Horrible Things I’ve Done to My Little Brother
I was five. I wanted a sister. I got a brother.
It took him time to grow so I could play with him, and by that time, I was so tired of waiting. The “playing” began, probably sooner than he ever wished.
It started out innocently.
I’d put him in the laundry bucket, stuff pillows all around him, and drag him about the house as fast as he could. Sometimes, the laundry bucket would generate lots of static with its plastic brushing across our carpet, so I’d put a balloon on his hair and see how fast I could make the bucket go before the balloon finally couldn’t stay on his head and would slowly drift away.
Whenever the guy at the grocery store checkout counter gave me a fake tattoo instead of a sticker, I’d take it home and put in on my brother’s forehead or hand. He thought it was cool. My mom, on the other hand, didn’t exactly fancy her three year old son walking around with princess tattoos.
I was bored one day, so I took him aside, told him we were going to play dress up, and I put my Cinderella Costume on him: blue dress, pearls, blond wig…the whole nine yards. You name it, my Cinderella
sister brother had it on. Unfortunately for him, it didn’t stop there. I needed to show off my masterpiece. I pulled our blue wagon around to the front porch and picked him up and plopped him inside like a sack of potatoes, then walked around my neighborhood, knocking on the house of every person I knew and introducing them to my little sister.
Some of them fell for it, but one mom caught me. “What’s her name?” she asked. “I had no idea you had a sister.”
“She stays inside a lot. My mom doesn’t want her getting sunburned. Her name is Daniella.”
“Daniell…a…oh my gosh! Is that Daniel????”
“Rebecca!!! You take him back inside right now and get him out of that dress! What will your mother think?”
I laughed and sprinted with the wagon back to our house where I quickly picked up my brother and plopped him on my bedroom floor and took all the princess gear off before anyone found out.
Three year olds talk, though…that evening, my brother said, “I was Cinderella today with Becca. My girl name is Daniella!”
On the way to school one day, I bit him because he was making me so mad. He cried, and my mom said, “Daniel, bite her back. Don’t let her toss you around.”
He was five years old and gave me the creepiest, “Come here,” I’d ever heard before. He got ahold of my shoulder in my frantic flailing and left a bite mark that lasted until recess. I never bit him again.
One day, I couldn’t get him to help me do chores, so I convinced him we were slaves and we had to sweep the garage and clean the litter boxes because we were poor orphans and we’d lose our family if we didn’t obey them. It worked. Once.
He came up with this game where he’d stick his hand down the back of his toddler undies and then chase the kids in the neighborhood. “The Dirty Hand Game” the kids called it. When Daniel came running outside with one hand in front of him, we all knew to run. I never got tagged by the dirty hand, not that I can recall. I knew all the jumps for the fences, all the hideouts, and I always saved a reserve burst of energy to sprint away. I could beat any boy in the neighborhood at a race. One day, one of the boys was being really rude and annoying, so I went inside the house and dared my little brother to come back out and get him with the dirty hand. That family never let my brother come over to play again.
I convinced him that Santa was real even when he stopped believing one year. I re-convinced him just so I could eat the cookies on Christmas Eve. It took a lot of effort, but some egg nog and cookies were worth it!
I’ve pulled lots of pranks on him before too. Fake gum, fake spoons (when you pick it up, the spoon part that is on a hinge falls), fake cat poop on his pillow and bed, sound devices hidden in his room set to go off at irregular intervals, tickling his feet hanging off of his bunk bed to wake him up in the morning and hiding every time he bent over the edge to see who was doing it, whispering in his ear while he sleeps, “You’re pretty cute” over and over until he wakes up screaming, putting shaving cream on his hand and then tickling his face so he’d wipe it on his face, fake jelly beans (those Harry Potter ones that I’m not sure even exist anymore, but have all kinds of terrible flavors. Earwax was my chosen flavor of torture).
After all of this, though, he walked up the ramp to our house one day after school not long ago, and I thought, “He’s turned out pretty well.” I’m really proud of my little brother. For some terribly strange reason, he’s decided to be my friend (even though I tortured him growing up, and I’m currently shunning him and Lysoling the air since he’s sick). He’s not only my friend, but he respects me, and I respect him. He looks up to me, confides in me, cheers me up on any bad day, and I feel so lucky to have a brother like him!