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. 


Monday, December 21, 2020

Smaller Family Gatherings: Middle Child Blessing or Curse?

     According to the CDC, “The safest way to celebrate the winter holidays is to celebrate at home with people who live with you. Gatherings with family and friends who do not live with you can increase the chances of getting or spreading COVID-19 or the flu.” 
     Naturally, this recommendation has caused many people a lot of stress and sadness, and I totally get it. People love getting together for the holidays, so I know it’s hard to believe that a cloud like this could have any silver lining, but if I’m being totally honest with you -- and I mean brutally totally honest with you -- if you suffer from Middle Child Syndrome (and I know I’m going to take a lot of crap for saying this, but I’m going to say it anyway), it may not be the worst thing in the world! Please, hear me out.
     As Middle Children, we’re famous for feeling left out, passed over, ignored, slighted. The least favorite in the family. Living in the shadows of our older siblings. Not adored like our younger siblings. Are you honestly telling me that not getting to experience all those “good feels” is something we should miss? Is a one year break from feeling like the family outcast such a horrible thing? I mean, c’mon. Does passing up another family gathering where you feel like you’re never getting enough attention really seem like the worst thing in the world? Besides, now that there’s a coronavirus vaccine, we’ll be back to being cast aside and forgotten before you know it, if it’s any consolation.
     I say Middle Children should cherish this moment! Because if we’ve learned anything from this mess -- and I sure hope we have -- it won’t ever happen again. Then we’ll be back to whining and moaning about having to get together with everyone and being slighted and overlooked and so on and so forth. Plus, staying home might actually help save someone’s life. If you ask me, it sounds  like a win-win.
     On the other hand, like all things Middle Child, there’s a twist. A catch. You see, Middle Child Syndrome may not be the best thing to have, but it’s our thing. All those feelings that are dredged up every time the family gets together? Sure, they suck -- but they’re ours, dammit! If we don’t have them, what are we left with? What is our signature Middle Child issue? You’re going to deny me an opportunity to feel overlooked and forgotten? How dare you! No fair! 
     See, I told you it was twisted, but that's how Middle Child logic works. 
     Of course, I don’t know why I’m even getting the least bit worked up over any of this. No one invited me anywhere anyway. 

Thursday, December 10, 2020

With Facebook Friends Like That...

          I don’t spend all my time thinking about the countless ways growing up a Middle Child has impacted my life. An inordinate amount of time? Sure, but there are huge swaths of time when I’m actually not thinking about it at all. Well, that’s not totally true. During those times I might occasionally think, “Gosh, this is what it must feel like not being a Middle Child.” But other than that, there are stretches of time when I suffer little to no symptoms of Middle Child Syndrome. But then all of the sudden, out of nowhere, something will jump out and completely crush my Middle Child fantasy. You never know where it’s going to come from, but you always have to be ready -- because it will come from someplace. Case in point... 
          I was hanging out with my Facebook friends the other day, when I scrolled upon one of those riddles that pop up on my feed every now and then. You know the ones I’m talking about. They’re like those horrible word problems I used to dread in math class. I usually don’t partake in these games, but when a former coworker posted one recently, I had a moment of weakness. Maybe it was because of the pandemic and spending so much time at home, running out of things to do. Whatever the reason, I set aside my fear of being humiliated in front of hundreds of my closest virtual friends. I figured, “What’s the worst that could happen?” -- besides being humiliated in front of hundreds of my closest virtual friends. So I decided to play... 
            Perhaps I was overthinking a bit, but before answering, I needed some clarification. After all, families come in all shapes and sizes these days. I mean, I wanted to get this right, and I thought the question was a little vague. So I asked... 
           It seemed like a fair enough question. After all, my reputation was at stake. I wanted, neigh, I needed to get this right. In hindsight, maybe I was setting myself up for what happened next... 
          Not cool, my “friend!” I knew I shouldn’t have gotten sucked into your silly game. I was trying to be nice, but it’s like I always say: no good deed goes unpunished! And now you have left me no choice. There’s only one thing I have to say:
          That’s right, NINE! 
          The answer is NINE!! (Mr. & Mrs. Mustard, the six daughters, and they each have a brother. One brother for the six of them. 2 + 6 + 1 = 9!!) 
          Sorry, Maddy -- payback’s a bitch. 
This whole disturbing episode has inspired me to create a few riddles of my own, 
just for Middle Children. 
If Teresa's daughter is my daughter's mother, what am I to Teresa? 
Nothing -- Teresa doesn’t give a rat’s ass about you! 
Joey's mother has three children. The oldest was named Alana. The youngest was named Alaina. What is the Middle Child’s name? 
Ughhh -- nobody EVER remembers! 
If I had 3 eggs and a thief gave me 4 and my rooster laid 5 more, how many eggs do I have?
Less than my siblings -- no fair! 
A man was murdered in his office. The suspects are Gerry, Julie, Jason, Nick, and Sophie. The numbers 6, 4, 9, 10, 11 are written on the calendar with blood. Who is the killer? 
Which one is a Middle Child? Let’s blame them! 
When the day after tomorrow is yesterday, today will be as far from Wednesday as today was from Wednesday when the day before yesterday was tomorrow. What was yesterday? 
My birthday, but everyone forgot -- again! 
 You are asleep and there is a sudden knock on the door. Behind the door are your parents, who came to have breakfast. In your fridge: bread, milk, juice, and a jar of jam. What will you open first?
Don’t bother -- they’re actually on their way to have breakfast with your brother and sister. They just stopped at your house to use the bathroom.

