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.)

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Opening Day Special: Welcome to the Middle Leagues!

Yes, those are my REAL ears!
(I grew into them.)
          I know that Opening Day is supposed to be all about new beginnings -- a time when baseball fans are full of hope and optimism. But I’m not going to lie. For me, the start of another Major League season dredges up bad memories of Little League season after season. The overzealous parents. The overbearing coaches. It’s a lot of pressure on a little kid. But as if that’s not enough, as a Middle Child there’s also the added pressure, internal or otherwise, of trying to live up to the reputation of your older brother or sister. It’s really a lot like having the same teacher they had. Right from the start, everything you do gets compared to what they did.
          If your older sib was a great athlete, it can be a daunting challenge. If they were really bad, then you come into the league with one strike against you. You just can’t win. Of course, if you’re lucky and your older sibling was a total spaz, the bar may be set so low that you might be able to exceed expectations without having to actually be a very good ball player at all.
A League of Our Own:
a different kind of MLB.
          In my case, I did not have a lot to live up to. My brother was by no means an All-Star. Let’s just say managers weren’t exactly scouting me. I did more choking at bat than choking up on the bat. But you know what’s even more damaging than thinking you’ll be told you’re not as good as your older brother? Worrying that you won’t be as not-good as your older brother! Look, I understand that we can’t all be world class athletes, but I say a kid deserves the chance to suck at baseball on their own terms. Couldn’t I even get some negative attention I could call my own?
          Maybe there should be an alternative to Little League. How about Middle League baseball -- a league where no one lives up (or down) to the legend of their older sibling. “Ridiculous,” you say. “It will never work!” But just remember, that’s exactly what people said about the U.S.F.L. Finally, I realize this problem is not just limited to Middle Children and could be an issue for anyone who's not the first born. My suggestion to them: GO FORM YOUR OWN LEAGUE!
*   *   *
          Baseball clearly wasn’t my favorite pastime as a kid. But in celebration of Opening Day, please enjoy my take on an American classic: “Take Me Out to the Ball Game -The Middle Child Mix," a.k.a. “(You Never) Take Me Out to the Ball Game,” performed by the world famous Smack Dab Singers. 

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

St. Patrick's Day Special: a Middle Child Beer Guide

     How much beer is consumed on St. Patrick's Day? A lot! Guinness estimates it's consumption almost triples, while others figure at least 1% of all the beer consumed in the world each year occurs just on March 17th. In doing my research for this post, I uncovered some other interesting facts. For example, the Russian River Brewing Company makes a double IPA called Pliny the Elder that's been rated "The Best Beer in America" by the American Home Brewers Association a record 5 years in a row. It's success led to the creation of Pliny the Younger. So where is Pliny the Middle Child, huh? There's no denying St. Patrick's Day is HUGE for the big brothers of brewing, but where are all the Middle Child brews?  Well, have no fear. Just in time for St. Patrick's Day, I dug deeper to find some of the best Mid Kid beers you (of course) never heard of...

They call it "The national Beer of Texas." It's seems everyone has heard of Lone Star Beer. Sadly, the same can't be said for the favorite beer of Texan Middle Children -- the not as cherished and far less popular Left Alone Star Beer.

Miller Genuine Draft gets all the awards, all the accolades -- all the attention! And as if that wasn't bad enough, it even gets a nickname! MGD thinks it's SO cool. Meanwhile, we get the usual Middle Child treatment -- a hand-me-down draft. No fair!

When St. Pauli Girl came to our shores back in 1965, all the guys went wild for this buxom beauty from Bremen. Of course, when her younger, flatter chested sister arrived years later, she didn't stand a chance.

Milwaukee's not only home to the Brewers of baseball, it's also home to many fine brewers of beer. Among them is namesake Milwaukee's Best. But when you're never the best (or even second best, no matter how hard you try), you take what you can get. That's why there's Milwaukee's Third Best. Because when you're a Middle Child, that's usually the best you can expect!

