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Blame It on Birth Order?

Being a middle child may seem like a curse, but this writer isn't so sure.

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  • And this is where it gets tricky—because I can't remember my sister ever calling me names. Her tactics were less overt and probably less intentional. While I was fighting with her, she was mostly ignoring me. She had a boyfriend, a senior with broad shoulders and skinny legs. She wore his flannel shirts and went to "get-togethers" on Friday nights. (In Reisterstown, Maryland where we lived, get-togethers were smaller, more exclusive versions of the high school party.) During her junior year, she was voted homecoming princess, officially confirming what I'd long suspected: She was the pretty and popular one. This left me to become anything else.

    My sister and I are 16 months apart. I had been an accident. Not the catastrophic kind. Just unplanned. It was the mid '70s, when women were told that breastfeeding prevents pregnancy. It doesn't.

    Three years later, my brother was born. We also fought, but those fights were more circumstantial, less personal. They were about Nintendo, TV, who got the better piece of cake. One or both of us would get upset, then we'd get over it.

Blame It on Birth Order?
Being a middle child may seem like a curse, but this writer isn't so sure.
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