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Middle Child Madness

Growing up, I had to share a room for most of my childhood with my delightful younger sister. Note, when I say delightful I am referring to her NOW, as a grown up.

Back then, she was a big pain in my ass.

Back then, her version of being delightful was going out of her way to drive me crazy with her slovenliness and her penchant for tacking up cute pictures of kittens over top of my posters of River Phoenix.

Nothing calls for war like a fuzzy white kitten covering my future husband's pretty face.

She took great delight in pestering me and getting me in as much trouble as humanly possible. So I did what any big sister would do who was stuck with a pain-in-the-arse little sister.

I tormented her as often as I could get away with it without my parents shipping me off to juvey hall.

In my defense, I was just polishing the art of sibling abuse as my older brother Stretch had practiced extensively on me. It's not like I could sit on my bigger brother and fart in his face the way he had so tirelessly perfected with me. Or pin my kid sis down and threaten to gob in her eye.

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Well, okay, maybe I did do that a time or two, but it was only because I never learned how to fart on command like my asshat brother could.

(And my mother wonders why I have middle child syndrome...)

I took out my middle child frustrations on the only child who was smaller and weaker than me. It was Darwinism at it's finest in our house, and my younger sister had to learn to eat or be eaten. I like to think I was teaching her precious life skills. Survival of the fittest and all that. Heh.

One day, after coming home to find yet another fuzzy cat pinned over one of my precious boy posters, I decided to have a little fun at her expense.

That evening my parents went out shopping and my sister decided to take a nap while I sat on my top bunk and did my homework plotted. After a few hours of pussy footing around her so as not to wake her, I decided enough was enough and I turned my stereo on loudly and kindly blasted her awake with the melody of "I Wear My Sunglasses At Night."

I was thoughtful like that.

My sister jumped up, disoriented and banged her head on the lower bunk. Heh. She looked around and blinked and rubbed her head. I figured my part as the evil older sister was done. Until my sister handed me a golden nugget too perfect to toss away.

Bewildered and disoriented, she asked what day it was. "Friday," I replied haughtily. Like, duh, little sister. What are you, stupid? She blinked a few times, and then asked what time it was.

"It's 7:30."

"Oh no! I'm going to be late for school!" She cried and she hurriedly changed her clothes and made a mad dash for the bathroom to comb her hair.

I admit, I thought for a nanosecond to tell her it was 7:30 at night, not morning and the only thing she was late for was dinner. But then that middle-child syndrome kicked in and I decided to see how this played out.

My sister, (to my brother's and my amazement,) never noticed the difference between the evening twilight and the morning dawn. She ran around in a panic to make her lunch and brush her teeth and before you knew it she was flying out the door, running across the field towards the school across the street, with her knapsack bouncing against her back in her haste to make it before the morning bell rang.

"You are evil," my brother smiled as he looked at me with a newfound respect.

"I know," I grinned and then ran from him as he tried to pin me down to fart on me.

A few minutes later, my parents walked through the door, arms ladled with plastic grocery bags and asked us to help bring in the groceries. "Where's your sister?," my dad asked.

"She's at school," my brother happily supplied. He was always the first to fink me out. Rat.

Just then, my sister walked across the street and glared at me. Apparently, the school doors were locked and her head finally cleared. She realized it wasn't morning, but night time.

"That wasn't very funny, Tanis," she pouted as she put her knapsack away.

Sorry sister, but it really was. I still smile at the memory. It was worth the ten minute lecture I got from my parents about abusing my power as an older sister.


It sucks being a middle child sometimes. We do what we can to survive the jungle of childhood. Frac is learning this. Poor kid. He knows first hand what it means to be the older child's personal beyotch but unlike me, his younger sibling is no longer around to torment. He's in middle child limbo. At least until he sprouts enough to take down his big sister and fart on her.

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Fric torments Frac on a regular basis (like any good big sister should) and the poor kid has yet to find his revenge.

Until this morning.

The little bugger got up early and set all the clocks an hour ahead and then proceeded to wake his sister up in a panic, telling her they has slept in.

"It's 7:35 Fric!!! Get up, we're going to miss the bus!"

As Fric raced around in the bathroom to make herself beautiful, Frac wandered in my room as I was sleepily trying to pull my arse from my bed.

"Don't worry about getting up, Mom. It's only 6:30. I'm just playing a joke on Fric," he grinned.

I looked at my son, standing there, not quite a man, not quite a little boy, and saw his impish grin and big blue eyes imploring me not to ruin it for him.

"Ah hell, just wake me up when it really is 7:30," I yawned and crawled back into the covers. "Shut the door though," I called after him as he turned to leave, "I don't want to hear your sister murdering you when she realizes you deprived her of her beauty rest."

Fifteen minutes later and Frac had his sister racing down the driveway to catch the bus. "You go ahead, I've just got to find my agenda," he told her. "Tell the bus driver I will be right there."