His overachieving big brother Samuel Adams was a statesman, political philosopher, founding father, and patriot. So who could blame younger brother Marvin for wanting to drown his sorrows in beer? Alas, poor Marv couldn't best his bro's brew, either. While Samuel Adams Boston Lager is ranked one of America's best beers, Marvin Adams Boston Lager has been voted "Not Even Close to As Good as His Brother's Beer." Yet another sad sibling suds sob story.

Last but not least, is the number one imported Middle Child beer in the world -- Whineken. If you're going to spend time crying in your beer over being a Middle Child, then this is the beer for you. But be warned, like many imported Mid Kid lagers, it can be a little bitter.

Get the latest on all things Middle Child. Follow @MidKidMusings on Twitter

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

The Ides of March: Beware the Middle Child

"Would you like some more salad,
 Julia? No, not you -- you!"

     All Hail Caesar's sister, Julia! No, not that sister Julia -- the other sister Julia. Yeah, he had two sisters named Julia. Weird, right? Just so things wouldn't be confusing, his parents named the older one Julia Major Caesaris and the younger one -- the Middle Child -- Julia Minor Caesaris. I have a better idea. How about two different names? Maybe Amber. Or Tiffany. That would have cleared things up, too. And then they go and name the baby brother Julius? How original! Oh, and as if the repeat Julia probably didn't already have enough Middle Child issues, I'm sure being called Minor was a huge ego boost! Can't an emperor's Middle sister get a break!?

Saturday, March 8, 2014

Tales from the Middle: The Worst Best Seat in the House

Fond childhood memories aren't
always all they're cracked up to be.
     Back when I was a child Middle Child, my family used to drive from northern New Jersey to south Florida for winter vacations. Along the way, we'd also stop in Chester, PA to pick up my Grandparents. That’s me, my older brother, my little sister, my parents and my Grandparents -- seven people in one car. Granted, my father’s Oldsmobile was big, but still -- seven people? And in those days, it was at least a two day drive. Plus, the car wasn’t just packed with us. There was food and toys and anything that couldn’t fit in the trunk. That’s a lot of people and stuff to be crammed into one car for a couple of days, but those trips were some of my happiest childhood memories.
How many people should you
cram into a Oldsmobile?
     First of all, I always loved travelling. Any trip was an adventure  for me, even if it meant being stuffed into a southward bound  clown car. On these particular southern sojourns, my father  always drove. My mother was always the navigator in the front  passenger seat. My brother and sister were together in the back,  nestled between Grandma and Grandpa, and I sat in the front  between my mother and father. That’s right – front row center. I  couldn’t believe how lucky I was to secure such a prime  location! Sitting up front in the “cockpit,” I had an unobstructed  view of the speedometer, odometer and clock, making it easy for  me to collect all the data required to calculate critical information  about the trip and enter it in my travel log.( Yes, I kept a travel log.) Meanwhile, my brother and sister were stuck back in the cheap seats. Suckers!

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Academy Awards Recap: Mid Kids Steal the Show!

     It was a very good night for Middle Children at the 86th Academy Awards. In total, seven were nominated in the four acting categories: Bruce Dern for Best Actor, Cate Blanchett and Amy Adams for Best Actress, Jared Leto and Barhad Abdi for Best Supporting Actor, and Luptia Nyong'o and Julia Roberts for Best Supporting Actress. By the end of the evening, Middle Children were winners of all but the Best Actor Oscar. Not a bad night at all. Of course, it wasn't all good news. Ellen DeGeneres broke records -- and Twitter -- with her star studded selfie, but her Middle Child Acting Nominee pic barely got a mention. Can a Middle Child get a retweet? And then of course there was John Travolta (see clip) giving Adele Dazeem (a.k.a. Idina Menzel) a little taste of what it feels like being a Middle Child. Oh well...

The Middle Children had a lot to smile about at the Academy Awards,
even if it was just for one night.

