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A Bit of Introspection

August 31, 2010

Ali is pretty disappointed that nobody insulted me in order to win a Godiva Chocolate Bar Cake.  I, on the other hand, am thrilled!     

Just to clarify, I left it up to Maya to choose a winner and then I had to spend 10 minutes clarifying the following:    

  1. Why she had to pick a number. “Why Mama, why?”
  2. Why we are making a cake for someone she doesn’t know.
  3. Why she cannot have a piece of it.
  4. Why she cannot lick her fingers or sneeze during the process.

Lo and behold, Maya finally chose a number.    

But before I disclose the winner, can I clarify a few things and simultaneously bore you with some introspection?    

I recently learned that I have something called Middle Child Syndrome (I swear I am not making this up).  Basically, this is a theory perpetuated by Alfred Adler that middle children can become very independent adults who either create a ruckus to become noticed or who lay low in order to keep the peace.    

Obviously I fall in the latter category.   

Well, in my quest to lay low I feel the need to make everybody happy.  Why?  Simply because I want everyone to like me.  And that is why I go to great lengths to justify, clarify, and apologize all over myself.    


I find it interesting that my child has no desire to explain why she's crawling through the living room with a Dora blanket on her. Obviously my need to continuously clarify did not rub off on her.

After my last post I realized this needs to stop.   

I hope you will understand that I have the very best intentions as I wax on about nothing in particular, but my goal right now is to stop continuously clarifying and explaining myself.     

And now that I’ve bored you to tears clarifying and explaining myself for the last time, I would like to congratulate Diana for winning a particularly delicious cake.  Please email me your mailing address and Maya and I will have a cake out to you shortly.  You will love it.  I promise.    

No further clarification necessary.

61 Comments leave one →
  1. August 31, 2010 2:46 am

    I try never to clarify anything on my blog. For example when my mother calls me and asks me why I have to mention sex and/or sperm and/or Latin lovers in every post. I ask her about the weather.

    Congrats to Diana! That lucky gal.

  2. August 31, 2010 3:20 am

    i usually try to clarify things too. like a lot. i think it’s because i’m trying to (as cliche as this sounds) make it in the real world and i don’t want to have ppl misunderstand me. i hate it when ppl don’t “get” what i’m saying haha

    adorable picture of maya. oh to be back in the days where i could crawl around in a dora blanket haha

  3. August 31, 2010 3:36 am

    And congrats to Diana.

  4. August 31, 2010 3:38 am

    Um…so apparently maya and you have a crush on me? I know picking me was rigged…alas, I will not complain but will wait at the door, bib on, for your package. 🙂 AHHHHHHH

  5. August 31, 2010 3:41 am

    ps. clarifying is overrated…if people don’t “get” you then you are obviously too witty…tee hee…also using a “ps” for a comment is overrated.

  6. August 31, 2010 4:02 am

    haha you crack me up. congrats diana!

  7. Janelle permalink
    August 31, 2010 4:14 am

    I’ll admit, I’m a little (lot) jealous of Diana. Tell Maya she’s on my list.

    Good for you on backing off on the clarification – your blog, totally not necessary!

  8. August 31, 2010 4:15 am

    Oh man, I’m actually NOT a middle-child…but I so know I have this.

    If you read my blog 😉 – hah- you know it’s true!!

    How many times do I write a DISCLAIMER or a justification…God, I spend more time trying to explain myself or where I’m coming from or what I’m not…than just friggin’ writing!

    Seriously. Why do I feel I need to please or explain myself to somebody else?

    Yes, they may (will) make false assumptions and judgements, etc. etc…but why do I care??

    Who cares?

    I know the truth. And it’s my life.

    And explaining myself is mentally and physically exhausting.

    Wasted energy.

    Thank you so much for this – and for putting it so concisely without dragging it out or making it complicated like I would do 😉 …see?

