Monday, October 30, 2006

I can *so* relate. . .

Ah, yes, the joys (?) of being the middle child.


Mom was amused at how much I laughed over this comic, but I way empathize with the poor kid (not about the Halloween part ;-D)! She said I'm going to have a huge therapy bill someday, but I can't send it to her ;). Hehe.

17 comments:

Ashley said...

Hmm... nope can't relate. But I am finding enjoyment in "The Pecking Order". peck peck peck

Lydia said...

I can't relate either since I am the oldest, but it was a humorous piece. :) I will have to post a comic strip sometime that I have hanging up on my locker at work. It is about a nurse getting mistaken for being 18 years old by a patient even though she is much older. She says to the patient that she has had 19 years of professional nursing experience.

STORY OF MY LIFE!!!! I just had to tape it to my locker to remind me not to take things that people say so seriously. If I am still a nurse in nineteen years I will probably still be getting comments like this. ;)

Susan said...

Yes, Ashley, I suppose an oldest child can have cruel thrills in memory of the pecking order their poor younger siblings endured. *glare* Especially when one's maiden name is Peck ;). Actually, Boy wasn't cruel or domineering. In fact, I was more domineering to Hannah as the older sister. . .

What a funny comic, Lydia! Just remember that a youthful appearance is a good thing :). My brother often got mistaken for being younger than me growing up, and he is 16 months older. A lot of it is contingent on his hair length, though. If he lets it grow a few inches and naturally curl, he looks more mature, but if he cuts it really short then people think he's a freshman in college (he graduated with a master's degree a year ago). You should just streak your hair gray ;).

Ashley said...

Actually I wasn't referring to any cruel thrills, more just the word peck. I'll have to verify with my siblings, but I don't remember being domineering (a leader, perhaps... but not domineering). I did lock AJ out of the house once, though. :-)

Susan said...

At least *I* did not ever lock Hannah out of the house. *superior look*

We had many a cat fight, though. We were best friends, worst enemies, with me sometimes playing the bully role. But other times I was a wonderful older sister. Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde? ;)

Anna Naomi said...

I am quite a middle child, at least according to the description in The Birth Order Book! I'm the 6th of 7, so I think it counts. I was the youngest for 5 years, but then along came Jubilee! I can't imagine life without her though. If not for her, I'd be the only child left at home!

Susan said...

I've hear The Birth Order Book is interesting. I thought the order was supposed to repeat every three, so wouldn't you be a "third" child? I know what you mean about not imagining life without Jubilee! When either Hannah or I moves from home, it will be so weird (and sad!) for the other one!

Ashley said...

I don't think the order is supposed to repeat every three. Generally the oldest and youngest have those characteristics because there are no siblings before or after them, and how their parents repeat them. As far as when there are a bunch of middle children... I'm not sure how that goes, because if I remember correctly the book doesn't address that much. I can lend it to you if you'd ever like to read it. It's fascinating, I think. I also have "Birth Order Connections" which is about how birth order affects relationships/marriage. It says two firstborns should not marry. Oh well! :-)

Ashley said...

I'm not sure what I meant by this sentence: "...how their parents repeat them..."

I think I intended "how their parents treat them" (as in, whether they put a lot of responsibility on the oldest or spoil their youngest).

John Dekker said...

In my family it repeated every three. We have six kids, and #4 was effectively an oldest child for a long while, and #5 was a middle child. I was #6. :)

Anna Naomi said...

It gets confusing with larger families. I've actually read the book twice, but it was written from the perspective when he only had 3 children, so it worked nicely for him. In this case, however, here's how our family seems to work:

Luke (30) is a definite oldest, being the firstborn.
Maria (28) is also an oldest, because she's the oldest girl, and had so many younger sisters!
Miriam (26) is a middle, for she was a betweener
Lydia (21) is a mix of middle and oldest. She's kind of an oldest, because there was 5 years between Miriam and her, and she had close younger siblings, yet she's also the true middle child of our family
Elijah (18) is also mainly an oldest, because he was the first boy after such a long time
I (16) am pretty much a middle child, because I have so many older siblings, and I also have a younger sibling. I was almost a semi-spoiled youngest, but then Jubi came along! =) I grew up quickly after she was born and mom spent a lot of time taking care of her
And Jubilee (11) is definitely a youngest, who sometimes can't take no for an answer!

Anyways, I don't know if you wanted to know all that, but I find it kind of interesting! :-) Our family is comprised of a lot of oldest personalities, which makes for quite a few perfectionists, like my dad (an oldest) but quite different from my mom (a youngest). I, thankfully, don't have much perfectionism in me!

Susan said...

My mom did a birth order paper in college, and at the time the theory was repetition every three, but really, it's all theory anyway :).

Besides, we can't take them too seriously, right, Ashley? Or your marriage is doomed!

My mom is youngest of six, John (My dad is #4 of six). It's a great number. Her sibling roles definitely followed a 1-2-3-repeat pattern.

