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.
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.
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.
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.