I came into this world in the morning of December the 11th, 1989 and at that time I was an only child. Being a firstborn has many potential benefits in our beginning years. Until the next sibling arrives we’re usually smothered with so much love, affection and adoration by our parents. The reason being that we’re the adorable little human life which made our parents a mum and dad. Most parents take every possible opportunity to show their first child to anyone they meet, or to take photos of them doing absolutely anything, not wanting to miss a moment of their life or development.
At the beginning of my life this was the only experience I knew and I even took it for granted. But things changed a month after my second birthday when my sister Jessica was born. Throughout the previous year I didn’t know that mum was pregnant, and I didn’t even take notice of her stomach growing bigger.
However when I first saw Jessica I just looked at her as another kid, and then I realised that she was going to live with us permanently. This realisation came when I noticed that I got less attention than usual (as mum was busy with Jessica in addition to myself) and from seeing that many of my old toys were coming out again. Even though I no longer had an interest in those toys, I would still feel possessiveness and would snatch them out of my sister’s hand and say “That’s mine”! Mum continually said “No, that’s not yours anymore. It’s now Jessica’s”. After I’d heard that phrase for several months I then knew that I wasn’t the only child anymore.
Initially I found this quite irksome, many times. A prime example was when we were watching television and we had to compromise each other’s preferences as to which shows to watch on television. As a toddler I came up with an idea which I thought (at the time) was clever. Me and Jessica were watching a show that I myself didn’t like, and Jessica was sitting in her stroller. While mum was in the kitchen I quickly wheeled Jessica into her bedroom, shut the door, returned to the television and put my show on with the remote.
When our mother returned to the room she asked me where I had taken Jessica. At the time I was unable to know just how mum knew exactly what I had done! I didn’t realise how obvious the answer was, given that I was the only person in the house who could walk other than mum! My response, genuinely thinking it would convince mum, was “Baby wanted to look at bedroom”. Of course, mum saw right through this!
There was another time when we were having lunch at the same table outside, and I was three years old while Jessica was one year old. Mum went a short distance into the kitchen and I was the only child who could successfully walk. So I thought (at the time) that it would be funny to quickly toss Jessica’s lunch in the bushes and return her empty plate to her before mum reappeared.
On her return mum knew immediately what I did and asked me to swap plates with Jessica. It did not occur to me how obvious the answer was to mum when I still had my meal and a one year old who could barely walk had an empty plate in a mere two minutes. The bushes were also roughly five metres away from the table and the window of the kitchen was in plain sight of the place where I tossed the food.
However from the experience of having no food myself while my sister was eating, I learned that it was not a funny thing that I had did. I then realised that it was mean of me to do that.
Despite those cruel games I played with my sister very early on, I did still appreciate her company, very much so. This has continued through to the present day. We’ve argued from time to time throughout the years; as well as having comforted each other during challenging times.
I’ll conclude this by saying that ever since my sister was born a couple of decades or so ago, my life has been very pleasurable. This isn’t solely during those many moments when communication is smooth either. If Jessica wasn’t here my life just wouldn’t be the same as it is. I’m therefore very pleased that she became “that other kid who was here to permanently live with us”.
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