Admittedly, it has taken me over 5 years of her life to come to terms with all of the research that revolves around the middle child. There are statistics, upon statistics, that suggest the middle child has the toughest time in a family. These range from saying the middle one is overlooked, forgotten about, struggle educationally, they are forced to be a big kid, because there is a new baby in town, but hey-- no you are not that big, tell your older sibling to help you so you don't screw anything up.
All along, before now, I'd always felt that Presley was my sweetest child. She loves hugs and kisses, babies Canon (and always had given up anything that she had first on his crying demand) and adores Jizelle (to the point that Jizzy would hide out to catch a break).
With age, I am seeing that she has a tougher time than the other kids.
Presley was my chubby little baby, until canon made his debut when she was only 1 year and 10 months.
Perhaps some of the blame is on me then. As soon as Canon was here, Presley was now a "big girl," who was not quite ready.
She was still sweet and just a happy-go-lucky child, but the changes have sure set in.
She is now 5, turning 6 in September, and is not quite comfortable in her own skin. I am sure some of this is from beginning pre-k and a large portion is from spending all of her at home time with children who are so sure of themselves.
Jizelle was the only child until she was nearly 4, she is now 9. She has always been strong willed, independent, mature, and has been unapologetic for loving ninja turtles, science, animals, bugs, and art. She has spent her weeks with me, and weekends with her dad for as long as she can remember. She thinks she is hilarious.
Canon is the baby, he is 3, turning 4 in July. Women gawk over him and tug at his curls. He is the only boy. He may get some special treatment and tons of help from Jizzy and Presley. I AM AN ENABLER, I CANNOT HELP IT. For the most part, he thinks he is handsome and a gentleman (even though we are still teaching him all the responsibilities he has for ladies.) He successfully leads the girls in prayer, every night.
And then there is Taliyah, who is also 5. She is a princess, by nature, and has been an only child all 5 years of her existence-- until our families blended. She is strong willed and knows (or thinks) she is the boss! That is the case for all only children, so coming into a family with 3 other kids is quite the adjustment for her. She always laughs at Presley's jokes and classic "Oh, Presley" faces. Presley, is her biggest fan, favorite sister, and best friend (so they say).
And then, there is presley.
She loves sushi, fruit, vegetables, and toast. She wants to hug Canon when he throws fits, and then gets told, "leave me alone FRES-LEY!" She calls herself a sleeping girl, because as soon as she lays down, she WILL fall asleep. She takes pride in her 3 hour naps and her superior skills for passing out amount her siblings playing or watching t.v. She still puts her shoes on the wrong feet and her underwear on backwards. She wants to be just like Taliyah, or Jizzy, or her friend Charlie from school. She thinks she has to wear a dress or skirt and often, she still spills drinks, or trips at school (everyday, at school, she claims). This is because she is "only pretty" when she wears a dress. She is having a tough time at 5. And that is a slap for me, a tough time at 5 transitioning into school, being comfortable in her own, and thinking for herself. I have found myself reminding her, "You just have to want to be like yourself, Presley." Or, "Think bout what your idea for it is, you get to think for yourself, baby." While her doctor says not to worry, she has time to perfect her speech, she struggles with the letter S and tons of words that Canon can get right on the first try. Shout out to Dr. Martin at Beaufort Pediatrics, because he was my doctor once-upon-a-time. She is my mouth breather and my sweet girl.
So, as a mum, I need to remember my middle presley needs a little more love and a little more patience than canon, jizelle, and taliyah.
And, to be honest, my blog articles are typically more organized. They usually have a BIG idea. A point. Something of substance.
The "something" that sparked me to write about the kids and Presley was something she said to me Tuesday.
Tuesday's are rough.
7:30am drop girls off at school 8:30AM arrive at creek 3:00pm leave creek 4:00pm pick up kids from afterschool 5:00pm teach tcl night class
Super thanks to Ms. Becky for always watching the kids when I have those evening classes.
She asked if I was going back to work. I reminded her it was Tuesday and I had to go to TCL for a little bit to make more money, but that I might be back before bedtime.
She asked, "Can you buy me a new bike?" Naturally, I messed up and said, "When I have more money." Immediately after, she said, "How much does a bike cost?" I responded, "like one hundred dollars." "But you bought me a bike when I was four..." and her face immediately began to sink. "Yes, I did," I laughed, not sure about all of her questions. She began sobbing and got out, "You spent all your money on my bike when I was four,"
And the mom guilt sunk in... and has remained with me for days.
It reminded me how sweet of a girl she is. It reminded me me why I never peep a word about money, It reminded me how she struggles being raised with the eccentric siblings Jizelle, Taliyah, and Canon. It reminded me that parenting is so hard, but kids growing into their skin is hard, too.