I have often been told, by the two eldest travellers (the two girls) that I don't realize just how lucky I am that I don't have a little brother. In fact, the eldest little traveller has told me on several occasions that I should ring Granny Max and thank her for sparing me.
"If you knew how annoying little brothers are - you'd ring her. Actually you'd send her flowers with a note saying THANKYOU Granny for not putting me through the pain of a little brother".
This evening when I was putting the girls to bed they had a visit from one of their little brothers. He was proudly showing off the front tooth that he'd bought home in a bag from school. And just when we all thought the sole purpose of his visit was to brag about being "cashed up" in the morning and that his sisters of course would be bereft of any visiting fairies, he outdid himself. As they stood around him looking at the tooth he began to laugh and then said "oops, I just cut the cheese - in your bedroom!" and made a quick exit while they screamed.
"Heeeeeeeeeeeee's soooooooooooo grooooooooooooos" said the first little traveller.
"You didn't get me - I can't even smell it" said the second little traveller with her head under the quilt.
The beagle left the room.
"Oh come on - he's so sweet and he loves you, what's the worst he could do?" I was trying to calm things down.
"He breathes" said one.
"He's alive" said the other.
I shut it down. We weren't getting anywhere and the aroma of Fart number 8 was lingering, the timing for the family love chat wasn't good.
When I went to kiss the boys I found the cheese cutter tucked up in bed with a satisfied grin.
"Sometimes they just make my job so easy" he was genuinely pleased with himself.
Perhaps little brothers were put on this earth solely to torment their sisters?
Here's the thing I've noticed about older sisters though.
Older sisters are allowed to "cut the cheese" whenever they like, it can be loud, it can be soft, it can be deadly - it never really happened.
Older sisters can be told by little brothers that their home-made cookies "are the best cookies in the world" and their response will be "you only get one" before swiftly sharing them with the entire neighborhood.
Older sisters can dictate which school gate is entered, which car seat is sat in and who gets how much popcorn for movie night.
Older sisters will always win the death stare, occupier rights in the bathroom and the who gets to hold the money argument.
Older sisters have the power, the control and the instinct to make a little brother the size of an ant in a moment. Hearing your sister shout "Are you wearing underpants?" across a playground. Followed by a "remember how you forgot to put them on yesterday" is enough to dent any mans ego.
And finally, older sisters will not notice who the first person was to run towards them at the end of the basketball final, the very same person who stood on a chair to cheer when they scored their first goal. They will not see the look of adoration that only a younger sibling can provide.
A siblings love can seem like a series of quick scores. A she did/he did event. I wonder what age we are when we realize it's an endurance race - that you'll both be there until the end?
How old were you when you realized your siblings were some of the best friends you were ever going to have? Or are you pleased not to have any at all?