I found all the things you shared very interesting, actually, Anna, so I'm glad you shared it all :). Your family just doesn't fit the cookie-cutter mold into which some psychologists would like to squish them! :) That's interesting how much your siblings varied in birth order roles.

Lydia said...

This interesting to read everyone's thoughts on birth order. I first heard about it through the Basic Seminars with Bill Gothard.

Our family does NOT follow the typical pattern. I think it has changed some after each child was born but here is a synopsis. I, as the oldest, have some first-born tendencies but more 2nd-born, I think. I really don't like telling people what to do and although I'm loyal to my family and friends I am also very much my own person. Caleb, as the 2nd-born but first-born son has many 1st-born traits. He has more perfectionistic tendencies (although not nearly as extreme as the third born, LOL!) and acts as a leader and is loyal to his family. He is also very disciplined. I don't know how he manages to take 18 hours of college classes, work 24 hours a week at his job, keep active in the business-realted meetings AND STILL have time to study. Hmmm, it must be because he doesn't blog anymore, LOL. I sure couldn't do all that. Joshua, the 3rd-born, is extrememly independant and has huge perfectionistic tendencies. He is not spoiled though, probably because of the two younger children. He loves to figure things out for himself and doesn't rely on others to help him or give him attention.

Susanna, the fourth-born leans toward strong first-born traits. She is extremely disciplined, a real perfectionist, tells the youngest what he should be doing all the time (and us older sibs) and quietly carries out her own numerous responsibilities around the house. I am amazed at all she is able to accomplish in a day. She doesn't stop working until she goes to bed. I think she will make an excellent wife and mother but also a very stern disciplinarian. :)
Nathan, the most definite youngest, is a spark of energy. He is the most people-oriented of any of us. He loves attention (you can tell by some of the things he says that I post on my blog) and personal time with each of his family members. He also has a very sensitive side and is not afraid to express how he feels about things. He is a lot of fun to be around. He makes friends easily and loves to be outdoors with his rabbit. I think much of the traits is our family's children are related more to temperament than birth-order. It sounds strange, but sometimes I don't really feel or act like the oldest much of the time. I even think of Caleb as my older brother even though I am older by one year and 364 days. :) I love all my family and wouldn't trade any of them. I have different relationships with each of them. Of my sibs I am probably closest to Caleb because of our ages and a few similar interests. I would say that overall, we each have pretty strong personalities. SOme more than others. We all are pretty opinionated and have freqent discussions among ourselves about various topics. Something we do often is just sit around at the table or living room to have discussions and toss-around various thoughts about numerous issues. We are almost a family full of adults with the exception of Nathan.
Well, this has become long so I will stop. Thanks for bringing up this conversation. I like to talk about birth-order, temperaments and how we relate to our family members. It was fun reading of other's family dynamics too!

Susan said...

This is so interesting to hear the sibling dynamics of different families! Thanks for giving us a run-down of the Haydens, Lydia.

I think it really does matter whether someone is a first child, or a second child but first son/daughter. Some of the sites I got on differentiated. This one, for example. I'm a 2nd (and middle of 3) child, but also the first daughter, so I exhibit a mixture of 1st and 2nd order traits. I really fit the "1st daughter" description at the link I just gave:

Verbal/Outward, "Matriarch Problem Solver", Strong-Willed, Mature, Family-Oriented, Competes with Mother, Directs Father [yes, um, trying to work to overcome those two "traits," er, faults!], Positive Leader, Teacher, Mother, Serious, Controlling, Dominant.

Yep, that's me. My strong will doesn't manifest itself in quite the normal way, since I wasn't an especially difficult child - but I was always quite opinionated, and then I was also an absolute terror around middle-school age. Moody, defiant, the works. But a perfect angel in public, of course :). I had to keep up my angelic reputation.

I remember hearing the orders 1-3 once described as this: #1 is the go-getter, #2 feels forgotten, and #3 feels inferior. That is Ben, me, and Hannah to a "T"!

Mom said...

I would hardly call you an absolute terror in middle school, Dear. Is my memory that bad??

Ashley said...

Birth order traits in a family also are affected by the parents' birth order. Lydia, are your parents firstborns by chance? How the parents treat their children plays a major role. Paul's parents were very harsh and critical with him, so he seemed to switch roles with his younger brother. Tim acts more like a firstborn (defiant, stubborn, go-getter) while Paul is as compliant and laid back as any middle child. (I think that's why our marriage works even though we're two firstborns!) Also, as Susan said, being the first or last of your gender impacts it too.

I love the study of birth order but I suppose that I take it more seriously than many people. :-)

Susan said...

Okay, perhaps I should clarify? First of all, I really thought I had changed "absolute terror" to something a bit more subdued. But I was referring to my various mood swings, disrespect to Father Dear especially, and resistance to correction. I was rather difficult to live with for a while. Bless you for blocking it out of your brain, Mother Dear :).