Let’s just face it, all eldest siblings out there, being the oldest sibling of the family can make you go one of the only two possible ways: the responsible or the bratty. Now there is no going two ways in this. You are always the one that should set the example to your younger brother and sister, like washing your hands before dinner. However, it is not always easy living under expectations or assuming responsibilities of your younger sibling’s mistakes forced on you as the oldest. The rebellion as a result of those pressures will of course translate into even more pressure from the parents. Because, hey, you only get parenthood once and you should delegate your adult responsibilities as much as you can. That being said, the more kids, the merrier. That will be the time when parents bring in the nanny once a week for a date night. Yeah, what about family then, huh? When it’s time to go to expensive dinners at expensive restaurants, then Mom is like ‘you’re too young still’ but then a couple of years later it changes to ‘how about you stay at home and take care of your brother and sister instead? Won’t you show Mom and dad how smart and responsible you are?’
That, my friends, is a trap that we are misled into.
What happens when a first child gets tired of being a first child? The fun begins of course.
Let’s go back a few years, past the hospital trips and the super-glued-genius. That got your attention, didn’t it? Well then, let’s start there. Remember how hard it was to negotiate bedtime with the parents? Well, this one right here, that’s me, never did. What happens when the evil sibling, that is also me, terrifies her younger, frail and gullible brother that monsters do exist and rustling leaves shadowing the wall are their shadows put to sleep at sunset. Only crying will wake them up, she said, and come for you. But don’t worry I’ll fight them for you. In the eyes of your seven-year-old brother, you are his idol. For the parents, it means extra work moving three beds into the same room. Why three? Why should my sister feel left out?
That’s the biggest mistake my parents ever made.
Parents, have you ever walked in on your kid’s party in your house while you were away? Or even figured it out later through misplaced items? That was my parents’ every single night for ten years. It was a party every single night. My parents’ kids loved going to bed. Most of the nights the squeaky door down the hall would alarm us of parental intervention. You know those smarty- pants, you envied on TV, tricking their parents at bedtime. That was us, well until my brother decided to bang his head open a couple of times on the edge of the bed. Explanations always come before hospital trips, did you notice that? I didn’t ask him to do that. I suggested, you see so that makes it his decisions and ultimately his fault. I am the older one but it was not my fault that he wanted to re-enact a scene over and over and over again at my urgings. Well yeah, I could have stopped him, but he was funny and I wanted to stay up.
Reminds me of the time that I burnt my cousin’s dress. I didn’t technically do anything just lighted a match on her lap by accident. She was older, well they were all older but they still gave me the matches to hold. They should have known better. At least they did know how to turn it off before some major catastrophe that would turn this funny story real dark, fast. To be honest, though they just threw the kid under the tap and ran away for fear of being grounded for life.
Oh, did I forget to mention that traditions in my culture also forced me into the most uncomfortable situations? In fact, in the most unbelievably glorious way of my ten-year-old self, absolutely ruined my cousin’s wedding night by sleeping in her bed in the middle of her and her husband for a few hours. On their wedding night!
Well, on that note I’ll leave you to your imagination.
Yushra Khodabocus is a second-year Professional Writing student at Algonquin College. She is originally from the tropical island of Mauritius, where her love of words was inspired by the various languages she grew up speaking. She is passionate about writing and reading and strongly believes in the right to speak and be heard.