  9. August 31, 2010 4:16 am

    I think I had middle child syndrome now, too. Too bad I’m the oldest. I feel like I have to clarify all the time, too. Usually I do it 12 times in a row, just so I’m sure everyone understands.

  10. August 31, 2010 4:46 am

    HAHAHA- Maya wanting to know why she has to make a cake for someone she doesn’t know is hilarious!

    I have middle child syndrome, too. The truth is, a lot of people don’t understand me unless they know me, so I’m always clarifying as well. This is due in part to the fact that I start saying something after I’ve already been thinking about it, which means that half the story has already played out in my head before I start talking. (See what I mean about being hard to understand? ;))

  11. August 31, 2010 5:11 am

    Congratulations Diana (wench). I’m sure you’ll love the cake (don’t choke). I know I should take all that back and laugh, but I really wanted it :(.

    I wonder what Maya was as she crawled across the floor. Imagination in children that age fascinates me. There are four playing cards balanced on our railing to downstairs right now. Don’t know why or what they’re for, but there’s a reason for them.

    Ok, my daughter just found the missing library book so now she can eat breakfast and I gotta go. Have a spectacular, no explanations needed day.

  12. August 31, 2010 5:43 am

    Did you just clarify your need to clarify? Or apologize for your apologies?
    Either way, you are DEFINITELY a middle child! (an adorable one that is)
    Maya is such a bug in a rug. By that I mean – that picture is amazing! 🙂

    • August 31, 2010 7:11 am

      That was on purpose…I was trying to be sarcastic/funny. Did I fail miserably?

  13. August 31, 2010 7:06 am

    Is there a definition for the first born child who was raised the middle child and only girl in a blended family?

    that’s me.

    I am the most confused person EVER. and I do both of the things you mentioned and sometimes I don’t care enough to bother.

    I also have gender clarification issues. I’m a girl (obvioulsy) who has no clue what that means. I know how to do the boy thing. cars, trucks, motorcycles…burping. I was surrounded by boys, and now have a family of big and little men.

    but the whole girlie thing baffles me.

    middle-child-girl-a phobia.
    I hear ya! and CONGRATS to Diana.

  14. August 31, 2010 7:09 am

    Congratulations to Diana!!

    Sigh…I am going to go back to living a life with no hope of a chocolate cake in sight ;)Oh and not just any chocolate cake but a Godiva one and one made by Ameena and Maya.

    But seriously girl you don’t have to apologize!

  15. Leah @ Why Deprive? permalink
    August 31, 2010 7:18 am

    “4.Why she cannot lick her fingers or sneeze during the process.”

    haha Maya is adorable! 🙂

    Im glad you’ve decided to stop clarifying yourself. This is YOUR blog after all! If people dont like what you say, too bad!

  16. August 31, 2010 7:30 am

    Congrats to Diana!

    You don’t need to clarify, this is your blog and if someone doesn’t like it, they don’t have to read!

    But I like it, so keep writing 🙂

  17. August 31, 2010 8:15 am

    I am very guilty of wanting people to like me and I’m constantly worried about being misunderstood, which leads to lots of clarifying and overexplaining. It’s exhausting! It’s much easier and more fun to just know what I mean in my own heart and leave it at that 😉

    Maya is hilarious with that blanket over her.

  18. August 31, 2010 8:16 am

    Yay, Diana! 🙂 I recently found out my father-in-law reads my blog. Not only that but he forwarded it to all his uncle friends. So yeah, any explaining I do will clearly be lost, misinterpretated or twisted so I’m over it 🙂

  19. August 31, 2010 8:43 am

    Ameena, I love your little Dora lump. So adorable!
    I definitely have middle child syndome (same strain as you). I actually think that’s amazing…considering that I am the youngest!
    I don’t even want to start on clarifying. I (in writing and speaking) introduce every idea/thought of mine by way of disclaimer. It’s like I’m worried that I’m going to offend someone or get sued, but then I remember that I live in Canada, where suing is something we associate with our friendly neighbours down south 🙂
    Now, if I can only hit “submit comment” without giving into the urge to clarify on that last statement…
    (Congratulations Diana!)

