If you've got a big brother you'll remember a childhood filled with punch-ups, tearful promises to 'tell mum of you!', and a whole lot of love!
1. Because they were born first, big brothers were automatically conveyed all manner of family privileges. The first and most obvious being he got the big, bright bedroom at the front of the house while Johnny-come-lately you were lumbered with the pokey little box room at the back. The injustice of this will continue to rankle for years.
2. Also by dint of their superior age, big brothers always ruled the roost when it came to sharing childhood baths. While us younger siblings had to endure hot and cold taps periodically frazzling and freezing our backs (not to mention the indignity of the bath plug constantly threatening to go up your jacksy), big bro would be happily splashing away at the other end of the bath like some kind of pre-school ‘Scarface’. Still at least you got to laugh at his ‘little friend’ when the bubble bath went flat.
3. When pouring out glasses of fizzy pop or cutting slices of cake, us younger ones would be practically reaching for a spirit level to make sure the portions were equal. Big bros would then thwart this by simply tucking in to a second helping.
4. One of the joys of being a little sister is discovering how easy it is to wind your big brother up simply by making his name ‘girly’. Philip became ‘Phyllis’, Christopher – ‘Christine’, and Barry well, he became ‘Bazongas’…just to be extra evil!
5. One of the most annoying things about growing up with an older brother is that he always got cooler presents than you. While he got stink-bomb making kits and Skalextric you got a doll that wet itself.
6. You were always jealous of your big bro because he could do really cool stuff that you never could like skimming stones, making farty noises with his armpit, and flicking beer mats off his elbow and catching them…even though he was only 7!
7. He was also very good at administering a swift and sharp tea towel lashing to the back of your legs, usually while you were helping Mum with the dishes. Squeals of ‘Daaaad’ were utterly pointless, as he’d usually be aiming a tea towel of his own at Mum’s unsuspecting buttocks, and guffawing uproariously.
8. Sometimes though, tea towel flicking just wasn’t enough and only some good old fashioned fisticuffs would do! Yep, if you were a little sis with a big brother, I guarantee you’ll know all about punch ups! You’d fight about anything and everything. And I mean, you’d physically brawl like a couple of crap stunt men – rolling around on the lawn, kiddie fists clenched with rage, knees aiming for the squidgy bits. He’d always win of course. But you’d have a little revenge tactic up your sleeve….
9. Yes, the revenge tactic of grassing your brother up to your parents at every available opportunity! ‘Muuum, Phyllis hit me,’ was always a great insult double whammy. Naturally, before Mum had even uttered the words ‘Just wait till your father gets home!’, big bro would already be concocting a heinous revenge of his own. And so the cycle continued!
10. ‘Revenge’ usually consisted of big bro chasing you with handfuls of worms, or if it was summer, sweetly suggesting a game of Swingball so he could purposefully aim the tennis ball at your face. But us wicked little sisters were often one step ahead! Underpants would be snatched from laundry baskets and smeared with Marmite (or Sunpat Crunchy if you were being really evil). The thumping you were guaranteed to get was worth it just to see the look of horror on your brother’s face when Mum shrieked – ‘Don’t you know how to wipe your backside?!!’
11. But it wasn’t all grassing up and brawling! When you weren’t terrorising each other, you and your big bro would be thick as thieves. Whispering conspiratorially across the landing at bedtime, spending summer nights camping in the garden, and if anyone dared say a word against your brother, you’d leap furiously to his defence. Likewise, he’d threaten to batter any would-be little sis bullies. Or at the very least, give them a vigorous wedgie!
12. By the time your big bro is heading for secondary school, that two or three years difference in age really starts to show. For a start, there’s the thorny issue of bedtime. While you’re still shunted off to bed before the watershed, big bro can now stay up till 9.30 and actually watch, *gasp*, the cool and naughty programmes. This seems almost as unfair as the fact he still has the biggest room and has never offered to swap once!
13. Once he hits his teens, as if by magic, your big bro will suddenly stop smelling of mud, sweat, and Monster Munch, and start hogging the bathroom for hours on end before emerging reeking of cheap aftershave and sporting something decidedly odd beneath his nostrils…
14. …Yes, for little sisters, the first big brother bumfluff moustache is a comedy goldmine! You’ll be rolling on the floor with laughter at first sight, and then proceed to rip the mickey out of him and his ‘little caterpillar’ at every conceivable opportunity. Only a stern look from your mum stops you practically wetting yourself when you hear Dad take him to one side and advise him ‘Shaving it off will make it grow quicker Son.’
15. Like in childhood though, any little sis advantage points accrued by ‘bumfluffgate’ will by snatched away as soon as you hit puberty yourself. Then your brother will have a field day mocking your acne by telling you to ‘Zit down and spot being a naughty girl.’ As for when your boobs first start sprouting, brace yourself for endless jokes about fried eggs, frozen peas and thimbles!
16. And then, after years of fighting, bantering and mickey taking, something much worse happens. Your big brother suddenly isn’t interested in baiting you anymore, and instead starts hanging out with cool mates his own age. Then you notice his voice has gotten deeper and even his dodgy moustache has started to look bristly. Suddenly, us little sisters feel abandoned. Obsolete. And secretly, a little bit gutted.
17. Still on the plus side, it does mean your brother starts bringing round his hunky mates. Well, hunky if you like teenage boys with acne and Iron Maiden t-shirts.
18. As your big bro teeters on the edge of manhood, all little sisters will recognise that glow of pride you feel when your girl mates suddenly start saying ‘Ooh your big brother’s well fit!’ But woe betide any girl who dates then dumps your brother. Breaking his toys/bones might have been funny when you were kids, but some hussy….breaking his heart?! To a fiercely loyal little sis, that’s a declaration of WAR!
19. Finally the one thing little sisters will always do, is remember their childhood rucks with their big brother with huge love and fondness. He, however, will still insist you were an annoying little git!