Wednesday, October 6, 2021

Fighting Middle Child Mockery

           On a recent “Last Week Tonight with John Oliver,” Mr. Oliver just couldn’t resist the urge to do a little birth order bashing. The topic was dangerous “forever chemicals” found in household products. “Harmful chemicals are just not something you should lose track of,” Oliver said. “They’re not your car keys or your middle child,” he quipped.
          Ha ha. Very funny.
          How a discussion of toxic chemicals can somehow become an opportunity for some Middle Child mockery demonstrates exactly what we’re up against -- just how pervasive the problem is. There you are, minding your own business, innocently watching a favorite TV show, when – BAM! You’re suddenly the butt of some first born funnyman’s joke.
          Well, I say enough is enough. Can we continue to stand by and do nothing while others hurl hurtful birth order barbs our way?
          Not on my watch!!
(Click image to enlarge)
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Tuesday, September 14, 2021

A Middle Child Motivational Message

          Well, I’m back from my self-imposed month long post-Middle Child’s Day sabbatical (mental health leave), and I’m not gonna lie – I really needed the time off. I mean, all my hard work trying to raise awareness for Middle Child’s Day didn’t exactly pay off. It was hardly front page news. #MiddleChildsDay didn’t trend on Twitter. There also weren’t a ton of Middle Child’s Day posts on Facebook and Instagram, either. Even the planned belated Middle Child’s Day celebration at Swede’s Swing Inn in Ferryville, WI -- possibly the only known organized Middle Child’s Day celebration in the whole wide world -- didn't exactly go as planned. Oh, people showed up alright, but hardly anyone remembered it was a Middle Child’s Day celebration! And just to rub salt in the wound, nobody even called to wish me a Happy Middle Child’s Day. Rough stuff.
          I spent days and nights blaming myself for this massive failure. (I mean, who else could I blame when apparently I was the only person who even knew it was happening?!) But after much reflection and introspection, that’s all behind me know. I return with a renewed sense of commitment to the cause! The Middle Child’s Day Countdown Clock is up and running again and so am I, more determined than ever to lead the International Middle Child Union to new heights and reach not only our goal of raising awareness of Middle Child’s Day, but also finding a cure for Middle Child Syndrome and recruiting a host city for the first ever Middle Child’s Day Parade. Of course, increasing International Middle Child Union memberships (a.k.a. Twitter followers) would also be nice, but I don’t want to be greedy.
Coming soon to a city near you?
          As I lifted myself up from the depths of post-Middle Child’s Day despair, I drew strength from inspirational adages I think everyone, but Middle Children in particular, will appreciate. So I’ve assembled the uplifting thoughts that helped me through my darkest hours of PMCDTSD (Post Middle Child's Day Traumatic Stress Disorder) into a collection I’m calling “Middle Child Motivation.” 
          Below is the first one, but I’ll be posting more throughout the year, because I believe it’s important for me to share these messages of Middle Child hope and promise with the world.
          Then again, maybe I should just keep my thoughts to myself.
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Tuesday, August 10, 2021

Middle Child Mixology

I'll drink to that!: Enjoy a MidKid Manhattan,
MidKid Old Fashioned, or MidKid Martini
          What better way to celebrate Middle Child’s Day than with a Middle Child themed cocktail? After a long day suffering the indignity of our namesake day being totally overlooked – again -- you’ll probably need a drink. So raise a glass to the Middle Child with this selection of adult beverages that are sure to stir things up. 

Add a Middle Child Twist: There are those who believe that watching our siblings get more attention has made us bitter. Of course, it’s usually our siblings who say that. Well, mixologists say bitters  add complexity to a cocktail, and let’s face it -- Middle Children are… complex, to be polite. Go heavy on the bitters, and voila! Turn a classic cocktail into a Middle Child masterpiece. 

Here's to Feeling Sour!: Overlooked and underappreciated. Left out and left behind. The Middle Child has plenty to be sour about. This Middle Child's Day, pucker up and celebrate the sour with some truly tart tipples. For starters, you can drown your feelings of resentment with a shot of Sour Grape Schnapps. Or choose from an overwhelming selection of sour cocktails.     
          And for those who think Middle Child Syndrome is nothing more than sour grapes, I offer you Ari’s Sour Grapes. It’s a Piquette, “a vinous beverage produced by adding water to grape pomace.” Translation: it’s a wine-like beverage made from what’s left of the grapes after they’ve been pressed. So, yeah -- it’s wine made from pulpy grape residue. The unwanted, crushed, grape leftovers that have had the life literally squeezed out of them.
          Unfortunately, it’s currently out of stock. Maybe that’s a good thing.

