Monday, April 23, 2012

confessions of an older sister

i don't know why i was so terrible to my siblings growing up, except that it was how i released creativity? all growing up, i only knew that i loved art class. and when we did a project, i really got into it. but i wasn't smart enough to know that i needed a creative outlet.

my creative outlet became my siblings. a blank canvas of malleable minds.

so let us reminisce. aunt marie-therese says confession is quite therapeutic, so i'll give it a go.

i never did anything mean to my older sister, for all growing up, she made me believe that i was a robot and she could turn me off at any moment. it is a cruel world when a gal doesn't know if she is real or machine made. i looked for hours and hours to find the switch she was talking about. but to no, in fear, i left her alone because i didn't want to be turned off. this robot had things to accomplish.

at night. when we slept, i held her hand. because she told me witches would take me away. i did this for years and then she got me to hang onto her shirt instead because my hands were too sweaty. i mean, she could have just told me there were no witches. but this is neither here nor there.

so you can understand why i did tell her to jump out a 2 story window because "i saw my friend do it". i almost got her to jump but am glad that in the end, she believed common sense and fear, over me. i must believe that when i told her this, i truly thought she would land safely. for real. i did. i think?

that makes me sound terrible. but i don't even remember it happening. karli tells me this story all the time to make herself fell better about the robot situation.
oh...haha...awkward laugh-sigh and side glance. lone tear.

anyway, most of the terror falls on my younger sibs. such pliable little brains. ready to be taught the ways of the world. lessons i was ready to teach.

keaton and grant are twins. when they were in elementary school, i fashioned a giant hershey kiss made out of mud. sprinkled with sugar. dried in the sun, wrapped in foil, and toilet paper billowing out of the top proclaiming the famous HERSHEY brand. i assure you it looked jankety. but to the untrained eye, it looked fantastic.

i watched them so excited to eat this marvelous creation. i loved seeing their faces move from delight to disgust as they got past the sugaree top coat. gagging and running inside to tell on me. the lesson here is that if you hide long enough, people will see the humor in such crimes. that's when you reappear.

the boys didn't eat dirt again after that(to my knowledge). some people have to learn the hard way that dirt is for planting things and not eating. i'm glad i was to teach them such a tangible lesson.

another such crime involved the video camera. many a paula abdul music video was made from this gigantic recording device. but the camera was also used for trickery. with the camera hidden(i.e. draped sneakily by some hot pink towels...what?), i put the boys in a room with a pair of turquoise high heels. do not touch these heels. these are very important to me. they must not be worn by anyone but myself! i mean, don't worry that i looked like a hanson band wearing heals was not my jam considering i was a tom-boy in the greatest sense of the word.

i left them in there for a couple of minutes. standing outside the door. i heard lots of whispering lots of chuckling...sufficient time for them to walk around in the heels, i supposed.

and then i, of course, asked them if they wore the heels. no way! they said.

oh then you won't mind that i recorded you the whole time?(said like the "to catch a predator" guy).

of course, we play it back and not surprisingly, they are traipsing around in the heels.

i felt extremely satisfied with my findings and showed the rest of the siblings. although, i'm not sure what the whole point of this exercise was. i was perhaps a tormented, creative soul that was bored? these and other questions will be answered upon arrival at the pearly gates.

audrey will die when i tell the world this, but she will eventually get over it.

i made her poop off the fort once. dad built a giant, 3 story fort in the back yard and there were lots of trap doors every where. a person would naturally assume that one of the trap door holes should be used for a bathroom. duh. so i drew a toilet seat with chalk and told her she was not allowed off the fort. i pretended like we were playing a game and we were on ship or something dumb. and she did poop. and i did make her wipe with leaves. and i did make her clean up the poop and make fun of her for actually doing what i told her to do. it has sense scarred her. so much so, she brings this delightful story up at parties and in large groups of people, say... at church.

good times...uhhhh...ha...sibling fun?no? you guys played scrabble and pushed each other on the tire swing? so fun....

potential friendships have surely been lost because of this story. but let us not ignore the fact that audrey is a stronger person because of this incident. not many people can say they pooped off of a fort. and had there wherewithal to clean it up. kudos. (this is where i stand up and do the slow, inspirational clap)

back to my confessions.

i also made my siblings spend a whole day painting the fort with berries from a nearby tree. one by one. smearing the berry on the wood. don't worry, i did none of the work...i think i read a book in the corner. and by the end of the day, they completed about 2 square feet. it was incredible. people had splinters but it was well worth the work! i told them. until it rained and was washed off the next day. but idle hands are no good to anyone, so i figured the community was well served in my distracting them for a day or so. also i believe i actually may have spearheaded the green movement with such an environmentally friendly paint choice. for that, i can not be judged. we can all agree on that.

what was not a healthy choice was the time i made my sister courtney smoke yellow construction paper in the fort. now i can't take full credit for this one. my brother, andrew, helped me roll the paper.  and with some good old fashioned peer pressure, she smoked it. and a few of the burning paper shards went into her throat. my throat is burning! i can't breathe! 
oh silly, it's not really a cigarette(which was true) and that's only "pretend smoke" and "pretend fire". and also "don't tell on us."
courtney never smoked again. so i believe she has me to owe for this gentle prodding in the right direction.
you're welcome.

