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Middle Child Syndrome Is A Real Thing - Believe Me!

The honest, refreshing, heart-warming parenting blog you’ve been waiting for… Follow Pamela as she navigates unknown territories as a mom of 3!

Catch up on last month here!

We started October with a visit to the doctor. Ben was due his 2-month vaccination and he was far and away the worst of the 3 getting them. My husband was in the car with the older two and they could hear the howls of him!

He was awfully unsettled again after them. Several nights of being up half the night and out of sorts all day so our lovely CranioSacral therapist paid me a house call one morning for a session. Fast forward a little over 2 days and he was back to his easy self! Why did no one tell me about this on my older two? It's like magic, seriously!

Now I have never really put much thought into so-called "middle child syndrome". I honestly thought it didn't exist. And surely it wouldn't affect my happy-go-lucky two-year-old Jamie.

But wow was I wrong!

Middle child syndrome is real and very present in our household at the moment. I think Jamie feels he has lost his place in the family. He's struggling with this new dynamic and that struggle is manifesting in the form of pure and utter devilment.

And not the cutesy kind either. He is really trying me at the moment. I often think he's just testing me, testing the boundaries, baiting me to see how far he can push before all hell breaks loose. Some days he's harder than others but the days he's my little pudding are worth the umpteen bad ones in between.

I mean, he's funny out! The funniest thing I have heard in ages was just last week and it was from him. We were walking back from school after collecting my four-year-old, Will, who was walking beside me on a quiet pedestrian laneway. I was pushing the double stroller with Jamie and Ben sat happily in its depths when I spotted a dead hedgehog amongst the leaves gathered along the side of the lane. I pulled Will close to me to sidestep it hoping none of them would notice, alas, it's when you don't want them to catch on that they do.

"What was that Mammy?" "

It was a hedgehog pet. And yes, before you ask, he's gone to heaven." (Heaven has been a much spoken about topic since Sam died last month, unfortunately as if it wasn't hard enough!)

"Can I see him again please?"

"No pet, it's going to rain. Let's go!"

Jamie had obviously been listening to everything and pipes up: "Is he dead?

"Yes, love."

"Awwwwwww."

Then silence followed by: "Who defeated him?"

I'm still shaking with laughter at the memory!! Bad mammy! It's a sign of too much screen time when your son asks who defeated the dead hedgehog instead of who killed it!

So in the spirit of changing things in our household and starting out in our new home on the right foot, I've implemented a Reward Chart. If they both get 10 green ticks by the end of the week they get a treat of their choice, within reason of course. However, if they get 10 red X's then they outweigh the ticks and they get zilch.

So far it's working OK. Will gets it. He doesn't want X's and is highly motivated by a reward at week's end. However, Jamie is probably still a little young. I'm being a little more lenient with him as a result of that - but probably also at the guilt, I feel at making him a middle child!

The reward chart really came into play last weekend when my phone was mysteriously broken. Both of them denied it to the max that they had even seen my phone, let alone been the one to break it.

All it took was to sit down with them and say that whoever broke it could tell the truth and because the truth is so important that person would get a tick for being honest.

Poor Will nearly tripped over himself to confess to the crime. He was so scared I would punish him but we're learning to live by the mantra "Accidents Happen!". And in a house full of boys they most surely will happen by the boatload!!

So amongst juggling the day to day management of my little family, attempting to settle into our new house and adjust to the new changes all around me, we also decided to have Ben's christening over the bank holiday weekend. Because, as you have probably guessed, we don't do things the easy way!

Thankfully, it all went without a hitch and our beautiful third born was the star of the day, however, my addled mom brain completely and utterly forgot to pick up a Baptismal candle for Ben! We were almost out the door on Sunday afternoon, running several minutes behind schedule but if we rushed we'd just about make it when I realised I didn't have a candle. I up-ended the place searching for Jamie's candle as it wasn't a personalised one but I couldn't find it!! I had to use Will's candle which has his name and christening date on it! Luckily no one noticed - except the godparents who laughed.

My first born got a personalised candle, second born got a bog standard shop bought candle and my third born nothing. Yup, that just about sums up my life with three kids!

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About the Author

Pamela O'Rourke is a full time wife and mother. She loves to spend her days helping to build her sons' imaginations and shaping them into the men they will someday become. When she has a spare moment or two she enjoys planning the family's next trip to their favourite place on earth, Walt Disney World!

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