We’ve been talking a lot about birth order lately.
This is mostly due to the fact that Tinker has entered another of her “bossy, bossy, know-it-all” phases and the boys aren’t taking it well. As the middle child, frankly, she does not get enough attention. I understand this well enough– I am a middle child, too!
As a response to her bossiness, the boys have united together into a gluey bond that completely shuts her out. It is heartbreaking for her, but as an outside observer, I can see their point. They don’t like her telling them how to have fun, how to eat, what to wear, and so forth. They play together (mostly) quite well.
TInker loves being in the middle. She has been known to cry when her turn to do something doesn’t come second. She wants the middle seat in the car. She has to have the middle spot in front of the television and has been known to force her chair between theirs at the table. And, whatever they are doing, soon enough she will be “in the big middle of it.”
Tink’s need to be in the middle has rubbed of on the Blitz, who wants to be third in all activities except reading. (He quickly figured out that mom’s interest and patience wanes by the third reader.) If I say, “Blitz, you be the leader this time,” he will retort, “No, Mom, I’m the caboose.”
The Captain– in keeping with his nickname– always wants to be first. This caused a few issues back in pre-K but he has finally learned that in a classroom, you just cannot be first every time. It’s odd how birth order has played a role in their overall sense of order, no matter how we try to fight against it.
The only one of the Triple Threat who is actually in her rightful spot is Tinker. There were, in fact, two older than The Captain in his original family, but he never knew them. And there is a younger sibling to these three we haven’t seen in some time. Nonetheless, they’ve fallen quite easily into this more visible pecking order, and it is hard to move them out of it!
Did you know there really is a “pecking order” among chickens and other fowl? The dominant bird pecks subordinate birds, who in turn peck birds subordinate to them, while each must also submit to being pecked by more dominant fowl. This seems to be the case with human children too!
For our part we will continue to push the kids out of their comfort zones and provide support to them as needed. How much good it will do remains to be seen.