Friday, December 22, 2017

The Ultimate Middle Child Gift

     With all the gift giving that goes on during the holiday season, it got me thinking about a very special gift I was given when I was just two years old. To this day, I still take it with me wherever I go. It’s not something you can buy in any store, and you definitely can’t wrap it up to put under the tree. But it truly is the gift that keeps on giving.
     It’s the gift of Middle Child Syndrome.
     I know in the past I’ve written much about the curse of Middle Child Syndrome. And believe me, at times, it really is. Feeling left out, left alone and left behind -- not so much fun. But in the spirit of the holidays, I’m trying to be positive and looking for the silver lining. And in all honesty, Middle Child Syndrome can sometimes be a useful tool. Like a “Get out of Jail Free” card for bad behavior.
     Why did you kick your brother in the balls? Middle Child Syndrome made you do it!
     Your wife thinks you’re being more annoying and obnoxious than usual? Your Middle Child Syndrome is acting up!
     Yelling at a co-worker because he moved your yogurt to the back of the fridge? Clearly a case of severe Middle Child Syndrome!
     So playing the Middle Child card can be a handy crutch. Just like the tee-shirt says, it can be an excuse for almost anything.
     Oh, and there’s another benefit to having Middle Child Syndrome. It’s something my brother and sister don't have, so it’s ALL MINE! I don’t ever have to share it with anyone. Yay!!
     But remember, unlike the ugly sweater somebody gave you last year, Middle Child Syndrome is a gift you can’t ever return. 

Celebrate the season with the Mid Kid Christmas Classic:
"The Middle Child's Night before Christmas." 

Friday, December 8, 2017

"I DO" Love Attention.

          My daughter got married a few weekends ago. She was a beautiful bride, and had an amazing time at her wedding. Like a really amazing time. In fact, I don’t think I’ve ever seen her as happy as she was that night. And why wouldn’t she be? She was having the wedding she always dreamed of, marrying the love of her life. No further explanation needed, right? But I knew the real reason for her unbridled, bridal joy.
          Like me, my daughter is also a Middle Child. And what makes a Middle Child happier than being the center of attention? That’s right, nothing. Well, on your wedding day, you get to bask in the limelight all day and night -- especially if you’re the bride. I mean, the groom is important, but it’s the bride everyone waits to see walking down the aisle. They even stand up when she enters the room. WHAT?
          A wedding is even better than your birthday for guaranteed attention-getting. People forget birthdays, but nobody’s going to forget your wedding. (Anniversaries may be a different story.) What an amazing feeling, walking down the aisle with my daughter, all eyes focused on me. I mean her. All eyes focused on her. It was a Middle Child’s dream come true. For both of us, clearly.
          Of course, my new son-in-law can think he was the reason for my daughter’s euphoria.
          What he doesn’t know won’t hurt him.

Saturday, August 12, 2017

The 2017 Middle Child's Day Greeting Cards are Here!!

          What better way to show your favorite Middle Child that you completely forgot it was Middle Child's Day, until you found out about it on a blog. On Middle Child's Day.

CLICK HERE to see more cards. 
CLICK HERE for great ways to celebrate Middle Child's Day.

Friday, August 11, 2017

Towns Across the Country to Officially Acknowledge Middle Child’s Day!

          Oh, sure -- they all laughed when I announced my effort to raise awareness of Middle Child's Day one "Middle" town at a time. But who’s laughing now? What started with just a handful of towns, has mushroomed into TWO handfuls -- plus a few fingers! 13 towns across 11 states are officially acknowledging Middle Child’s Day on August 12th. 13!! When you consider there were only 13 original colonies, I think that’s a pretty good start.

          Of course, a few towns are issuing their proclamations after Middle Child’s Day. Typical Middle Child treatment. But it’s a step in the right direction. Based solely on their willingness to officially acknowledge Middle Child's Day, I'm pleased to announce the following towns have made it onto the International Middle Child Union's list of "America’s Most Middle Child-friendly Towns." A select group, indeed. And they are, in no particular order:

Middlebury, VT; Middlebury, CT; Middletown, KY; Middletown, OH; Middletown, VA; Middletown, RI;  Middlebush, NJ (Franklin Township); Middleville, NJ (Stillwater Township); Middlesex County, NJ -- the whole county, so that’s a lot of towns -- Middleton, MA; Middleton, TN; Middleton, WI; and Middleburgh, NY

          Not much support from Middle America, but I’ll work on it.
          On behalf of the International Middle Child Union, thanks to all the participating towns for officially acknowledging our own special day. Well, not really our own day. August 12th is also National Garage Sale Day, National Julienne Fries Day, Celebrate Your Lakes Day, Baseball Fans Day, IBM PC Day, International Youth Day, Truck Driver Day, Vinyl Record Day, National Sewing Machine Day, and World Elephant Day. It figures we’d even have to compete for attention on our own day. Looks like my work is cut out for me.

