Being the biggest of your brothers/sisters(s) has benefits and drawbacks.
If you are the eldest in your family, you’ll probably be able to empathise with a fair few of these childhood experiences:
1. Automatically getting the blame for every fight – no matter who actually started it.
Because you were older and “should know better”.
2. But, on the other hand, sometimes being able to get away with things that were your fault.
Because you had a convenient little scapegoat who wasn’t as good at wriggling out of trouble.
3 Having someone constantly following you around and trying to copy everything you do… unsuccessfully.
But, on the upside, having someone who saw you as the coolest person ever – no matter what the rest of the world happened to think.
4. Having to really argue the case to stay up late, or go to a party where people were drinking alcohol.
But your sibling(s) automatically being allowed to do all of it – and, to add insult to injury, at a younger age than you ever were!
5. Being expected to sit at the ‘kids table’ at family parties for several years longer than you considered dignified.
Why did they refuse to recognise that you were totally mature now? You’d kissed someone before and everything.
6. Having most of your clothes bought brand new, while your younger siblings ended up with your hand-me-downs.
And if they were two sizes too big, that just meant there was “room to grow”.
7. Having your fun ruined because you had to leave the cinema early because your younger sibling was scared.
Why did you have to lose out because you happened to be related to a massive wimp?
8. There being loads more baby photos of you – and books full of your first words, steps, farts and anything else you can think of.
You guess your parents kind of lost interest after the first time around.
9. Being told you had a responsibility to “set a good example” every time you got into trouble.
How do parents get so good at piling the guilt on? Do they take classes?
10. Regularly having to watch TV shows far too young for you.
And being asked “can’t you just do what he/she wants this one time?” EVERY TIME.
11. Them getting the same amount of pocket money you got, whatever that happened to be.
“Because it’s fair”, even though you got loads less when you were their age.
12. Not being allowed certain cool toys because your younger sibling(s) might swallow the small bits.
So, basically, they couldn't tell the difference between a carrot stick and a miniature light-sabre replica, and you had to suffer for it.
13. Plus most of the cool toys you were allowed ended up getting smashed to bits anyway.
By someone too young for you to legitimately get angry at, which if anything just made you even angrier.
14. Being expected to act as an unpaid babysitter on a regular basis.
Pointing out that girls from school were getting paid £4 an hour for the exact same thing made no difference at all.
15. The embarrassment of your younger brother/sister hitting puberty and suddenly fancying all your mates.
The vast majority of 12 year olds have not yet mastered the art of subtlety.
16. Feeling a complex mix of emotions: protectiveness, affection, resentment, and sometimes even genuine loathing.
But knowing that – when it comes down to it – they’ll always be your little brother/sister(s) so you’re basically stuck with them for life.
Might as well love them, really. And you do.