I was the third child so I can relate to Miriam. But she has one advantage over me, she is the first girl. I was neither the oldest nor the first girl. I was also neither the youngest girl or youngest child. There was no novelty of parenthood with my birth. Nor was I adopted. (All of my siblings fall into one of the above mentioned categories.) I might still harbor some resentment over this, but we won’t dwell on my psychological issues.
One might think that having the middle-child perspective would motivate me to be aware of my parenting and be sure to lavish all the love and attention on my third child that my first and second received. Sadly, this is not the case. Take birthday parties for example.
Cameron’s first birthday party was an all-out bash. In fact, he was so tired by the time we got to his presents he was practically falling asleep and totally disinterested. So, for Eli we were a little less over-the-top.
A couple days before Mira’s birthday I sent out a last-minute email invitation to local family members. But there were no decorations and only two gifts. Let me clarify, there were only two gifts from her parents, but birth-order has no bearing to grandparents, they give all the devotion to each of their grandchildren that the first received.
I did make one effort to make her birthday special. I have some talents, but cake decorating is not one of them. I have tried and been embarrassed so many times that for the last couple years I have allowed a local bakery to provide the birthday cakes at our house. This year I decided I’d give it another go.
Just a plain chocolate cake with pink frosting couldn’t possibly go wrong, right? It could. It was just as embarrassing as every other cake before it. And my timing was terrible. No sooner had I finished globbing the frosting on the cake than I saw a picture on FB of my very talented friend’s professional looking birthday cake.
We women are great at feeling bad about ourselves. Especially when we are the middle child.
Fortunately I believe, there is still hope for Miriam. I have time to mend my ways before she is old enough to recognize these injustices. And in the mean time, she doesn’t seem to hold it against me.