  20. August 31, 2010 8:52 am

    NOOOOOO I missed the cake!!! I meant to comment and then forgot. Oh well, I’m sure it’s delicious!

  21. August 31, 2010 8:54 am

    I have only child syndrome–if that make you feel better 🙂
    I often feel the need to explain myself as well or I write a million things I never post on my blog because I am worried about the feedback–I need to stop that too. Anyways, rock on Ameena–thanks for your very honest post.

  22. August 31, 2010 9:08 am

    Congrats to Diana! What a treat she’s in for!

    Oh what great friends we would be Ameena ;-). I even feel bad when I reply to one comment and not another. And it doesn’t help when hubby comes home and asks, “why did you reply to so and so and not to the rest?” argh. Sometimes I feel I have to reread my posts 20 times so I don’t have anything on there that could offend my friends or family (who read but don’t always comment). So I know exactly how you feel.
    I seriously lol-ed at Maya and her blanket, not because I thought she’s silly, but because I can sooo relate.

  23. August 31, 2010 9:20 am

    Hahah! Clarify away, we all find it cute 🙂 I think we all tend to do this. I always think “Do I need to explain myself, will they think I am a freak?!” but words are so hard to listen to over a blog. So I get that you need to clarify.

    Too funny!

    Your little Dora ball is quite cute rolling around over there!


  24. August 31, 2010 9:43 am

    LOL… Middle Child Syndrome… don’t you know you’re not supposed to self-diagnose?? 😉 At least that’s what they tell me in school…
    I don’t mind the clarifying…but i DO mind that I didn’t win your cake. I cry.

  25. August 31, 2010 9:49 am

    Middle child syndrome is real. My sister Sarah definitely has it. She has 2 older siblings and 2 younger. Poor kid!

    I need to try that cake someday!

  26. August 31, 2010 10:26 am

    I have told my mom my sister has middle child syndrome forever! She is in the former category, always created a ruckus/super stubborn/indpendent…she still is like that! Lol.

  27. August 31, 2010 10:36 am

    Congrats to Diane! I can almost taste that cake! I have 3 boys so we’ll see how Alex does with the middle child syndrome.

  28. August 31, 2010 11:17 am

    Hmmm…I’m the oldest and I find myself doing that too. I wonder if it stems from my dad. i won’t go there though. Too introspective for me right now. LOL But I can relate to clarifying things to justify actions or whatever.

  29. August 31, 2010 11:51 am

    Aww, I’m bummed that chocolate cake isn’t coming to me. I guess I’ll have to make my own then.

    I like your blog, it’s funny and entertaining. Keep it up 🙂

    Hope to meet you soon since we are not too far from each other.

  30. August 31, 2010 12:41 pm

    I’m a clarifier too, lol! 🙂

    Congrats to the lucky winner!

  31. August 31, 2010 2:39 pm

    Is it wrong that I hope someone gets offended again, just so we all get another chance at cake? 😉

  32. August 31, 2010 3:00 pm

    Oh gosh I do this too. It’s like every move I make needs to come with a disclaimer. Who cares why I eat the way I do or why I chose to transfer schools, etc. I think I feel the need to justify my actions probably because I’m a tad insecure, so I definitely need to nip that in the bud!

  33. August 31, 2010 3:47 pm

    Congrats to the winner Diana, I bet its a marvellous cake too. Oh gosh I’m a middle child.., now you’ve got me introspectioning too (I love it when I abuse the English language this way 🙂

  34. Anne @ a daily slice permalink
    August 31, 2010 5:47 pm

    So jealous of Diana. That’s all I’ve got 🙂

  35. highonhealthy permalink
    August 31, 2010 6:17 pm

    I use to clarify my actions but then I realized something – it takes a lot of work. Especially when the people you’re attempting to clarify something to just don’t get it. So now I try not to’s easier that way.