Friday, February 28, 2014

A Smack Dab EXCLUSIVE: Oscar Nominee Birth Order Breakdown!

     The Smack Dab Blog is taking you behind the behind the scenes, with the scoop on the Oscar nominees you won’t find anywhere else. Probably because nobody else cares, but that’s not the point! An exclusive is an exclusive. (As a Middle Child, I’ll take whatever I can get, even if no one else wants it.) This is the only place where you can find out this year’s Middle Child nominees in the acting and director categories, along with a complete birth order breakdown for all the nominees in those categories. Of this year’s nominees, 11 are the youngest, seven are Middle Children, six are first borns, and one is an only child. But who’s counting. Last year, there were only three Mid Kid nominees, so this could be a banner year for Middle Child Actors - or more likely, an unmitigated disaster! This is your chance be that guy who knows things about the Oscar nominees that nobody else knows, or probably cares to know. Yeah, that guy.
(DISCLAIMER: This information is as accurate as Googling can be. Besides, if it's not 100% correct, who really cares?)

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

The Dread Carpet: What if You Held an Awards Show, and Nobody Came?

Hollywood's Golden Boy:
Everyone's favorite eunuch.
     The 86th Academy Awards are just days away, but people have been talking about them for weeks, even months. Who will win what? Who will wear who? There are pre-Oscar parties, and Oscar parties, and Oscar after-parties. Oscar this, Oscar that. For a guy who weighs in at just 8½ pounds, stands only 13½ inches tall, and has no penis, he certainly commands a lot of attention.
     Meanwhile, the International Middle Child Union presented the Middie Awards well over a month ago (See Post), and there was barely a peep! Can you believe, not a single major TV network covered the ceremony? Not even the CW! Nobody even showed up to collect their award – typical Middle Child treatment.
The Middie Awards have a
message for Oscar: "Eat me!"
     I realize the Middie Awards don’t have the kind of budget that Oscar has, but still – I spent a nice chunk of change at Party City decorating the basement. I made, like, four full trays of Rice Krispie Treats that I have no idea what to do with now. I don’t even want to talk about the 20 piece orchestra I hired that spent the entire weekend in my guest room. That was awkward.
     I find it particularly ironic that an awards show all about celebrating attention seeking behavior can’t get any for itself! Even the Razzies get more attention than the Middies. In hindsight, maybe we need to make our award more friendly and approachable. Perhaps giving winners the finger (our Golden Middle Finger statuette) is a mistake. Maybe we need to humanize our award with a person’s name -- you know, like they did with Oscar and Emmy. “And the Malcolm goes to…” That could work. “The Jan” doesn’t sound very catchy, but “The Brady” has a nice ring to it. How about, “The Britney?” Or “The Stephie?” Your suggestions are welcome…

Coming Friday: Get your Oscar Nominee Birth Order Breakdown Pocket Guide.

Sunday, February 23, 2014

The Greatest Middle Child Movies Never Made.

          It's that time of year again -- Oscar-mania is sweeping the country! It's in that spirit we present, for your consideration, "The Best of MidKid Remakes."

Coming Wednesday: "What if You Held an Awards Show, and Nobody Came?"

Life ain't easy when
you're the Middle Coen brother.
Piss off a Middle Child,
and watch what happens next!
A spy gets blamed for things he
didn't do. Sound familiar?
When you can't be the favorite,
you take what you can get.
To anonymity and beyond!

This is what happens when
a Middle Child goes nuclear!
A Middle Child Mermaid yearns to be
more than an aquatic afterthought.
Sometimes, second best is the
best you can be.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Neither Snow nor Rain: Middle Child Meteorology.

Sleet: the Rodney Dangerfield
of precipitation.

