Friday, December 12, 2014

'Tis the Season to be Neglected!

     As the Holiday Season shifts into high gear, so does Middle Child Syndrome. It’s difficult to deal with on a normal day, but when the holidays roll around, things can get real ugly. Think about it -- controlling MCS can be a challenge when you’re with just your parents or some of your siblings. But when all your family is together, there’s no telling what may happen! Especially when gifts are involved. Birthday gifts are one thing. Birthdays are spread throughout the year, so comparing who got what can be more challenging. But on Christmas, it’s all right there in front of you. There’s no escaping it. And if you celebrate Chanukah, it can be 8 times worse! Trust me, no matter what you do, a Middle Child will find a way to conclude they got the worst gift. Even if you got everyone the same thing! That’s just the way we roll.
The Middle Child Syndrome Advisory
has been raised to CODE RED
for the holidays!
     In an effort to spread some Middle Child merriment and hopefully diffuse the situation, I offer up the following. First, here’s a link to a previous post: “Helpful Holiday Tips for Giving Gifts to a Middle Child.” Good luck with that. You should also check out the Smack Dab Shop for all the Middle Children on your list. The gift list, not that other list. (Royalties from every sale are donated to UNICEF, to benefit ALL children.) Order now, and this year you might actually be able to make your Middle Child feel like -- the favorite! Now THAT would be a Christmas miracle. Finally, why not celebrate the season in true Middle Child style? Fire up the YouTube, gather ‘round the virtual fireplace, and enjoy that Middle Child Christmas classic, “The Middle Child’s Night Before Christmas.” Happy Holidays!

COMING SOON: Join me on “THE MID KID ROAD TRIP” as I LIVE Tweet my journey down the eastern seaboard with my IN-LAWS! Details to follow.

Monday, November 17, 2014

Initial Dissapointment

          I don’t want to bore you with the details, but I recently had to change my personal e-mail address. For years, I was lucky to have an address that was simply my first initial and last name. But when I went to create a new account, it was already taken -- by my nephew, as we share the same first initial and last name. (Shouldn't I have dibs on that, by the way? After all, I was here first!) In any case, I had to settle for an address using my first and middle initial. B.S. Yes, that’s right, my name is Bruce Steven. B.S. I guess it could be worse. I could be B.O. But when I was growing up, back when “SHIT” was still a curse word, BS weren’t the initials of choice. Back then, if you said someone was full of BS, well, thems was fightin' words!
     Making matters worse was the briefcase my father got for both me and my brother when I was in 5th grade. It was bad enough it looked like something an accountant would carry to an IRS audit. It even had locks on it! I was in 5th grade, for god sake -- was someone going to steal my book report!? But the worst part were the gold initials that were embossed on it. There they were, for all my classmates to see and make fun of. I still have that briefcase. (Ironically, it is now filled with tax returns from years past. Could my father have been that forward-thinking?)
          All these years later, I no longer feel the stigma of my initials, but when I notified contacts about my new e-mail address, it was like I was in 5th grade all over again. E-mailer after e-mailer couldn't resist the opportunity to poke some fun. “BS. How appropriate!” said one. “Does BS stand for BS?” asked another. “Nice initials. Confirms what I always knew about you,” still another shared. All this renewed fuss over my initials made me realize something that never dawned on me before: they were really yet another Middle Child slight! Think about it. I got to be BS, but what are my older brother’s initials? M.D!! You heard me -- M.D!! Really, Mom and Dad!? Really?? I suppose you could try and put a positive spin on it. You could argue I was given a premature college degree. But I’d still rather be a doctor.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

The Top 10 Middle Child Costumes for Halloween

     For many Middle Children, Halloween is an opportunity to not be a Middle Child -- at least for a day. But I say it's the perfect time to embrace your Middle Child-ness. Or at least a chance to be a different Middle Child -- maybe even a famous Middle Child! Here are  some suggestions:

10. The Multimillionaire Middle Child: All it takes is a snazzy suit and a horrible hairdo, and Voila! -- you’re Donald Trump. Or if you prefer a more understated look, this Tech Digest article outlines all the geek garb you’ll need to be Bill Gates.

9. A Very Brady Halloween: This year, make it all about Jan, Jan, Jan! Choose the traditional TV series look, or the wigged out movie look. Either way, it's a fitting Halloween homage.


8. Famous FOX Mid Kids: They may never get their own spin-offs, so why not let Mid Kids Chris Griffin or Lisa Simpson be the center of attention, just for the night.