  36. August 31, 2010 6:50 pm

    Congratulations to the winner! I’m all about clarification…it drives Ryan crazy…but he still loves me!

  37. August 31, 2010 8:37 pm

    Well congrats to Diane then, but can I just say, that I wouldn’t even have cared if Maya had licked her fingers or sneezed during the baking of the delicious mouth-watering cake…I’m just sayin’…you know, for the next time you feel the need to clarify 🙂

  38. September 1, 2010 1:26 am

    In my family the middle child is also known as the “golden child” aka my super smart brother. I am the oldest and SUPER bossy.

    Hahahah. Oh Maya- no words 🙂

  39. September 1, 2010 4:41 am

    i was the baby of the family for 5 long years until i suddenly had a little sister and i was the middle child. I aim to please too, and hate confrontation.. but i can throw a temper tantrum like the rest of them.. LOL there is no need to apologize for anything.. you are who you are.. and the people out there who dont like it- can stuff it!

    Maya is too cute.. LOL she sounds just like olivia

  40. September 1, 2010 5:02 am

    Hey Ameena,

    I totally agree that a middle child or any child within the order of a family can have particular characteristics (good & bad) due to birth order (treatment, responsibilities, expectations of a child within a family can all cause different effects). I’m not a middle child though, and I have that need to please everyone too. I don’t like it either (smile).

    I started to address this behavior and realize it about six months ago. I think I’ve been doing really well at just not caring as much about what others think of me, which has helped my temper too. I don’t react the way I used to when someone criticizes me or just isn’t very positive towards me.

    I think the important thing is to not totally lose that radar we have of wanting to please and love people. To some extent, it’s good. It just goes overboard in people like us a lot. I also try to make sure I’m being fair and not overly negative. Sometimes the need to apologize is real-I, you, we have done or said something wrong, and there is nothing wrong with apologizing for our wrongs. I guess there is a thin line between being honest and realistic and/or just being negative. In my case, the latter can cause me to feel the need to apologize. And maybe I should?!?…

    Anyway, it’s all about ‘balance’. I hope you find it in reference to this problem. I’m on my way. Just remember ‘that part of you or need’ is also a sweet part of you that loves others, wants approval, and maybe you do sometimes want to apologize for things you’ve done wrong. And maybe sometimes your’e just being quirky and overly sensitive, etc-you’ll figure out the difference if you watch yourself.

    Okay, well, I obviously think this is a great and very honest post. Hope you don’t mind me writing a novel here! Oh, and thanks for ‘apologizing’ one last time *wink*

    • September 1, 2010 5:55 pm

      Stella – you hit the nail on the head and articulated exactly what I was trying to say! Thank you for your insight and it’s nice to know that there are other people pleasers like me out there!

  41. September 1, 2010 5:27 am

    don’t worry mate, i’m the youngest and find myself doing the exact same thing. maybe it’s not a birth order thing, maybe it’s just us :p

    at any rate, i’m jealous of Diana 🙂

  42. Med permalink
    September 1, 2010 5:52 am

    I think it can be a female thing as well as a middle child thing. Some people are not on the same wave length and will never see things the same way. Even though this is frustrating, think that alao makes life interesting. Someone mentioned on your last post that readers enjoy seeing different viewpoints in the comments below your post and I agree. Variety in opinions keeps the mind working.

  43. September 1, 2010 9:03 am

    Congratulations to Diana!

  44. September 1, 2010 9:49 am

    Congrats to Diana and I feel a bit sad that I won’t get a chance to taste Ameena’s Chocolate cake…guess I can just bake it my own?? hahaha (getting ready to be fail – I’m so bad at making cakes!)

    I guess I could see the characteristic of middle child on my bro – stay low in order to keep the peace…especially he’s living w/ his bossy sis.

