Big Little Sister

A Guest Post by Keshia Howard

Recently I asked my step daughter Keshia if she would write a few words about what it means to her, to have a baby brother.  During my pregnancy Keshia was around a lot because although she was a student (8 hours of lectures a week!), she lived at home, making the commute to uni.  She reassured me a lot during pregnancy, very much taking the view that everything was going to be fine.  She fished me out of Stowe pool one day;  I decided to slide in on my bum, feet first,  at  7 or 8 months pregnant whilst letting our dog have a swim. She didn't even laugh until she knew I wasn't hurt.  She was the first person to come to the hospital when her little brother arrived and she sat in the recovery room with me and just cuddled him whilst I slept, and 'recovered' - that alone formed the foundations of an unbreakable sibling bond.  It has to be said that the little man adores his big brother Tom too, however  he is far more likely to get him into some kind of mischief or trouble with Mummy, because let's face it, boys will be boys!! 

There is quite a big age gap between the big two and the little one and whilst I share this perspective(I have two younger brothers) I was interested to know what our little bean means to his big sister.  

This landed in my inbox this morning; a perfectly well thought out and planned blog post, written from the heart.  

Thank you for doing this Kesh, it means the world xx

Keshia writes:

When my baby brother was just a bean in his Mummy’s tummy, I loved him.  I knew I loved him because I couldn’t wait to meet him.  

What would he look like?  Would he be cute?  Was he even a ‘he’?  

But what I didn’t realise, is that I’d love him this much.  Now, before I go on I must add that I do love my older brother too (he would be the first to say that 'J' is my favourite, but he’s not … OK maybe he is … No, definitely not …) but there’s just something about being my little brother’s big sister.  You see, I’d never been a big sister before … (Let’s face it, I’ve never really been big anything!) but I’d been a bigger cousin and an older friend, but never a big sister.  I’d always been the little one and whilst that has had its advantages (getting away with numerous things being a little one!) having a sibling littler than me feels extra special.  

Being a big sister comes with its pros … and I suppose a few cons!  For example, sharing his germs (although I keep reminding him to put his hand over his mouth, he still manages to find me when he needs to cough leaving me with a face full of 'J' germs to which I feel the next morning with full force).  But I just can’t view them as negatives because at least I’m sharing these ‘cons’ with him.  Oh, and the pros certainly outweigh the ‘cons’!  So here, I’ll share a few with you ...  Firstly, there’s the small fact that he is just the cutest.  Now, I don’t know if I’m biased or if he really is the cutest but just watching him run around, pretend to talk on the phone, play quietly with his trains or even just showing off his genius on the iPad, I can’t help but think, “Don’t you just love him?”  He has a cute little nose, lovely big eyes, the cutest hair (which should never be cut despite what all the boys say!) and he is genuinely a lovely, sweet little boy.  

The way he only tells you he loves you when he feels like it but when he does it’s sincere, the way he shouts up the stairs, “Keshia … I’m home now!” when he returns from a day out to which I respond, “I can see that 'J'!” and, not forgetting the most important one, the hugs.  The hugs that at one stage became very rare, but now come in abundance for some lovely reason!  Hugs from a little person are great anyway; always full of squeezes and happiness, but having a hug from your cute little brother is just one of life’s gifts.  

Picture this … I will stroll downstairs in the morning after quite possibly a late night gig (or too much wine), feeling tired, achy and cranky (yes, I am only 23!) and suddenly, I see Mr. Cutey Pants running towards me with arms outstretched for a big little brother hug. Everyone thinks his face lights up, but really its mine.  I don’t get to see him as much anymore as I live a little further away but I will always make time for him and especially for his hugs.  

Secondly, he is funny.  He is really, really funny and this one I know I’m not biased about.  He makes everyone laugh!  He’s been funny since he was born really, but as he’s grown to be a toddler, he has developed a cheeky sense of humour that resembles his favourite cartoon character, Curious George.  It’s a known fact that Curious George is quite possibly an actual addiction for my little brother.  Even I know all the actions and words to most of the episodes now!  But George has a particularly cheeky style of humour that 'J' has since adopted.  

He used to crack me up as a baby, but as he’s grown into a toddler it’s so hard not to laugh, especially when he’s in trouble!  

He seems to learn a new word/phrase/sentence/paragraph/epilogue every day, which, I might add, is increasingly difficult for someone with such a potty mouth to adapt to!  The most recent phrase he has copied took some figuring out!  Mommy and Daddy couldn’t understand where he had got this, *sigh” “Oh my Goodness me” from … It would appear that I moan a lot!  

I love watching him learn, watching him develop and actually thinking that he is the cleverest child there is, even though he’s quite possibly just as clever as his peers, I still like to think that I have a genius baby brother who will make me millions one day when I’m 40 something and he’s out on the town … Or maybe I’ll be out on the town when I’m 40 something and I’ll embarrass him just like a big sister should!  

One of the main pros of having such an awesome little brother, is that whilst it has made me excited to have my own babies, it’s great being the cool sister that gets to baby sit him and still lie in in the morning!  As siblings, we get all the fun stuff.  We get to play in the garden and watch films together, we get to play trains (trains, all … the … time) but then … we get to go home!  Or go to the pub or go out with our friends because we’re just not that ready to have our own babies yet!  

So, as I watch him grow up, I find myself constantly smiling.  When he waves at the window, or wakes me up in the morning to jump on my bed, or when I watch him play so nicely with my other half, I always find myself thinking, “Don’t you just love him?”  

And I think that’s the one thing that being a big sister has taught me, that not everyone loves your baby brother as much as you do, he might not be the cutest baby brother in the universe, or the funniest little boy you know, but it doesn’t matter, because he’s not their little brother … he’s mine.