An Ode to the Middle Child

07 March 2013

Oh, Sebastian.

You're a mess.


You are. If I had the time (fine! I have that), the strength, and the energy to bathe you after every meal (5 or 6 daily) I really should because you strut away from that high chair wearing a whoooooole lot of leftovers. You fly through clothes because - you're a mess!! And when I'm having a tough time keeping up with the laundry (always) you sometimes find yourself in Julia's tightest leggings and a pair of pink socks and then you're a hot mess for a day or two in a row.


We were expecting Julia to have a tough time with Theo's arrival but it was most definitely you that acted out initially. You became a bit of a terror. You introduced us to your hilarious throw your body on the floor and stomp around wailing and shaking your head furiously when you didn't get to go outside in the snow in your bare feet.  We couldn't take you outside unless we were in the mood to sprint because you would put your chin to your chest and take off down the street at an impressive pace for a boy with legs as tall as rulers. I don't know why I typed "couldn't" because we still can't. You're a runner and you make me look like a very negligent mother out in public.

If you run up the neighbor's wheelchair ramp one more time while I helplessly struggle with Theo and his thousand pound car seat and alert the most talkative man in all of the land that there are people outside to talk to - I'll die. 

You take the worst naps and always wake up hours before Julia because I think you've caught on that she is a little attention hog. You're the kid that seems to always have a runny nose and even if it's dripping all over your face and off your chin you freak and gallop away as fast as you can when I try to wipe it. 
 
I find you dancing on top of the dining room table 98 times a day and no amount of stern parental discipline will deter you from doing it over and over again. You've fallen off a few times but climb right back up to your dance floor because you are c to the ray to the z.


On the other hand - you're the best.

You selflessly sit in the car seat in the very back of the van because Julia cannot handle sitting in the back lest she have some need arise that requires me to hold her foot for comfort.

You've inherited Julia's neglected purple blankie and are rarely seen without it these days. She stole the fancy blue one you were gifted but you're happy with the purple because you're Sebastian and you don't care.

I can count on one finger the number of times Julia has voluntarily given me a hug but you're a hugger. Sometimes your hugs come complete with a little shoulder bite that draws blood but I'm sure you mean well.

You've never pitched a fit when I've left you with a sitter or with your dad like Julia did at your age and go up to anyone - ANYONE and put your hands out to be held within seconds of seeing them.

Recently the house has fallen too quiet and I whiz around expecting to find you in a puddle of disaster like I always do but I've been shocked to see you sitting on the floor looking at a book.


Shocked.

The other night I was trying to make a semi-nice meal of Chicken Parmesan and Googled, "easy Chicken Parmesan" and was trying not to croak over the, "now gather the ingredients to make a home made sauce" line from the oxymoronic simplyrecipes.com and you were doing your, "eh! eh! eh! eh! eh! eh! eh! eh! eh!" that tend to drive a sane person insane so I told you to go read a book to Theo.

And you did.


Silently with no words because words aren't your jam quite yet.

And then you gave him a kiss that involved nothing but waving your snotty nose over his clean face and you never touched him because you only touch Theo when you're in attack mode but you were pretty proud ...


For 4 seconds until ...


you threw yourself back into mess mode. We laughed (maybe) and loved you through it like we always have and always will.


*this is a little too sappy for my taste but I thought, "Sebastian took a 45 second nap then woke up his ogre of a sister and went on to bite Theo on the cheek while he was peacefully kicking the air" would've been a little boring and a little too brief.


36 comments:

  1. I bet Julia gave a great hug (singular).

    Basher - I love you and I've never even met you.
    That's internet stalking at its finest!

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  2. Cute cute cute!! He reminds me of Paul - who is also quite fast and loves to run into the cul de sac. I love it when I search for a trouble maker and find a book reader! Keep going Grace! You're an inspiration!

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  3. My grandma calls people a "mess" endearingly.

    "Oh, you little mess!"
    "Grandma, I don't think people like being called a 'mess'."
    "But it's a compliment! They are just a cute little mess."

    I think I get it now. Sebastian is a cute, little mess.

    The Brayn of Chalayn

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  4. Oh Basher! How can you not love that little dude? :o) I think my heart swelled 10 sizes over him "reading" to Theo. What a sweetheart!

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  5. This reminds me of my childhood! Me, the oldest and only female.
    My middle brother so similar to what you described; oh yes the middle child "thing"
    Then the youngest...oh he'll be the bright one with all the secret gifts and talents!

    Thanks for your tales this lazy Thursday afternoon.

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  6. Love that boy! He's perfect. Oh and my youngest just walked in the room and pointed to Basher and said "hey, that looks like me!" It was the last picture. So proud.

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  7. So cute. Love the stories. Each little bug is so unique. So funny that you hate the touchy-feely posts - they are still totally hilarious.

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  8. Sweet - not sappy. Just right!

    And I've never really noticed before but he really looks like your husband - especially in that first picture. Well, maybe he looks like your husband in the last picture too but you've never posted any pictures of Simon crying so it's hard to make a comparison.

