Jim-Jim and Other Games | #MyFridayStory №232
Middle-born children get a raw deal.
First-born children get all the attention. Last-born children are born into a life of privilege not afforded to any other siblings. Middle-born children live in the shadow of their older siblings and are outshone by the last born.
In Parenting Ideas, Why the first-borns fuss, seconds are resilient and last-borns like to laugh, Michael Grose says this of the middle child. “Middle born children are victims of bad timing. Born too late to get the perks and privileges of being born first but too early to get the easy ride that youngest receive, middles often feel squeezed between these two siblings and wonder, “Why me?” or “It’s not fair!””
The research suggests a trail of ills beseech those born sandwiched between siblings. In one literature review, some research suggests middle children are 33% more likely to engage in delinquent behaviour than their older siblings.
I have two middle-Sisters. My oldest Sister was born a few years after my oldest Brother. The next Sister — my little sister — was born a few years before I entered the world. Not only was she squeezed between two siblings, but by three. She emerges as an awkward girl with a face like an angel and the temper of a tiger. It’s true, she wore the badge, “black-sheep” or “rebel” of the family. Being labelled early, she went out and tried to prove everyone right each day.
Although we could fight like cat and dog growing up — your staple sibling rivalry — we were best friends that loved playing together. We played games of hide-n-go-seek, school-school, armies and soldiers, cowboys and crooks, we had tea parties, cooked play-play food, built forts and tents, played games of marbles, we played with boats and submarines and dinky toy cars and plastic toy soldiers.
We were never bored.
We invented games. One such game we called, “Jim-Jim”. It was about two people, both men, and both named Jim. We would then invent different scenarios for these two men. As the two youngest and in a home with six people and one bath, we bathed together. Jim and Jim were both scientists who had to concoct a secret formula to save the world. Using everything from shampoo, bubble-bath, mouthwash, Brylcreem, toothpaste and my Dad’s Old Spice, we would play until the water was ice cold. We even named these various formulas and ingredients with scientific-sounding names like, “Quick, pass me the “grugegazza”, I need to add some to the “zeggerarara” before it explodes!”
Our friendship never waned and when I got to high school, she became my bigger sister that looked out for me. She brought my niece — and Godchild — into the world. My Sister started dating one of my best friends and ended up marrying him. This put her into my circle of friends which meant she was always around. When my Son was born, my first-born, my Sister was at the hospital. She is my Son’s Godmother. She was at the same hospital for my Daughters’ birth. She quickly became their favourite aunt.
It has been almost 20 years since my Sister and her daughters moved to Australia. We have not seen each other in this time, but our bond is only strengthened by the distance. I still have all the little notes and cards she wrote to me over the years growing older. Written in her careful and caring handwriting. In them, and her actions, she reveals how being the middle child has strengthened her character and made her a formidable woman.
Whether you are a first, middle or last-born child, I hope you also find your Jim.
Have an awesome weekend and please be generous! 😄
As always, thanks for reading 🙏
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