Middle Child Syndrome and Sibling Rivalry
It’s happening too soon! Caroline is starting to act out and is being very babyish lately. We think she’s having a case of “Middle Child Syndrome.” She has started wetting her pants multiple times a day (she’s been potty trained for a year!) and is always whining to be held or picked up. She wakes up crying in the mornings now. She has started sucking her thumb. There are other issues I can’t recall at the moment. I had a talk with her and asked her if she wants to be a baby. She said she did. I explained that there were all sorts of things that a big girl can do that a baby can’t do, and I began to list them. That seemed to help a bit.
I’m realizing that David and I have our games, and I spend lots of time cuddling and nursing and kissing on Rebecca, but Caroline doesn’t really get a lot of my time. So she has discovered that by being demanding and babyish, she is getting the attention she craves. Plus I’m sure that she is acting babyish because she is jealous of all the affection that seems to bring Rebecca.
I am trying to find time every day to cuddle with her and read to her. She has started asking in a “big girl voice” that I pick her up instead of holding up her arms and grunting and pouting. That’s an improvement. I try to always make time to do this when she asks. I am sure she doesn’t even realize she is jealous of Rebecca because her behavior towards her sister is always loving and kind. I hope to nip this in the bud before that changes and she starts taking out her jealousy on her sister.
It was just a few months ago that I felt David was the one I was neglecting. But he seems to be doing well at the moment, and Caroline is the one feeling left out. Motherhood really is a balancing act, isn’t it???