CLICK HERE to listen to the latest episode of my podcast, “Pay No Attention to this Podcast.” Hear an EXCLUSIVE interview with the Mayor of Middleburgh, NY, a dramatic reading of a Middle Child’s Day proclamation by the Town Manager of Middlebury, VT, plus the world’s best coverage of Middle Child’s Day celebrations. Okay, the only coverage.

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Calling All "Middle" Towns!

     As founder of the International Middle Child, I’ve made it my mission to raise awareness of Middle Child’s Day. Middle Child’s Day? There’s a Middle Child’s Day? Yes, there is. And it’s August 12th. Apparently, I need to do more. That’s why for 2017, I’m launching the Middle Child’s Day “Middle” Town Outreach program. I’ve compiled a list of every town I could find with Middle in its name, and  I’m reaching out to them for help. As our new Middle Child-in-Chief would say, the goal is to make Middle Child’s Day great again.
     I’m asking “Middle” towns to issue a proclamation or formal announcement on August 12th in support of Middle Child’s Day. I’ve been in touch with “Middle” towns all across America, Australia, Canada, and the United Kingdom, and I’m generally encouraged by the reaction I’m receiving. It’s only June, and already a handful of towns have indicated they’re on board. I mean, giving a Middle Child some attention clearly isn’t as important to them as garbage collection, but what else is new?
     As August 12th approaches, I expect even more to participate. Honestly, if a “Middle” town can’t throw a little attention a Middle Child’s way, then we have no hope.

You can hear excerpts from some of the calls I’ve made to “Middle” towns, and more, 
on the latest episode of “Pay No Attention to this Podcast.”
"Pay No Attention to this Podcast" can also be heard on SoundCloud, Stitcher, and  TuneIn.

Monday, May 8, 2017

Middle Children Need to be Heard!!

     What do you get when you give a Middle Child a microphone and a SoundCloud account? The Official Podcast of the International Middle Child Union. Introducing Pay No Attention to this Podcast, the world's leading Middle Child podcast -- because it's the world's ONLY Middle Child podcast. Sigh.
     You’ve read what it feels like being a Middle Child at the Smack Dab Facebook page, on Twitter @MidKidMusings, and at the Smack Dab Blog. Now you can HEAR what it’s like to feel left out, left alone and left behind -- in stunning HD digital sound! Two episodes are just sitting there waiting for someone to make them feel wanted. Episode 1 provides a basic introduction -- MidKid 101. Episode 2 explores the poem that made me forever aware I was a Middle Child. I also have a chat with Dr. Catherine Salmon, co-author of The Secret Power of Middle Children, and play a round of nobody's favorite game show, Guess the Middle Child.
     The I.M.C.U. is fighting to end Middle Child Syndrome, one Middle Child at a time. And you can help. Please follow, like or subscribe to the podcast. It'll cost you nothing. But to a Middle Child, it means everything. Trust me.
I said, Middle Children
need to be heard!!

Listen to Pay No Attention to this Podcast:

Listen on iTunes

Listen on SoundCloud

Also available on Stitcher and TuneIn

Monday, May 1, 2017

ON THIS DAY IN 1931...

     When President Herbert Hoover dedicated New York City’s Empire State Building on May 1, 1931, it marked the official end of a dream for Middle Child Walter Chrysler. He had already begun construction of his iconic Chrysler Building when John J. Raskob of General Motors led a well-heeled group in what would become a competition to see who could build a taller building. Chrysler lost the "mine is bigger than yours" construction contest.  His 1,046 foot erection was a teeny weenie compared to the completed Empire State Building, which soared 1,454 feet to the top of its lightning rod, making it the world’s tallest building until 1972.

Friday, March 10, 2017

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

ON THIS DAY IN 1953...

Scientists discover the double helix structure of DNA.
No explanation for Middle Child Syndrome is found.

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

An Open Letter to President Trump

From the desk (a.k.a. kitchen counter) of the Union Founder

        Dear President Trump,
               I am writing to you not as a Republican or Democrat, or as a supporter or detractor. Not from the left or the right, but from the middle.

               I am writing to you as a fellow Middle Child.

