Being a sibling is not always easy – neither as an older nor as a younger one. But at least you have each other. We looked at what things are typical if you grew up with older siblings.
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"Pack your swimming trunks, take your little sister" – at this point at the latest, my older sister would have rolled her eyes in full adolescent bloom and groaned: "Boah, do I really have to take her with me??" Between us there is an age difference of about six years. That means when I was just hitting puberty at the time, she was just coasting along. Best conditions for various conflicts of biblical dimensions thus. Of course, we’ve long since gotten our act together, managed to shed fixed braces and overdramatic mood swings, and still love each other terribly after all the squabbles we’ve been through. Or maybe even because of that. Because a sister, that’s a friend for life that you can’t get rid of easily. So, dear little sister or "nuisance pig", as you still like to call me today, this is for you.
No one pokes fun at you more creatively than the grown-ups
There we have also already the first point: the eternal Verarschen. No one hits you with such skill and eloquence as your big sibling. And with no one else is the mutual teasing so merciless and creative. No matter whether it’s a newly sprouted pimple or a fixed brace – they really don’t miss a thing. When I was twelve years old, I regularly struggled to find an equally eloquent counter to say things like, "Your teeth are like the stars: Yellow and wide apart," or, "A face like a sneaker: Get in and feel good," which usually resulted in a defiant, "Yourself, yourself, says Aunt Helga!" ran out. Who is actually this aunt Helga? A mystery that has not been solved to this day.
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They like to tell you nonsense
And even some of the creative stories that my big sister used to be so fond of shoving down my throat, I exposed as nonsense far too late. For example, she spread the rumor that there were no baby photos of me and that I was not actually descended from our father, but from the postman. Well, the one with the postman was after a shrill "Mamaaa. " for my part pretty quickly debunked. But I actually never really questioned the baby photo thing. It wasn’t until I moved into my first apartment and my mother asked me if I wanted to take my baby albums with me that it became clear what I, as a little naif, had strangely just taken for granted.
And there was also a myth about my birth: Little Viktoria was actually born with her organs facing outwards. Fortunately, at the same time, an alien crashed his spaceship on her grandparents’ satellite dish, nested in her brain, turned her organs inward, and controls her thoughts to this day. Great. First of all: Hats off for the perfidious talent of my sister to excrete spontaneous and detailed nonsense, which makes every X-Factor episode look old. And then my reaction, which in retrospect is somewhat embarrassing for me, "Mamaaa. "A pattern can be discerned. In any case, after I had squealed, my sister had to meekly revise her story. But of course not without sarcastic winks and sardonic grins, as soon as my mother had turned around. Yes, I was a naive child. But at least for some stupid decisions in my life I can just blame the alien in my head. Thank you, nuisance pig!
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We’re the tattletales..
So squealing was in many situations for me the last saving bastion. Nothing was more satisfying than really punching my verbally and physically clearly superior older sister in the face for her shenanigans than reporting it to our mother in a scalding manner. In retrospect, of course, this is not the most elegant move, of course. But back then, that was just the one trump card up my child’s sleeve.
When my sister saw through this, she cleverly changed her tactics and swore me in on her. First with merciless bullshitting about me being a dishonorable snitch and nobody likes snitches. Then with code words like "sister power", with which she made me understand in a fateful tone that we must fraternize, er, conspire against the parental establishment – together we are strong.
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…who imitate them everything
So she had me by the ego. Because for me as the little one, there was of course nothing greater than being allowed to take part in whatever it was. After all, my sister is still my secret role model to this day. Now, after all these years, it’s finally out, what she used to love to accuse me of when she listened to the Backstreet Boys and I suddenly got myself a sticker album of her favorite boy band, too. Or when she suddenly started to wear studded belts and dr. Martens to wear and I abruptly also declared, I would now be "alternative". Having such a small, stubborn mini-me around can be a real pain in the neck. In retrospect, of course, I understand that my secret trips into my sister’s closet didn’t necessarily contribute to a better climate between us. To this day, by the way, I’m infamous as the person in the family who likes to borrow things and then never give them back. Exhibit A: The old Dr. My sister’s Martens, which I only recently rediscovered in my closet and which I so vehemently claimed at the time that I didn’t know where they had gone. This article is full of revelations.
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Discarded clothes and co.
As the younger one, I got my hands on some of my sister’s stuff not only because of my slight tendency to be long-fingered. Again and again I was given clothes and toys from above, i.e. from my mother, which the older one had outgrown. Or seemed to have outgrown. Because as soon as I ran around in her old jeans or cuddled with her cuddly ex-favorite fabric lion, there were all the more Zorres again. Not even the piano piece that she had learned in music school years ago was I, who of course also demanded piano lessons, allowed to play without firing off heated discussions about personal boundaries. It’s true: through siblings you learn to share. Just the hard way.
Showing off to her friends..
If I was also internally from time to time unpleasant Beiwagerl, my sister outwardly struck quite different tones. Of course, when her friends came to visit, I always wanted to be part of the party somehow. And amazingly I managed to do it a few times! Only not so much as a conversational partner at eye level, but rather as a flippant sidekick or court jester performing a few rehearsed numbers to keep the court in good spirits. My sister was particularly proud of her achievement in teaching me, at the age of eleven, the entire text of the book Cry for love to have been taught by the doctors, which I was allowed to recite at every opportunity. Of course much to the discomfort of my mother. When your young daughter suddenly chants "asshole" at the top of her lungs around the house, it may not reflect the best on you as a parent. And even in the past, when we didn’t know anything about punk rock and instead preferred to stage our own plays with our friends, I was allowed to join in. Not in one of the leading roles, of course, no, that’s as far as it gets. While she played a model on a train journey, I gave the neglected vagabond, who meanwhile gets on her nerves. Almost like in real life.
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…and embarrass us in front of ours
By the way, my sister always returned the favor when I had my own friends over – as older siblings often like to do: with embarrassing stories. When I introduced my first steady boyfriend to my family, for instance, she had nothing better to do than drag him into her room and hold up a photo of me dressed as a geisha at a ballet recital, complete with white makeup on my face, a black wig, and a disproportionately serious expression for that disguise. Apparently she had been carefully guarding this picture for years, just waiting for the perfect moment to get one over on me with it.
We used to be allowed to do everything
But I by no means want to portray myself here as the sole sufferer of this relationship, That would play too much into the hands of my sister and the easy sissy image she loves to paint of me. Because one thing she was so snubby about at the time is kind of true: as the little one, I got to do everything a little earlier than she did. While at 16 she was using every conceivable weapon from trembling lower lip to clamoring to drown out a Backstreet Boys concert she was then all the more not allowed to go to, I was already at 15 at my first rock concert in the arena. And while going out was not an issue for her for a long time, I was already beating myself up to a reckless time of one o’clock in the morning. The envy I always got for this, I understand in hindsight. But you can also look at it positively: The big guys are paving the way for the little guys. Or maybe the parents just had a mealy-mouthed argument.