Tuesday, June 02, 2009

Linda's Birthday and 'What sibling were you?' - fun post!

Linda is having a Birthday in a few days. It is soon. I wanted Linda to have some time to herself, and some surprises. So I used my emergency-emergency money (my emergency money went on a gift for someone) and had a shower with my care givers help. And they told me, it is was VERY HOT and I was NOT to go out (care givers are a bit like older siblings – we will get to that later!). And today another record hot day. But I figured I could make a dash for it in my wheelchair so I did and I got Linda some blue and purple orchids, and I put it in the Morano glass vase we got in Venice, which matches the colors perfectly. Plus I wrote a card because it was her birthday coming up! But, as it turned out, not her birthday THAT day. But I have another surprise present coming! So that is okay.

I can’t advise you what to get her (if you want to) except there are still a couple romances on the wishlist plus the garment steamer she wants (??) as she has to meet lots of government people in her job and needs lots of clothes ironed quick, sometimes she goes to three or four locations a day. Mostly she just steals what she wants from me. My skull bag, my hello kitty bag, my face cream (not that I am BITTER!). She likes Aveda (the salon stuff) but I found some cheaper – it is towards the bottom of the page. Or if you want to contribute toward a secret but kind of VERY EXPENSIVE gift I am trying to save enough for (it is REALLY COOL!) which is sort of birthday, death memorial and anniversary present all in one, email me and I will give you the details, and you can decide. But SHHH, it is a secret!

Also, my Gashpon Theatre arrived which I won for $1.98 plus postage. It is about three inches tall by two and a half and comes in sets which then come together. There is the night for the goth girl and her kitty and the day for the sweet loli girl and her rabbit. Remember, this is about the size of a pack of gum tall, so it is really cute and small and amazing detail. So that was my happy thing for yesterday. I like it, I will put it next to my bed on a shelf so I can lie and look at it. Kitty and goth girl!

I think I have done a post about siblings before, but I wanted to hear people’s stories now as summer is when we remember things but also because we ARE visiting and seeing each other, and having birthday parties and I want to know about what type of sibling were you? What you remember? What type of sibling did you have, so I have some examples (and yes, some brothers in there)? And with the examples I am hoping one of them will trigger a memory and you will be willing to share with us, as I shared about Linda’s gift. Also, I think you will like the pictures and questions and my stories so I hope you read it.

So, what sibling were you, were you the kind of younger sister who raided closets, did you have many sisters who raided so many closets that you ended up forgetting who had stolen what? Or did you dream about how your SISTER (who did have boobs!) had a bikini and it would be cool to wear that. I mean you could just imagine being in the beach in a BIKINI and how MATURE you would be. And you just went in to try it on, honest. You weren’t like stealing it but trying it on, when you sister goes, “And I was going to wear that this weekend!” which gives you that pit of the gut feeling of “BUSTED!” and of course being a sibling, she punishes you, and you are trying to call for mom and she is going, “Tattler!” You want to point out that this is stretching the bikini but she seems a little to into torturing you at the moment.

Or were you the older sibling who with a sigh assumed the duties of getting the rest of you in line, whether you wanted to be or not. This sibling does exist because when you all become adults, they STILL act that way and everyone is sort of scared of them visiting as they tell everyone what they SHOULD BE DOING and then there is a sigh of relief even though you love them a LOT, when they go. But yes, the hassles of being the eldest!

Or were you the one who was the ‘Stand-in’ Mom, and did the cooking because mom worked and came back late and so you helped with home-work, were the listening ear to problems or did the cooking? Or were you the one who looked up to older sister/brother and were so amazed that they let you HUG them (As none of your other siblings would without a ‘GET OFF!”), and seemed to actually like you.

Was there a big generation gap and your older sibling was SO amazing and cool? Of course, they never seemed to notice that you existed, even though you were ALL ready ready to do favors like get them and their friends drinks. And the friends thought you were cute but no one took you seriously but just getting a direct look and a smile and maybe a few minutes with your sister/brother was enough? I mean they were like FIVE (or six, or seven) YEARS OLDER, and they didn’t realize how mature and incredibly cool they were! And they wouldn’t even SPEAK to you in school. Linda tells me of how her brother used to get her to do his chores...for the privilage of him talking to her (so maybe they DID know how you felt).

