Sibling Insanity: Youngest Child

graphic: Leah Roemer and Evi Wu

graphic: Leah Roemer and Evi Wu

“But Taylor did well, so I should too!” I shouted after my sister defeated me in a meaningless carnival game the summer of first grade. Although I knew the competition was solely based on luck, tears were streaming down my face as I absorbed the sour feeling of loss. “You shouldn’t keep comparing yourself to Tayor,” my dad told me. Even when I achieve something Taylor hasn’t, my dad will say, “Don’t compare yourself to her. You’re not competing with those sitting next to you, but the others who are just as good as you.”

Taylor, my older sister, has always been an excuse for me to whine to my parents that the standards in my family were never fair. Being the younger of the two children, I would always think Taylor received better treatment and more perks and privileges simply because she was older and more mature. When has a little brother seemed better than his older sister? This pushed me to work harder wherever Taylor excelled, from a varsity sports team to academic merit. As the younger child, having an older sibling has given me a standard that I can work to surpass, but has also supplied consistent and somewhat bothersome competition.

Although my older sibling may have raised my parent’s expectations of what I can do, her presence in the house is not totally detrimental. Only two grades ahead of me, Taylor is a source of knowledge that has been imperative to my academic success and streetwise sanity; I wouldn’t have survived the first week of PHS without asking her where my classes were. Her presence as an expert where I am always a novice confidently reminds me that if I ever foul up, at least one person will care for me. Moreover, as much as I notice the nuances of my older sister—how she constantly hogs the TV to watch Criminal Minds and always seems to win the arguments we have—I can certainly say that when the Chiang household is one person empty next year, my sanity will leave as well.