The Middle

Kate does not like to be alone.

Back in November, my mom bought the girls a new bedroom suite. It is lovely: dark wood, a vanity, an upright dresser — and twin beds.

Kate does not sleep in her bed. She usually sleeps with Flora, although she will sometimes find her way to our bed, or even, occasionally, the couch downstairs (especially if that’s where Dan fell asleep).

I don’t fight with her about this. If it’s okay with Flora for Kate to sleep with her, then it’s okay with me. I did try to bribe Kate to sleep in her bed. I told her if she slept in her bed for seven days in a row, I would buy her Zhu Zhu Puppies.

That lasted two days. Then she defected back to Flora’s bed, and declared, “I don’t want Zhu Zhu Puppies.” (Flora, on the other hand, would *love* Zhu Zhu Puppies; I just haven’t figured out what she can do to get one. Maybe knock off the whinging. OMG, the whinging.)

Kate doesn’t like to wait in her bedroom while I’m bathing Flora. (Yeah, that showering by herself thing isn’t working so well; she doesn’t get her hair clean enough.) She will sit on a step stool in a bathroom, with a stuffed animal, waiting for us all to go into the bedroom.

She still hates going to the bathroom by herself. Although, hilariously, when she is pooping, she will shoo me out of the room.

When I am on the couch, feeding Michael, she comes to sit on my other side, as close to me as she can get.

She won’t go upstairs or downstairs by herself. As with sleeping on her own bed, she simply says, “I’m scared.” When asked “of what?” she usually shrugs. Occasionally she says, “Stinkbugs,” which I can understand. Those ubiquitous bugs are freaky looking.

And she tells Flora, almost every morning, “I’ll miss you until you get to daycare.”

Is this a middle child/second child thing? Is it simply a Kate thing? Lay your pop psychology and your ancedotes on me!

(I was going to post the Jimmy Eat World video for their song “The Middle” because I love that song, but it’s full of teenagers in their underpants. No really. So I decided against it.)

8 thoughts on “The Middle

  1. How old is she again?
    Deacon doesn’t often like to be alone at the moment. I hear a lot of, “Mommy, come here!” and “I’m scared.”
    He also doesn’t really like to sleep in his own bed now, and that’s been since right before Rory was born.
    I hope you get it all figured out. If it’s a middle/second child thing, I’m not looking forward to going through it with R!

    • Kate is 4, and has been like this for a while, not just post Michael’s pregnancy and birth. So I just wonder… It’s not bad; it’s just very hard when I’m being pulled in three different directions at once: i.e. trying to help Flora with homework, giving Michael a bottle, going to the bathroom with Kate. Talk about needing a clone! (I would accept a nanny.)

  2. My older two play the “I’m scared of everything and nothing” card all the time, too. I just kind of roll my eyes and tell them to deal with it. Or send the dog along with them as company. That’s bad, isn’t it?

  3. First time reader here. I don’t have children, so I don’t want to offer advice. Only thing I can say is that I never, ever fell asleep in my own bed until the time I was like 10 or so. I would get up, walk around and eventually someone would find me sleeping on the stairs or on the couch. Even nowadays, if I have a lot on my mind, I’ll sleep somewhere other than my bed, or try to fall asleep in a different part of the house so that I’m tired enough to go to bed. It’s not necessarily a bad thing, I don’t think. It may just be her personality.

  4. I am the oldest of 3, our youngest just happens to be a girl and not a boy but honestly Andrea (The Middle One) was attached at my hip until we left grade school. Everywhere I went she went with. When we split up rooms so we each had our own she spent a year plus sleeping on my floor or in my bed every night, her excuse the same – she was scared – but couldnt ever tell any of us of what. This started after our littlest sister appeared on the scene when I was in 2nd grade and her in 1st. Up until that point we had separate rooms, but with the arrival of #3 and the advent of us sharing a room she became my shadow. Honestly I remember it fondly and dont ever remember my mom taking issue with it at all. Even Kelly, #3, spent a LOT of time sleeping in my bed when she was old enough to hop out of the crib and join me. I vividly remember the 1st time she watched a scary movie…it was Scream…and she spent the next 9 months (she was 10ish at the time) with a make shift cot on the floor.

    I think its normal & good that they want to be together like that. I know eventually I got wicked tired (read: teenage years) of my sister shadows….then the waring began.

    • We were at a birthday party recently, and the girls were sitting next to each other, arms slung around each other’s necks, giggling together. Someone commented how sweet it was that there were such good friends. I agree, they are great friends almost all of the time, and it is very sweet. Flora very seldom has issues with Kate sleeping in her bed or wanting to be with her, so I feel lucky. I just worry about that distant teenage future. I should chill and enjoy their friendship now!

      • LOL. Even when I got sick of it I seemed to resign myself to the fact that it just was that way. Both my parents worked full time so I was the after school daycare for us 3 and the babysitter most of the time when they were at work. Looking back I remember parts of it sucking a lot (there is no way for even the biggest of big sisters to make the younger ones do their chores, hell my parents couldnt even do that) but honestly I wouldnt change a thing. I know full well that I am able to do what I do now and do it as well as I do because of being the go to oldest kid. And I still…at 34…am controller of the other 2 and big boss with family stuff and I am totally ok with that!

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