Evil boy.

The minutes ticked by as Frac played video games and giggled like a madman as his sister dutifully waited for the bus to arrive. After about ten minutes, her internal prank radar must have started to ring and she came back into the house.

"Frac! Hurry up. The bus is late and..." she stopped as she noticed the one clock in the kitchen Frac hadn't adjusted.

"What?" she muttered and then she came into my bedroom and noticed the time on my alarm clock.

7:06. Ten minutes before I usually bellow at them to wake up.

She stood there for a moment as I watched her through my half closed eyes, pretending to be sleeping and I could see the emotions race across her face. First confusion, then enlightenment, and then finally rage.

"I'm going to kill him," she muttered before screeching out of my room like some mad Indian wielding a tomahawk.

Admidst the screaming and the limb pulling, I smiled and yawned as I made my way to the coffee pot.

The middle child in me couldn't help but be a little proud.
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Reader Comments (53)

That is brilliant. As a middle child myself, I approve of his methods.

April 28, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterSciFi Dad

With 4 boys...it was always 'awn' here...but alas, the baby will never get to be the 'men' his older brothers are...he actually is a peacemaker at school...duh, how can we fix that?

April 28, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterBella

See, I missed out on a LOT of this - but now? NOW I have some doozies to pull on my poor, sweet, (twitch) innocent (twitch!) chilluns.....

April 28, 2008 | Unregistered Commenterdaysgoby

Frac rocks! ROFL!

April 28, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterHeather

I’m not a middle child, I’m the baby, and my sister did not pull pranks on me as we grew up; no she used her imagined superior intelligence to torture me, for example, I suffered from every imaginary allergy known as a child and while I sneezed, coughed, and suffered nose bleeds and constantly stuffed sinuses I had my sister standing there saying: “You know of course your not really sick, you just have a weak mind, if you tell yourself not to sneeze you won’t sneeze, and if you will yourself not to have allergies they will all go away.� I finally grew out of all my allergies and I am happy to announce my sister developed mega hay fever as an adult, and nothing makes my day like saying: “You know, of course, that all those doctor appointments and allergy shots are unnecessary, it’s all mind over matter if you tell yourself not to sneeze you won’t. She hates me when I use her own words to torture her!

April 28, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterAZ

BRA-VO! Way to be, Frac!

April 28, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterColleen

I stand in awe of Frac! I was the baby and my older brother tormented me. I had children so I could get my turn. But I don't measure up to him! You trained him well!

April 28, 2008 | Unregistered Commenterjustmylife

My older sister ruled the roost in our house. She'd always pick one of us (me or my twin sis) to gang up on the other. So mean.

Of course I laugh at it now.

April 28, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterWorker Mommy

You see, and people always feel bad for only children... It was a pretty sweet ride being alone until I was nearly twelve, actually.

April 28, 2008 | Unregistered Commenterkittenpie

I was the baby in our house but I was crafty!
My yes, I was crafty.

April 28, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterDon Mills Diva

frac is a force to be reckoned with now!!!!!!!!

April 28, 2008 | Unregistered Commenterthe planet of janet


I am the youngest, but my brother was wicked. WICKED.

One time, he took a towel and wiped the dog's butt. Then he pinned me down (he's 10 years older than I am) and wiped my face with it. And my parents? Laughed at this.

No wonder I'm so damn twisted.

April 28, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterBecky

What a clever prank!

When I was little, my dad taught my younger sister (who was a toddler & still in diapers at the time) that any time my brothers or I would lay down on the couch or floor, she should sit on our heads. They both thought it was the funniest thing ever!

April 28, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterCassie

Man, you are such a great storyteller. I love this blog.

April 28, 2008 | Unregistered Commenterkris

This is classic! Would it be entirely wrong of me to pull this prank on my own kids?

April 28, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterMomo Fali

I'm a first born, overly responsible, rule follower.

I don't know if I'm appalled or impressed by what you let happen this morning. I mean, I'm DEFINITELY impressed...... and I'm trying to shake the appalled thing on account of the whole incident being so dang funny.

Which makes me think - if I stop working so hard to maintain ORDER, perhaps it will provide me with such excellent blogging fodder???


April 28, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterSoliloquy

ROFLMAO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! What a guy!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

April 28, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterCindy

The only trick I can remember pulling on my sister ended with me falling through the ice on the St. Lawrence River.

Now I just try to get my wife to say "pole" so I can giggle.

April 28, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterBackpacking Dad

I fear for the future of Canada when one of your kids takes over as ruler.


April 28, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterChicky Chicky Baby


I bow to Frac's sheer genius.

April 28, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterChildsplayx2

Frac is an evil genius. I laughed my ass off reading this.

April 28, 2008 | Unregistered Commenterjason

I have a feeling this is just the first salvo being fired!

April 28, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterJenn @ Juggling Life

As the youngest and usual recipient, I am now officially scared of you.

