Phorr, there’s something funny round `ere. What is it? Oh, it’s you… come `ere and sit down. You’re gonna `ave the truth told about you and put on record. `Ere, please do not sit too close to me, I’ve just `ad my breakfast, thank you.
My Mum used to sing this Terry Scott classic – My Brother to me all the time. If there ever was a song written for someone, then this song was written for my brother.
Are you sitting down? Because I’m going to tell you all about my lovely, lovely brother.
This is me, carefree, happy and unaware of the meaning of the word “sibling”.
What am I laughing about? Who knows, but I am loving life here safe in the knowledge that I do not have to share any of my toys.
Here I am after my parents broke the news to me that I was going to be a big sister.
I’m joking. This was years before my brother was even a twinkle in my dad’s eye. This was probably when they told me I couldn’t have a pony.
My brother Peter was born on my 6th Birthday, although I didn’t know it at the time I can remember the exact moment that I found out my mum was pregnant. Looking back at this memory, I didn’t realise what was happening. I didn’t know what babies were, let alone where they appeared from. I was in school and there was some sort of event where mums, teachers and children were planting daffodils along the bank next to our school playground. My mum was on the bank and y classroom assistant and my mums friend shouted up to her to be careful, there was lots of shushing and things and that was the point that my life would change forever.
My mum had to go into hospital to have my brother, so my dad looked after me and read the Hobbit to me in its entirety. This is me after he was born, forced into a life of servitude and made to wait on him hand and foot.
I’M JOKING. I have literally no idea why I am crying or why I am dressed as a 1920’s waitress/maid. Although, here we are at my Grandma and Grandad’s and I don’t look that impressed. I still make that exact face now, mostly when made to sit next to him.
Honestly, I don’t much remember my brother as a baby. I can remember snippets, like his christening or the time he upended and smeared an entire tub of Sudocrem onto the carpet. He slept a lot and sometimes occasionally mum’s washing basket ended up upside down on him like a plastic baby cage…weird and totally nothing to do with me.
I was a bit of a horrible big sister. I’d tell him stories to frighten him and would generally be a bit mean. We would play imaginary games like “house” and he would be the dog. For some reason he always had to be called Ben (which is a terrible name for a dog) and one time Ben the Dog needed emergency veterinary attention and as the vet it was my duty to intubate him with a plastic fish tank tube. Another time, I’d been learning about Egyptians via Horrible Histories so he had to be tied to a chair to have his brain removed with a barbecue fork via his nose.
I am sorry about all the things I did to you Pete, I really am, including the things that I won’t write down to save you from remembering things you may have blocked out. I’m also sorry about that time mum told me not to let go of the pram you were in because it would tip over from the weight of the shopping bags. In my defence, you had been wearing my “Kiss Me Quick” hat and I was not happy about that.
I’m sorry it still makes me cry with laughter when I remember the bumble bee that harassed you at Holkham Hall and the tantrum you threw at the train station that year when you threw all the bags down on the platform. I’m sorry I can remember all the words to the song you made up on the way to Norfolk that year. I apologise now that I am reminding you of all these things again now.
My brother was a pretty cute baby, all chubby and cross eyed. Dribbly though, dribbly and sticky. He was also a gobshite.
From the day he spoke his first word he has literally never stopped talking. He is an authority on everything and is unfortunately one of the cleverest people I know, making him all the more irritating.
We went to see Thomas the Tank Engine once at a railway station, we got to meet the Fat Controller and then Peter had an argument with Thomas. Peter and the disembodied voice of the full size tank engine shouted at each other on the station.
We shared everything really, including birthdays, he was always very sticky at my birthday parties. Why was he always so sticky? If he had been a sister would he have been as sticky? We shared toys, he had some really good toys, like Brio and Scalectrix.
At Christmas my Grandparents would stay (later, my Grandma on her own) and we would share my bedroom. We would always wake up at 0400 and my baby brother made the ideal candidate to wander into my parents bedroom repeatedly until mum allowed us to open our stockings. He would then be sent in repeatedly to persuade her that we could wake my Grandma and go downstairs to see what Father Christmas had left us. One year we got a Playstation and Abe’s Odyssey and that started a long tradition of us playing games together. We once completed Silent Hill 3 in less than 45 minutes. During the daytime obviously – neither of us were crazy enough to play that after dark.
As we got older, we fought a lot. I have to admit that there were times he would lose his temper and it would be terrifying. Sometimes we hated each other, that special kind of hatred reserved for siblings.
When he became old enough to understand, he realised I needed protecting. My brother has always protected me, he looks after me when we are alone together. Keeping me together when I’m anxious, not telling mum about my tattoos. He is still always the first person to see them. In turn I have protected him. I did his GCSE coursework for him and protected him from terrible grades. I’d forge his handwriting and write his thank you notes. I would defend him to the last when people were mean to him. Once I threatened one or two of his school chums with a violent and sudden end if they didn’t stop being horrible. Let’s be frank, I can call him anything I like but if you even so much as whisper something shitty about him, I will find you and I will end you.
We have had our ups and downs. We get along better now than we ever have. I suspect that has a lot to do with us not living together.
Having a little brother is hard. Boys are smelly, gross and lazy. Even though he is still gross, as brothers go he is pretty good one.
We have had our differences and our fights, but I think we do pretty well. I love my brother. He can be a real plonker. But I know he has my back even if he does only remember my birthday because it’s on the same day as his.
So here’s to you little brother, I am so proud of you even when you are being a dickhead. You are my favourite little brother in the whole wide world. Love you.