               As the founder of the International Middle Child Union, I have made it my mission to advocate for Middle Child rights, help find a cure for the dreaded Middle Child Syndrome, and reverse negative Middle Child stereotypes. But I have to be honest with you, Mr. President -- you’re not making my job any easier. I mean, I get it with the whole seeking attention thing -- believe me. I started a Middle Child union, for god sakes! Any Middle Child worth their salt understands the constant need to be in the limelight. But you’re getting attention 24/7 now. When I was elected Vice President of my middle school Student Council, that satisfied my need for attention until, like, high school. You’re the leader of the free friggin’ world!! People stand when you come into a room. They salute you. You even get your own song. That should be enough attention to last a lifetime. Your non-stop attention grabbing is making it even harder for the rest of us to get any, so maybe you can dial it back a notch?

               Also, you’re certainly not the first Middle Child who’s felt the need to strike back as hard as you can at anyone who you perceive is trying to disrespect or embarrass you. One time when my older brother humiliated me in front of a group of his friends, I kicked him as hard as I could in his nuts. Sure, that shut him up for a while, but it’s nothing I’m proud of, and it certainly wasn’t a sustainable solution. Neither are your Twitter tantrums and name calling and lashing out at people who disagree with you. You’re on the world stage, not on my driveway playing basketball with my brothers friends. I respectively suggest you take a more dignified, diplomatic approach. Ball bashing is not the answer. I’m sure my brother agrees with me.

               Finally, please stop worrying so much about TV ratings or how many people voted for you or how big the crowd was at your inauguration. When I was in seventh grade, a classmate had his Bar Mitzvah on the same day as mine. Do you think I cared if more people went to his party than mine? You bet your ass I did!! But I was 13 years old. You’re 70! When people see how much that kind of stuff still bothers you, it just reinforces the image of the insecure, overly sensitive Middle Child. You have to set an example, and show them we’re better than that, even if we’re really not.

               I know you’re not a big fan of constructive criticism, but I hope you will take these comments to heart. Future generations of Middle Children are counting on it.
                                                             Bruce Hopman
                                                             Founder, International Middle Child Union

P.S. I see you’re busy signing a lot of executive orders lately. How about one acknowledging Middle Child’s Day? (It’s August 12, FYI.) Think about it. Thanks.

Reports of huge turnout for my classmate's Bar Mitzvah party were overrated. Fake news. Sad.
From my vantage point, there were at least 8,000 people at my party.

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Keeping Tabs on our new Middle Child-in-Chief.

     The 45th President of the United States has been sworn in, and a little less than one-quarter of Americans couldn't be happier. A little more than one-quarter, not so much. As for the other half who didn’t even bother to vote... who knows what they’re feeling. But the people have sort of spoken, and Donald Trump is our Middle Child-in-Chief.
     It’s been more than two decades since a Middle Child was President, when the first George Bush was in the Oval Office until 1993. In fact, Mr. Trump will be the 23rd Mid Kid elected, or 24th if you count George Washington. (George was the first born of his father's second marriage, but had two older half brothers.) That means between 52% -54% of American Presidents were Middle Children. But it’s safe to say we’ve never had one like this before.
     Throughout the primary and general election campaigns, candidate Trump’s Middle Child antics were off the charts, featuring repeated name calling, insults, mocking, claims of bias, charges of favoritism, and assorted overall whining. During the transition and first days of his administration, these classic Middle Child moves show no signs of letting up. It’s the kind of behavior that could not only be considered Middle Child-ish, but just downright childish. And to make matters worse, Mr. Trump’s closest adviser also has glaring Middle Child issues. That’s right, new chief White House strategist and senior counselor Stephen Bannon is a Mid Kid, too. Big surprise. A double dose of Middle Child Syndrome in the White House. Just what we needed. Lucky us. (Lucky U.S.?)
     But have no fear, America -- the International Middle Child Union is on the case. Today, we introduce the International Middle Child Union Presidential Middle Child Behavior Monitoring
System, or I.M.C.U.P.M.C.B.M.S. for short. Let’s be clear -- this isn’t about policy or partisanship.
After all, I’m not a political pundit. I’m a Middle Child advocate! My focus will be to analyze Presidential tweets and tantrums from a purely Middle Child perspective, then rate their Middle Childish-ness using my patented Middle Finger scale: one Middle Finger for borderline Middle Child behavior, three for serious signs of Middle Child Syndrome, all the way to five Middle Fingers for severe Middle Child meltdowns.
     From the looks of things, we’re gonna have our fingers full!

Name-calling: a standard Middle Child defense mechanism.
Middle Children don't respond particularly well to being mocked.
Middle Child 101: when in doubt, play the "no fair!" card.
"Oh, sure, you want me to take back the drone you don't want!"
Feeling wronged and cheated is a Middle Child's birthright.
Middle Children aren't used to winning, so it can be hard
to handle, as this trio of Tweets demonstrates.