101 Reasons I love My Middle Child February 04 2015

Firstly, let me just say I am not writing this to stave off any future psychiatrist bills because ‘mummy only ever blogged about her first born or the cute little sister’. I am writing this because my second son (in age only not in my heart - they’re all equal of course) is driving me bonkers. Partly it’s a lovely kind of madness, but it’s also a whole lot of frustrated exploding-ness that means mumma needs wine now – even if it is a Monday at 10am.

Dougal Dozer Driver Evans (did I mention that he changed his name last month?) lives in his own land where he has two children, a wife/mummy, a medium sized earthmoving equipment business and a farm with several paddocks of hay that constantly needs baling. Therefore, with all his own family, weather and economic worries, he is rarely fazed by the comings and goings of own household. Like wearing pants to preschool. Or getting out the door on time. Ever. Or finding something for himself, even if it is right in front of him, so close that if it was a brown snake it would bite him.

He eats at least four breakfasts and two lunches every day. But never dinner. Unless he can have breakfast for dinner - which he has been demanding since he was 18 months old. He likes all types of carbohydrates and fruit and dairy products and if we let him, dreaded chicken nuggets and that’s about it. I love cooking and pride myself on those Kodak moments of motherhood when a simple sausage-mash-and-vege mid-week meal is magically made into a caterpillar in a garden of flowers or a rocket blasting into space, or in Dougal’s case a truck and trailer unloading logs. For the record he only ate the logs (raw carrot sticks) and left a very broken down tractor languishing at an empty dinner table.

He never moves at more than a slow trot and often just stops and lays down on the floor, even if that floor is the middle of the checkout at the supermarket or in the middle of a paddock miles from home – then it’s like budging a stubborn bull, and requires a lot of prodding. He will only sit on the green chair at the table and prefers to only drink from green or yellow cups because those are John Deere colours. He wails hysterically if someone (ie Hurricane Elsie) destroys one of his block creations or moves his machinery away from their current work site, yet will walk headfirst into a door and not even blink.

Yet in the same way he makes me bang my head against the wall numerous times in a day, we also delight in his imagination and natural affinity with farm life. When offered the chance of an excursion to town complete with milkshakes and a trip to the park, he prefers to stay at home and play with his dozer in the dirt. He refers to his arms as his grabbers and when asking for a hat he requests a ‘lid for his cab’. Naturally his favourite song is ‘She thinks my tractor’s sexy’.

He even made up his own joke about tractors:

Q: Do birds drive tractors?

A: No, they only do poos on tractors. (Followed by his rather contagious giggle)

Speaking of poo actually, his biggest dream in life is to one day grow up and drive a fowl-manure-spreader-tractor. For the non-farming readers that basically means he wants to spend his life elbow deep in chicken poo, pushing it around other people’s paddocks to make the grass grow. It is not a pleasant smelling gig.

Last year’s preschool graduation went as follows:

Dougal walks (very, very slowly, with his own unique saunter) up to the hip young DJ who has carted about $40K worth of decks, smoke machines and laser lights onto the deck of our little country school and says ‘So I bet you think a DJ is a pretty cool job? Well it’s not as great as being a fowl-manure-tractor-spreader-man’. Then leaves...

Yup. Even the guy that had all of Katy Perry’s hits at his fingertips is still not as fun as the guy who tips out poop filled with filthy feathers for a living.

So obsessed with the idea is my Dougal, he requested a fowl-manure party for his upcoming fourth birthday. Now I love a good party and delight in planning each child’s annual shindig, yet as my mind raced away to a table laden with piles of mock poo - Malteasers and Rocky Road - I stopped myself and thought no, no one else will want to come to a chicken-poo party, right? So we have engaged on a careful, positive PR campaign to steer him away from the poop party and thankfully now a construction themed event is in the works – pardon the pun.

In my eldest I see ambition and drive, the need to be acknowledged and the thrill and fear of going first (did I mention starting school was a breeze to the point that on day two he dumped me and asked me not to follow him in the gate, confidently stating he had it all under control?!?!?!). In my youngest I see happy abandonment and a cheekiness that comes from knowing everyone dotes on her. Yet in Dougal I just see someone who has totally accepted themselves and cares little of what anyone else thinks. He is not uncaring, he is quite the opposite and loves a good snuggle, but I mean he is totally self-assured and relaxed, which at three isn’t too bad – I am still not there at more than ten times his age!

Being the middle child is like getting the bottom bunk, rarely do people have positive stories to tell. Yet out of all my children he seems to get it the most, or maybe it’s that he cares least about what others have got?! Either way he is in a great place (even if by dealing with him we’re not!), and on the eve of his fourth birthday that happiness is the best gift after scraping through the terrible-twos and three-teens. Then again he keeps telling me we should all just be three forever. And maybe he’s right.

**Does your child live in their own little world? Any tips to get them moving in step with modernity would be much appreciated from this hair-pulling-out-mum to another xx