Is Being The Middle Child The Best Or The Worst




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- Of course all parents say that they love you all equally. They treat all their children the same. But all middle children know, we are forgotten about. (laughs) My mom's gonna kill me for this. (soft playful music) (whooshing) (creaking) - I am the second child of four. At one point, I was the second child of three, and then my youngest sister surprised us (laughs). Or blessed us. - I am the middle child, one of five. I guess here that's considered pretty big. My parents are, both originally were born in Nigeria, so they had bigger families. - I'm technically a middle child. My dad had a son from a previous marriage, and then when he got with my mom, then she had my younger sister. - I have an older brother and a younger sister. I am very much like Stephanie from Full House, I'd say. - Thank you, Stephanie. (organ playing) Thank you, Stephanie. (audience laughing) Thanks, Steph. - I definitely got plenty of attention from my parents, but when I was a kid it never felt like enough. - When it came to mines and my parents' relationship, they sort of like knew that I would be okay. - It was always, oh take care of the baby, or oh it's the oldest, you have all this responsibility that you're supposed to do. And then the middle child just kind of floats in between. There was one time I went to my sixth grade dance. My parents said that they were gonna come pick me up, and I was the last kid outside just sitting like. (crickets chirping) Nobodies here to get me. I had no phone to call anybody. It traumatized me so much. Would they have done that to my younger sister? Absolutely not. They would have been there at five o'clock when the dance ended. - There are a lot of home movies of me trying to get as much screen time as I possibly could. You can definitely tell when my sister was born, because once my dad started filming her instead of me, I would throw myself in front of the camera every time he was filming her. - When the middle child tells you something, believe them because for the most part, there's a lot of things that the middle child is just trying to get across. Like, "look see this." And a lot of people don't pay attention. I think in between my siblings, I was always the weird one. They would get along with each other, really fine. I always went to sleep early so they would stay up watching movies and playing video games. I sort of ended up being like the third wheel. - I wanted the respect of my siblings. Even to this day, that is something I want more of. Growing up when I was younger, they did not look to me at all (laughs). It's always the curse of the middle child. - My older brother and my younger sister are pretty close. They tease me a lot about how organized I am, and how clean I am, how I'm always nagging at them to clean up after themselves, but they always know that they won't do it, and so then I will so they kind of abuse it a little bit. They get me to do stuff that they don't wanna do. I've always kind of felt like sometimes they do kind of pick on me. - When my brother came around, we would just bump heads. - You didn't tell everybody about the years of torment that I put you through. - I never got to see you very often. - Right. - And so I would always be this close to you (laughs). - [Michael] And when we got together. - [Destinee] Yeah. - [Michael] Because of that. (Destinee laughs) - Come on, let's go! No, Michael, come on, I'm serious! I remember one time you tried to push me down the stairs. - I won't deny that. I also won't agree that that's true. - Michael and my younger sister, Raven, got along fine. I'm over here fighting for Michael's attention, and Michael's over here fighting for Raven's. - On behalf of middle children everywhere, I would say to older and younger siblings, just ease up on the middle children a little bit. We're very sensitive. We just want to love you, we just want you to love us. - My biggest advice for any middle child out there, find a creative way to get attention. My coping mechanism for trying to get attention was being as good at possible at athletics. So, I literally played every sport my high school had to offer. I was on the soccer team, volleyball team, basketball team, I ran track, and I made sure my parents were at every possible event, because I was like, "You are gonna watch me, and you are gonna watch me be great." - To get my parents' attention, I took on acting and singing and things like that. I did a lot of school plays, so inevitably my parents would have to come to them and watch me perform and I would get all the attention that day. - In school, I was a really good student. Since you aren't given the opportunity to just be your own person, then you start doing things that are very unique. You want to make a statement. - Middle children are trendsetters. They're the pioneers, they're the ones that are going to go out and make something happen, even when it's never been done. Middle children are a handful, but they're going to be one of your biggest gifts, and you're gonna get the most out of them. - I feel like being a middle child comes with its perks because no body's paying attention to you, you kind of get to do some things under the radar. - I didn't have to be the first to do everything, and my parents were able to get out all of their first-parent stuff with my brother. When it came to me, they were a little bit more lenient and a little bit more loose. - Being the middle child, there was pressure to follow the footsteps of my brothers and sisters in front of me. And I did not adhere to that. I think figured out sooner than later that this was my life and, especially for my culture, my background, being Nigerian, that was not the script that I was supposed to follow. My parents were really really big on education. When it came to college, I was like, I'll do it, but then when I was there I was like, I want something more, so I left. And that was the biggest shock to hit my family ever. I was the first and only child to this day to ever to make the decision to walk away from college. Being the middle child, I had the opportunity to be me. And I think when you're older, you don't have that opportunity, I think you have an expectation to represent the family first. - As the middle child, you're given a lot of space to sort of create your own identity away from your family. Because my family is really traditional Mexican, there was a lot of things that I sort of broke the rules in. I was the first child to move out at 18 because I was the first child to go to college. Being a vegetarian, that's something unheard of in a Mexican-American family. When I was vegetarian, I went to Mexico. Everywhere you go in my parents' little town, there's street tacos. I really wanted tacos, but I was a vegetarian, so what I did was that I had tacos made of lettuce and carrots and that is an ongoing joke. My family still jokes about that today. - As a middle child, I definitely felt like the mediator within my entire family. - I definitely think I bring the family together. Onyi's going to provide a good time. He's either gonna end up DJing the party for us, he's gonna end up mixing drinks for us, he's gonna make sure we're laughing, we're joking, we're having fun. - On family trips, I kind of had to balance everyone out and make sure everyone was having a good time. And I think that's a role that the middle child usually takes on? I wouldn't change it for the world. - One thing that people don't really know about middle children is, if you really need them and you tell them that, they'll be there for you. They will not let you down. - I feel like that we're older and that we're all adults, the three of us are all on the same playing field. When we get together, we're just goofy as fuck. We don't make sense. - We're all pretty close now. We like to play board games and things like that. - Even though there were five of us, it always felt like love. They were my homies, my best friends. Because we knew our parents were working hard just to provide for us, so we always had each other, and that was enough. (whistling) (upbeat music)