I never thought much about the middle child syndrome until I had a middle child. Yes, the one that’s born after the firstborn and before the baby. The one who would sometimes feel unloved and uncared for, being sandwiched in between. The one who feels dethroned as the baby of the family.
It’s not been easy handling my middle child. She’s one interesting babe. She plays with abandonment, laughs and cries at the same time and can go insanely wild and happy for no particular reason. But she’s also prone to tantrums, tempers and outbursts, and she bites, hits and throws things whenever she gets upset.
It’s been even tougher to deal with the realisation that what I see in my little girl is the exact replica of what I am, deep down truly. That same stubborn streak. That irrationality that doesn’t listen to logic. That strongheadedness. She’s angsty and feisty — just like me. It’s ironic that faced with a person like myself, I am at a loss as to how to handle her, train her and demonstrate love towards her. Maybe it’s because I don’t even know how to handle myself sometimes.
So last night, after an eventful evening of six tantrums from the little girl and a few whackings, some unkind words and table-banging from me, Becks announced she wanted to find her teacher at daycare and proceeded to bawl for her. She said she didn’t want any of us anymore (no, not even her father, brother and baby brother) and even put on her shoes and stood at the door. I opened the gate and she actually stepped out! I kept asking why she wanted the teacher and not us, but all she could do was cry. It was when I told her that I will not follow her because I belonged to this house, and she shouldn’t go because she belonged here as well, that she came back home and allowed me to hold her and hug her. I told her I loved her very much, but all she did was shook her head profusely.
Then, I asked her, “Becks, who does Mama love?”
Her answer to me last night was enough to send my heart into a wrenching spasm of sorts. She answered, “Kor Kor and Di Di“.
All I could think of in bed last night was what a bad, bad mother I’ve been.
My dear Becks, I really love you. You’re my little princess and you’re treasured more than you think you are. I know Mama hasn’t been all that kind and tender towards you and you have been feeling like you are always left out and unloved. It’s not true. Mama is also learning to deal with the host of intense emotions that comes with being your Mama!
Mama doesn’t only love Kor Kor and Di Di. You’re loved too and I hope you will believe that.