Sisters, sisters...

>> Friday, 18 April 2008

Boys #1 and #2 were playing together in their fisher price kitchen this afternoon. Boy #1 was the chef, Boy #2 was his dog (of course). Boy #1 was cooking up one of his favourite delicacies ("Ladies and gentlemen! Today, I will be cooking... pancakes with chocolate ice-cream!"), whilst issuing instructions in an officious tone of voice to Boy #2.

Boy #2, crowned rakishly in a tall white chef's hat (heaven only knows how he spirited that away from his brother), wilfully ignored the instructions given by the celebrity chef, and crawled around under the dining room table, concentrating on generally getting in his brother's way whilst dancing in a reggae styley to whatever was on the radio.

Even at 2 and 4, they make a good team.

Earlier today, a friend had asked me what the gap between my two Boys actually is. I replied that it is almost exactly - less around 1 week - the same as the gap between myself and my younger sister. Whilst I hadn't planned on being quite so precise about it, that time-frame was in the back of my mind as a guideline when Husband and I were 'working on' Boy #2, because it had seemed to work out pretty well for sis and I.

And that got me thinking on my relationship with her and how, if the boys duplicate it between them, even slightly, they will be very lucky.

We've had our ups and downs, my sis and me. Whilst we were growing up we could go from inseperable to deadly enemies in the blink of an eye. If you have a same-sex sibling you probably find the same thing. There is no-one - and I mean, no-one - who can drive me insane with a tut, a blink, a look, or a curl of the lip, like my sis can. (And I like to think that compliment would be returned). Likewise, there is no-one who can pull me from the depths of despair and gloom to hysterical wet-your-pants laughter in the same millisecond.

It's amazing how shared memories can bring you together.

It's amazing, actually, that she still speaks to me at all after the tactless comments I've made to her over the years. A particular low-point was my telling her that she would be quite pretty - if it weren't for her big nose. We were around 10 and 8 at the time. (I'm not sure I would have forgiven her that one, or indeed any number of other goody-two-shoes incidents that happened subsequently between us. No prizes for guessing who was wearing the shoes; I was the oldest, it was my job - I thought...) She got her own back though, by being much cooler, and consequently having much more success with boys than me - and by having better legs. And by being blonde. And blue eyed.

God. It's no wonder we didn't get on.

But, thank heavens, we both left home, and incredibly that is when our friendship bloomed. Aside from being my sis she is now my best friend, the person I call when I really want to let rip and who I know will always understand without 'sympathising', rounding off her summing up with some tart comment that will make me snort into my tea.

Only today she rescued me again; once after fall-out with my mum, and once when I was trying to contact Husband who had, it seemed, left the planet and travelled to Mars on his rally given how contactable he was today. (Now sorted. Men and technology. Numpties...)

Thanks K. For understanding without sympathising. (I can deal with anything but sympathy...). And by the way. This does not mean you can have my brown LK Bennet boots.


Bitter Sweet Chocolate Irene 19 April 2008 at 00:26  

I love and hate my sisters equally, but they are there for me in a pinch and mostly I just like them a lot.I sure am glad that I've got them, as they showed to me only just recently how important feedback is from them. They are very seldom mistaken about things that concern me.

Tracey 19 April 2008 at 09:23  

I'm always kind of envious of people who have close adult relationships with their siblings. I have one sister - nearly 4 years younger, but we just have nothing in common. I don't think it is the age difference so much as we are just totally different people. (And recently when I was having an issue with our mother, she kind of sold me out...)
I look at my three girls and wonder how they'll get on when they are grown, and hope they don't take after me.
It's really nice that you recognise what you've got and don't take it for granted!

Frog in the Field 19 April 2008 at 13:30  

No-one can make my sister laugh as much as me.
Perfectly summed up, brill post

Potty Mummy 19 April 2008 at 15:35  

Irene, that's so true. You can rely on your siblings to give it to you straight when you need it. Also when you don't but hey, that's family!

Hi Tracey, I don't take it for granted - but maybe I'm just lucky with my sis, I don't know.

Thanks Frog!

aims 19 April 2008 at 16:31  

When I was younger I had two sisters. They now belong to my brother. I was happy to get rid of both of them. Enough said.

Potty Mummy 19 April 2008 at 19:52  

Hi Aims. I don't know what to say - from what I've read on your blog I can see why. You are a very strong woman.

Grit 19 April 2008 at 22:13  

oh dear, all this sibling biz is very hit and miss. all i can do is keep my fingers crossed and be glad you have given me an example that sisters can work!

Carolyn 20 April 2008 at 00:04  

Great post. And just in time for me as I sit on "The Second Kid" fence. I'm leaning towards another after this. Thanks.

Oh wait. I just read Tracey's comment. Csilla and "The Second Kid" would be four years apart too.

Back to the drawing board...

Potty Mummy 20 April 2008 at 00:21  

Grit, you're right, it is hit and miss (as you pointed out, the comments on this post illustrate that perfectly!). But I think - I hope - that you can influence it as a parent by loving without favour. That's not to say you must love them all in exactly the same way, but as long as they all feel loved they will have a pretty good springboard to love each other. (Get me - mine are only 2 and 4; what do I know?)

Hi Carolyn - if you think about these things too long you'll never do them. In addition to my sis, I also have a brother who is 9 years younger (no doubt the subject of a future post). Admittedly, he and I are not as close as I am with K, but I like to think we have a pretty good understanding - despite the fact that when I left home he was only 9 years old. I guess I'm saying that it's easy to over-complicate matters; if you want a bigger family, just go for it. And I don't know if you have siblings, or if that was good or bad, but personally I love to be part of a team...

Tracey 20 April 2008 at 06:36  

[Hey carolyn, I wouldn't be making assumptions from my sample of one! - well two. I have heard of plenty of people being very close to their siblings when they are many more years apart than that! I don't know whether to blame heredity or environment. It's probably just me! Or just fate, luck, genetic lotto.. I don't know....]

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