     Just about everyone I speak with agrees it’s been the worst winter they’ve ever experienced. It seems every week there’s another headline about yet another major storm. All this talk about winter weather got me to thinking -- which can be dangerous – that in terms of precipitation popularity, snow and rain are clearly the frontrunners. I mean, we certainly have been hearing a lot about snow lately, and it’s a fact that it’s always raining someplace in the world. I’m sure that if you added up all the time people spend talking about the weather, snow and rain would dominate the discussion. And that’s when my Middle Child sensibilities kicked in. What about sleet? Why does sleet always seem to get the cold shoulder? Why do we have rain coats and snow boots, but not a stitch of sleet apparel?
Sleet will never be as famous
as rain or snow.
       Granted, sleet has a serious identity crisis. It’s neither here nor there. It’s not rain or snow, but something smack dab in the middle. As a Middle Child, I can’t help but feel a little bad for sleet. Can you imagine going through life being defined by what you are not? Actually, if you’re a Middle Child, you might know exactly what that feels like. Rain and snow get all the attention. Mother Nature’s favorites. “Rain Man” won an Academy Award for Best Picture. Currier and Ives immortalized snow covered landscapes in their famous prints. Why has sleet failed to capture people’s fascination like rain and snow? People write songs about rain and snow. They proclaim “It’s Raining Men,” wonder “Who’ll Stop the Rain,” and don’t seem the least bit bothered when “Raindrops Keep Falling on (Their) Head.” You ever hear anyone singing songs about sleet? Not only are people singing about the rain, they’re even “Singing In the Rain!” Snow is so beloved, people actually want to “Let It Snow.” Milli Vanilli could’ve lip-synched about sleet, but instead chose to “Blame it on the Rain.” Prince sang about “Purple Rain,” Frank Zappa sang about “Yellow Snow,” and sleet is left out in the cold.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Don't Forget to Forget the Middle Child on Valentine's Day!

          It's almost Valentine's Day. What better time to show the Middle Child in your life how much you don't care, and what better way to do it than with the latest MidMark Middle Child Valentine's Day cards!?! (See last year's cards HERE) Download and e-mail, or just share this link, but whatever you do, DON'T FORGET!! (But in case you do and you feel really guilty, you can always send a gift from the Smack Dab Shop at Cafe Press.)

It's High Time NBC Put Curling in Prime Time!

Click the icons below and SHARE to Facebook & Twitter
       I've already explained in previous posts how curling and Middle Children have a lot in common, and why the International Middle Child Union is throwing it's full support behind this overshadowed and under appreciated sport. But just because Curling is the Middle Child of Winter Olympic events, that doesn't mean NBC has to treat it like one. I mean, nobody likes being treated like a Middle Child. Not even Middle Children. Especially Middle Children. That's why I wrote this letter to NBC, asking them to stop playing favorites and give Curling a shot on the "big stage" -- a Prime Time slot, when people are actually watching. Support the International Middle Child Union Curling Crusade by sharing this letter on Twitter and Facebook. It's easy to ignore one Middle Child, but if we all band together, we can make this happen! I said it's easy to ignore one... oh, never mind.

Monday, February 10, 2014

Support the International Middle Child Union Curling Crusade!

As part of my new found and ongoing support for Curling (SEE PREVIOUS POST), I will be posting a series of Curling-related observations and information here at the blog throughout the Olympics, along with daily schedules, results, and more on Twitter @MidKidMusings.

How to Sound Really Cool When Talking About Curling (if that’s at all possible.)  It’s hard to support a sport you don’t know much about. I realize it’ll take some time to fully understand Curling -- just like a Middle Child, it can be kind of quirky -- so below are some great links to get all the details on how the game is played. There’s also a link to a Virtual curling game. There’s even a link to a “Curling for Dummies” -- swear to God. To get you started, here’s my own little Curling crash course:

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

The Winter Olympics: A Middle Child's Eye View

      The 2010 Vancouver Olympic games were viewed by 190 million people. That’s 34 million more people than the total viewing audience for every game of 2009 NBA Finals, World Series, Bowl Championship Series, and NCAA Championship Game combined! There’s no denying the Winter Olympics are huge, so I knew my reportage of the games would have to rise to the magnitude of this global sports spectacular. I’d have to find a bigger and better Middle Child angle than simply seeking out individual Middle Child athletes to highlight, so I decided to take it up a notch and rally support for an entire Olympic event! I spanned the globe for a sport that captures the true Middle Child spirit, never quite getting the attention or acclaim it yearns for. And that’s when it hit me – curling! You know, that quirky sport that’s kind of like shuffleboard on ice, but with brooms, and large “stones” instead of pucks.

