I was not always the amazing older sister you see before you. In fact, I kind of sucked.
When you’re the oldest, you get blamed for just about everything. To combat this, you have to be cunning -- slick and savvy! You have to create ways to get your younger siblings into trouble.
I did this all the time, but never so well as the time I left Eddie in a tree.
Eddie was not allowed to climb trees or go in the woods for the following reasons:
So naturally, one day we were playing in the woods he probably wasn’t allowed to enter and I saw a nice, tall tree.
I pointed up the tree and said, “Hey, Eddie. Climb it.”
Eddie wisely said, “No! I am not allowed to climb trees.”
My evil little ten year old brain did some quick thinking and I assured him that I knew that and that was why I was going to teach him how to climb trees. With a delighted smile, Eddie scampered on up.
And I scampered the hell away.
I made a beeline right for the house and entered with a shout:
Now, I had predicted that she would be angry. I knew the reaction would be one of rage. But there was always a variable -- which child would be the recipient of the anger?
It was Eddie.
My mother blew out of the house yelling at him and walked into the woods. I silently high-fived myself for enacting a perfect “Get Eddie In Trouble” plan then quickly scurried to my bedroom.
I guess my mom got Eddie down somehow because he came home (to my ten-year-old self, what a bonus it would’ve been if Eddie had to live in the tree! I suppose I was hoping a little for this:
But he came home and we lived our lives. I’m sure he was mad, but what could he do? Punishment had been DOLED OUT. I had won. I walked around gleefully for weeks.
My mom loved the extra help.
Eventually, we wound up in the woods again -- I’m not sure how. And I figured: This worked once! I wonder if it’ll work again. I was a smart kid, so I didn’t think it would -- but nor did it hurt to try!
IT DID. IT WORKED. He climbed up again and my brain exploded into a glittery rain of excitement while I booked it to the house yelling all the way.
I could not believe my luck. I could not believe my PROWESS. I must have become the queen of older sisters that day -- no one could top this. No one. I had TWICE made Eddie climb a tree. TWICE my little brother got stuck up there.
I was agog when the scenario presented itself again.
At this point, I wasn’t sure if my little brother was stupid or something, and the glee was wearing off just a little bit. I still told my mom and he still got in trouble, but I think the shine began to wear off around the fourth time.
And by the fifth time my brother got himself stuck in a tree. It felt too easy. Like I was cheating. It was time to find a new, more difficult way to get him in trouble without receiving any splash off punishment.