Or WERE you the small and shy one, the one who DID maybe need a little looking after, a bit quiet or ditzy, or a late ‘surprise’ child and you kinda knew that you were getting away with murder (particularly as ever time your siblings visited home they said, “How is SHE doing that when you never used to let ME!” - that kinda told you). But on the other hand you would always be in someone’s shadow, always be, “Oh you are Y’s sister, you must be good at….” Or, “Oh right, X was your brother, I hope you aren’t trouble too.” It was like no one ever looked at YOU.

Did you take up a sport just because your sibling did or just because your sibling DIDN’T?

Did you get warm feelings of those moments where a small change of your clothes, some fussing over you, some showing of caring from your older sibling before the usual statement of ‘and don’t hang around me when we get to school!’ were the moments treasured. Well at least until the age you became resentful; “I don’t need your help!” and you started planning how to decorate the room when they moved out! I ask because in some ways I am like that now, as I move between ages and do need help, sometimes it makes me warm inside and safe, sometimes it is, "Why do THEY always get to decide!"

Or were you so different in personality, one so studious and good grades while the other was carefree and no one was sure if they knew what the word ‘study’ MEANT. By the way this is also exactly where I used to get stuck on the bars, never could seem to get the momentum to go all the way over and when I did, I landed on my butt, not like the girls who took GYMNASTICS and could do all sorts of cool looking things and then land perfectly. But yes, I did not exactly study or do work EARLY. And the phrase ‘ant’ and ‘grasshopper’ was used to compare, everyone knew that the other sibling was serious and maybe you didn’t know the word ‘study’ but everyone was sure that you knew what ‘procrastinate’ meant, or decide to dig out all your old toys when a report was due meant. Did people talk about your differences and wonder aloud how it was possible you two came from the same parents? Did this make you wonder if you were an orphan (I did!), and they weren’t telling you.

And why is it that older siblings always seemed to have MORE? That is what I remember, older siblings had MORE: More friends to talk to on the phone, more junk food to eat, more time to stay up late (I had to go to bed earlier than MY sibling) and more money than you. It just didn’t seem FAIR. Not that they seemed to have much worries about it. Of course their phrase was "That's not fair, when I was her age..." I wonder what it was like with older siblings? Did they know that we were more than pests, always watching them, always wanting to know what they were doing, because we cared, because we didn’t ALWAYS tattle! We wanted to keep a secret TOO, we just weren’t very good at it!

Then there is the middle child, or sometimes the younger, the “good” child, which of course the parents noticed, and reminded the other siblings, ‘Why can’t you be like…?” As did ALL the teachers. Oddly, this did NOT make you more popular with your other siblings. But often you ended up mediating, or trying to get people to calm down. You were a good and you wanted, needed maybe, to be told you were ‘good’. I was 'good' so that no one could tell what I was thinking and ever since then I have been 'a disappointment' - alas, I am good no longer! And I swear!

Did it bother you that your older sibling got to be ‘in charge’ all the time (or were you the older sibling saddled with the responsibility, how did that make YOU feel?)? That they were always left to babysit YOU, and you didn't need it. Besides they were just your sister/brother! But when things went wrong and you got lost, it was good to have them there. They always seemed to know what to do. Or did you instead argue like cats and dogs even more when in trouble and you stomped off YOUR way and left your older sibling to try and catch you?

Where you a tomboy (or for guys, I guess a bookish loner, or punk, or emo?), and your siblings, your mother wanted to know when you were going to act ‘properly’? And did you ever? Or did you just trade your overalls for jeans and boots and you mother had given up saying anything but would just look at you sometimes and sigh. “What about a nice dress….just to church?” Good luck!

Did you idolize your brother (or older sister) and want to do whatever they did, and tried even when maybe you shouldn’t have? Which made them very wary of taking you to work, particularly if they worked in the military. Or some job like that because they were older than you? Did you copy parts of your face (or other body parts) when your sibling who you now realize was just a teen/early twenties and not super confidant took you into their office job? And they freaked out?