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  9. Oh, Basher hugs, I bet they´re the best !!

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  10. Bash: I'm officially asking for your hand in marriage to my daughter. I realize you might have other pending offers, but Jordan is an incredible hand-holder, loves books, and doesn't speak. Win.

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  11. I love it. The picture of Sebastian reading to Theo is adorable. I feel like I still have days like that, where I'm doing so good and then -blam- 5 minutes later I'm a mess. Maybe I should have outgrown that by now? Oh well.

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  12. Let me just tell you - Sebastian is CLEARLY the 2nd child. They are always way more adventurous and laid back. At least in my experience. And he's ALL boy. Wait until Theo joins him. My first son stuck to me like glue, never stepped outside the boundaries of the rules, sat and read books, etc. My 2nd? Whoo-boy. He was my runner also. And my hider. As in, "it's hilarious to hide in Old Navy under the clothes rack and giggle to myself while my Mom frantically calls my name and alerts store security because she turned her back for ONE SECOND after I swore I could be trusted out of the stroller". We had a break after that one. Then I had the last two. Same issue. Rule follower, followed by the devil-child. But variety is good, right?

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  13. I recently found your blog and absolutely love it. You have an incredibly fun writing style.

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  14. This makes me want to have two more kids JUST so that I could have a middle child, hopefully just like the Bash.

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  15. oh I really want to meet him and I think he and Joseph would be 2 peas in a pod! I'm voting for St. Louis now for postdoc! ;)

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  16. I love this! I have a love/hate relationship with this age, I love all the surprises of how smart they can be but hate the "eh eh eh eh" whine all day long because they can't communicate and the messes at meal time. Alexis (the middle child) is also my hugger, its like they know that they have to have a good card to play to get more attention, haha!

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  17. that proud face is the best. oh basher, such a charmer!

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  18. Aw reading a book to Theo! He's a smart cookie and a looker!

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  19. I like the part where he's a "hot mess" for a few days.

    How old is Mr. Sebastian?

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  20. Love it! Thank you so much for sharing! As for the Quick Takes, Simon says,...ETC. I don't comment much, but I do read much! You make my day and me would thinks we would make real life friends. Me identif-o much-o. ;)

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  21. Not sappy at all. Such a sweet note to your toddler boy!

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  22. Again, priority mail please. I love him.

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  23. Every post I read makes me more convinced that you are my replica with my replica children in a different part of the country blogging about your life to make sure I remember this is kinda what it is supposed to really be like! My middle, Jonah is your Bash through and through, but he's 3 now and it has gotten a little better... Mostly because he has hilarious cave man like explanations for his drastic mood swings and aggressions! My third, who we call Bash too is 23 months and a much more manageable version of my middle with just enough toughness to survive a brother like his! The thing I learned with these all boys boys of mine is that there is no sweeter reward than their successes like catching them lovingly reading a book to their baby siblings just when you least expected it. These are totally the qualities that some of the greatest saints are made of, my only fear is that their mothers were saints too and I'm just royally screwing this all up because they are much faster, sneakier and louder than I can seem to tame on our easiest days!! But you know what, I wouldn't trade them for any other bunch of messes in the whole world!!!

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  24. He sounds like my son. You writing always makes me smile.

    eypolapol.tumblr.com

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  25. Awwww! ILOVE this post! Sweet little Bashy...you will look back in this post one day when he's all grown up and cry!

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  26. Oh my goodness. That picture of Basher reading to Theo....iDie!

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  27. Middle kids. Ya just gotta love them. It is a hard road they travel. Sounds like Sebastian is rocking his middle child status!

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  28. So so sweet! That book pic is a framer. It's hard to be a middle child. Poor Tagg, poor Bash. We all just do the best we can. I swear only the moms of other "runners" understand how seriously difficult and frustrating it is to have a "runner." But it gets better!! Just today I was realizing how nice it is that Tagg just walks along by me as we shop now. No running off, no hiding, no code yellows. Only slight whining that he didn't get to drive the cart. I actually almost enjoy target again. Hallelujah.

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  29. So sweet, he reminds me of my middle child, Kolbe. His big sis always runs the show, but he adores her and would do anything for her. And I love sappy posts. :)

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  30. Aww, so grownup with his haircut, even if you hate it. And definitely like my middle child! So snuggly that at age 5 he can be found in our bed every morning. Of course, the rest of the time he is on the go, so he has to get his snuggle time in then.

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  31. so sweet and brought a little tear to my eye! I laughed at the sequence of pictures with him reading, loving Theo, then crying...too funny! Can't wait to see if our little boy will be anything like Bash. you're such a sweet momma!

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  32. First of all, your kids are adorable. And you are hilarious. I don't have kids but one day I will have a few and I think it will be crazy and exhausting and I can't wait. You are such a good mom!

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  33. It may have been a little too sappy for you but I loved this post! I want to squeeze Basher.

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  34. I loved this! Middle children are the sweetest little messes, aren't they?

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