08 April 2014

When Those Annoying Siblings Become Your Friends

"Moooooooom!! She touched my food!!"
"No I didn't!!!!!!"
"YES YOU DID! I saw you -- now I can't eat it. MOOOOOOM!"
"LIAR! I didn't touch your food, I just touched your bowl!!"
"SO WHAT? I still can't eat it. GOOOOOD!"

I clearly remember that conversation in our household when I was growing up. It probably happened at least three or four times a week. And even more when there was ice cream in the house. I was probably five years old, making my brothers eleven and thirteen at the time. I admit -- I was a total pain in the butt to have as a younger sibling. I knew their buttons -- and delighted in pushing them when it mattered most. Like the ice cream!

You see, I didn't come along until much later -- after my brothers had grown up a bit, gotten used to their surroundings and routine, and fallen into a pattern in life. They were six and eight when I was born, and unfortunately for them, I stole their playroom. The room in the house designated for all their toys and games, for their livelihood; that room became my nursery. I took something from them they would never get back.

And I guess the younger of the two, well -- he just never forgave me for it. For YEARS when we were growing up, we did nothing but clash. He took too long in the bathroom. I touched his food. Everything wrong that I probably did, I blamed on him. Poor guy -- he had middle child syndrome like you wouldn't believe.

One time, my oldest brother was watching us while my parents were out of the house. I begged and begged him to give me a piggy back ride and when he finally relented, we were a little too close to the coffee table. As he picked me up, I swung my legs and CRASH! My mom's rabbit shaped ceramic plant holder fell to the floor. Luckily for us, it was a clean break -- and only it's ear came off. We were sneaky {or so we thought} and glued the ear back on stealthily, placing it back on the table so no one would notice.

Only problem? Mom DID notice. Like all moms do. And when asked about it, my oldest brother and I, the two involved, both denied any responsibility and laid the blame with our middle brother. He didn't even know what was coming!

Years went by. The boys grew up. I grew less annoying {I'd like to think, anyways!}. I stopped stealing their pocket change for the ice cream truck and they stopped stealing the remote every time they walked into the living room. Eventually they both moved out, and I was the lone child left at home. For years. And you know what happened in that time? That's when Middle Child and I grew closer. A bond of sorts formed -- a friendship. We confided in each other about things we didn't want our parents to know {or at least things we thought they didn't know ... but it was a small town, and chances are, they knew things happened before we had even finished doing them!} When we picked up the phone to call someone, it was usually each other -- especially in a bit of a bind. Maybe we just couldn't live together, those similar personalities clashing full force. But once separated, we realized: "Hey ... they aren't so bad! {As long as they admit I'm the cooler/smarter/better looking one!}"

The other day I heard S tell L "Oh my GOOOOOD! You are SO annoying! Mom, little brothers are so ANNOYING!" When I looked over, he was teasing her. With play doh. And standing RIGHT in front of the tv while she was trying to watch a cartoon. He wouldn't move. And wouldn't stop laughing. He knew exactly what he was doing.

And all I could think was "Just wait. Just wait until you are both teenagers, and its even worse. When you are both fighting over time in the bathroom, and who used the last of the hot water. When you look into the fridge to grab the milk for your  cereal to find your sibling used the last of it and didn't tell anyone. When you want to drive the car and find you were beat in asking by your brother/sister and now your Friday night plans seem RUINED. And then?! Then just wait another few years. Until you have both grown up more, moved out of the house and on with your lives. And then, when something happens and you pick up the phone to call someone ... just know that it will be each other. There will be no one else you will think of calling. When asked who your best friend is, you will probably reply 'So and so ... but really, my sibling!' and it will be true. Your brother may be annoying now, but it won't always be that way."

I wanted to tell her that. Wanted to make her realize that this annoying phase won't last forever. But in true kid fashion, I knew she wouldn't believe her Mom. Because ... I'm old, in her eyes. How could I know anything right?!

I wonder what my brother's up to right now?! Maybe he's eating some ice cream ... and if he is, I think I'll go touch his bowl. Just for old time's sake!!


  1. I love this! Sounds like me and my sister..now I couldn't imagine my life without her.