  45. September 1, 2010 12:39 pm

    Congrats to Diana, I cant think a better thing to win than a delicious chocolate cake :D! I bet it tastes divine.
    *kisses* HH

  46. September 1, 2010 2:01 pm

    I am SO bummed I lost out on the cake!!! I will not miss the next give away!!

    I love the pic of maya crawling on the floor. Also, I agree with you. State your opinion and leave it. No need to be a people pleaser ALL the time – otherwise that is where ALL your time will go.

  47. Michelle permalink
    September 1, 2010 2:15 pm

    I feel like I am constantly clarifying myself on my blog. No matter how many times I mention it, people think I go to different colleges than I really do, I live in a dorm (nope, I live in a sorority house), and that I have a social life. I blog and spend way too much time on my homework actually.

    • September 1, 2010 3:45 pm

      LOL on the last one! Hilarious. I’m like, no actually I’m flat broke and eat ice cream every night. So get the facts straight won’t you?


  48. September 1, 2010 4:18 pm

    I LIKE how you clarify yourself! I think that’s where your humor comes from! When you get all into your reasoning and your logic, it’s hilarious. Because it’s quirky, honest and so true. Most of us feel the same way as you about stuff. That’s why we keep coming back.

    Don’t stop! Keep it going! 🙂

  49. traynharder23 permalink
    September 1, 2010 6:57 pm

    i guess me and j.c. have exhausted all other options that we have to go to do mundane errands like get him a ralphs card and go to target to get clothes for him!

    hahah. home depot was for mom to find a stationary fan for the house. TJ maxx was to return something. i just sat reading teen chick lit. LAME!

    ahahaa you are hilarious. and i’m glad you don’t mind the j.c. information. we were so crazy today at lunch.

  50. September 2, 2010 12:34 pm

    Dang it! I didn’t get to enter. Oh well…There’s always a next time. 🙂

    I wish I could say I have middle child syndrome, but I’m in the catagory of the “only child syndrome” — if there is one.

  51. September 3, 2010 7:46 pm

    I am so glad you don’t feel the need to justify/validate yourself (or are working on it)!
    You are an amazing, CAPABLE, intelligent women; you don’t owe anyone (expect for yourself) an explanation! My favorite saying is: Whatever anyone thinks of me is none of my business! You should know within yourself that you are a good, competent person who can make her own decisions/opinions without needing outside approval!

    While I read about your epiphany for re: outside validation, and Maya not needing to explain herself, I came to the realization that your all your repetition and lecturing to Maya in fact, HASN’T fallen on deaf ears- she’s been listening all along! She is actually CLEANING and polishing your floors with said “Dora the Explorer” Blanket! Success! She just did it her way, with her own special “Maya” Spin on it (It’s all a matter of perspective!). lol. Now all you need to do is either invest her college fund in TIDE/laundry detergent, or invest in those detachable duster/mop heads that you can stick on your feet and simultaneously “clean” as you walk! I swear an over-worked mother invented those!!!

    Love, Barbara

  52. September 3, 2010 7:49 pm

    Fyi- I am the oldest, and was raised differently than my sister. I need constant reassurance, approval, validation from outside sources (usually older parent-types) to cement my feelings of self-worth. This is something I am working on, because that level of caring can destroy you! I constantly feel like I need to explain myself- and it is EXHAUSTING! I admire you, and it is so nice to know that I am not alone in this! Thanks Ameena!

  53. September 3, 2010 10:08 pm

    fab post ameena! i definitely see the middle child thing with my chloe. she, however, falls into that first category. *sigh* your little one is a doll! enjoy!

  54. September 8, 2010 11:15 am

    Ameena! I was just organizing my blog and going through some older post, when I came across this and IMMEDIATELY thought of you! Especially the second one! What do you think?

  55. June 19, 2012 7:58 pm

    hahahahhaha why does Maya do the cutest things in the world lol it’s amazing you remember to take pics of even these little things, adding to memories, love it.

    • June 21, 2012 1:27 pm

      Thanks to my camera phone I can get great pictures and very easily!


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