Monday, 15 August 2011

Middle Child Syndrome doesn't exist in our house...

My husband is a 'middle child' and so is his mother. I always worried my Mr Middle aka Jack would suffer the "Middle Child Syndrome", because I can see it does happen to some extent. The eldest gets the attention for being the first, 'paving the way' and so on. The youngest gets the attention because they are the 'baby' and are allowed to get away with murder. Then there's the middle child, who can often get somewhat forgotten about....
Of course with our eldest, Liam, having such a severe physical disability there was always that worry of focussing much more attention on Liam than his siblings. So it was something I was aware of.
My husband still suffers from it a bit. And I remember my mother in law saying "poor Jack will suffer the middle child syndrome too". My inner monologue response was: "Not if I have anything to do with it!", and on the outside I did my usual nod and smile, because I am  a wuss polite.
Funny thing is, Jack had his own thoughts of: "Not if I have anything to do with it!" He went and got himself a Congenital Heart Defect, thus major attention seeking ensued with Open Heart Surgery. Then when we had a sigh of relief after it was all over, he must've thought "Damn I ain't getting this middle child syndrome thing" and it was revealed he has Autism.  Now that's a great way to not be ignored!!
Looking at my blog, so far Jack and his Autism have reigned supreme. But ask most families who have a child on the spectrum and they will say that a lot of the focus, planning and decisions are around the child with ASD. It isn't spoiling them, it is making life much easier and less of an uphill battle for the entire family. This is not to say Jack is more difficult than his brother or sister. He is just very different.. in a good way (and sometimes in a not so good way).
The ironic thing is, is that Jack wouldn't even notice if there was a bit of "middle child syndrome" going on. Well not at this stage. Although he does have an extremely close relationship with me and does show signs of jealousy if I am focussing on Liam or Evangeline. But overall he is happy doing his own thing and doesn't want attention from anyone else.
I am extremely aware of sharing myself around the three. I do spend a lot more time and energy on Jack and I do feel guilty about that, but at the same time I know the effort I put in with Jack over the next few years will be the greatest investment ever for not only him, but the whole family. And besides Liam thinks the sun shines out of Jack's butt! So Liam doesn't get too jealous when I spend time playing with Jack. Instead he just laughs at all the antics, which in turn makes me smile. Then there is Evangeline... all she will ever know is two brothers with special needs Superhero powers! I often worry what kind of life she will experience in her position. How it will affect her. I am hoping it will make her one of the world's most understanding and empathetic humans. I do take out time for her, so we can have our 'girly' days, but she will definately have a lot more on her plate than most girls.
So there you have it. There is no "Middle Child Syndrome" in my house. But I may have to come up with the syndrome name for youngest sibling with exceptional brothers... we shall call it Evangeline Syndrome for the time being *insert winky face*. I will try to feature my dear daughter a bit more in my blog*, because I don't want her reading this when she's older and having a bitch fit about how little she featured adore her to pieces and she needs to be celebrated too, as all our children do, whether they have additional needs or not.

*next post will be an Evangeline special edition

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