There are a lot of theories about birth order and how that can affect your personality. Many families find that their second born is quite different to their first, and often this is as a result of them wanting to be seen as distinct and separate from their older sibling.
Then if a third child comes along, the second child may adjust their behaviour again in order to compensate for the change in roles.
After all, they’re no longer the youngest and suddenly there is a little baby around stealing their thunder!
So whether you’re looking at it for yourself or for your own children, today we take a look at 11 things that only a middle child would understand.
1. There are a LOT less photos of you
When your parents had your older sibling, they pretty much photographed his every move. By the time you came around, they realised that all babies eventually learn to walk and put on their parent’s sunglasses, so there was no real need to capture it on film.
2. You get the blame for things
Well of course the older child didn’t do it (they know better) and the baby didn’t do it (because they’re a baby) so it must have been you that ate all the cookies. Even if you did eat them all, it would be nice to have a chance to defend your side of the story first.
3. You’re too big for some things and too little for others
Apparently you can’t sit in the baby’s bassinet but you’re still not old enough to help dad use his electric drill. Can’t win.
4. You never got any new toys or clothes
This is not too bad if you are the same gender as your older sibling. If not, there are a lot of times you remember being dressed in some rather questionable outfits.
5. You had to watch hours of sport you weren’t interested in
So your older sibling is in the cricket team? Great. That means you had to endure hours of sitting on the sidelines every Saturday because your parents had to be their to watch their precious first born stand in a field.
6. You get to watch shows meant for older kids sooner
One perk of middle child life is that you can casually sit on the sofa and watch programs that are a bit too grown up for you and no one will really mind. They’re too busy with the baby to notice that you’re there anyway.
7. You tend to be a bit grubby
Somehow nobody has time to brush your hair or get that Vegemite off your face (from yesterday). And they don’t even notice.
8. You probably got left somewhere at one time
Whether it was the supermarket, the park, or Grandma’s house – chances are you’ve been left somewhere at some point just because your parents had their hands full getting the other two kids sorted out.
9. Your parents can’t remember much about your milestones
While your folks could tell you the day, time, and the latitude and longitude of when your older brother first walked/talked/lost a tooth – they struggle sometimes to even remember your middle name.
10. You’re forever being compared to your older sibling
Not only are you known as ‘Joe’s little brother’, people just can’t help but compare you to them. ‘Well you’re not quite as tall as your brother are you?’ or ‘Your sister was already writing the whole alphabet by the time she was your age you know.’
11. There is less cheering for your successes
Parent to first child: ‘You can ride a bike! That’s fantastic! Let’s get you a shiny new red bike with flames on the side of it and go out to dinner to celebrate.’
Parent to middle child: ‘Oh, you learned to ride a bike? It’s about time!’