Thursday, April 7, 2011

Growing pains: the brother formerly known as last

The Brother formerly known as last born(TBFKAL) was a terror in my life growing up.
 TBFKAL is the Father incarnate to my Mother incarnate. He never really used the 'incarnate status' as flamboyantly as I did, but he is the acknowledged 'true son of the soil' (compared to the eldest bro) amongst the village people. He knows the family genealogy like his palm, and every twist and turn in the village.

I sucked my left thumb until my first night in boarding house at 12. As an avid reader of Enid Blyton’s Secret Seven, Mallory Towers, St Clare’s Series, nobody needed to tell me that the teasing that would follow if I was caught could last me a life time.
But………… I nearly stopped one time when I was 6. After reading to me the story about Pinocchio, TBFKAL told me that if I continued to suck my thumb, that it would grow and grow and grow like Pinocchio’s nose and I would never see the tip again. I cried nonstop for 5 hrs holding on to my (imagined) increasingly lengthening thumb. It was till my Mom came home, hugged me, told me it was a lie and gave him a well deserved cuff that I stopped. Missed opportunities.
At various other times he had also tried the pepper treatment, the bandage treatment, the bitter leaf treatment. All to no avail I sucked ‘em all off. Now when I see Moms worry over their thumb-sucking kid, I’m like don’t worry, s/he will stop when the time is right.

TBFKAL used to beat me if I sass him. Once or twice he even threatened me with his belt. That was after he became a boarding student and decided that I would be his practice fag.
I had a special song for him too.
Oke Clementi – Clement the rat
Osa Simonu – Simon the squirrel etc etc This song was guaranteed to raise his ire! Then I would run to the nearest eldest sibling for protection. A bit of Tom and Jerry.

I was my brother’s ATM machine growing up. He knew I was in awe of him and he used it to his advantage. I always had money courtesy of coming first in exams. and I was so thrifty. I would save and save so I can splurge it on presents for my best friend and myself. Bro would ask me for some (promising to pay back)and I would give him and that is the last I hear of it. If I dare to remind him to pay, I get threatened with a beating. My sisters were sympathetic initially but got tired when I kept falling for his crap over and over again.

Thanks to him I was the acknowledged ‘happening’ babe throughout secondary school cause he introduced me to all the latest hits and their dance steps. I was called the Music Dictionary. I owe my love of rock music to him.

TBKAL could tell a  mean folktale with ‘Mbe’ the tortoise as his muse. He introduced me to Omenuko, Omalinze, Oka Mgba, Mbediogu, Isi akwu dara n’ala, etc. All those Igbo literature masterpieces. Sigh. I prolly owe my A in Igbo language to him.

I loved him best when we are co-conspirators against the elder siblings. Yes! being the youngest ones and getting talked down to can be a pain atimes.

He gave me the sweetest nephew Dubs. Love him like he were mine! He was born when I was old enough to appreciate the miracle of birth. He used to call me 'Mom' and his mom – Aunty. Sweet!

I love you brother dearest and wouldn't exchange you for another. Miss you.

Got any sibling story to share? Go on tell…



23 comments:

  1. Now, isn't this just sweet. Proves that sibling rivalries are only another way of "loving" our siblings. LOL. I loved this.

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  2. lol...so you sucked your thumb? Thought I was the only in the world that did that.Both thumbs are now very straight and upright...lol....I read a lot of Enid Blyton books while growing up especially the Mallory tower series, Famous 5, Secret 7 etc. Well, since I have 2 younger ones I was not at the receiving end. Nice story Ginger nuts

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  3. aww i sucked my thumb at the back of my elbow :p
    i didnt know u were igbo,..lol u and ur brother had a catdog relationship :p
    do u ever tell his kid how much of a pest daddy was?lol

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  4. oops meant *and the back of my elbow!

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  5. lol@Kitkat. I was trying to suck my thumb behind my elbow. It was a contortion act!
    Dubs is gonna have an earful of his Fathers' evil acts the next time I see him.

    @Jaycee..true talk. loving comes in retrospect though. I'm not sure i liked him then.

    @Vyvyka - you sucked two thumbs at the same time or alternately? lol. I only sucked my left thumb. It used to look diseased; flat, white and withered. *smh*

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  6. I sucked my thumb till i was 18!

