Monday, April 07, 2008

The Nagging Child: Nature or Nurture

What sensitivity is to Jay. Nagging is to Lola.

I often wonder if she was born nagging or has it just become more pronounced through my inabilities of mothering a stubborn and opinionated child.

Man. Oh, man. My middle child. Lola loves to nag. I remember as an infant her middle-of-the-night screeching was so terrible I would often slide the cradle into our dark closet and shut the door. In the closet she would continue to screech for hours. These intital screechings developed into today's nagging. Neither my husband nor I are naggers. We are quite the laid back pair and the fact that our middle child nags so much really has us wondering.

Where does this nagging come from?

Example 1
She persistently nagged me about her fourth birthday for days. Where would we get our nails done? How many days left? What color or pattern would she choose? Where would we go and eat? And on and on she nagged me for days.

Example 2
Last week she modeled for some Step 2 products. Very aware of the fact that she gets paid in bags of skittles she persistently nagged the creative director, forty years her senior, to use her for more than one shoot. More than one shoot equals more than one bags of skittles. "But. But, I really want to model some more. But. But, please I NEED to do another job." She told the photographer on set while looking him straight in his eyes and hands on her hips. "I need another job."

Example 3
Lola received Pretty Pretty Princess, the board game, for her birthday last month and it quickly became her most favorite game. She quite frequently plays it alone just for "practice" so she is ready to outwit her girlfriends at our next play date. However, she has grown bored of playing alone and has started to nag both Jay and I to play. "You said we are going to play. When are we going to play? How many minutes until we can play?" She walks around the house nagging us until we both give in and are adorned in plastic jewels.

So, was Lola born with nagging genes of have they just developed through my mothering and giving in?

More importantly. Where does this nagging come from?

Today , I got the answer I was looking for. Last week, on a whim, I booked three round trip plane tickets to NYC. In two weeks Jay, Lola, and I will be visiting my sister in the big apple. Before I could even forward my plane internairy to my younger sister, whom also happens to be a middle child, she had already sent me an email outlining 10,983 things to do in the city with kids. Before I could even reply to her emailed list, she called me. Before I could even reply to her voicemail, she called me again. And again. And. Again.

I can clearly picture my plane ride to NYC with Lola by my side, "Are we there yet? Are we there yet? MAMA!!! Are we there yet?" More so, I can clearly picture sightseeing NYC with my sister, "Did you see that? Did you see that? Run. Faster. We got to see everything! Did you see that?"

All of the middle children in our extended family are females. I could not imagine life without them. They really keep us on our toes and fill our hearts with love.

Aren't all first borns so sincere, incredibly loving, extremely passionate, uber classy, fabulous, and beautiful? Ahem. I am glad you agree.

80classy comments:

Kash said...

and proud of it! I hope you've found a double stroller for the kiddos, because that's the only way we'll be able to see EVERYTHING in three days. P.S. Please remember to prioritize the list of things to do so I can begin arrangements. Love you and can't wait!

OHmommy said...

..... and even before calling my sister back she stalked me on my blog and asked me to prioritize my list.

Enough said.

Is the Big Apple ready for both KASH and LOLA? LOL.

Stella said...

Oh my goodness! You're coming to NY!! YAY!! How exciting!

I think the nagging is endearing although I tend to walk around my house with ear plugs in so that I don't have to hear either of my children nagging me!
:)

haniaski said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
haniaski said...

...have a nice time:)

amanda said...

uhm yes all first borns are exactly how you described them!!

so can't wait to hear the highlights of the big trip to the big apple...hoping your sis has scheduled a stop at dylan's candy bar!!

workinthatpreppy said...

Hey...and you're a winner from a third child! Middle sort of ..three out of four! E-mail me what you want..then I'll get the specs after your trip to the big apple. I won't nag...promise!

Mr Lady said...

All middle children are nags. Even before YOU know they're going to be middle children, they know it.

I can only give you one bit of advice for dealing with this: MARTINIS. And then an out of state college.

:)

tobymine said...

