After a sudden and unusual fall of snow in September 1981 (I was 6 years old) my brother and I spent time playing in our snow-covered garden. What was innocent fun turned into another horror story for me as my sibling (a couple of years older than me) turned the otherwise momentous event into a game of sibling dominance.
This is verbatim what I wrote in my school’s newsletter about playing in the snow with my sibling:
“Yesterday I had fun we threw the snowballs at each other my brother noct of the hed of the snowman. My brother hit me with it.”
How my mother survived with this very naughty child (i.e. my sibling and not me) I do not know. Similar events of sibling horror crept-up on a daily basis in my life; here are a few “gems”:
- He tried to drown me in my pram by putting a hose in it gushing with water
- My fine blonde hair had a wound-up toy mouse plonked in it, only for my hair to get caught in its machinery and wheels
- Again, my fine blonde hair was the object of naughtiness when a blob of sticky chewing gum was put in it, with my mom having to cut it out
- My grade one brown cardboard school case was locked and my sibling hid the key, so that when my juice bottle in it leaked, I could not save my nerdy workbooks
- Playing monopoly always started-out fun until I realised that my sibling had nominated himself as banker, just so he could steal money from the bank (hidden under the monopoly board)
- In Switzerland in 1980, my sibling fiddled with the hotel lift door while the lift was in motion and we got stuck in the lift as it jolted to a standstill
- Cleverly, my sibling built bunk-beds at home from the 2 single beds in his room, only to have me sleep on the top and it all collapsed in the middle of the night (probably fortuitous this time that I was on the top)
- My grandpa made us a go-kart that required someone to push it. Naturally, I was the one in the go-kart while the sibling pushed it and he made sure that I was pushed through the aloe plants in the garden, getting horribly scratched
- Very unvegan, we would get our Stafordshire bull terrier (called Wellington) to pull us via a lead while on roller skates. Tied to the lead one day, I had stopped to sit and my brother seized the opportunity to throw a tennis ball, causing Wellington to race after it, dragging me along the bricks
- As if all of this was not enough, my sibling on his bicycle would ram into me on my bicycle leaving me with many wounds, one of which looks like I had an appendectomy where the bars of the bicycle pushed into my pelvic skin
- Even in later years, my sibling knew no boundaries. I remember getting dressed for a matric dance and he threw firecrackers through my bedroom window setting the curtains on fire!
Now, you may rightly ask: how did I survive this but more so, how did my parents? I do not know. As a maturing adult, I have more respect for them than ever. I fully understand why they flew first class on planes and we flew economy (note: I always ended-up having to massage my sibling’s feet and let him take-up most of my seat as well as his own).
Happily I can say, one would think that such a naughty kid would stay naughty. My sibling has turned-out to be a good person with no malice in his heart although he has little memory of his antics (could be because a houselady got so cross with him one day that she threw a shoe at him, requiring many stitches to his head).
How have I turned-out? I will leave that for others to answer but I can say: I will never own a wind-up mouse, I do not chew chewing gum, I do not massage feet, I stay clear of foreign lifts, I refuse to sleep on bunk beds, I wish firecrackers were banned and I will never own roller skates again.