Did you want to impress your brother and were you ‘into’ what he was into so when he was into planes so where you, and that seemed to drive him crazy, until he wanted someone to play with and then you would do? Did your brother want all the best roles in play games, and did you revolt or just be happy to be accepted in a game to play?

Were you books and your sibling sports or was it vice versa? Or were you both books AND sports? Do you like to be alone AND be good at team sports or did your world exist in the mind? I was into books, I was VERY into books and talked about authors as if I knew them. So did YOUR parents make you go to a counselor because you read too much, or didn’t have enough friends? Or force you outside in sunlight? Or worry as you didn’t have enough friends everyone ELSE could see?

Did you feel sick when your brother suddenly started questioning your father, ARGUING with him? When he would do things to provoke your parents? Did you wonder, as I did, where did the brother I knew GO? And who was this angry person left behind? Did your sister become ‘bad’ just because of what your parents labelled things as ‘bad’? And did you feel sick and have to leave the room while they shouted (I did)? It was a confusion.

So what was it like, did any of these pictures jog a memory, do you have a story you can tell? Or if you were an only child what was that like? Where you envious of families? I was envious of big families, it seemed there were better games to play with more kids. Do you have a story you will tell, because I want to know, what was it like? What type of sibling were you and how did you view your siblings? Were you the annoying pest or the one that disappeared, the one who was ‘good’ or the one who no teacher knew your name just that your were the ‘sister of…’ (I HAVE A NAME!). That used to annoy me so much, as soon as they would go, “Hey, isn’t your brother…” I would probably have steam coming out of my ears. What could I say, “No, I’m an orphan!” Well I did say that a few times. Which lead to, “Odd, that’s not the most common last name?”

Or were you the one who couldn’t wait to leave, to see the world and the adventure out there (that was me)? But what is YOUR story.


Anonymouse (The not God one) said...

I guess.... I was the reader... And the academic ace... And the little mommy... And the one who tried to keep the others in line... I was expected to. I don't remember a time when I wasn't... Books were my escape and school was the only thing I ever felt good enough at... Then my brother got in trouble, and he got labelled as bad... I'd spent some time raising him, so I felt like it was my fault... We have another brother now... He's my baby.... And I guess that's how I see it... I've never been to therapy, though it was recommended when I self-harmed as a nine-year-old without knowing what it was... My mom got angry, so I didn't talk at school about home... Then I tried asking again when I was fourteen. That didn't work either.... I guess I'm the same I always was... Reading, schooling, babysitting, being a mommy..... I suck at sports. xD So, yeah, I'm that sibling. Stereotypical nerdy first-born. xD

Mary said...

I was baby #9, my twin #10 out of 19 children. Just a bit catholic! My mother complains that if she were to do it all again, we would all be wealthy because some reality show would follow us around.

My oldest sister was having her 1st child while my mother was having #17...Yup..some uncles are younger than their nephews...

We never had much, but because of the large family size..we never went without...and we had 1 of everything...the good child, the student, the black sheep, the tattler, the "enforcer", the teaser...My role...was "one of the twins"..I thought that was my name for years..."one of the twins, get one of the twins to do it...she's one of the twins in the family...."

We got huge breaks in life...got into good schools, good jobs, good housing..because someone always knew someone..1/3 of us are in health care, 1/3 in legal fields, the last 1/3 need the help of those in the legal field, but all of us only have 1 or 2 children ourselves...We would all tell you it was the best having all those siblings...we just don't want it for our children...

marie said...

I just lover your little theater, and it is very interesting about the older sibiling thing. I am the oldest child and you have answered a few questions I've had about the whole deal of sibiling order. thanks...

Lene Andersen said...

that was a great post - each image perfectly illustrated the kind of sibling you were talking about. You almost didn't need the words.