April 28, 2008 | Unregistered Commentermotherbumper

If Fric is anything like her mother, revenge will be sweet.

April 28, 2008 | Unregistered Commenterabove average joe

Being an only child, this is completely fascinating to me.

Hilarious, and fascinating.

April 28, 2008 | Unregistered Commentermamatulip

This is funny. I love playing pranks on my kids and about die wathcing them trying to outdo each other in the pranks and jokes department.

April 28, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterMichelle

bwaaaaa haaaaa haaaaaa!

I did that to my brother only recently. And he is 33. And 2 foot taller than me. That'll teach him to turn up and sleep on my couch.

And I farted on his head while he slept and my kids thought it was awesome.

And it was.

April 28, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterKelley

Awesome. I was the baby. Who are babies supposed to torture?!

April 29, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterKyla

@Kyla: usually, the youngest tortures the pets.
I still marvel that my younger brother talks to me after some of the stuff we pulled on him.

April 29, 2008 | Unregistered Commenterwitchypoo

Makes me proud to have just brought a sibling into the world for The Boss :)

April 29, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterBinky

As a former member of another Fric and Frac duo, I applaud Frac's antics...but as the big sister I can not condone them. ;-)

Great job though! Tanis, your kids rock!

April 29, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterCourtneyRyan

those are two awesome stories...yours and Frac's!

April 29, 2008 | Unregistered Commenterslouching mom

I'm the oldest of 4. I shudder to think about all the times my parents were dumb enough to leave me in charge.
Once, my youngest brother dropped a piece of gum in my sis's hair. I knew that peanut butter would help untangle gum from hair. But we only had chunky peanut butter. So my parents came home to find my sister's head covered in peanut butter--with chunks.
Fun times.

harr!!! that was so funny! good for the boy.but i wonder what revenge big sis is plotting hmm?

April 29, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterLAVENDULA

Apple not far from the tree and all that?

April 29, 2008 | Unregistered Commentergwendomama

SWEET! We lived in Germany when I was 8 and my brother woke me up early all excited about the first snow.... I raced out of bed and got dressed as fast as I could ready to go have a snowball fight... our first snowball fight... it was just frost.. jerk

April 29, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterSugarplumsmom

Way to go, Frac! As number 5 out of 6, I applaud your genius! I was tormented endlessly by sibling #4, but got my revenge when he was the first one to have offspring. Hehe.

April 29, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterMumma Boo

"She's at school" ~ That truly had me LOL.

In our house we call it the "pecking order".

Frac for Prime Minister!! He'd do well!

April 29, 2008 | Unregistered Commenterjacquie

I love it! I was never able to pull off practical jokes, so I always have a fondness for those who can.

And thanks for the River Phoenix reminder. I was sooooo in love with him after Stand By Me.

April 29, 2008 | Unregistered Commentermandy

Niiiiiiiiiiicely done.

April 29, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterBOSSY

My middle daughter (age 13) and my youngest (age 5 1/2) also share a room. I realize this isn't the best arrangement, but the oldest (age 16) has her own room, and we only have three bedrooms, so that's the way it goes. I had to laugh when you described this:

"She took great delight in pestering me and getting me in as much trouble as humanly possible. So I did what any big sister would do who was stuck with a pain-in-the-arse little sister.

I tormented her as often as I could get away with it without my parents shipping me off to juvey hall."

Because that is my middle and youngest. EXACTLY.

April 29, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterShelley

Siblings can be wonderful entertainment. My sister was only 9 months younger then me and she wanted to do everything I did..
Unfortunately I had my evil times as well. Today we are best friends and I still feel so guilty about some of the things I did...I won't even write them. However, it was sure fun reading about yours..

Dorothy from grammology
remember to call gram

April 29, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterDorothy Stahlnecker

Hello everyone, my name is Denguy and I am a middle child. I've been a middle child my whole life.

While she's deceiving me it cuts my security. Has she got control of me? I turn to her and say....

April 29, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterDenguy

Hilarious!! I laughed out loud. Just what I needed!!!

April 29, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterHeather

Frac is hilarious!! Acutally, both of them are!! I love it!!

April 29, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterLindsey

I'm so proud. I don't know you guy's but I read your blog. And I have to say.. You are raising your son well if he can pull a prank that well LOL

April 30, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterCatherine

Love it, and you KNOW that story will be told and retold at every holiday dinner from now on.

April 30, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterJan

I'm with Mamatulip. I'm an only and can't even comprehend having to share toys much less face farting and practical jokes.

This made me laugh quite hard!

April 30, 2008 | Unregistered Commentergorillabuns

Absolutely adorable! Frac is just brilliant.
I love how you handled this.
Great job and thanks for the giggle!

April 30, 2008 | Unregistered Commenterrachel

Ha ha! Brilliant! Looks like someone has inherited his mother's wily ways.

April 30, 2008 | Unregistered Commenterandi

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