Wednesday, February 11, 2009

The Middle Child

Is three years old an unreasonably young age for depression? I think so, but I have no other explanation for the fact that my middle child seems unusually whiny and sad. When she's not tap-dancing or singing or eating candy, that is. Ok, so she's probably not depressed. She's just really, really, really high-maintenance right now. For example, she woke up this morning whining at the top of her lungs "I want my Dora pillow!" But she doesn't just say it once. She says it like this: IWANTMYDORAPILLOWIWANTMYDORAPILLOWIWANTMYDORAPILLOW. Seriously, it's like she doesn't even take a breath. She dang sure doesn't hear the "SHHHH! Reese! Everyone is asleep. Quit yelling!" I don't bother telling her that I'm a little more than frustrated that she has gotten up before my alarm on one of my NON-boot camp days. She won't listen. She won't stop saying it either. I tell her to forget it. I'm smart enough to know that, if I get up out of bed, go get the pillow and let her crawl in bed with me, then she will learn that yelling, crying and whining get her way. So she cried, non-stop, loudly, until the alarm finally went off at 6:45. Everyone was awake by then. Avery was stumbling around going "Why is Reese crying?" and Rhett is just pointing, with a worried look on his face saying, "Wee? Wee? Wee-eee!" (That's Reese in Tuna-speak. Reese is Wee and Avery is Wee Wee. He's very bright.)
Ok, back to the subject at hand: Reese and her, ahem, sadness. I've decided that it's not so much depression, but the fact that she's the middle. And that she was barely over 18 months old when Rhett was born and thus, sort of pushed aside. Not as much is expected of her because she's not the oldest. (The fact that she's much less whiny when Avery is at school, making Reese the "big sister" for a while, reiterates this point.) But she's not the baby either, so she doesn't get all the attention and coddling that Rhett gets. And, as we all know, the squeaky wheel gets the grease and this wheel is dry as a bone and WAILING for the grease. Ok, that's weird. But you know what I mean.
Let me just show you some pictures that, in my opinion, paint a very accurate picture of an average Saturday, hanging out with the kids.

Here are Avery and Rhett in Avery's jeep. She's the oldest, so she's the driver. She wants Rhett and Reese to take turns being the passenger. Notice Pitiful Pearl in the background. She wants no part of the jeep. She wants to swing. And even though she learned out to swing herself, that's not going to work today. She wants ME or DADDY to swing her. If we get her started and say, "Ok, now you keep it going," she skids her feet on the ground, stops the swing and yells, "I WANT SOMEBODY TO SWING ME!!!"

There is nothing you can do when she's in this mood.

This is how she walked around, the entire time we were outside. She alternated between wandering aimlessly around the yard, and crying out that she "NEEDS SOMEONE TO SWING" her. Here's another problem. I couldn't stop laughing at her. Not because she's sad or left out, but because, even in her desperate state of misery, she must have her purse and jacket (always buttoned with the hood up) and shoes.
Is it at all possible that I'm contributing to her misery because I don't take her seriously enough? Nah, I don't think so either.
P.S. She is standing next to me at this very moment, sobbing because she "had a beautiful bracelet that other day but nobody will help her find it."
Sorry, Baby. Momma's on the computer. I'll add another $100 to the Therapy Fund. Love ya.

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