Sunday, August 8, 2021

Middle Child Special Delivery!

          Get your Middle Child’s Day mailing list ready. The 2021 Middle Child’s Day greeting cards are here! Four new cards join 30 more oh-so-heartfelt and thoughtful greetings -- this year's 7th edition featuring a sorely needed belated Middle Child’s Day card. Ya know, on the off chance that you (along with millions of others) completely forget it was Middle Child’s Day. All only available at the blog. I mean, who else would carry them? And as always, all the cards are FREE! Because honestly, who’s gonna waste their money on a Middle Child’s Day Card!? 

See the entire collection of Middle Child's Day Cards: 
(Click on images to enlarge. Right click to save.) 


Friday, August 6, 2021

Test Your Birth Order IQ

          In preparation for Middle Child’s Day, I found a couple of quizzes and an interesting read from the interwebs that I hope will help get you in the spirit.
DOES BIRTH ORDER AFFECT WHO YOU ARE? What a silly question! I mean, isn’t this blog proof it does? If you’ve been reading my posts over the years, you know the affect it’s had on me. Take this quiz to find out how much you know about how birth order can mess you up! I got a perfect score, obviously.
CAN YOUR FOOD PREFERENCES REVEAL YOUR BIRTH ORDER? Of course they can’t! But I will leave no stone unturned in my quest for a deeper birth order understanding -- plus I like to eat -- so I took the quiz. I admit, it took me a little longer than usual to realize that I got totally sucked into something designed solely to determine my likes and dislikes and sell my personal data to advertisers. And sure enough, this quasi-quiz got it totally wrong. Only child? I don’t think so. Unless they meant only Middle Child in the family. Apparently, I was not alone. Based on a small sampling of comments, 70% of the people who took the quiz were also placed in the wrong order. By the way, I took the quiz again, and this time it said I was the youngest! I wish.
I KNEW IT!! Now here’s an article that pretty much confirms everything I’ve been saying about being a Middle Child. It cites a variety of studies that basically conclude Middle Children get the short end of the stick. I concur! But then the article attempts to answer the age-old question, “What can you do to prevent Middle Child Syndrome?” Well, that’s an easy one -- absolutely nothing!!

Wednesday, August 4, 2021

Wisconsin Bar to Offer Middle Children a Free Shot -- of Attention.

Swing Inn for some attention.
          Middle Children in southwest Wisconsin are in for something they're not used to. Swede's Swing Inn, located in Ferryville, WI, promises to serve up the extra shot of attention they so desperately crave. But of course there’s a catch. (Isn’t there always?) They'll have to wait until Sunday, August 15 -- three days after the official celebration of Middle Child’s Day. “Hey, beggars can't be choosers. At least we remembered,” says owner Swede Knutson.
          Fair enough.
          As the founder of the International Middle Child Union, I say – yes, please! I mean, I've been trying to raise awareness for Middle Child's Day for years, so any recognition is appreciated, even if it's belated. But Swede puts a positive spin on it. “Celebrating on the weekend will be more fun,” he says. “It's the least we can do for the Middle Children in our area. And I mean that literally! That's all we're doing. No deals. No discounts. Just some straight up attention.”
          Okay, we'll take it.
          As a show of gratitude, I am naming Swede's Swing Inn an I.M.C.U. “Official Middle Child's Day Celebration Location.” Very few establishments receive this honor, I might add.
          Of course, very few want it.

Monday, August 2, 2021

The 2021 Middle Child’s Day Gift Guide

          Well, I’m not gonna lie. This is getting harder and harder every year. I mean, it’s not like stores are flooding the market with new Middle Child focused offerings. But I forge onward…
OUR TIME HAS COME: Back in September, I gushed in a post about a new watch from Detroit-based luxury retailer Shinola called “The Middle Child.” Shinola promised this will be “a Middle Child everyone will notice.” At $395, it better be.
FANCY FOOTWORK: Help a Middle Child put their best foot forward on Middle Child’s Day with a pair of Middle Child socks from this more-than-you-ever-imagined-could-possibly-exist selection. Proof that now more than ever, it truly socks to be the Middle Child.
What better way to top off another overlooked Middle Child’s Day than with this stylish baseball cap from Kitson Los Angeles. Or choose The Hand-Me-Down cap from the Middle Child proprietors at It’s brand new, but has that already worn look any Middle Child knows too well.
from the people who brought you “The Birth Order Book,” what many consider the birth order bible, comes “My Middle Child, There’s No One Like You.” Written by Dr. Kevin Leman, the birth order guru, the book jacket encourages people to “Read this book with your Middle Child to show him or her the never-ending reach of your love.” That is if there’s any time left after reading to their older and younger siblings. “The Middle Kid,” by Steven Weinberg, gives readers the chance to experience a day in the life of a Middle Child. Like who would want to do that!?
MIDDLE CHILD SYNDROME CAN LEAVE A SOUR TASTE IN YOUR MOUTH: Celebrate the bitter and beleaguered Middle Children in your life with “The Ultimate Variety Sour Box” from CyberSweetz - a 30 Piece Assortment Of The World’s Most Sour Candy.
MIDDLE CHILD MASKS: I was really hoping this item wouldn’t need to be included in this year’s gift guide, but here we go again. Let’s make sure this is the last time it makes the list. If you live in a area of high COVID-19 transmission, make sure to get vaccinated, and mask up! Get yours now at the Smack Dab Shop.