that fort was the source of many a fun time. including the times i made out with my mormon boyfriend in the tower only to find out my bothers watched the whole thing and then made fun of me the next day and forever. they still taunt me. no, you you...  if this isn't reason enough to not make out with people before you're married, i don't know what is.

so ya, the list goes on and on. i think we still have the letter i typed on a typewriter(and sent through the mail) to my brother who's toenail fell off because of some rough housing... i thought it would be funny for a letter to arrive the day after he got home from the doctor saying, that his big toe would have to be amputated off. that he could never play sports. that he would perhaps need a wheel chair. and that there were now many improvements in the prosthetic toe arena that would maybe make his life easier in the future. in the meantime, you should make sure to tell your friends and classmates of your hardship so they can support you through this traumatic time. 

i think we had to end that joke after 2 days because he was devastated. and all of his friends knew. and people were asking if it was true. but whatever. i think we can all agree that grant learned to take care of his toes after that. yes he did. and you know what? we should all be a little more thankful after facing what possibly could happen when we are careless with our toes.

i really left the youngest, maggie, alone. well audrey and i did wax her unibrow off when she was in 1st grade. but i think that was more of a blessing than anything else. no one wants to look like frida khalo. not even in 1st grade. and look, now she's an esthetician so i mean, i can't really be sorry for helping her find a career.

perhaps if i would done more terrible things to her, we could have all avoided the infamous dad riding the boy down the stairway incident. but one must not look back. we must move forward and not focus on things we could have done differently. pranks we could have played.

so as usher so eloquently put it, these are my confessions...

luckily i have found a more conducive creative outlet through photography, and writing, and folding socks. the world is better place when are talents are ushered in the right direction. i think we can all agree on that. just ask my brothers and sisters.

side note: if you're wondering our birth order it goes like this:

audrey & andrew (twins)
keaton & grant (twins)

i would tell you their ages but i get confused.


  1. As much as Lila and Evelyn should not be friends, it is good that you and my older sister were never friends. Ohhhhh my. The creative genius of sibling pranks combined would have been EVIL. evil. She once sent me out in the snow once with a snow shovel and pictures of a plan for an underground tunnel system that I was in charge of digging. She of course was too busy drawing up plans to help with the labor. That's what younger siblings are for of course.

  2. I LOVE it! I thought I had really embarrassing childhood stories, but they are strangely similar to some of yours. Except my cousin wiped her nose- not her butt- on a leaf; it got irritated and she wound up with antibiotics. And I fooled my aunt into thinking that this same cousin got chosen to be one of the kids on Barney...I wrote a letter and sent it in the mail and I guess it must have looked really legit? Anyway, she was livid and we were grounded.

    I wish I knew you in person so we could swap stories...I've got plenty more and I would hear more of yours in a heartbeat!

  3. I'm still laughing! Good times. Kids do the Darndest things. Siblings are the best. And thank goodness they forgive us when we torture them.

  4. bahaha! pure awesomeness...I am the "creative" eldest of 5 girls and can SO relate.

  5. Can i just say that while your confessions were the highlight of my day (and probably my week), i was a tad disappointed that there were no photographical proof of these incidents. *sad face* i still heart you tho!

  6. Oh man, soooo glad you are not my sibling. I do see the benefit from all the pranks you played and how they have truly help a brother and sister out in their lives.

  7. i'm in bed with my sleeping husband.. silent heaving with laughter. you made me wish for an older sister.

  8. gotta love crazy sibling stories. It's amazing we all survived. I have a younger sister and when we played school I was always the teacher and gave her real homework but promised... next time she could be teacher... not. And when we played Barbies I always got to use the giant "Barbie Dream House" we had and she got to use her imagination. Once we were playing cops and robbers or something where I was using a scarf to gag her like they do in the movies and the scarf slipped down to her throat so when I tied it tight and knotted it she began to turn purple... then we had a hard time finding the scissor... oops. Glad she made it out of that one. Don't worry, she tortured me too so, there was some back and forth in the relationship.

    Love reading your blog! Thanks for sharing all the stories.

  9. excellent. and i ADORE your creative spirit. xo

    i am the oldest of four, and i'm pretty sure i was the best boss they ever had.

  10. you crack me up. Loved all the life lessons you helped your siblings learn!

  11. you crack me up. Loved all the life lessons you helped your siblings learn!

  12. SI was dying reading this and trying my best not to wake the baby I finally got to sleep next to me. There was five of us growing and I have some story's to tell, they are no where near this good!

  13. OMW! Funniest post ever in the history of blogging! I can't even pick a favorite part because it was all so funny!

  14. Those stories are awesome! It reminds me of a game my sister and I used to play (basically one of us was on the bed and tried to keep the other one off) and I may have accidentally shoved her through the bedroom window... that was 3 stories off the ground. whoops? haha luckily it had muntins (the wood that seperated a pane into 6 little squares instead of just having one big window) and she didn't fall all the way through (there was also a screen luckily!). Remembering all of these stories makes me deathly afraid of when my kids become teenagers....