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Happy Birthday, Facebook. Thanks a lot!

Facebook launched 10 years ago today,giving Middle Children everywhere
a whole new way to feel left out, ignored, and neglected by their friends.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

The World's Most Complete Middle Child Coverage of Super Bowl XLVIII!

     Who cares that the #1 offense will be taking on the #1 defense, or that it’s the first time in the last 20 years two number one seeds will be playing for the Lombardi Trophy? This year’s Super Bowl is an epic battle of Middle Child QBs: Russell Wilson, a second year pro and the sixth youngest QB to start the Big Game, versus Peyton Manning, playing in his 15th season and the second oldest QB to start in a Super Bowl. In fact, some are calling it “The Middle Child Syndrome Bowl.” Okay, maybe I’m the only one calling it that, but that’s beside the point! Fittingly, they will get to face each other under the worst conditions an NFL championship game has been played in since the 1967 Ice Bowl – typical Middle Child treatment. (I can just hear it now. “How come Eli didn’t have to play in the cold and snow? That’s no fair, Dad!”)

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

The Forgotten Middle Child of Award Shows: the 2013 Middie Awards.

Slip into your sister’s hand-me-down gown, button up your brother’s old tux, and roll out the second-hand red carpet. It’s time for the 2013 Middie Awards! The Middies are a celebration of Middle Child-ish behavior, honoring the best (or is that worst) in attention seeking antics. This year’s winners have taken the art of spotlight seeking to the highest (or is that lowest) levels, earning the right to get the finger -- the prestigious Golden Middle Finger statuette.
So, without further ado, here are the winners of the 2013 Middie Awards!


Wednesday, January 8, 2014

International Middle Child Union to Announce 2013 Middie Award Winners!

Oscars Schmoscars!
Who needs the Golden Globes!?
We've got the Middie Awards -- our annual tribute to attention-seeking, Middle Child-ish behavior. You don't have to be a Middle Child to win a Middie. Birth order aside, this year's nominees have reached the pinnacle in publicity seeking. There almost isn't anything they won't do to get noticed. They are true masters in the art of drawing attention to themselves.
Find out who will get the finger -- the prestigious Golden Middle Finger statuette -- right here on the blog, on January 15th, the middle of the month!
Stay tuned...

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

"The Night Before Christmas" Middle Child Makeover

          As Middle Children of all ages brace themselves for perceived Christmas party snubs and prepare to feel like their siblings are getting better (and more) gifts, it's time to tell the tale of what really happened on Christmas Eve. This is definitely not your father's Christmas classic -- unless he also has Middle Child Syndrome!

The Middle Child's Night Before Christmas

'Twas the night before Christmas in some other house
the first born and last born were quiet as a mouse.
The one creature stirring, I probably should mention,
was the Middle Child constantly seeking attention.
The stockings were hung by the chimney with care,
still the Middle Child complained, “Theirs are bigger, no fair!”
While the oldest and youngest were snug in their bed,
visions of hand-me-downs danced in his head.
And mamma in her ‘kerchief, and I in my cap,
were so sick and tired of his Middle Child crap.

When out on the lawn there arose such a clatter,
now what was he up to, now what was the matter?
My wondering eyes through the window could see,
a person I’ve seen many times on TV.
She whined and she moaned, did this blonde haired young lady,
I knew in a moment it must be Jan Brady!
“Marcia, Marcia, Marcia,” I heard her exclaim,
“She gets all the glory, I get all the blame.
If just for one day I could feel like the favorite,
I’d relish the moment, and always would savor it.”