When in doubt, the Smack Dab Shop is your go to stop for 2021 Middle Child’s Day styles. Shop with confidence knowing every item has received the International Middle Child Union Seal of Approval.

Monday, July 26, 2021

Middle Child Masterpiece Theater Honors 2021 Inductees

          In anticipation of the August 12th celebration of Middle Child’s Day, the International Middle Child Union (I.M.C.U.) welcomes three new Middle Child Masterpiece Theater members. These newest honorees will be enshrined alongside 15 other fictional Middle Children who have made an indelible mark on the small and big screen. And the 2021 Middle Child Masterpiece Theater inductees are… (DRUMROLL
 (played by Jason Bateman)
          As the opening credits tell us, “Arrested Development” is “the story of a wealthy family who lost everything, and the one son who had no choice but to keep them all together.” That one son is Michael, the overworked, underappreciated, on-again off-again head of The Bluth Company. Michael is basically a nice guy, and the only member of his family who appears to have any morals. Due to typo on his birth certificate, his real name is actually Nichael.
 (played by Dax Shepard)
          Often known as the irresponsible screw-up of the Braverman family on “Parenthood,” he’s not a successful businessman like his big brother or a hot-shot lawyer like his little sister. But after learning he has a five year old son, Crosby gets his shit together and ultimately does find success, opening a recording studio with his older brother. Crosby is played by a real life Middle Child. Maybe that’s why his performances are so convincing.



 (played by Alfonso Ribeiro)
          A privileged preppy, virgin, hard-core conservative, Tom Jones fanatic, and sympathetic foil to Will Smith on “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air.”  He will forever be remembered by the dance that bears his name.
Previous Middle Child Masterpiece Theater inductees include: 
Barry Goldberg (The Goldberg’s), Ramona Quimby, Jan Brady (The Brady Bunch), Malcolm Wilkerson (Malcolm in the Middle), Stephanie Tanner (Full House), Lisa Simpson (The Simpson’s), Alex Dunphy (Modern Family), Fredo Corleone (The Godfather), Dewey Duck (Ducktales), Carol Seaver (Growing Pains), Cory Matthews (Boy Meets World), Chris Griffin (Family Guy), Sue Heck (The Middle), Darlene Connor (Roseann), Danny Partridge (The Partridge Family).
See them all on the Smack Dab Channel.

Thursday, July 1, 2021

Did You Know that July is Middle Child’s Day Preparedness Month?

          Of course you didn’t. I just made it up! Look, I fully realize our namesake day is hardly top-of-mind. Middle Child’s Day is so overlooked, we need all the help we can get. So as the founder and Union Boss of the International Middle Child Union, I am officially hijacking July in my continued (and apparently futile) effort to raise awareness of our wannabe big day. After all, seeking attention is what Middle Children do best, and I’ll take all measures necessary to get us some.
          Check this blog frequently in the coming weeks as we’ll be providing updates on the latest plans for Middle Child's Day celebrations around the world. It should be an easy job, since there are none. Ugh. Lack of interest aside, you’ll find a range of Middle Child's Day related topics, plus FREE I.M.C.U. Membership Cards, our annual “Middle Child's Day Gift Guide,” and more. It all culminates with the highly not anticipated release of this year's FREE Middle Child's Day greeting cards -- not available in any store! 
          Of course they're not.
NOTE: July is also “Wart Awareness Month,” plus a slew of other maladies, so it looks like we’ll be fighting for our share of attention. What else is new?

