When My Brother Was The Babysitter

At 14, 15, 16, my brother was a man to me.  Because I was 7,8 and 9 then.  He was my hero and my idol.  He teased me unmercifully and I followed him around the house like an annoying puppy.  I was particularly bothersome when he had a friend over and I could knock on his door over and over until he yelled at me.

We had this magically repeated event when Andy became THE BABYSITTER.

It has just this very minute occurred to me to wonder if he got paid to do this.  I hope so. He deserved it.

Even with the age difference, we liked to do some things together that probably made it less hellish for him.  We both read and he could probably push me into the other room with a book and I’d leave him alone for a while.

Parcheesi, photo from Board Games Rule

We both liked to play board games and cards, which were a staple in our home. My favorite was Parcheesi.  If he didn’t want to play with me I would have stuffed animals be the other 3 players and would take their turns for them, carefully keeping score on a notepad to see who would win.

One night, Andy was ignoring me completely.  I don’t remember what he was doing, but brat that I was I decided to get him in trouble.  Hmmm……what could I do, what could I do.

A hah!!  I thought of the perfect thing.  I would cut my hair.

This is what my hair looked like before I cut it.  Notice the Parcheesi game on top of the pile of games on the shelf next to me.

Barb knitting

Now picture this.  That’s my 7-year-old self with already shortish hair.  That night, the night-I-was-being-ignored, I went into the bathroom, gathered my hair on top of my head, and cut away.

When I looked in the mirror I knew for sure that he would be in sooooo much trouble.

I remember gleefully running up to him.  I probably stuck out my tongue.  He yelled at me.

What I hadn’t taken into consideration was what I would actually look like.  I never wanted to go to school again.  I got into trouble; he did not.

It took him two years to seek revenge, but he came up with a masterful idea.

I think I was 9 years old when the movie Psycho came out on TV.  Andy and I were sitting on our love seat in the den watching my first scary movie.  I was leaning forward mesmerized and terrified.  My brother had his arm resting behind me, with his hand in a claw-like position, waiting for me to lean back.

Psycho Photo by fanart.tv

We got to the shower scene and I threw myself backwards, right into my brother’s claw.  I screamed and then cried.  He got his revenge and probably felt a little guilty.  You never know with older brothers, though.  He was always awesome with me.  But teasing little sisters is in the DNA of older brothers.


My parents had a strict bedtime for me.  Like crazy strict.  When I was in high school I had to be in bed by 9:00.  In 12th grade it was 9:30.  I snuck out of the house on the weekends.

But in the days when my brother was babysitting me, it was a lot earlier.  He would have friends over which was a big no-no when he was in charge of me.  I wanted to hang out with them and not go to bed.  They wanted to drink beer.

So he came up with a full-proof plan.  I had to be in my nightgown with my covers turned down.  I could stay up until we heard my parents car coming in the driveway. Then I would race upstairs and jump into bed, pretending to be asleep.  My side of the bargain was that I wouldn’t rat him out.

My brother was the best babysitter ever.

About Barb Knowles

The things that are important to me are family, friends, teaching, writing, languages and using my sense of humor to navigate this crazy world. Please join me on this blogging adventure...
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51 Responses to When My Brother Was The Babysitter

  1. Sober Tony says:

    Awesome to hear these stories. Reminds me of the times I had with my little sister. It’s a special bond.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Reminds me of my brothers. Sweet memories.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. The things I missed by being an only child…

    Liked by 1 person

  4. dawnkinster says:

    Mom had 4 of us within 5 years. We were awful to our babysitters. We all ganged up on her. I feel guilty now…a little.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Yes, no matter how much disagreement, it’s still your sibling. Lucky you for having your brother as babysitter!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Nice post of fond and humorous memories. I only have one sister. Growing up, the only thing I knew about brothers was what I learned from the girls across the street. They had a brother that would burp in their faces and fart loudly when they had friends over. I thought brothers were disgusting. I thought boys were disgusting. I didn’t know what was wrong with that kid or how he could act like that…in such a “gross” way. Then I grew up to be the mother of three boys. Enough said.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Alison says:

    Fantastic! Siblings. We hate them when we are young and can’t imagine life without them when we grow up.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Val Mills says:

    I enjoyed reading this. My brother is nine years older than me, but we did share some good times together, ones we’ve lately been reminiscing on.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Garfield Hug says:

    You have a good brother. Lucky you 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Kalama says:

    Lovely story…good times


  11. Amazing read! Love th simplicity of our childhood. I never played parcheesi before .. i will look for it on Amazon now 💕

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Paul says:

    Haha before I saw the caption explaining that you were knitting, I thought you had you’re two hands together and were making an “I have an evil plan” face.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Ann Coleman says:

    Ah, the complexities of the sibling relationships! I didn’t have a brother growing up (although I would have traded one of my sisters for a brother if anyone had offered), but I did get to watch the brother/sister scenario play out with my own two kids. Thanks for this post, even if it didn’t include a photo taken after the haircut!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Barb Knowles says:

      We didn’t take many photos back in the day…..what kind of camera do you think we had? A brownie? But definitely would not have had a picture of that. My mother had to cut a lot more to even it out. I looked like the little Dutch boy from commercials.

      Liked by 1 person

  14. hehehe only a sibling can pull off this off and still wake up to share breakfast together the next morning right?

    Liked by 1 person

  15. My older brothers babysat me when I was 8,9 and they were in their teens. Our greatest accomplishment was getting through the evenings without needed to call police or fire services, but it was close on a couple of occasions.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. My brother was 14 months older than I was but he was responsible for me from about 5-15 years old. He taught me a lot about never giving up by making me keep up with all his adventures in our small town. He would do everything he think of to “lose” me but I always kept up with him at a safe distance. I learned to run fast, climb over and under everything he could find. I am thankful for being a “tomgirl” and my brother taught me well.

    Liked by 1 person

  17. Mary P says:

    . hehehe only a sibling can pull off this off and still wake up to share breakfast together the next morning right?

    Liked by 1 person

  18. jrparadox says:

    This….well, made me feel all kind of ways. I hope my little brother sees me this way…but I doubt it lol

    Liked by 1 person

  19. imchiragvk says:

    Well I am the younger one but I still trouble my sister a lot………..lol

    Liked by 1 person

  20. I like a lot this story of you relationship with your elder brother!

    Liked by 1 person

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