Heck yes, we firstborns are incredible. How DO we live with ourselves? ;)

Kristen said...

Oh my goodness this was too cute!

I actually used to tell some students of mine (that were BEYOND needy) that they only got to ask me 3 questions in a 50 minute period. I wonder if it would work for a 4 year old??

And I too completely concur about the traits of a first born. How else do the other kids know what to live up to? :-)

Have a great Monday!

Angie said...

With one of my boys, Grant, I have to really watch what I say to him or he will nag me nonstop to make it a reality. Or nag me nonstop to change my mind. He is very persistent.

KEEP BELIEVING

The MomBabe said...

It's amazing to me how much birth order has to do with people's temperaments. Have fun in NY!

Jen said...

Can't wait to hear about the "baby" of the family (i'm one!)

Rhea said...

My second child has some nagging qualities...OH, shite, that better now mean what I think it means...

Smart A$$ Mom said...

I am the oldest...and I say we kinda rock.

LaskiGal said...

OMG--and she commented first--Oh My, Oh Mommy!

Speaking as a first born, I completely agree with your assessment . . .

Good luck on the NYC trip!

BTW--southeastern Ohio--about 1:45 southeast of Columbus . . . YOU?

Grandy said...

Sounds like a great trip ahead of you! Pair Lola with your sister and you and your boy can take a nap while cuddling. :D

The Whitsitt Family said...

Maybe, her nagging is just another way of seaking attention from those around her. Generally, it seems middle children do crave more attention than other kids. Sounds like she will get to spend special time with you in NY. Hope you have a really good time!

Laura said...

I agree totally!!!!!!!

THopgood said...

My daughter nags AND whines! I truly believe that she has completely forgotten how to talk normal.

Hey, I'm a first born too!

Wendi said...

I agree completely. I, being the eldest of four.
Sounds like a great trip. Let me know if you need some extra hands to help... I could offer mine. LOL

Irene said...

I don't know about middle kids (mine is so special needs) being nags. In my house, my oldest AND my youngest can nag me to death. Drives me absolutely BATTY.

Don Mills Diva said...

Personally, as the baby of the family, I'd like to offer my unbiased opinion that youngest children are chilled out and non-naggy.

Also, gorgeous and brilliant. And modest.

Lisa said...

Seeing as I'm the oldest child, I've always been one to think we are far superior to our middle and youngest siblings. When I gave birth to my first child and the FIRST grandchild on both sides of the family, everyone seemed to agree. But now I have this stinking adorable, stubborn, independent red head that rules my world too. Do I want to make her a middle child, full of nagging and questions, or should I just leave her be as the baby - our comedy director, lover, and adventurous child???

Oh, the questions you make me think of Ohmommy!!!

John-Michael said...

I note two words that "tell the tale!" Your casual glance to your left, will disclose the "magical key." Your sister's "can't wait!" She knows it! She confesses it! She can not be hindered by waiting. She will not consider waiting. She insists on your not being who you are ... because your natural and normal pace and tempo will require her ... WAITING! All the world MUST accelerate to her speed ... accommodate her imperatives. The world must adjust its rotation to spin in step with her desires.

GOOD LUCK to you in your visit to NYC ... on your sister's treadmill of life!

(how did I do? enough ammunition for your use in the battle? [grin])

I love You (at your pace!)

Stephanie said...

Okay, example #2 has me rolling with laughter. I can just picture her saying that to the photographer. She will certainly keep her future husband on his toes!

I'm guess Fifi is your laid back child? :)

Burgh Baby's Mom said...

The post was great, but the fact that Kash IMMEDIATELY commented on it just made it even funnier!

Tara R. said...

Oh my... you're children are fabulous! Have a great time in NYC.

Melissa said...

I don't know, my first born is pretty naggy....it's a pain, huh?

Beth said...

It will be intersting to see how Fifi works into this. Have fun in NYC - how I LOVE and miss that town!

Thanks for visiting my blog, Edina is right in my backyard!

renatamic said...

all first borns are everything you described and more. i am NOT biased.

Ashlee said...

