Middle Child day

1947 (?) sepia photo of six girls lined up in order of height, aged 3 to 11. Wearing slacks and hand knitted jerseys.
I’m a middle child. Or am I? On my special day, treat me please.

So it’s Middle Child Day today, 12 August 2022. (At least it is in the US. And I’m not even in the US.)

Apparently we’re supposed to celebrate the middle child in our family. A special day for the one who is, by definition, not special.

That’s all very well for a family of three. But the moment it grows any bigger, the middle child is undefined. Bang goes our one moment to be special. Are there two middle children in a family of four? Are there two or four middle children in a family of six? That’s not special, either way.

I think of myself as a middle child but at best I share that dubious honour with my sister Prue.

Theoretically (who dreamed this up?) I might be suffering from middle child syndrome. But I’m not. Because I’m part of a majority. Because when there are six, the oldest and the youngest have their own battles to get attention. Because families are way more complicated.

Or perhaps each of the middle children in our family got one aspect of middle child syndrome, enabling us all to have our own distinctive personalities.

Or perhaps this is 50 per cent fact, 50 per cent as true as astrological fortunes.

Love my sisters. Love being me. In our 70s and 80s we are just us.

But by all means, do take me for a frisbee throw in the park today or deliver my favourite food as a Middle Child Day treat.

25 thoughts on “Middle Child day

  1. Happy middle child day!

    1. Rachel McAlpine says:

      How sweet of you!

  2. auntyuta says:

    I find, this is a very interesting subject, what position each child holds in the family.
    Thanks, Rachel, for this thought provoking post! 🙂

    1. Rachel McAlpine says:

      I’m just being a bit silly. As middle children tend to be??

  3. Jan FitzGerald says:

    Love this blog, Rachel. It made me wonder who would be the middle child in my three, given that the girls are twins with an older brother? The one that is older by a minute? Hmmmm …. I think it doesn’t work in that case, but she does always hold it over her sister that she is OLDER lol!

    1. Rachel McAlpine says:

      How crazy and how funny!

  4. My gift to you is an ice cream….should you choose to accept it. I left the money behind the bread bin!

    1. Rachel McAlpine says:

      You are so generous!

  5. I’m #3 in a family of eight, but an Irish Twin ( my older brother and I are the same age for one month of the year). The last child is 16 yrs younger than me. We all wanted to be the middle and not get slapped.

    1. Rachel McAlpine says:

      So that’s how it works 🙂

  6. Youngest child here! My bro hated being the middle. He says it made him more competitive (and successful too).

    1. Rachel McAlpine says:

      Oh you over-privileged one who never had to chop the kindling!

      1. That’s close to the truth!

  7. Sadje says:

    Aww, what a beautiful photo.

  8. cedar51 says:

    I’m the baby in my family – and a long way to the eldest and a fair way from the next – however now there is only the baby and eldest left to “chew the fat” so there is no more any middle, the gap is near on 25 years!

    I can’t imagine the celebration day of the middle child – but do enjoy the icecream P has given you…

    1. Rachel McAlpine says:

      It was my only gift (sob).

  9. I’m the baby and I chopped the kindling because it was fun!

    1. Rachel McAlpine says:

      That’s our Maggie for sure!

  10. VJ says:

    You had a well padded middle like my family growing up – six of us also. My mom was married twice, so I have the honour of being both a middle and a first, lol.

    1. Rachel McAlpine says:

      That sounds ideal! So many options open up.

  11. judithhb says:

    H Rachel. I was always the middle child of three daughters. Now I am the eldest of two – boo hoo!

    1. Rachel McAlpine says:

      That is a genuine sorrow. I do realised I am hugely fortunate.

  12. mcdonewt says:

    Rgdsm. Unfort I fear did not able reply.

    1. Rachel McAlpine says:

      Hi Don! Thank you for reading my blog.

  13. Suzanne says:

    Believing in something it might come true. Agree to the fact that families are extremely complex groupings. Why do the more wacky ideas come from America?

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