Earlier this year, we had some concerns about Silas’s health. Silas is my 4 year old son; he is 5 years younger than my twins and 2 years older than his little brother, Eli.
While chatting with our pediatrician of 9 years, he flipped through Silas’s chart and remarked, “So, the last time we saw Silas was 2015…”
My jaw dropped and my face flooded with heat. “ What?! I haven’t brought him in for TWO YEARS??? Oh. My. WORD!”
Our doctor held up his hands, as if trying to stop my torrent of mom-guilt. “It’s okay! It’s okay! It’s really been…um…a year and a half. Or a little more. It’s okay! You’ve had a lot going on.”
He was right, of course. In the past two years my twins were diagnosed with Autism and ADHD, my husband joined the Air Force, and we were getting ready to move.
I don’t go running to the doctor for every little thing but I try to keep up with yearly check-ups for my kids at a minimum.
As our doctor said it was okay, my son wasn’t any worse for wear, but I felt like a big, fat failure as a mom.
He’s my middle child, not only because he’s smack-dab in between his older twin brothers and his baby brother, but because he slipped through the cracks of my notice.
I had a further reason to kick myself: I am a middle child myself, smack-dab in the middle of five kids.
My husband always sends me middle-child memes with the caption, “This is you” and I like to whack him on the arm, purse my lips, and shake my head.
But, hey. It’s true. I do have a lot of “middle child” characteristics. You know the ones: peacemaker, negotiator…the forgotten child.
Being a middle child has given me a lot of good skills, but darn it! if I didn’t swear that my middle child would NOT be forgotten, especially by me, his MOM!
But…sigh. It happened.
Poor kid. His twin brothers require so much of my parenting energy and his little brother is, well, two. Eli has one speed–fast–and I am always running after him.
Truth be told, Silas is my “easy” kid, in quotes because he has his tough moments, but all in all, I don’t worry about him as much as my other boys. To put it in perspective: he’s our only child who hasn’t had surgery (and we’ve had 8 surgeries between the other three boys!).
After many tests at the pediatrician, our health concerns about Silas didn’t yield anything serious, and, after a few hours of intense guilt about my lack of check-ups in the last two years, I had to pull an Elsa and let-it-go.
But good heavens, people. Parenting is hard. All the dynamics of oldest and youngest and middle children, all the needs—physical, emotional, mental, spiritual—, all the time divided between multiple children, and then divided again…it is tough.
I’m doing my best, but I need to face the truth: Silas will probably grow up with a Middle Child complex.
Just like his mom.
Are you a middle child?
Are you raising a middle child?
What do you do to fight middle child syndrome?