Monday, December 23, 2013


WARNING: The International Middle Child Union (I.M.C.U.) has raised 
the MCS Advisory to CODE RED in anticipation of Christmas.

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Giving Gifts to a Middle Child: 5 Helpful Holiday Tips

     As with pretty much everything else involving a Middle Child, buying presents for us can be very tricky. To help make the holidays happier (and to avoid making matters even worse for us), I’m posting these handy Middle Child gift giving guidelines. Pass this information on to parents, friends and siblings, and let them know if they choose not to follow these tips, they do so at their own risk. They can't say they haven't been warned!
    Of course, even if they follow these suggestions to the letter, we'll still think they did something wrong, but we'll deal with that in next year's tips.

Do NOT try this at home!
1)   Whatever you spend on the other siblings, make sure you spend the exact same amount on your Middle Child. Not a penny less. Whoever said, “It’ s the thought that counts,” definitely wasn’t a Middle Child.
2)   The only time you can disregard Tip #1 is if you plan on spending more on your Middle Child than on their siblings. This is perfectly justifiable. It’s the least you can do to make up for years of neglect.
3)   Always buy the same number of gifts for each sibling. Even if you spend more on your Middle Child for fewer gifts, it doesn’t matter. Trust me. (Of course, as in Tip #2, it’s always okay to spend more for more gifts for your Middle Child.)
4)   Do not buy your Middle Child and any other sibling the same gift. Even if it’s something your Middle Child really wants. That will just ruin it.
5)   Never justify a gift by saying, “Your brother/sister has one just like it!” Just don’t do it. Do I really have to explain why?

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Thanksgiving is NOT the "Middle Child of Holidays!"

          I can always tell when Thanksgiving is approaching because people are dusting off their “Thanksgiving is the Middle Child of holidays” and “Thanksgiving suffers from severe Middle Child Syndrome” tweets. When I saw these messages popping up last year, I wrote a post about it that contained links to several articles detailing why the authors believed Thanksgiving is overlooked, forgotten, and overshadowed by Halloween before it and Christmas after it. I didn’t think much about it at the time, but I’ve given it much thought over the past year and have come to the conclusion that these people are  friggin’ nuts!  While these Thanksgiving thoughts certainly aren’t the first Middle Child metaphors I’ve ever heard, they might be the most egregious. (For a list of more, read “The Metaphorical Middle Child.”)
          Forgotten?  Overlooked? Are you kidding me!? People love Thanksgiving.  Some people look forward to their Thanksgiving dinner the entire year.  I mean, what’s not to love about Thanksgiving? There’s food, football, and lots of pie. In fact, I would argue that Thanksgiving is more than loved – it’s BEloved. (Ask a Middle Child how loved they feel.  Go ahead, I dare you. I’d be happy if I felt liked!)

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Are Middle Children an Endangered Species?

Birds of a Feather: It looks like
Middle Children are going the
way of the Dodo.
          As if Middle Children weren’t already getting their unfair share of the short end of the stick, I heard something a few weeks ago that I found truly disturbing. I was talking with a radio host about D.C. dysfunction and the newly formed Middle Child Party, and after I was off-air I continued listening to the station and heard the host say something like, “Well, if family size keeps shrinking, soon there won’t be any Middle Children.” He was so flip about it. I think he even laughed a little when he said it – like it was no big deal. I mean, really – people get all up in arms when some obscure insect is in danger of extinction, but the possible end of Middle Children, well, that’s pretty funny, huh? Naturally, I was horrified, so I had to look into it. Much to my dismay, it turns out he was right. Households are definitely getting smaller. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the average size of the American household has diminished by one person from 3.67 in 1948 to 2.55 in 2012. Okay, so families are getting smaller. Maybe that has less to do with fewer children and more to do with higher rates of divorce? I mean, that would certainly account for the loss of one whole person per family. Maybe it’s not all gloom and doom for Middle Children after all. Not so fast.