I’m an older sister, the elder sibling to a younger brother, leading him in age by about 5 years.
We have some horrible stories to share about the brutal, merciless fights that we engaged in during our younger years.
One such epic fight was on a hot, muggy summer day when our parents decided to shop for furniture to revamp our living room.
Many, many shops were visited over the course of the day, resulting in two increasingly bored children with no outlet for their energy, with tempers rapidly being stretched to breaking point.
Breaking point was reached after the purchase of a very ornate, very heavy metal coffee table.
The glass top had been removed and safely stowed in the boot of the car (or trunk for you, my American brethren), however as the boot was stuffed full of cushions and other purchases, our parents decided to transport the coffee table across the laps of their children seated on the rear passenger seat of the car.
As the furniture shopping was not quite complete, we made one last visit to a store to pay for and arrange the delivery of an already viewed and approved sofa set.
So picture the scene: two already hot, flustered and annoyed children pinned in place by a heavy metal table, left in the car by their parents who have gone to finalise the purchase of a sofa.
It started simply enough, with one of the siblings convinced that the other didn’t have as much table lying across their lap, resulting in an uneven distribution of weight that simply wasn’t fair.
The other sibling defended the table distribution and disputed the claim, maintaining that there was an even share of table on both sides…in fact, upon closer comparison it appeared that they themselves had the bulk of the table on their lap and therefore the other sibling should slide more table over to their side to keep things even.
Thus began a horrible game of see-saw, with a heavy coffee table being pushed and shoved back and forth across two laps.
Then it escalated as already restricted limbs were used to try to limit the other siblings ability to slide the table and, once arms got involved, it was simply a matter of time before the pinching, hair pulling and, I’m sad to say, biting started.
Our parents returned to the car in a giddy whirl of joy, having paid for and arranged delivery of the sofa set that would add the perfect finishing touch to the family room.
They were met with sweaty, flushed children, clawed and scratched arms and guilty, embarrassed faces.
The way my parents tell this story, this was the first time they had any clue that their two children fought.
Unbeknownst to them, my brother and I regularly engaged in the most brutal of physical fights whenever left alone for too long: playful games of ‘See who can throw the other off the bed’ turning into violent hair-pulling, clawing wrestling matches when the weaker, younger sibling got frustrated at constantly losing and employed dirty tactics to win.
I’ve held a bag of frozen peas wrapped in a dish cloth against my brothers ribs after a particularly brutal fight had resulted in him falling back against a table, catching himself a nasty knock that instantly ended the fight and triggered my older sister/Florence Nightingale instincts, both of us worried that any potential bruising would alert our parents to our scuffle.
We’ve applied cold water compresses to each other’s arms after indian burns and finger nails left marks that our oblivious Mum or Dad might spot.
We’ve sat together watching Sesame Street, sipping orange juice, recovering from a particularly vicious fight, holding kitchen tissue soaked in cold water to clawed limbs.
I’ve been leant over the bathroom sink, pinching my nose to end a nosebleed that resulted from an hand or elbow that got a little out of control, with my attentive, considerate brother standing by my side armed with handfuls of tissue for me to hold to my dripping nose whenever I needed it.
The thing is, no matter how brutal or violent any single one of our fights got, they came to a swift and decisive end once one or both of us decided that enough was enough, or realised that The Mothership was due home shortly and we needed to tidy up the house, put the furniture right and hide all evidence of the conflict.
Once a fight was over, we instantly became the sweetest and most considerate of siblings, helping each other to disguise wounds and making sandwiches and pouring cups of juice, a war feast if you will, in mutual homage to the glorious battle we had recently engaged in.
So when I saw the photo posted by Reddit user lala989, sharing her daughters ‘To Do’ list for when her brother Ethan was absent, I laughed until I cried.
This little girl plans the following for her brother:
Take his bedroom,
Take his money,
Hammer his Legos (into dust I imagine),
Sell his black bear (honestly, who messes with the cuddly toys, that’s just evil),
- Rip his minecraft poster,
- Dye his carpet pink,
- Hammer everything he loves.
This child is brutal, amazingly so, and the grand finale of destroying everything he loves is the climax to a bitter campaign of vengeance.
However, the ‘dye his carpet pink’ part makes me doubt that this is a stone cold plan of action because messing with décor/furniture crosses the boundaries of discretion that almost every sibling fight works within: never let Mum or Dad find out.