That is so awesome. :0) Just think though, she'll always be on top of everything!

just jamie said...

Okay really I feel like I'm reading the script for my life. First it was sensitive Jay (ahem, MY son), now it's nagging Lola (ahem, MY daughter), and then of course I'd have to agree with your theory on first born, too.

(wink)

Kelly said...

Oh mommy, I am sure you are going to be super busy, but if you have a spare, teensy moment, I would love for you and your kiddies to meet my kiddies. Seriously, central park, a museum, the zoo. I'm game if you are.
kd7200@optonline.net

April said...

First borns are AWESOME. Plain and simple. LOL And we certainly don't nag AND we are very, very sensitive! :-)

carrie said...

Yes we are! :)

cyndy said...

I totally agree it's a middle-child thing.
BUT....youngest children are BY FAR the best!

MamaWise said...

Hehe, one good reason for me to stop at two children... that way GG won't be a middle child and maybe he'll not be a nagger. Wishful thinking!

BTW, isn't this weather we are having beautiful? We should plan a get together soon!

Jennifer said...

Oh the stories I could share of my middle daughter. She is almost 13 and I was so hoping she would out grow it because it not only drives my husband and I to the edge but others around us also. After talking about your sister though you don't give my much hope that she will outgrow this. My sister had her stay with her for a week last summer and felt bad that she had to confess to me that one day she told my daughter that she couldn't talk for an hour. I have never laughed so hard and told her not to feel bad it is very overwhelming. We have a rule now that she may not ask more than 2 questions at a time. However I need to constantly remind her of it still. All that being said she is a straight A student and can pick up almost any music instrument and play it. She is very talented. I think she is so smart because of her desire, urge, passion, need to know everything.
Smiles!

Anonymous said...

I can't wait to see how my Emma reacts when our new baby gets here and she becomes the middle child ;) I never had to deal with that growin' up cuz we had 4 kids in our family.
:) Katie

April said...

When pondering middle child syndrome, all I can think of is the Brady Bunch Movie: "Marsha, Marsha, Marsha!"

Eve Grey said...

My sister is the middle & is the most laid-back chill girl you could ever meet. And I, the lovely eldest, am, well, let's just say "spirited".

P said...

Congratulations on your win over at "Workin that Preppy."

Lisa said...

My middle, the girl, is the same way. And she always 'sets up' games to ensure a win (she has been well known for stacking Uno decks since she was 4).
My middle, boy, however is my 'perfect' child. Makes me worried about the teen years ;)
Have fun on your trip. I do not have the guts to get on a plane alone with all my kids.
(Oh and you are right on about first born--we are perfect, aren't we!)

zadie&phoenix said...

oh man...this is Zadie to a T. She's right now begging "cookie! cookie! cookie!" non stop. I refuse to cave just because she's on my last nerve.

Melissa said...

You've got bling!

Motherhood for Dummies said...

ha ha... where the children fall really does make a difference on them. But in my family we have 6 kids so we don't really have a middle. But my oldest sister takes the older child roll and I am the youngest and I do take the youngest child roll mostly.

Happy Days said...

ok, you struck a little nerve with me, since I am a middle child! LOL! I am really not a nag, really!!!!

LunaNik said...

Being a nag, I mean, being very forceful with one's opinions, is definately part of middle child's syndrome. I should know. I'm a middle child.

P.S.
NYC + OhMommy crew + LunaNik crew = Big Apple Fun

Kathryn said...

Hmmm. All of my boys are nags. ???

MCmommy said...

Ohmommy,
I couldn't agree more about first borns! Like Mary Poppins, we are "practically perfect in every way".... :)

Kimmylyn said...

I totally agree with the first born comment (being a first born myself..hehehe).

Have a great time in the Big Apple.. you will have a blast!

Beth from the Funny Farm said...

I'm a middle child and NOT a nagger. You just need to change your perception! I think you should celebrate the qualities of a person who are persistent, determined, and goal oriented!

Ahem! ;-)

Nissa said...

I'm sure glad you cleared that up! Now when my hubby calls me naggy, I can tell him, 'Nope- that's middle children!'

