April 10th is National Siblings Day. Here, one contributor gets real about childhood sibling rivalry — and how things change when you get older.
I used to hate my siblings.
Before they were born, there was a time when all was right with the world. Endless gifts from both sets of grandparents (plus one set of great grandparents), non-existent bedtimes, and more peanut butter and bologna sandwiches than you could shake an unplugged joystick at.
Once my younger siblings came into the picture, it was all downhill.
I was an only child for about two years, and it was glorious.
I was spoiled rotten and I loved it. First up was my brother — a little brown ball of boyishness. Thankfully, I was faster and stronger than him in the beginning — so once I established psychological dominance, things got almost back to normal. If I made him cry, I would cry too — so by the time my mother made it upstairs to see what the fuss was all about, there was too much confusion to sort. It wasn’t a complete loss — I still had my own room after all. I put up with my little brother because once I got to my room, I could be alone to plot out elaborate Home Alone-level schemes, hoping to get him shipped off to a different family.
In my room, I still reigned supreme.
Unfortunately, my mother betrayed me once again. This time, she was giving birth to another little girl.
I now had two siblings to doubly forsake my existence. What about me? How could she? No — how DARE she? I could count all the way to 100, for crying out loud. I knew how to calculate exponents. It was treachery.
My little sister’s crib started out in my mother’s room in our three bedroom home. I found out we were moving into a bigger house, and I held back the militia of temper tantrums temporarily. The move would be good. I could re-establish my place in the family and restore the circle of life. My sister would be old enough to talk back by that point, thereby nullifying her cute baby powers of persuasion. All I had to do was be patient and bide my time. Everything would once again be right with the world.