I must introduce you to The Middle Child. You have met Mini Me and you have sort of met The Baby. It’s simply not fair for me to leave her out, for that is certainly giving power to the middle child syndrome, and I try very, very hard not to feed that. I do not see how it is exactly possible for there to be a middle child syndrome at my house, being that Mini Me is a boy, and a rockstar and all that he is. And The Baby is a boy, and, well, he is SOOOOOOOO much younger than the other two that it’s just not like there should really be any competition! The Middle Child, or Eliza, as she prefers to be called for some reason–perhaps because it is her name–is damn near perfect in most ways, so far as I can tell. She makes nearly perfect grades. I am not bragging, people. I am merely stating facts. We find her to be beautiful. She is compassionate and sweet to the point of sometimes making me want to puke. I do not mean this in a mean way at all. Anyone who knows me, knows good and well that, well, I am not that sweet. Never have been, never will be. Again–merely stating facts, people. The Middle Child has this beautiful, angelic voice–again, not from me. She sings pretty much 24/7, 365. Full on, natural vibrato. Singing is her thing. Like laundry is my thing. In case you do not already know this, I am in surround-sound pretty much all of the time, except when the kids are at school. When they are at home, Mini Me is usually playing the guitar and singing downstairs with a microphone and amp. The Middle Child is upstairs, belting out Broadway show tunes at the top of her lungs. The Baby may or may not be playing the drums alongside Mini Me. Sometimes I am in serious need of a Xanax milkshake or perhaps, a straight jacket. But anyway, back to The Middle Child.
First of all, The Middle Child made me crave only sweet foods the entire time I was pregnant with her. I think that is why she is so sweet. With Mini Me, I had to eat at Rio Bravo at least 3 times a week. I think that is why he is such a sassy pantalones. Also, The Middle Child only made me gain 27 pounds! 27. Whereas Mini Me put a whopping 65 pounds on my butt that was damn near impossible to lose. Hell–The Baby put 80 on me, but he had an excuse of me not having a thyroid anymore, so it wasn’t actually his fault. Is it ever The Baby’s fault?! Hahaha. I know, I know. None of that is anyone’s fault but my own. I thought that The Middle Child was going to be born on September 11, 2001. I begged her to wait, so she politely did. Mini Me and I had gone to Madison that morning and turned around and came right back. That day was so horrible. The Middle Child waited until early in the morning on September 15. It was a Saturday. There was no drama. No rushing around. No Atlanta traffic. We timed my contractions and left Alpharetta in plenty of time to meet MiMa and PaPa (JC’s parents) at Northside Hospital, so they could take Mini Me home with them. Eliza McKenzie Boyanton made her way into this world later that morning. Forgive me people. It is written down in her baby book exactly what time she got here, and no, I can’t remember the exact time right now! YES, I can remember the exact time Mini Me and The Baby were born. I don’t know WHY that is, but it just IS. Maybe it’s because Mini Me was the first child and we had a flat tire on 285 on the way from Atlanta to Athens–that’s an entirely different story. And with The Baby….his birth story is full of nothing but drama, and that’s an entirely different story, so it’s not like I just forgot when The Middle Child was born because she is The Middle Child! She came into this world without any fuss. Literally. She refused to cry. They did everything to try to make her cry. She would not. So, they gave her an Apgar score of 9 instead of 10. Probably the only time she will never get a perfect score. I remember them handing her to me. I held her and looked down into her blue, blue eyes. She was serene and sweet and everything beautiful. She had a head full of black, curly hair! I wanted her to have curly hair like her Daddy. Unfortunately, this did not last, but she did have some curls for a while. Mini Me has always had my straight-as-a-stick hair. Mini Me came to see her. He was a little less than thrilled. He had wanted a clown, not a sister. Seriously. We had known for a long time that she was a girl. When we told Mini Me that he was going to have a baby sister, he got very upset and said that he had wanted a clown! WTF?! A clown? I hate clowns! I am scared of clowns! Most kids are scared of clowns! It was then that I started to be concerned that perhaps Mini Me might have some….well, some issues…..but, alas, he does not. At least none of the psychopathic nature. That we know of. Yet. I don’t think he does….
