oreos, for sure.

    1. I wonder how Oreos in the middle of a burrito would be …

      Wow, how do you dole out more ice cream and Wii time to the middle kid? If you let all three play Wii at once, you can have all the ice cream you want.

  11. Ha. This was a great interview. I often wonder how my middle daughter feels being the middle one. I do think, that in the end it’s how you deal with it as a family that determines how “middle” the middle child will feel. I think, all three of my kids get their fair share of attention… and middle is an attention hog to begin with! 🙂

    1. Thanks! I wasn’t sure how well it would go, but she really opened up. At one point in their lives, each of my kids would have told you she was my favorite if you asked.

      And some middle kids just know how to play it, don’t they?

  12. I’m with Marie I like butter on my burritos as well. Plus my middle name is Marie so I believe going to be something graceful maybe a princess but I think she’s already your princess. Looks like you have your hands full with girls but how wonderful is that? The best part is they will know a good guy when they see one with a dad like you! 🙂

    1. Butter goes on anything, doesn’t it? She’s a tough princess, that’s for sure. They don’t come any tougher, and she definitely keeps me on my toes.

      I take the role of being an example of what a man should (and shouldn’t) be seriously, and although I do fail, I will always, always try again tomorrow.

      1. Yes always! And I do love Oreos. Os are my weakness! You can eat an entire row without knowing it.
        Failing and trying again is my specialty! Great post! I have always said had I not had one I would still be in Lala land. Well I’m still in Lala Land but at least now I have someone to help me with my glitter and fairy dust! 😀

      2. Oh yes my girl said, “Mommy when everyone else turns against me will you always be on my side?” With her head on my shoulder. She did that on my birthday, she did. I realized she was serious so I said, “Of course baby girl I will always be on your side.” Then she said, “Good we can be best friends.” I said, “Oh goody.” She said, “Mom you don’t act happy about that.” “Well Alex I’ve seen how you treat your friends.” She said, “Mom I’m like you I have no friends.” I let it go but what I wanted to say is, “I choose my friends wisely.” But she was already being a sad sack. The thing about her being older is that it’s all mental strategy. I’m constantly looking for signs all that prayer is working. She’s a tough one.

    1. It started slow, but then she really opened up. There are blogs devoted to middle children. But not first-borns – we get forgotten as soon as there’s a new baby in the house.

      Don’t believe me? What happened to Scooby once Scrappy Doo came on the scene?

  13. I’m a middle sister myself. And the youngest too, depending on which parent you are referencing. And I have tried Middle Sister wines. Very yummy. My sister shared it with me actually. She too is a middle sister, or the oldest sister – again, depending on which parent you are referring to.

  14. Awww…this is so cute! What a clever idea. I’m too afraid to interview my kids on my blog–they’d give all my secrets away. I wanted to tell you that you have just been tagged on my blog today. Wanna play? Stop by and check it out. I promise it won’t hurt….

    1. Yes she is! Are you an interrupter, too? I mean, she had homework, so that took precedence. I’m a first child too – today will be spent tracking my interruptions per hour.

  15. Hello….this is Canada calling….it’s called “the metric system”. 🙂
    Around here, the middle child rules the roost. She dictates the play often, since she is the most dramatic. She is the most likely to find the fun in a boring situation. She doesn’t care what anyone thinks and just does her own thing. I’m pretty sure we can never let her run for office or she might actually become a Dictator.
    Or cowgirl. Maybe snake charmer. Heck – she can probably do all 3.
    Pizza — the good stuff is on top….right?
    sorry if I just blew the theory 2 metres out of the water.
    (that’s just over 6 feet – ha)

    1. I’m hoping America will take over the earth and make everyone use yards and inches and put the R after the E, important things like that.

      Maybe your daughter could become our next president. Or we could just elect her the honorary prime minister of the U.S.

      Really, the good stuff is in the middle of the circle of pizza, yes? All the cheese, meat, even the veggies … toward the center. I mean, centre.

  16. I love this! Your daughters sound adorable! I’m the middle kid, and I alwaaaays used to think I was the least loved, my big brother was the most special because he was the first one, and my little brother was the most special because he was always the baby. And I was just there in the middle. And the middle of the oreo is definitely the yummiest bit! x

    1. Thanks Gina. Their adorableness gets them out of trouble (I think they’re more adorable than all Disney channel kids combined). And for what it’s worth, you’re my favorite kid in your family. There should be a middle-kid club. Although, what if there’s just three members? Someone will have to be the middle!

      RE: Oreos
      I’m just waiting for the triple-stuff Oreos to come out.

  17. Does it count if the middle child is only “middle” by a technicality? I have twins in the mix, so the middle child only holds that role by 2 minutes. 🙂 I did, however, enjoy the perspective that your daughter provided! Great read.

  18. Oh, how I love this interview. I could have WRITTEN this interview. Except that I don’t have a middle child. Unless the cat counts as the baby. In which case, Vivien is my middle child. Which makes sense really because she demands attention like no one is giving it to her. 24 hours a day. 7 days a week. And, yes. 365 days a year. 365 and a quarter really, but now I’m just being picky.

    I think the interruption from your oldest child is just priceless. And seriously? Duh, Dad. Why on EARTH would she be asking a football question in the middle of homework? Oh, and the answer she was looking for is Standard. We, in America, use the Standard system. Do you know what standard means, Eli? According to a quick Google search, I get the following definition … “used or accepted as normal or average.” And that my friends is why the effort to convert my generation to the metric system for this country failed miserably.

    What were we talking about again?

    I forget. But thanks for linking up again with The Little BlogHop That Could. That’s KetchupWithUs for anyone else reading this comment. It’s a very friendly little bloghop. Does anyone know if bloghop is one word? (Yeah. ‘Cause that’s what we should all be focused on, Michele.)

    1. I always assume all questions are about football or food. It’s my nature!

      I would definitely encourage others to link up … I will keep doing it forever, I know that. Only dumb bloggers don’t.

    1. Thanks Kerri! Marie knew about Middle Child Syndrome long before this interview! They see things … differently. But as a dad, it helps to know this. I want her to know how much I love her.

      If you ask the other two girls who I love most, they’ll say, “me.” Marie will say “Grace” or “Elise.” I want her to feel like I love her most, too.

  19. I love this interview with Marie! I was an “only” and it sucked. No one to talk to, no one to blame, no one to share secrets with. I wanted a brother more than anything else in the world (found out a few years ago I had one, but that’s a story for another time) I had three children – the middle one was a boy. He was lucky, he had an older and a younger sister. He was my “no problem child.” He has three children, but his oldest is 18 and his next two are 4 and nearly 2. Maybe all fathers (or mothers) of middle children should do interviews with them – make them feel special. But in your case, I know all your girls would feel special 🙂

    1. Thanks Lyn. I’ve always felt bad for onlys. We think of them as the chosen children, but it also must be pretty lonely.

      I hope all my girls feel special … but she’s the one who would probably say the other two are my favorites! (The other two would say they’re my favorites).

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