  15. oh sweet james, how you make me laugh. we won't go into the whole "i'm a cat, leave me alone nancy" story.... not that it was a prank, but rather another of your creative moments. miss you bunches! hope to see you in july!

  16. My sister would have never learned gun safety if I had not shot her in the neck with a BB gun in middle school. Don't worry, it ricocheted off the wasn't a direct hit :)

  17. You should write a book about your family. Seriously, you have some hilarious stories.

  18. I should send this post to my sister so she can be THANKFUL how I largely ignored her...your goodness continues to spread, Jami.

  19. Jamie I think you forgot what else we made you do---- Model in a bikini that was two sizes too big and took pictures of it.... Thus I think your oldest sisiter you owe a huge thanks for teaching you at a young age that it really is not cool to wear skimpy things...

  20. UMMM you did not leave me alone! remember the time you had us race in the kitchen? 1st without a blindfold, 2nd time with a blindfold with me propped a few feet back from the fridge? yeah, I was 5. smacked face first into it and all the magnets fell down. ha, now what lesson did this teach me james..

  21. I completely forgot about that incident until this morning when Courtney reminded me. I will for sure put it in the book I will write about our childhood. I think we can agree that you learned never to run blindfolded. That is a HUGE life lesson.

  22. Holy Moses this is hilarious!

  23. You are so freaking hilarious!!! Oh the memories this brings to mind of my own childhood. Thank you!!!

  24. so twisted and yet brilliant. and maggie's comment made me laugh really hard. i think i remember you running from the crime scene shortly after she hit the fridge.

  25. This is just confirming for me that you really need to write a book telling us about your childhood! I am reading this on my lunch break and thought I was going to explode when I read that your sister had pooped off the fort! HAHA. Oh my gosh. Keep the family stories coming. You have me in stitches. :)
    p.s. emmm, you have lots of siblings! That is a lot of people to torture.

  26. ha ~ entertaining family!
    wish I remembered all the fun things the 7 of us did when we were little! i was the youngest of 7 and the one thing I always remember is the boys (5 of them) making my sister and I duke it out with boxing gloves and wrestle....memories, precious LOL!
    how did your mom get so lucky with 2 sets of twins?!

  27. this TOTALLY made me laugh {think I peed a little, too}!! I'm the oldest of SIX girls, so yeah...I made them eat bugs, put metal barrettes in light sockets, etc...they're all alive to tell you about it, too!! We have a Courtney & Carly in our brood ;)

  28. hilarious! Remember the time you 'got me'? big church group? Christmas party? ...yeah, i still wear those thongs. Thank you Jami for helping me too.

  29. You never ever fail to make me laugh out loud at my desk at work while reading your blog but supposed to be working. I feel like a failure as an older sister after reading this!

  30. So funny! This made my day, week, month! I recently lost my little brother to a terrible accident and you encouraged me to not only remember those good times but to write them down because I will be old and senile (sooner rather than later) and I want my kids to read about our craziness!

  31. Oh my gosh. I seriously had to take a trip to the bathroom so I didn't pee my pants in the middle of that post. (Baby ruined the old bladder). So funny. Thanks for sharing all your great teaching moments!

  32. Laughed til I cried - good stuff!!! Just in case you haven't heard this lately, I think you are an incredible, brave writer. Not just this post in particular, but all of the writing you do, especially the really nitty-gritty personal stuff. I really admire are not only building strength in yourself when you talk about the personal things, but you are building strength in others too. Thank you...

    Oh, and can you please post a close up of your new hair do?!

  33. I'm right in the middle of seven siblings. I was tortured a lot by the oldest 3. My sister use to chase me around the house with the vacuum until one day she caught up to me and sucked up my toe. She had to turn it off to get it out and when she did it was all different shades of blue and purple (and quite large)! I was treated to a big bowl of ice cream if I didn't tell mom.

  34. i, sadly, only have one sibling 10 years my elder, so i have no such memories to share.
    thanks for the massive belly laugh this a.m....i hope i didn't wake up the kids! :)

  35. dont worry audrey, i also pooped off the fort. well, mine was a two story tree house and i pooped out of laziness and not peer pressure, but same diff.

    i also lost both my big toe nails. when i was 19. from thinking i was going to look cool while running and wearing shoes that didn't fit but looked cute. then i super glued my toenails on all summer til they grew back.

    again, i was an adult.

    thanks for letting me share, i feel better.

  36. Ok, so I just FOUND you. You are my new crush :) I cannot tell you how much I dig you .....straight up you are bomb diggity.

    I am going to enjoy following you around. Well, just your blog. Im pretty sure you dont live around my parts, or else I would stalk you until I could buy you a coffee and then make you be my new best friend, and hold my hand.
    Sorta like girls did in elementary school.
    Do they still do that?
    Later -



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