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Three is the Very Worst Number

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Three is the Very Worst Number

I’ve read when it comes to kids, three is the hardest number of kids to have. If you have three, you might as well have four or five. It could just be that once you’ve adjusted to being out numbered, it really doesn’t matter how many kids you have, but they say having four kids is easier than having three.

The problem with three, is there’s always one who feels left out. For some reason it’s usually the middle child, which is why we develop a complex we like to call “middle child syndrome.” Apparently it’s even worse if all three kids are the same gender. I don’t know if it’s the competitiveness or what.

I grew up as the middle of three girls. Which apparently is the worst possible scenario. Although I turned out pretty well in spite of that (or maybe even because of that).

88 Dad, Hannah, Becky, AlissaI would argue that my case of MCS was worse than even other middle children, because my older sister was so sick when my little sister was born. Up until that point, I had been Daddy’s girl, but at 2 1/2 years old, I lost that position when Hannah claimed Daddy as her own and Baby Alissa demanded Mommy’s attention. Normally it would be the oldest child who felt de-throned, but at least the oldest dosen’t also have MCS. So I think our situation as three sisters was probably more challenging than normal since I was mad at Hannah for taking my place as Daddy’s girl, and we were both mad at Alissa for demanding Mom’s attention. And Alissa was saying, “I don’t know what’s going on, I was just born here.”

Since there were 3 of us, at Church, Mom would hold the baby and Dad would hold Hannah, while I stood there. On walks, my sisters would ride in the double stroller, while I walked. Granted, I was an active child and probably hated being trapped in the stroller or held, none-the-less I still noticed I was the odd one out, which only added to my “middle child syndrome.”

I do find it weird I don’t remember meeting baby Alissa. I must not have visited her and mom in the hospital. But I do remember going with Grandma & Grandpa to a big building like a shopping mall, with wide halls and lots of doors. Behind one of those doors was my sister, Hannah, in a big bed. It was rather startling to find her there, since I really did think we were at a shopping mall.

I remember being confused whenever Hannah was gone. I was never really sure if (or when) she was coming home or maybe she died? Although I don’t think I knew what death was. The good news is, that even though I was mad at her (and mad at Baby Alissa), I was genuinely concerned about her absence, and years later, we’re not all mad at each other anymore either.

I have other weird memories from early childhood, which probably only added to my feelings of being the neglected middle child. I would wake up to find some random person was babysitting me because my parents were at the hospital (or maybe it was just a scheduled doctors appointment). One time I woke up to find that no one was home. “Oh great, they completely forgot about me this time.” So I went outside to see if there were any responsible adults out there. Apparently that’s what goes through a 3 year olds mind, “I’m unsupervised, so I’ll just wander off outside.” Fortunately my mom was right outside talking to a neighbor, so I didn’t wander too far.

So now that Duane & I are expecting girl #2, people ask if we’ll try again for a boy. No! Why? I don’t want to think about a third kid before the second one is even born. Why does everyone think you have to have kids of both genders in order to have the “perfect family?” But if you have more than three kids, you must be crazy. Who comes up with this stuff?

family bellyGiven a choice, I would have picked to have a second girl, and I look forward to our little girls playing together. I also think two girls is enough because if I had three girls, I would have to have a forth kid to make it all even and that just sounds crazy. On the hand, if baby #2 was a boy, then I would have to have a third kid, because I refuse to be a stereotypical “perfect family” with one boy and one girl.

If anything we’ll wait until the girls are old enough to beg for a baby and then we can adopt a boy or two more girls, or whatever we feel like doing several years from now. For now while we are not out-numbered by kids, and still mostly sane, we will enjoy treasuring every precious moment with our two little girls.

How many kids do you think is the perfect number?


Becky is wife to Duane, mama to "Monkey-girl" and baby "Lioness" aka "PipSqueek." She is the administrative powerhouse for YWAM Bend and keeps our team grounded and organized. Her hope is to inspire and encourage other mamas in their journey to raise healthy, thriving families.
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  • Ty

    Interesting. Our family grew up at 3 until I was 12 years old (then my youngest brother was born) but we were 2 girls and a boy and I feel like it went OK. I was usually the odd man out, but I didn’t care cause I was very special and would usually be with my friends. I have to ask my girls if they want another, but then, Sarah wouldn’t be able to drive a truck:-)

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