Tuesday, April 20, 2021

Keeping Score

          It’s almost my birthday, which means I’ll soon be partaking in a time-honored Middle Child tradition: the annual keeping track of who actually remembered it was your birthday!
          That’s right, when it comes to who did and didn’t extend birthday greetings, we are definitely taking names. And I ask, does it really come as any surprise to you that this is something a Middle Child would do?
          Well, it shouldn’t.
          Getting attention is what we seek, and we’re always keeping track of whether we’re getting enough. So it only makes sense that on the one day of the year where we should be assured of getting some, you bet your ass we’re keeping tabs on who did and didn’t remember.
          Okay, maybe it’s not an actual list. It’s more like a giant mental note, which makes it particularly difficult to remember from year to year. After all, there are so many people who forget the day it can be an overwhelming task. So to make things easier for Middle Children everywhere -- and anybody who might feel forgotten on their special day -- I’ve created an actual scorecard! I’ve even taken the liberty of starting it for you, filling in the names of people you’d most likely expect to wish you a Happy Birthday, which pretty much includes anybody you’ve ever met over the course of your entire life. Even people you never met. I hope this makes your birthday a more enjoyable, if not less forgettable, day. 
          Of course, we didn’t even touch on the topic of whether a mere birthday text or Facebook post is enough attention. Or should it be both? And if so what’s an acceptable level of birthday salutation? Will a simple “Happy Birthday” suffice? Maybe you’re deserving of an actual birthday call, or even better -- the gold standard of birthday attention. A card! (I wouldn't hold your breath.)
          So many ways to feel slighted.
          Can’t wait ‘til next year! 


Tuesday, March 16, 2021

A Middle Child Limerick

          It’s St. Patrick’s Day. That means it’s time for my yearly Irish-oriented Middle Child blog post. Over the years, I’ve covered a range of topics, from the world’s greatest (and only) selection of Middle Child Beers to the world’s  most famous Irish Middle Children. I even shared the sad story of the overlooked St. Gertrude, who has the misfortune of sharing her March 17th feast day with
St. you-know-who.
          I wasn’t sure how I was going to commemorate this year’s celebration, and I thought I might be running out of ideas -- but then it hit me. A limerick! I will write a Middle Child limerick!! What could be more Irish than that?
          But then I got nervous. What if I’m wrong? I mean, I always figured it was called a limerick because it originated in Limerick. But what if it wasn’t? I know Edward Lear was a big fan of the form, but he was English. So I did some exhaustive Google research and found this article titled “Where Do Limerick Poems Come From?” 
          It turns out there are many theories regarding where this poetic form originated and how it got its name, but most of them can be traced back to Ireland. Well, that’s a relief. So in honor of St. Patrick’s Day, I now confidently present my Middle Child limerick:

There once was a father and mother

Who had two sons, then had another

The first born was cherished

Their baby they relished

And the Middle Child spent the rest of his life seeking attention and dealing with

the psychological damage caused by years of  Middle Child Syndrome

and always feeling like the overlooked


Tuesday, February 23, 2021

Where’s My Vaccine?

          Like millions of people, I am patiently waiting for my shot to get my shot. I know it will happen, I just don’t know when. In the meantime, I have to admit -- I’m getting a little anxious. I wonder if it will be effective. Will I have an adverse reaction? How long will immunity last? I also don’t understand why it’s taking so long for my group to get its turn. It’s a little frustrating, to be honest. After all, I’ve been waiting a really long time -- like for almost all of my life! 
          Oh, wait. You thought I was talking about the coronavirus vaccine? Oops, my bad. I’m talking about a vaccine for a different condition that also affects millions of people around the world, yet receives zero attention:
Where is the Middle Child Syndrome vaccine already!?! 
          I know what you’re probably thinking. “What’s the big deal? Why do we need a Middle Child Syndrome vaccine anyway?” I’m sorry, but have you never read my blog before!? Middle Children have been complaining about not getting enough attention for… forever, to no avail. At this point, even if we suddenly received the massive doses of attention required to flatten the Middle Child Syndrome curve, we’d still find a way to whine about not getting enough. That’s the way we roll. 
         Social distancing won't stop it. In fact, casting us aside and keeping your distance only makes it worse! And when Middle Children Syndrome strikes, no mask will protect you. Clearly, so far nothing has been proven effective in helping to eradicate this affliction, so it’s time for drastic measures. A Middle Child Syndrome vaccine is the answer!
          I’m sure all the anti-vaxxers will be up in arms, pun totally intended. They’ll say it could be harmful. More harmful than day after day of incessant Middle Child whining and moaning? I don’t think so. “But what’s the rush? It’s not like it’s transmittable,” you say. Oh really? Maybe you should ask the siblings or parents of a Middle Child if they’ve ever suffered any adverse effects from an outbreak of Middle Child Syndrome. Believe me; it can drive entire families bonkers. No one is immune. That’s why there’s only one thing left to do. 
          So come on, Dr. Fauci. Get crackin', CDC. We’ve seen how fast Big Pharma can move when push comes to shove. Once this global pandemic is under control, it’s time to shift your focus to a Middle Child Syndrome vaccine. Yeah, I know – when are Middle Children ever a priority? But maybe just this once. After all, Middle Children feel like we’ve been getting kicked in the ass long enough. It’s about time we got a shot in the arm.