I was an only child for 10 years before my sister came along, so I was the older, the good girl. We had a bit of a weird childhood, as I spent much of it in hospitals. When I was home, I was a sort of second mom to my sister. I remember her 19th birthday when her friends and I took her out to dinner and a bar so she could have a legal drink for the first time and her camera broke. She handed it to me, I asked her what she wanted me to do and she said "fix it!" (I couldn't). It was a really nice moment where I realized that in some ways, she thought I could do anything. These days, we have a more equal relationship, but there are still moments where I pull the older sister thing and try to boss her around. Sometimes, she even lets me. ;)

wendryn said...

Everyone in my family was a bookworm. I was the tomboy; my sister was the pretty one. Everyone in the family went through a period of being the "golden child" - they could do no wrong - but mine happened when I was little. Oh well! I'm the second of four, very stable, very much the caretaker, fitting that mold exactly, but I've gotten to branch out more and do more daring things since then, which is fun.

Keeps life interesting...

Your pictures made me smile!

Abi said...

I was the eldest, and still am. I liked reading, horses, and playing on the zip wire in the garden. I didn't like being followed round by my little sister, who is six years younger than I. She especially wanted to follow me round when my friends were there. I think that they liked her, but I did not appreciate it in the slightest.

I was very bossy, I think. Being the big sister, I thought that I should be able to tell the smaller ones what to do, although they did not always agree. Actually, they never agreed with that.

I always used to be the one who organised things for birthdays (and I used to be good at it, too!), although now it is the baby sister who always seems to end up organising that (she's 12 now), and I am very proud of her! (And also very relieved that someone does sort out family presents.)

I wasn't much of a high-achiever - more of a procrastinator. I often handed in homework late. For such a meek child (I normally paid a lot of attention to rules), I got away with a lot! Also, I got A-levels which were easy for my siblings to beat, which was very kind of me. Then I got an easy-to-beat degree result, which my brother then failed to beat; I am ahead until my sister gets her results - she finishes at the end of this week.

Anna said...

I was alone:) no siblings.....all my parents friends children were older. So I was like spoiled with attention, and sort of unsocial with children my age and liked being with adults. I really thought I was "an aspie" until I had moved away from home in my twenties and lived at a student dorm. At the dorm the other "raised" me and taught me conflicts and "not to be in the centre". They sort of socialized me in being with kids my own age and how to be have properly to my age:)

I am still very much an "only child" and I have wished for siblings lots of times. I still do. I am also still very "this is my territory" . I think people with siblings are lucky!

Raccoon said...

When you went out, which wheelchair did you use?

What sibling was I? I read a lot. I enjoyed wandering through the trees and the fields. Enjoyed being by myself. But, sibling-wise?

They occasionally remind me that I would pick them up by their head.

Take of that what you will.

Diane J Standiford said...

My dad left mom, brothers 7&8 and me on the day I was born. My brothers hated me and I them. Oldest one was favored and stole my first love. I was just waiting to get OUT. I was my mother's mom. Went it alone except for gay aunt. I hated school and skipped at least 2x a week, but got str8 A's. In high school I was flunking everything but Drama, that got me through. (plus I was a whiz at tests, so they really never knew what to do with me.) I left my family unit asap-age 22 and never looked back. Loved basketball, but was chubby. I was in the wrong body and that along with no mom to teach me hygeiene (I DID flunk spelling tests) nobody but the losers were my friends. (Until Drama) I just always wanted O U T.

Olivia said...

I am the eldest of three girls. I was the most bookwormish and the least rebellious. As a teenager I was a bit of a know-it-all. My sisters would fight a lot; I remember trying to break it up and they both turned on me, saying I had caused it all (wtf?) so then I left them to it. I'm still very close to my sisters. When the middle one had her first baby we had a funny conversation about how it was like a role reversal because she was a mum now and we talked about what would be different if she was older than me. (she said she would be more bossy and make me talk about things I avoid, where she lets me get away with it because I'm the older sister!) Both sisters still ask me for advice about things, especially the younger. I work on having a more even relationship (and it has happened naturally too) - sometimes I hate it when I can hear that 'big sister' tone come into my voice.

FridaWrites said...

The orchids in the vase are just beautiful!

Happy birthday dear Linda,
Happy birthday to you!!!
I hope your day is wonderful and that you guys have a fabulous weekend.

