All my life, I have been the black sheep of my family. Don’t tell them I said this, they will deny it. I think it is I was a little wilder than I think my parents anticipated. (I do have like 6 tattoos and all that) And partly because I was the oldest. (personal theory here) The eldest sibling. The one who had to show my sister how to behave and do the right thing. Uhm, who signed me up for this job anyway?
Of course, I complained about this very thing many times while growing up. I thought I would write about it now though to remind me. Because of course my Emilie is now the eldest child. She is the “big sister”. I heard myself tell her she should know better. And I wondered to myself – should she? Should she really? She’s been a big sister for a whole 11 months. She didn’t ask for this. And yet, here I am expecting her to be good at it. Getting up tight when she isn’t. Parents! We suck hey!
Tongue in cheek (sometimes) here are the reasons being the eldest sucked for me!
Reasons it sucks to be the eldest sibling:
- Finally there is someone else to blame when something happens. YAY! But now they are too little to accept the blame. For anything. Even when it was really their fault. I can hear myself say – but mom, she let it slip and then it broke and my mom saying, “But why were YOU playing rough with her – you know she is little”. Honestly? The little card trumps always and that sucks!
- You have to be a role model. When you don’t even know who you are yet. All your experimenting is now cast in stone because you have a little sibling who will be watching you and learning from you. Even when you don’t mean to be teaching them anything. You’re little sister is so cheeky. She gets that from you. Huh? Yeah, I am stumped too.
- You pave the way. Literally pave the way for them without so much as a thank you! I begged for years to get a belly ring – finally got one at 15/16, with A LOT of grumbling and promises that went with it. Sister? Oh no she asked as a by the way. And got it at 13.
- You are a guinea pig. Seriously. All the testing for what works and doesn’t work in the world of parenting is tried out on you. My parents were SO much more relaxed when it came to my sister. Refer to number 3.
- Lots and lots of hours of unpaid babysitting. Enough said.
- They can’t keep secrets. “Don’t tell mom I hit you ok? It was an accident. My hand accidentally slipped and whacked you in the face!”, You say, saying a silent prayer as the red welt on her face swells a little more.
- You have to share your parents. Your home, your attention and your stuff.
So reading over this, maybe I sucked at being an older sister too. But I love the kid, really I do. I wouldn’t change our relationship for anything. She was one of my first friends, and probably the one person that I will never be embarrassed or shy to be really honest with. We still fight like cat and dog at times, but she’s bigger now and I don’t whack her by accident anymore
This is what I hope for my two, although the age gap between them is glaring. I hope that they can be one another’s support when Ian and I are too parenty. That they will love each other, protect one another and push one another forward. And mostly, that they will be the greatest of friends.