7. The Middle Mermaid: Everyone knows all about Ariel, but why not change things up this year and go as her lesser known sister, Ethel? Yes, Ethel Mermaid.

6. The Irrelephant: If you’re really looking for some attention this Halloween, (and honestly, what Middle Child isn’t?), here's the perfect costume: a pachyderm with Middle Child Syndrome!

5. The Invisible Man: You’ve been playing the part for years, so you might as well dress the part this Halloween. Wrap some gauze around your head, slap on some sunglasses, throw on a bathrobe, and you’re good to go! It'll be like you're not even there. What else is new?

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Confessions of a Middle Child: Knot the Favorite

     I tie my shoes like a six year old. There, I said it. This isn't something I’m proud of. It’s actually a little embarrassing. Even though I’m a grown man, I still tie my shoes using “Bunny Ears.” I have tried over the years to make the move to a more mature method, but haven’t been able to successfully switch. It’s no great mystery why I tie my shoes the way I do. Most people probably don’t remember the day they learned to tie their shoes, but I remember it like it was yesterday (SFX: TRIPPY FLASHBACK MUSIC)...

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

It's Time to Play NFL Family Feud!

     The NFL is one big happy family, right? And just like any family, the league certainly has its... issues. Bad behavior, dysfunction and rivalries abound. But California, Florida, and New York have their very own special NFL families. They are the only states that are home to three NFL teams each. As we all know, in a family of three, only one gets to be the Middle Child. So, who are the lucky winners? You decide...
CALIFORNIA

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Onward and... upward?

A Mid Kid's work is never done!
     It's been a little more than two weeks since Middle Child's Day, and here at the International Middle Child Union, we're already hard at work planning for the future. Speaking with people all across the country these past few weeks about Middle Child's Day, two things became very clear: 1) Most people still don't know when it is, and 2) August 12 is a totally random and obviously forgettable date. Let's be honest -- it's at the ass-end of summer, languishing in the no-man's land between Fourth of July and Labor Day. It's just begging to be overlooked. So I've decided to hijack Middle Child's Day and move it to a date that makes much more sense: July 2 -- the smack dab middle of the year, and right on the heels of Independence Day when everyone's already in a festive, celebratory mood anyway.
182 days on
either side.
     That's why today I am announcing the formation of the "Occupy Mid Kids Day" movement. Working together with the Middle Child Party, (which I also founded, so "working together" actually means I've joined forces with... myself), our goal is to rally support for this change. The move shouldn't meet a lot of resistance, since apparently nobody knows when Middle Child's Day is anyway!

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Middle Child's Day Update #8: Going to Bat for the Mid Kid!

These teams have made the Middle Child's Day
"A Team" by hosting "Mid Kid Appreciation Nights"
on August 12th and throughout the season.
These teams received Honorable Mention for
acknowledging Middle Child's Day
at their August 12th home games.

Thanks to all the teams for making the Middle Child the center of attention -- at least for one night!!

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Middle Child's Day Update #7: NEW Middle Child's Day Greeting Cards are here!

     It's a Smack Dab Blog exclusive! Middle Child's Day greeting cards from MidMark -- when you care enough to not care too much. You won't find them in any store. Trust me, I looked. Show the Middle Children in your life how you really feel about them. Like they don't already know. Simply share this post with them -- could it be any easier give a Middle Child the attention they so desperately seek? No, it could not. And it still won't be enough -- but do it any way, otherwise you'll never hear the end of it. Here's a link to last year's cards if you want to really ratchet up the attention.
Don't forget to check out the Smack Dab Shop for great MidKid gift ideas.
(ALL ROYALTIES FROM PURCHASES ARE DONATED TO UNICEF)




Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Middle Child's Day Update #6: MidKid Icon Gallery

     In honor of Middle Child's Day, change your Twitter, Facebook or any social media profile pic to one of these 50 make-believe and real-life Mid Kids or logos:
Darlene Conner
Donald Trump
Corey Matthews
Malcolm WIlkerson
Danny Partridge
Sue Heck
Stephanie Tanner
I.M.C.U.
Alex Dunphy
Amy Adams
Anne Hathaway
Corey Matthews
Bill Gates
Britney Spears
Bruce Lee

Monday, August 4, 2014

Middle Child's Day Update #5: BRAD PITT Stars in the World Premiere of the Mid Kid Anthem!