Let's see, siblings. I could write long, long essays about that so maybe I will have to say some now and more later if you want. I have a twin sister, no other brothers and sisters (mom had miscarriages).

I took on the role of the (gasp, surprise!!!) eldest. And I was often bossy. I would ask my sister what she wanted to play, attempting to be generous, wasn't satisfied with that, and would "make" her play school or library instead. We had a lot of toys that were identical to each other's but also some that were different--we loved the Fisher Price play houses with the little people. I had the preschool and schoolhouse and loved it. My sister had the hospital (complete with wheelchair) and the schoolhouse. We also had a Sesame Street one. We loved dogs and helped raise two litters of AKC puppies. So sweet when tiny puppies are mewing and squirming, about the same size as the mouse we have now. We fed the dog berries once when we were five which was very bad since he didn't need them and got very sick--though survived, thank God. I loved him. Even though he smelled bad when we bathed him.

We were both rather booky but we liked different kinds of books. She liked books about horses a lot, I liked ballet books. I read horse books too but just not so many of them! I would take up for kids who were bullied (like my sister) even if it meant getting smacked down for it.

We had to dress alike more than I care to admit and some of the pictures I'll not be sharing on my blog anytime soon (though one's making me laugh thinking about it). My parents were so strict that we often wouldn't tell on one another and even covered for one another, which basically allowed us to rarely do something other kids in normal families did. She liked purple, which was just not right. I liked pink. A lot. And green. Still do. Pink, green. And purple, now.

I was food motivated though skinny and would chew up all my chewing gum and then beg to have hers. We shared a dorm room in college. Bad idea. My husband shared an apartment with twins who were guys--bad idea. Twins can fight to a degree that would surprise people.

My sister was very sick off and on when we were small with stomach problems--still has them some (uh oh, just made a connection to her bone issues, it's related). Then I started fracturing everything and falling apart and it was my time to be in the hospitals and stuck at home, with her going to school by herself for a while. That was different because in first grade she became severely ill from stress of separation from me.

My kids can fight like cats and dogs--girl and boy two years apart. Sometimes they don't seem to recognize how much easier their sibling is to live with than other kids--I get praised for their behavior. I asked my daughter recently, hey would you want Kid A or Kid B to be your sibling? And name off a bunch of others in her grade. And no, he is the best for her--but they argue about computer time or which Wii game to play, etc., not realizing that's a privilege rather than a right.

yanub said...

Ha. I was the generous big sis. I was so kind I even shared the baby aspirin with my sister when I broke into the medicine cabinet. And then we went and had our stomachs pumped together.

Then there was the time I smashed the same sister in the face with the ice cream scoop, giving her a nice round scar just in time for our family portrait to be done.

Yeah. Good times.

cheryl g said...

I am the second oldest and the oldest girl. I never borrowed clothes from my sister and they never borrowed from me. Both my sisters are girly-girls and I have always been a tomboy who preferred jeans, t-shirts and flannel shirts.

I am the sibling who was quiet and kept in the background. My next younger sister was the one who kept everyone in line. My youngest sister is the “get away with murder one. My oldest brother has aspbergers and so he doesn’t fit any of the stereotypes. My youngest brother was everyone’s baby.

I and my older brother are studious. My next younger sister was much more carefree. We all got good grades but got tired of always being compared to my oldest brother with the super IQ. My youngest sister and brother always wanted to tag along and do whatever we were doing. Sometimes it was annoying and sometimes it was OK.

All of us were always into books. Mom and Dad just put a limit on how many we could check out from the library at any given time. They also encouraged us to go play and not just read ALL the time.

My sister was the one who went through a rebellious phase and mostly it annoyed me.

Great picture choices. They really illustrate the different types of siblings perfectly.

Neil said...

HI dear. I had a long tirade about being a sickly, bookish child, and an older brother who was a bully. But it was too venomous, so I erased it all, and we'll just say that I hated my childhood, and I'm happy to leave it behind. And I am VERY glad my children are able to get along with each other.

Your pictures are, as always, nearly as eloquent as you. Happy birthday to Linda! She a real treasure, Beth; spoil her as much as she'll let you.

