Having someone to share the household with is a disaster in on itself. But older siblings are like inmates that are more experienced with handling the prison courtyard. They know how to work the guards. They know the ins and outs, and since you’re new to the game, you probably won’t stand a chance against them. Ok, so maybe that’s too dark of an image to paint, but for so long, us younger siblings have had to fight for our right. It took long, long years to make sure my brothers didn’t eat my leftovers while I sleep. The road hasn’t been an easy one, but it made me who I am. This article is for the youngest of the bunch, the new kid on the block, the fresh inmate, the breaker of chains, the mother of dragons–wait. No that’s another thing. I’ve been watching too much Game of Thrones lately.
ANYHOW, here are some things only the youngest siblings will understand.
1. Your toddler name is your real name. Period.
True story, I’m a high school graduate, well into my second year of college, and I can tell you that 90% of my extended family does not know my real name. Somewhere around my second birthday, someone decided I would be called Touta (a nickname which has no resemblance whatsoever to my real one. How it came about is still a mystery to me). So it goes that the name has stuck with my till my 19th birthday, and I’m sure it won’t stop there. There will be a lot of mabrook ya touta at my wedding. I came to accept that my natural cycle will go from being called Touta to Teita, with none of my relatives ever discovering my real name. I think this is because for so long, I was the only baby in the family, and that image has stuck with me.
2. Forget about breaking new milestones.
I still remember my brother’s first day of college. The whole family was so excited to finally have a college student. It was a whole new world for me and my siblings. My first day of college however, was much, much less exciting. I think my mom may have napped while I was telling her how the day went. By the time I got to college, both of my brothers had graduated. New milestones are old news for the youngest sibling. No one wants to hear about your first day of work, they want to hear about your nephew’s first day of work. Now that’s exciting. My advice would be to set new milestone for yourself. Be the first in the family to travel the world, start your own business, go to prison. That kind of thing.
3. Growing up, there was a lot of borrowing involved.
I imagine if I’d grown up with sisters it would have been worse, but being the only girl doesn’t mean you still don’t borrow things. There was this period in your life where there would have been no point in getting you a mobile phone since you basically went nowhere other than school, so you resorted to borrowing your sibling’s phone to play snake or bounce, or take selfies that you would deeply regret years later. There was also a period in my life where there was one computer in the household, and this started the first civil war in our house. Naturally, they took complete control of it. Being the youngest, it meant that my only chance to steal some precious computer time was when my brothers were napping. The rest of the time, I just sat and watched as my brothers played GTA. I’d say I wasted a solid year of my life just doing that.
4. Although we’d never admit it, but there are some perks that go along with being akher el 3an2ood.
You could use the “they yelled at me/hit me” card to get your older siblings into trouble, when we all knew that, a) it was you who really started the fight, and b) you could stand up for yourself just fine if you had to. But watching them get grounded was much, much sweeter. When you’re small, you gotta fight dirty.
5. Your social life revolved around your siblings’.
Since they probably got their driving license before you, that meant that you had to stick to their schedule so they could give you a ride.
6. There aren’t as many photos of your childhood as there is of them.
Look around the house and you’d find photos upon photos of your siblings growing up, and just one where you accidentally photobombed. Granted, I’m not really mad about that one, I looked like a pre-chewed baby, so my parents did us all a service to not document that.
7. Your older siblings hangouts were much, much more fun. And no you weren’t invited.
Your brother/sister’s friends hanging out at your place was a dream come true. You probably loved to tag along, and that feeling wasn’t mutual. My brothers used to hate it when I kept sticking around (I now understand why that would be annoying), and they’d call my parents so I’d leave. But then I’d use the “they yelled at me” card, and guess who would get into trouble?
But if we’re being honest, even though they drive us crazy, older siblings will always be the best kind of support one could ask for. They’ll always, always have your back, even when you inevitably frame them for robbing a bank.