     Okay, okay -- so BRAD PITT is not a Middle Child. And BRAD PITT doesn't exactly star in this video either. It's more like four measly seconds of BRAD PITT. But I figure the more I mention BRAD PITT (5X so far), the better the chances are of anyone actually paying attention to the video. I mean, it is a Middle Child video, after all -- a little help from BRAD PITT couldn't hurt.(6X, but who's counting.)
     The "Mid Kid Anthem," sung to to the tune of the 80's hit by Simple Minds featured in the John Hughes' classic coming of age film "The Breakfast Club," features more famous Middle Children then you can shake the short end of the stick at -- 101 to be exact. (See if you can name them all. The complete list is here.) Showcasing famous Mid Kids helps shift the negative stereotype of Middle Children away from being whiney 2nd class citizens, and shows we can achieve great fortune and fame, and still be whiney!
     So without further ado, and just in time for Middle Child's Day, it is with great pleasure I present to you  "The Middle Child Anthem," with a special appearance by none other than BRAD PITT (sorry, I couldn't help it). Please rise...

Friday, August 1, 2014

Middle Child's Day Update #4: Show Some #MidKidPride

Don't forget to wave your virtual Mid Kid flag on Middle Child's Day!
Use #MidKidPride on your social media all day long. Why not start now?
     Middle Child’s Day is the one day a year we get to bask in all our Mid Kid glory. I can hardly wait for all the festivities and flag waving. Of course, there will be no parades or parties. And we certainly don’t have a flag -- so I created one!
     Like all flags, it has symbolic meaning: the large green and blue blocks on either side represent the older and younger siblings, and all the attention they get. That little thin white stripe of nothingness in between them? That’s what we get. A whole lot of nothing. As you'd expect, just like any self-respecting flag, ours also has a motto -- in Latin, no less: 

“Attentionem Ante Omnia” -- “Attention Above All.”

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Middle Child's Day Update #3: Be a Card Carrying Mid Kid on Aug. 12!

     In case your behavior isn't already a dead give-away, here's all you need to prove you're a Middle Child! FREE membership in the International Middle Child Union verifies your Mid Kid status, and says to the world, "Hey, look at me!! I'm a Middle Child!! I said HEY, LOOK AT ME, I'M A MIDDLE CHILD!!!!"
     You can become a member or show your support for the I.M.C.U. by subscribing to the Smack Dab blog, following @MidKidMusings on Twitter, or by "liking" the Facebook SmackDabPage. If you're a Middle Child, you've already paid your dues!!

Right click and "Save Image" to download and print out your
very own I.M.C.U. membership card.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Middle Child's Day Update #2: Mid Kid Gift Guide

          There are less than 20 shopping days 'til Middle Child's Day, and you still haven't found the perfect gift for the Mid Kid in your life? Typical Middle Child treatment! But no worries -- the  gift experts at the Smack Dab Blog (a.k.a. me) know just what to get that special someone who says they never get anything as good as their brother and sister:
     There's nothing like curling up with a good book on Middle Child's Day. All by yourself. Waiting for no one to call. Nothing like it. There are plenty of classic Mid Kid titles to choose from, including "The Invisible Man" by H.G. Wells and S.E. Hinton's "The Outsiders."
      Middle Children LOVE games! No one ever asks us to play, but Middle Child's Day would be the perfect time to let a Mid Kid win a game or two. That's probably not a bad idea any day. What could be a better gift than making a Middle Child feel like a real winner -- at least for a day.
     The "Official" Flower of Middle Child's Day. Could anything say "I remembered not to forget you today" better than a bouquet of Forget-Me-Nots? Oh, I don't know, maybe a nice watch? A new iPad? But I guess we'll take whatever attention we can get.
     Make Hand-Me-Downs feel like Brand New. Hand -me-downs would be great, if only they were never worn before. Now, the Middle Child (and anyone who's not a first born) can have the best of both worlds: "Never-Worn-Before Hand-Me-Downs" are now available at the SmackDabShop, where you'll also find a collection of Middle Child merchandise -- something for every Middle Child on your list!
 (All royalties donated to UNICEF, to benefit ALL children.)

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Middle Child's Day Update #1: Coming Soon to a Stadium Near You

          It all started as a joke... 
          Just days after I wrote about my miserable memories of Little League ("Welcome to the Middle Leagues") and posted the accompanying Middle Child musical salute to opening day, ("You Never Take Me Out to the Ballgame,") I found myself on my way to a Florida Marlins home opener with friends. "Gee, I wonder if tonight is Middle Child Night at the stadium?" I quipped. "You know, that's when you bring your Middle Child to the game, and they don't pay any attention to him!"
          A flurry of ideas ensued: bring your Middle Child to the game, and there will be special prizes for their brother and sister. Get free parking if you bring your Middle Child -- you just have to leave them in the car. You know, stuff like that. But the next day I read some articles about the craziest promotions Minor League teams have done in the past -- everything from casket and liposuction giveaways to a "Salute to Indoor Plumbing Night" where the stadium bathrooms were closed and porta-potties were used instead to promote appreciation for indoor plumbing. Suddenly, "Middle Child Appreciation Night" didn't seem so crazy after all. So I started pitching the idea to teams all across the country -- and teams said YES!

