Sibling Insanity: Oldest Child

graphic: Leah Roemer and Evi Wu

graphic: Leah Roemer and Evi Wu

There are many things that I’ve learned from being the eldest child in my family.

I’ve come to understand the fact that my younger brother will always be the baby of the family, no matter how old he gets. Consequentially, he can get away with virtually anything. The phrase, “But I’m younger than you!” becomes a very valid excuse when you’re the youngest of a household. When my mum brings back a box of cookies from the supermarket, we all know who will end up shredding through his fair share, making his way into mine, and getting the last one. Maybe my innate sense of responsibility that tells me not to eat five cookies in one day is to blame, but I am expected to let my brother have his way—regardless.

I’ve accepted that my brother will always get to do things I wasn’t able to do when I was that old. From getting my first cell phone, to going out to a movie with friends without parental supervision, I’ve come to terms with the fact that my brother always has and always will beat me to it.

I’ve also learned that younger siblings can come in handy, too. From setting the table to asking for simple favors like borrowing a calculator, younger siblings are obliged to help you out. With a younger sibling comes someone who will be your personal sidekick in situations which require a certain amount of ice-breaking (namely, awkward family gatherings). I’ve learned to share—something that has sprouted from our toddler days when we were required to share toys, play together, and be each others’ only friends—and to be tolerant and patient.

Younger siblings never fail to keep you in the loop either. Anything I know about new music, viral videos, or annoying-yet-addicting apps like Flappy Bird, I’ve learned from my younger counterpart.

Finally, I’ve learned that—when it comes down to it—older siblings were the first to be born, so they will always have dibs on the things that matter. For that reason, I’m glad I’m the oldest.