Saturday, February 13, 2021

Middle Child “I Don’t Care Bears” are here!

          Just in time for Valentine’s Day -- the perfect gift to show the Middle Children in your life just how much you really don’t care. “I Don’t Care Bears” are a collection of neglected, attention-starved, and of course hand-me-down teddy bears that aren’t available in any store -- because they don’t actually exist! But you can save and send these images to your favorite Middle Children, if there is such a thing.

            Needy Ned
              Whining Wendy

        No Fair Fred  


to see the entire collection of Middle Child Valentine's Day Cards.
to see even more!

Thursday, January 28, 2021

More Reasons to Wear a Mask

          I was taking a walk the other day after having lunch. I had just eaten a salad, and normally I’d be wondering if there were any embarrassing pieces of lettuce stuck between my teeth. I’d be all worried about some rogue romaine, excess endive, surplus spinach, or any other kind of lingering leftover leaves literally hanging out in my mouth, making me look like a Hillbilly with missing teeth. But I was surprised to find that I was not at all concerned. Why? Because I was wearing a mask.
         I wear a mask because I don't want to get the virus and I don't want to possibly transmit the virus to the people I love – or people I don’t even know, for that matter. It all seems very straightforward to me. Yet there are a good amount of people out there who, for one reason or another, do not seem to feel the same way as I do about the importance of mask wearing. These defiant #maskholes include the likes of Sen. Rand Paul,
The Official Middle Child Mask

Scott Baio, Rep. Majorie Taylor Greene, Ted Nugent, and way too many others.
          This got me to thinking...
          As if preventing the spread of a potentially fatal virus wasn’t reason enough, there are actually many other benefits of wearing a mask. So for anyone who still thinks that helping bring an end to a global pandemic that has taken over two million lives and stopping the spread of the virus so we can get back to normal aren’t good enough reasons to simply wear a mask, here are some more: 
Need extra warmth on a cold Winter’s day?
Wear a mask!
Unsightly zit on your chin or tip of your nose?
Wear a mask!
Enjoy your burger with extra onions, your pizza with lots of garlic?
Wear a mask!
Didn't feel like shaving?
Wear a mask!

Don’t think there’s anything particularly funny about
the “laugh line” wrinkles around your mouth?
Wear a mask!
Haven't trimmed your nose hairs in weeks?
Wear a mask!
(But for God's sake, trim your nose hairs!)
Forgot to brush your teeth this morning,
or maybe you just have really bad breath?
Please, by all means, wear a mask!
(And stay six feet away while you’re at it, thank you.)
Feel a Herpes cold sore coming on?
Definitely, wear a mask!!
          I’m not sure if any of these reasons will be enough to convince the hard core anti-maskers to change their minds. But maybe, just maybe, it will sway some -- even if it’s for all the wrong reasons. As for me, I think I might actually now have some very good reasons to keep wearing mine, even after this is all over. 


Saturday, January 9, 2021


      In a matter of days, Donald J. Trump will be losing the title of Commander in Chief, but effective immediately he is being stripped of another title. In an unprecedented move, the International Middle Child Union has banned Mr. Trump from being referred to as a Middle Child. “When a group that has to scratch and claw to get every member it can wants nothing to do with you, you know you’ve hit rock bottom,” says I.M.C.U. founder Bruce Hopman.
     Citing years of negative-attention seeking, brutish and bullying behavior, temper tantrums, and a way too long list of other unacceptable, inappropriate antics, the I.M.C.U is taking action. Much like social media giants Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and others, and following in the footsteps of Lindsey Graham, Betsy DeVos, Mick Mulvaney, Mitch McConnell and other paragons of political ethics, the I.M.C.U. echoes the words of #LapdogLindsey-- “They’re out!” 
     The recent storming of the Capitol by a riotous Trump-incited mob was the straw that broke the Middle Child’s
The former Middle Child with some of his former friends.
back. According to Hopman,“Middle Children have enough problems without having to deal with this lunatic.” 
     While Hopman acknowledges being called a Middle Child is hardly something anyone aspires to, he still believes a lifetime ban sends an important message: it may not be often, but sometimes even Middle Children know when enough is enough.
     When asked how such a ban would be enforced, Hopman is not concerned. “There’s certainly no shortage of names you can call him. From now on, Middle Child won’t be one of them,” he concludes.