         

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Screwed (or maybe NOT screwed) Again!

As reported in an article on the Huffington Post, it seems Middle Children are the LEAST likely to find love later in life! Now, I'm sure I can find research that might dispute these findings. I mean, I've been happily married for 31 years if that means anything. But what if they're right? What if the odds really are against Middle Children finding ultimate happiness?? Somebody has to do something!! Maybe this will help...


Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Middle Child Masterpiece Theater

It's all Middle Child, all the time, featuring classic, memorable Middle Child Moments. The most complete (and only) TV Middle Child archives in the world -- take that, Smithsonian! If you know of any worthy submissions, or if you have additional information about archived clips, please let me know and they'll be added. Future additions to the archives will be viewable on the Smack Dab Channel...


THE BRADY BUNCH
Middle Child: Jan Brady (Eve Plumb) "Her Sister's Shadow" Season 3/No. 10  Originally Aired: November 19, 1971

Friday, June 13, 2014

A Tale of Two Father's Days

It was the best of Father’s Days, it was the worst of Father’s Days….
     You might expect me to be raising the Middle Child Syndrome Advisory to its highest level for Father’s Day, just as I’ve done for most other holidays. After all, it is yet another opportunity for family to get together -- which means there’s always the potential for lifelong festering Middle Child issues to arise. So why am I not sounding the alarm? For Middle Children, Father’s Day can really be a double edged sword.
     If you, like me, are a Middle Child who is also a father, Father's Day can actually be a very good day -- a Middle Child’s dream come true. We get to be the center of attention for the entire day! It’s like a law. Everyone has to pay attention to us. (Well, at least my children have to. My wife refuses to submit. When I drop my heavy handed hints about what gifts I’d like, she’s quick to remind me, “You’re not my father!”) Oh well. Nevertheless, there's still a lot of mandatory attention to be had, and when you’re a Middle Child, you’ll take any kind of attention you can get -- even if it’s forced attention.

Friday, May 23, 2014

SPECIAL INDY 500 REPORT: There’s No Place Like 3rd Place

     As the racing world gears up for the 98th Indianapolis 500, people can’t help but speculate about who this year’s winner will be. Well, according to Las Vegas, you can put your money on Andretti Autosport's Marco Andretti. At 5:1, the odds makers believe he’ll cross the finish line first, which makes him the favorite.
     It must be nice to be the favorite. When you’re a Middle Child, that’s not a position you often find yourself in. My older brother and younger sister always placed first and second in the parental attention derby, while I had a solid lock on third place – which is really no surprise. That’s right where most Middle Children expect to finish. It’s all too familiar territory. Third place is usually as good as it gets, but I say it’s nothing to feel bad about. Even the very best  have spent their fair share of time as the third best. The Indy 500 is a perfect example.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Peter Cottontail: Middle Child Friend or Foe?

Whose side is he on?
     Back in 1950, singing cowboy legend (and future L.A. Angels owner) Gene Autry had a huge hit with the whimsical “Here Comes Peter Cottontail.” It reached #3 on the Billboard Hot Country Singles chart, #5 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, and became one of the most popular Easter songs ever. Until now.
     While Autry’s version tells the tale of a fluffy bunny, “bringing every girl and boy baskets full of Easter joy,” there’s a certain member of the family who might beg to differ. As expected, the Middle Child has another side of the story that needs to be told... err, uhm, sung.
     “There Goes Peter Cottontail” is the shocking account of what really happened after the happy hare hopped away and how, predictably, the Middle Child feels his basket came up a little short. (I mean, I'M the one who loves marshmallow Peeps. ME! Not my brother and sister! Why would they get more than me? It makes no sense!)
MY Peeps!
     But I'm not one to hold a grudge...
     Easter is a time for family, so grab your siblings -- okay, gently grab your  siblings -- gather ‘round the YouTube, and let’s all join together for the first-ever  Mid Kid Easter Sing-A-Long!


Wednesday, April 9, 2014

The Diet Craze That's NOT Sweeping the Nation!


Lose weight fast by eating none of YOUR favorite foods!
Only eat whatever your siblings can't finish!
(Hey, it beats drinking juice for a week.)