Love and zen hugs,

Anna-klara said...

I am sorry just have to say I laughed so much (in a good way) reading Marys post, that is amazing! You must have an extraordinary family!

desdemona said...

My first memory is from when I was probably nearly 3. I was sitting on my mothers wedding chest with my brother (he's two years younger than me and was obviously able to sit by himself, so I must have been between 2.5 and 3 years old) that stood in front of the bathroom. I had just bitten him in the forearm. He was screaming and crying, my mum bolts up the stairs yelling at me "What have you done now again?!" and I look at her, all innocent "Nothing!" she hold up my brothers arm where every single tooth I had was neatly imprinted and turning blue "And what is this?" "He did that himself!" yeah... I hated him. We fought every day until I moved out at 19. I don't know how my mum survived without valium.

I was never a saver, always a spender. But I'm living with a tight budget now and don't go over, ever. I hate borrowing money, I hate being in debt.
My brother was and still is a saver. He'd save everything, money, sweets, his good toys,... I'd sometimes nick chocolates from his bedroom, when he found out I just told him "Well, you never eat them anyway! You wait until they're spoiled and then you toss them!"
I read a lot. Mostly youth fiction. I rode my bike a lot. I always tried to go as far as possible, find out what came next. Often I was a bit scared of getting lost, but I never did, sometimes it took me a while to get back home, but I was never lost. I'm allergic to nearly every plants pollen and I stayed inside a lot because of that. When my dad mowed the (tiny) lawn I would close my blinds and everything because I would be itching for ages after he was done.

I moved out at 19 and when my room was empty my brother was apparently standing there crying saying "Now she'll never come back! She doesn't have a bed here to sleep in any more." My mum told me that and I used it to wind my brother up for a while after that ;-)
Now my brother and I get along really well. He loves my kids and they love him. Sara would cry whenever he left our house! Sam was really really sad after he left to study in Munich. It's better now though, we write postcards (guess who inspired that :-P).

My kids.. They love each other to bits, which sometimes freaks me out. Strangers have asked me in the street whether my kids are only like that in public and I tell them they're even worse at home. When Sara was about a year old she'd sometimes start screaming and carrying on in her stroller, dramaqueen! She'd reach out for Sam and she'd only calm down when Sam went and hugged her.
They do "fight" now. Usually Sam tries to wind Sara up by taking away one of her toys or something, then I have to holler and he gives it back. She winds him up by trying to push him off whatever he's sitting on because clearly that's the best spot and therefore hers.
They're both outdoor kids. One of Sara's first words is shoes, which basically means "help me put on my shoes so we can get the fuck outside!" and when I don't she'll throw a tantrum, which is not as much fun as it sounds like ;-)
Sam spends most of his days outside right now because the weather's perfect, he's always off playing with neighbours kids and going from yard to yard, which is absolutely fantastic.

Ok, I better stop blubbering. I loved your post about siblings, but this week has been crazy busy so far so I didn't really have time to sit down and comment properly.

Samantha Martin said...

(I found this blog by way of a friend; hello!)

I was very much the quiet, introverted, inactive and socially-awkward child. Bookish and deeply divorced from the world.

My sister was active, loud, extroverted and attention-getting.

We fought constantly; I had a disability which meant the parents gave me far more attention than they did her. She could be a bit of a bully to me in the home, but was quite protective of me whenever someone else tried to bully me. In a twisted way, she did care about me a lot...but ye gods, the fur flew when we were alone together.

Later on she began to be a very troubled sort. I've become the supportive, listening big sister who thinks she's awesome and wants to see her get past her troubles. Since we became adults, things have become much nicer.

But ye gods, we still know how to push each other's buttons.

Anonymous said...

i used to be very energic and annoy everybody around me when i was a kid, but not again these days. i was the youngest of 3 siblings, both my sisters are waaaaaay older than me. but still i look out for them and took care for them, there's even one time when my sister almost lost me at the grocery store if you can believe that. there is one time when i was really enraged with my sister, but i started to look back and see the memories we had together, that reminds me! love you sis