We brought The Middle Child home and she was just so calm. I was so not used to this. She slept. She slept in her moses basket. Alone. And we could swaddle her and put her in it awake and she would go to sleep with no crying! She was the baby I had read about in books! I did not think this baby actually existed! Mini Me had been the baby from hell. Seriously. He refused to sleep. Ever. And NEVER in his bed or his cradle or his car seat or his bouncy seat or any other damn thing that would hold him except MY ARMS or OUR BED. The only problem with The Middle Child was that she wanted to sleep all of the time. When I would nurse her, she would fall asleep and stop nursing. I would have to undress her to try to wake her. Mini Me would be tearing up the house, drawing on the walls, unrolling all the toilet paper–anything he could do while I was trying to feed The Middle Child. Finally, I gave up and quit nursing. The Middle Child would drink a whole bottle before falling asleep. Bingo. Don’t even ask me in the comment section why I didn’t pump. Re-read what Mini Me was doing while I was nursing and re-think before you ask that question. The Middle Child had a mat she could lay on, with a thing that hung over her head that would light up if she batted it or kicked it. I would put her down on the mat and turn around 5 minutes later and she would be on her side, sucking her thumb, sound asleep. When she was a baby, sleeping was her thing. One day, when she was in her bouncy seat, in front of the television–yes, I was that mother–Mini Me was sitting right next to her. Like right up in her grill next to her. I was folding laundry in the hallway. I heard screaming. I came flying into the den and asked Mini Me just what the hell was going on. “Her hitted me, so I scwatched her,” he said, with absolutely no remorse whatsoever. I looked at The Middle Child, who was still screaming like a stuck pig. She had a big, fresh scratch right down the middle of her forehead from her hairline to her nose! She had not actually hit Mini Me. She was in the bouncy seat and had her arms extended and was bouncing. And, if you remember, I said he was all up in her grill. He was sitting so closely beside her, that when she extended her arms, she popped him with one of them. I tried to explain this to Mini Me. Actually, I am 99.9% sure he knew it before he scwatched her. In fact, he probably planned the entire event. Anyway, what it got him was in trouble, of course. Mini Me was actually very protective of The Middle Child. He did not want any other kid to touch his baby. Ever.
The Middle Child did not walk until she was 15 months old. She did not have to. She was a mess when she ate anything at all. We could always put her in her crib and tell her “night night” and she would go to sleep with absolutely zero crying. When she moved to a toddler bed, she would stay in it. No chasing her around the house like we had to do with Mini Me. No screaming and fighting night after night. When she moved to her big girl bed, she would just disappear when she got sleepy. We would find her, sound asleep, in her bed. Where did this dream child come from? How did she come to me? I had no clue. I certainly did not deserve her! Mothah loves to tell stories about how I was the child from hell….now you know where and why Mini Me got his name. One day I will write about Mothah and why she is Mothah and not Mother. I may not know where this child came from, but by God, I was going to keep her! I also wanted to keep my Mini Me. Don’t get me wrong, I have always loved his sassy pantalones self! I know I write a lot about Mini Me and his shenanigans. There is a lot of material to write about! He is a really good kid. I am really not trying to give you the wrong impression. He loves fiercely. He is very passionate about his beliefs and his strong personality is what is going to take him very far in life. I am so very proud of him that I can make myself cry if I think about him for more than 30 seconds. And I am equally as proud of The Middle Child. I can also make myself cry if I think about her for more than 30 seconds! And the same is true for The Baby! They are all three so very different, yet I love them so very much and more than I ever thought was possible for me to love anybody. I will say; however, that I am so very glad that they are different. If I had three of Mini Me….well…..it might drive me to drink! Three of The Middle Child…..I might be puking from all the goodness and sweetness all the time! and three of The Baby? the constant talk of video games and redundant questions might put me in a straight jacket in a matter of hours.