Sunday, November 22, 2020

The Ultimate Middle Child Thanksgiving Meal

          It’s going to be a very different Thanksgiving this year for millions of Americans. Hopefully, you’re following CDC guidelines and inviting fewer people over for Thanksgiving dinner. But no matter how small your gathering, one guest seems to show up, year after year -- always uninvited: Middle Child Syndrome. 
          As Thanksgiving and the holiday season approaches, actually whenever family is together for that matter, you can count on MCS rearing its ugly head. It’s not always easy to know what will set it off, but you can be sure something will. Maybe it’s reliving a need for attention from the past, or feelings of favoritism from the present. It might even be triggered by the food that’s served, or not served. 
          As if you needed any more on your Thanksgiving menu, we offer these MidKid-style versions of some all-time Thanksgiving favorites. 
 Classic Middle Child Turkey 
Season and baste turkey to your liking, place in preheated oven at 350˚, then totally forget it’s there. 
Roasted Bitter Nut Squash Soup 
Follow any Butter Nut squash soup recipe, then add a touch 
of sour grapes!
Not-so-Sweet Potato Casserole with Marshmallows
You’re allergic to sweet potatoes and you hate marshmallows, but your brother loves it -- so, too bad! 
Middle Child Mashed Potatoes 
Just like regular mashed potatoes, only not quite as good. 
 Second Hand Stuffing
Nobody else wanted it, so it’s yours. 
No-Fuss MidKid Gravy 
Don’t let the name fool you -- it’s a pain in the ass to make. It’s called “No Fuss” because nobody makes a big deal over it. Ever
Not-as-good-as-your-Sister's Cranberry Sauce
Really? All she did is open a can! And you both used the exact same brand!! How could hers possibly be better? So unfair. 
Best-Ever Candied Yams 
Well, of course they are. Your sister made them, too! 

5-Star Green Bean Casserole 
Yeah, yeah -- and she made the casserole.
Smack Dab Pumpkin Pie  
This triple layer treat is the icing on the cake. A delicious pumpkin pudding layer on the bottom, a mouthwatering whipped cream layer on the top -- and nobody cares what’s in the middle! It’s the perfect finish for a classic Middle Child Thanksgiving feast. Hope you enjoy yours! 
Relieve Thanksgiving Middle Child Syndrome with the perfect Middle Child wine!
Pair your Middle Child meal with a recommended selection from Middle Sister Wines. THIS IS REAL! You can pick up a bottle (or 10) at the Middle Sister Wine Shop
                            Sweet & Sassy                   Sweetie Pie                   Drama Queen 
                                 Moscato                  Goodie Two Shoes               Pinot Grigio
 Pinot Noir
No Thanks!” 

Tuesday, November 10, 2020

FIRST BORN WINS! Middle Child Cries, “No Fair!”

          In what may go down as the most epic Middle Child meltdown in U.S. political history, future former President Donald J. Trump went full tilt MidKid upon learning Joe Biden was projected to become the 46th President of the United States. As promised, and true to form, he went down kicking and screaming, pulling out all the Middle Child stops. 
          Since election night, our Middle Child-in-Chief has impugned the entire election process with repeated claims of electile dysfunction, accusing his opponent and state officials of being part of a “corrupt Democrat machine” that, in no particular order, is guilty of “tremendous corruption,” “telling lie after lie after lie,” committing fraud, not to mention stealing, robbing, and rigging the election. But the people want details. They demand evidence! You want proof!? I’ll give you proof. The President says there is “a lot of shenanigans” and that “people are doing a lot of bad things.” What more do you need to know? But it gets even better.
So Much Whining
          The whole election wasn’t rigged. Just his part. All those Republicans who won or held seats? Those were all legit. That is one whacky (and poorly executed) conspiracy. While Biden is already millions of votes ahead and approaching what Trump called an “electoral college landslide” when he won the same number in 2016 (even though it wasn’t -- his margin of victory ranks 46th out of 58  U.S. Presidential elections), our pouting POTUS is still insisting he won.          
          Hey, look -- I get it. We’re Middle Children. We’re known for whining and moaning about how we’re always getting screwed. That’s our thing. No Middle Child likes someone else taking attention away from them. And we certainly don’t enjoy being embarrassed by a firstborn. I once got so upset when my older brother humiliated me in front of my friends during a pick-up basketball game, I kicked him as hard as I could in his nuts. Not my proudest moment, even though it was probably my best
shot of the game -- but that’s not the point. I was in my driveway, in front of like five other kids. The whole world wasn’t watching! And at least I apologized afterwards. I didn’t double down with a follow-up knee to the nads. But the West Wing whiner shows no signs of letting up. It’s been days since Biden was projected to win, and there’s no concession in sight. He’s even talking about spreading more conspiracy theories (and coronavirus) at rallies promoting his lost cause. At least my b-ball behavior didn’t put anyone’s life at risk, even though I’m sure my brother would beg to differ.
          I know nobody likes losing, but I’ve often wondered if given our history of believing we always get the short end of the stick, maybe Middle Children hate it even a little more. Maybe we’re sorer losers? The behavior of the current Oval Office occupant would suggest that’s the case. I don’t have any research to back this up, but you know I’ll be looking into it. In the meantime, I think we can all agree his behavior goes way beyond childish. It’s absolutely Middle Childish. 
POST-ELECTION POSTSCRIPT: I’ve written previous posts about my obsession with receiving mail and the important role the U.S. Postal Service has played in my Middle Child development. Many famous MidKids have earned their place on a U.S. postage stamp, and I've even proposed a stamp be issued acknowledging Middle Child's Day -- maybe for second class mail. In keeping with my philatelic predilection, I’m proposing the USPS issues these commemorative stamps to honor the special role mail-in ballots played in the 2020 election.