There was an eight year difference in age between my baby brother and me. I am sure that he used every day of that difference to find a new and better method of forcing me into an early institutionalization.
As soon as he could walk he decided to trail me whenever it was possible. He like most other little brothers looked up to and admired his big sister and perhaps it is for this very reason that he was such a professional at finding new and creative means of driving me insane. He always insisted on being around me.
He was always bored and he used the standard repeat every word she says routine to alleviate that boredom. "I'm bored" was a catch phrase in our home that usually meant, "Guess what, I am going to follow you everywhere and repeat everything that you say and do until our next meal comes along and prevents it".
Unfortunately I was usually the focus of his attachment and there was no means short of out and out right murder to rid myself of my pesky little shadow.
Even the bathroom wasn't much of a reprieve because my devoted companion could patiently wait out any allotted amount of time. He could out last any task that I tried to use to avoid him. When it came to waiting for me to venture back out to resume our shadow game he was the definite winner every time.
He Seemed to Always be Looking for New Ways to Annoy Me
Now that I think back on it, I suppose that it was better to know exactly where the little bugger was at because another of his favorite games involved surprise attacks on me. Now these were almost scary and at one point almost involved the loss of my eye. A few times these games almost involved the loss of his life if he hadn't ran as fast as he did.
His basic plan in this game was to lie in wait for me (this kid had patience) and at the least appropriate moment in time he would spring from his hiding place to leap out and onto me.
This action would usually knock me to the floor or ground depending in which area he was hiding and at what height. If he planned his attack just right he would land on me in a piggyback position and I would be forced to cart him around until I could finally manage to shake him from his stranglehold on my neck.
I'll make a little note here on the fact that I suffer from tunnel vision so he definitely had an advantage over me in this game. He would hide in trees, under furniture so he could grab onto my legs as I walked by, behind buildings, and on the back of our old couch which was set right next to our kitchen doorway so that when I walked in BANG! He had me. With the combination of my tunnel vision and his size he was one pint sized little terror.
Back in Those Days Kids Were Allowed Weaponry
Someone should have banned elastic bands or at least placed an age limit on their usage. My little brother came armed to do battle. He had a slingshot that he had made from the joint of a tree branch and this combined with an elastic band made him a very lethal outdoor play toy.
His other favorite weapon was a bow and arrow he had managed to fashion from an old wooden ruler, an elastic band, and a fully sharpened pencil that he used as an arrow. I almost lost an eye to that weapon but it was nothing compared to the damage that would have occurred to him except for that fact that his desperate screaming successfully summoned his most steadfast of allies, our mother.
Her conversations somehow always seemed to end with the phrase, "Just stop picking on your brother". Picking on my brother? I don't think so.
Dinner Time Annoyance
Oh did I happen to mention that my little brother had a strange inability to chew food? Yep, he sucked his food with a loud thoo thoo thoo noise that virtually drove me and my older sister out of our minds.
He would spend hours with a piece of food in his mouth contentedly sucking it. My sister being the more aggressive of the two of us actually had plans of forcing his jaws into a chewing motion but he once again luckily managed to survive our wrath courtesy of mom's never ending intervention.
Which somehow reminds me of his unauthorized usage of bugs and worms as instruments of torture. They showed up in my bed, on my dinner plate, in my dolls furniture, and anywhere else that he could strategically locate them without my previous knowledge.
And yes throughout his childhood he somehow managed to live unscathed through my many defensive counter attacks.
He Was my Constant Companion and he Loved it
Then of course came the safety in numbers routine as we aged. Now I am not sure if my mother had the idea that so long as my baby brother was along for security that we would have to behave ourselves in his presence or if she just wanted someone else to take care of him.
I can hear her voice echoing even today, "Just take your brother with you".
Then came the teen years and it seemed that I was always assigned my brother as loyal and devoted companion whenever my boyfriend and I got a notion to go off somewhere alone.
It is really difficult to get into any kind of trouble with that silly little face grinning at you. Thankfully though little brothers do grow up and finally become old enough to want to chase other girls around.
Freedom does eventually arrive and it is then that you want to race back into the memories that you shared as children to treasure each image. I love you baby brother.
Thank you for always being there for me.
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I have been creating online articles since early 2007. Writing is my passion, my joy, my work, and my play.