:)

beth said...

My girls are the opposite. It is my first born that drives me crazy with the constant demands. I keep hoping she will mellow with age.

Have a great trip. I love NYC!

Kash said...

I totally agree with Beth from the Funny Farm! Nagging can turn into other positive qualities like drive and determination. And please don't forget all the times you SENT me off like a pawn to nag the parents to get something you wanted ( i.e. watching TV, money for McDonalds, etc). It also worked to your advantage :)

Amy said...

HAHA! I totally agree! I too am a first born!
Too bad you are going in two weeks, I am going this weekend! My first trip, CAN'T WAIT!

Tootsie Farklepants said...

oh lord, Boy-Child#2 (middle child) and Lola must be related. Oh the nagging!

zoeyjane said...

me? first born. isobel? first born. both: spirited, headstrong, defiant, passionate, moody, sleepless, and so on. but we're also both bossy and i (i don't know about her, yet) am a nag. sooooo...where does that leave us?

Janice said...

NYC.... I want to go...

Robin said...

You already know your youngest child is adorable, in fact so are all youngest children. I mean, I should know as I am still adorable, just ask my older sisters.

anglophilefootballfanatic said...

I don't know about your theory tho. Both of my parents are middle kids. Neither are naggers. My hubby's an oldest. I'm a baby. I tend to think all those glowing words are better said about babies. Go Fifi.

Jane the Sane said...

I can't agree to that last statement. If my older sister ever found out she would never let me forget it. First borns are bossy :)

Half-Past Kissin' Time said...

Intermittant reinforcement is a very powerful thing, Mommy!!

CC said...

As an oldest, I say AMEN!

This Southern Belle said...

HaHa--love that she commented first. And, first-borns--we ALL know that they are the closest to all-around perfection in each family, right? ;)

LceeL said...

Ah yes, Middle Child Syndrome ... gotta love it. I love the picture of her standing there, hands on hips, telling the photog she needs another job. In preparation for your trip, methinks, perhaps, you might be best served by arming yourself with a stun gun.

haniaski said...

I totally agree with Don mills diva

imbeingheldhostage said...

Ok, agreeing, but I wouldn't know about the firstborn thing. I'm the baby-- the typical, spoiled, mom-loves-you-more-so-we're-gonna-be-awful-toyou to-you baby.
Wow, NYC with an energetic tour guide, what a great trip this is going to be! Turning green over here....

Kristy said...

My husband and I are both oldest children of oldest mothers. I do think birth order is significant.
I have four though, so I can't figure out how the two middles will work out. Will they both be the middle child? Will this be affected by the fact that one is a boy and one is a girl?

Kimber said...

Hey---I AM a middle child. Do I nag? do I? huh? You have not answered me yet! LOL:)

Kim

Kimber said...

Oh...and not to nag you or anything...but you are going to blog while in NYC right?

Amy said...

I am also a middle child. I AM NOT a nagger.... unless you ask my husband, or mom, or brothers, or dogs.
Crap! I AM a closet nagger!

HRH said...

As a first born I would have to agree. As a mother of a middle child I would have to agree.

secret agent mama said...

Another thing we have in common. Olivia is to me, what Lola is to you. Funny stuff. Middle girl children. Can't live with them. Can't kill them. LOL

The Immoral Matriarch said...

The Bella is a nagger too. And her voice is aaalllwwwaaayyyssss whiny.

Ugh.

frog ponds rock... said...

Oh I love it..I am a first born and I totally agree with you. We are just awesome in our fantasticness...

My husband is a middle child and guess what? He Nags and nags and NAGS.

hehehehe cheers kim

Huckdoll said...

NYC sounds fabulous. I bet your sis and Lola will be walking hand in hand the whole time, nagging each other and LOVING it :)

krissy said...

Sweetie, my kid is "All of the Above!"

I think it has something to do with being the ONLY child!

Well, 2nd child if you count my husband.

Erin said...

Too cute! My oldest nags me crazy. Somedays, I can hardly hold off on the alcohol until lunch! :)

 

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