B is for Brothers


When I was a kid, I was the little princess in my family, doted upon and sole centre of interest for three years and six months.  Then it was announced that there would be an addition to our family. A baby was on its way.

Suddenly, much to my consternation, my mother’s growing belly became the centre of attention. I was, I was gleefully informed, about to be become a ‘big sister’. Not quite knowing what this ‘big sister’ gig entailed, I accepted the mood of the moment and awaited the newcomer.

The baby was, I was told, going to be a playmate for me.  The baby was, I was told, going to be someone with whom I could read stories and do puzzles. The baby was, I was told, going to be my brand new friend.  I was, I was told, going to love the baby.   I began to be excited about the baby.


The baby finally came.  I was shunted off to stay with Nanna for five days while my mother went to  hospital for the doctors to remove the baby from her stomach.  I was very worried about this. Nobody would tell me how the baby got into her stomach or how it was going to be taken out. I couldn’t figure it out. The only experience I had had with birth was with Mrs Hill’s broody hens.  I had seen a little chick hatch out of an egg and it seemed to me that this would have been a far more efficient method for the production of human babies. Mum could have easily kept a large egg warm until it was ready to hatch and it would have saved a trip to the hospital.

My father took me to the hospital to see Mum and the baby.  What a shock that was!  I was expecting to see a playmate, a smaller version of myself.  What I saw was a tiny, red, wrinkled, bellowing creature wrapped up tightly in a flannelette blanket.

‘I don’t like it,‘ I informed my father.  He just laughed.  I told him again but it didn’t seem to alter his  opinion.  This was my new brother and everyone was very happy about his arrival.

I felt completely tricked.  This was not a playmate.  I couldn’t do puzzles with this person. He couldn’t read stories with me.  He couldn’t build cubbies or colour pictures.  He was absolutely no use whatsoever and I did not like him at all.  Despite all my protests, my parents stubbornly refused to give the baby back to the hospital and brought him home with us at the end of the week. I was very definitely no longer the sole centre of attention.

With my nose well and truly out of joint over this unsettling change in our family situation, my feelings towards the baby did not warm for several months.  He yelled a lot, took up most of my mother’s time and my father doted on him.  It wasn’t until he learned to sit up that I began to suspect that he might indeed have possibilities as a playmate.  He liked it when I rolled a ball to him.  He laughed and laughed and that made me laugh.

With four years between us, my brother and I grew together and then grew apart several times throughout our childhood.  We were at times partners in crime and at other times feuding parties. I was the one who showed him how to get into real trouble at school by going into the out of bounds areas.  I was the one who encouraged him to parachute out of the tree house using an umbrella.  I was the one who buried him up to his thighs in mud to see if pirate tortures really worked. I was also the one who was spanked for each of the aforementioned crimes.

He was the one who broke my nose with a cricket bat. He was the one who dobbed on my cousin and me when we took money from the change jar in the kitchen to buy ice-cream. He was the one who “borrowed” all my Beatles records to take to a party, only to have them stolen.

He is my brother. I guess that we were playmates, and we did do puzzles and read stories together.

He is my brother and…yes, okay…I love him.

Scan 19


39 thoughts on “B is for Brothers

    1. Thank you, Mary. It’s good to know I’m the only one unimpressed by a new baby brother.
      BTW..is your surname Dutch? My married name is Kriekaard..the double a combo makes me ask.

  1. Hi Erica, i simply loved your theme. When my brother was born i didnt speak to my mom for a week for the baby she had got from hospital. Now, my bro is my agony aunt. Looking forward for next post.


    1. Thank you for visiting.
      My husband says I have a memory like an elephant. That can be a blessing and a curse depending on how you look at it.

      1. I just can’t resist commenting on this remark. I too have a memory like an elephant, which, I’ve always maintained is both a blessing and a curse!

  2. Sounds precisely like my feelings about my own younger brother. I still maintained that he’d have been LOADS more fun if he’d had the good sense to come out a sister but such is life.

    A-to-Z Challenge 2014
    Mighty Minion of Co-Host Nicole Ayers
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    1. Haha..I don’t think it would have improved my mood had the baby been a sister. I was thoroughly p***ed off.
      Thanks for visiting.

  3. I love it!!! I don’t understand the situation or your feelings…because I’m the baby sister my older brother & sister tormented, taught to get into trouble, and to roller skate. I’m the one who borrowed my sister’s 45-rpm records (probably the Beach Boys and not the Beatles). And I think they love me. Thanks for the wonderful post!!!!

    If you have a bit of time, hope over to my site at http://www.merriehansen.com

  4. Sweet! I have elder brothers and I have lots of memories of them bullying me as a kid. They can be sweet too, I like it when he rubs my back until i fall asleep to his nonsense stories. Good times

    1. Oh, my brother never did that for me…not that I would have let him if he tried. It would probably have been a trick of some sort. 🙂 Thank you for visiting.

  5. this was a sweet story; my brother and I are 8 years apart and I adore him although he does things that I don’t understand; we have different mothers, so it was easy for us to get along and we weren’t together often enough to get on each other’s nerves 🙂

  6. My 21 month old grandson has just acquired a baby brother who he seems to have accepted and decided to love from the word go. The video of their first meeting is priceless. James is introduced to “the baby” and spends several minutes staring first at the baby and then at his mum’s tummy. You can see the confusion on his face as he’s quite clearly thinking “This is the baby? But you’ve been telling me the baby’s in there….but you’re sure this is the baby?…But I thought it was…let me just check…”

  7. Yup, this brought back memories alright although in my instance it was a baby sister. Ugh. Older brother – the two of them bonded and I was the proverbial pig in the middle.
    Now my sister is so dear to me, a zillion years down the line. The brother too is special to me.
    Thank you for this post ..
    Garden of Eden Blog

  8. Hehe, this is brilliant! Vas and I often went through similar patches of growing together and then apart, especially in our teens. That’s probably the most common time for everyone. Luckily we were more often buddies than feud-ers.

  9. what a fabulous story. You really captured the feelings of a four year old in your writing. I am glad you came to love your brother but that first year is a touch one. 🙂

  10. This is exactly what happened to me, only there were 9 years of me being the princess before my brother came along. I don’t think either of us ever connected – by the time he was 9, I was off at college. Ah, well. I still send him b-day cards.
    (new follower)
    Lexa Cain’s Blog

    1. Thanks for visiting and following. Nine years is a big gap. My kids are ten years apart and, although they are good friends, I don’t know if they have ever achieved a real closeness.

  11. I laughed at your story when you said send him back to the hospital. Thanks for visiting my A to Z “Things My Husband Has Broken” AMomsPointOfView.com

  12. I was the baby of the family and I think my sister hated me. But we couldn’t be any closer now — she is the best. I was a pest but she was down right mean to me growing up!

  13. B is for Belly laughs! I love this. I moved our family a thousand miles to be near my adult brother. He’s still my friend. 🙂

    1. Hi, my brother and I live in different cities..probably a good thing..absence does make the heart grow fonder they say. But seriously, we talk regularly on the phone and we are good friends these days even though we don’t have a lot in common. Thanks for visiting.

  14. My elder sister and I had each other for company when my brother was born, so we did not have any negative feelings about his arrival. I must remember to ask my sister about her feelings around the time of my birth!

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