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  7. But it was awesome sucking, who is with me?

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  8. Ope, you are so right!!! lol. I could eat, drink, and suck at the same time. it made everything so much more enjoyable. I used to have conversations with my thumb. it was my best friend. lol.
    Thanks for commenting...

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  9. Sucking is awesome? LOL...

    I have loads of stories..I was in between the Ada and Diokpa, and you can guess the rest. I gave as good as I got sha...

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  10. @Ginger,i even had a special blanket for it!

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  11. I didnt suck my thumb....i sucked on my clothes, well till now. I need to run and hide my face. lol. I have loads of sibling stories to tell but all I will say is this, I am tire of my younger sisters FAPPING my clothes!!!!

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  12. Oh! One day, after being tired of watching my younger brother suck on his lip and my younger sister suck her thumb, i mixed pepper and bitterleaf together and applied it on the lip and thumb when they were sleeping. They woke up yelling! It was the craziest thing i had ever done. I just didn't want them to grow up like that. It worked like magic though, they never did since that day.
    My brother and I practised karate after watching Bruce Lee movies. The result, broken window panes, beds and loads of laughter and tears. Those were happy years!
    Thanks for sharing dear.

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  13. Your brother sounds lovely! I always wished for an elder sibling to guide me through life, sadly I am the first born

    Yes o, I have a sibling story to share, its part of the blogs in my draft tab awaiting approval from the person/people involved before I publish it.

    A snippet wont hurt I hope.lol. So I had an inkling that my baby brother was being bullied at his school. I confronted him about it, telling him that just because I wasnt a boy, doesnt mean I cant protect him. After much pressure, he finally told me that this guy at school took his handheld game from him and denied taking it.

    I told him to live it to me, that I will confront the thief of a boy at his closing time

    Na so I go his school to ask after the boy. Only to see this towering 6ft something boy walking towards me. Mind you I was 5ft 6, my brother about 5ft 2! My heart skipped a beat! I told him categorically to return the game by thenext day or else he will have me to contend with! Then I calmly walked away.
    Luckily sha, he returned it! THANK GOD IT WAS AN AJEBURRA SCHOOL, looooooooool!

    Mena

    http://efemenaoreoluwa.blogspot.com/2011/04/this-is-true-story-about-two-friends.html

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  14. My two elder sisters once came to me for help. Their voices were really shaking as they begged me to quietly tip toe into their room and pick up some keys on the floor by the bed. They warned me to be very very quiet because there was a strange woman sleeping in their bed and they didn't want to wake her and were too afraid to go in themselves.
    So I quietly went in, shaking, looking at the woman on the bed with scattered black hair. Tip toe-ing as silently as I could. My sisters were whispering, be quiet oh! See the key, pick it quickly before she wakes up...
    (And the keys were sooo close to the woman. Kai! I had never seen my big sisters so scared. Their tension made me all the more frightened. Then the 'woman' moved and I screamed and my sisters screamed and I could not manage it again-- I screamed, cried and ran at the same time lol!

    They had arranged several clothes together in their bed in the likeness of a sleeping woman, complete with wig. It turns out they had played a similar joke to my immediate elder Sis when she was my age (5 I think). Just for laughs. Usually my Mum and Aunt are no-nonsense about pranks but they seemed to enjoy this 'tradition'.

    Lol, good days... I miss them.

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  15. Awww this is such a sweet story!! :D

    Adiya

    And i soo sucked my thumb too and had a special blanky lol

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  16. I did not suck....I love this sort of relationship...sibling rivalry is not always bad I see

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  17. Aww I am enjoying all the comments.
    @Myne - I can only imagine the giving and getting..
    @Lily so you are one of the haters rubbing pepper and quinine on the sucking appendage. o da eshi ;)!!
    @Sisi Yemmie - your sisters are bold o. I never had the guts to do that to my elder sisters. they would have had my hide. whisper - You still suck clothes??? sweet! germs! lol
    @Mena you are too funny. Snr sister the defender indeed. Thank God for aje burra pikin.
    @Lara - You didnt suck? you missed out majorly. I fit call this one rivalry?

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  18. @Adiya, join the club already!! I knew you were my kind :)

    Northern girl wrote a lovely short story. wonder why its not showing :(

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  19. From Northern girl...I dig the family tradition!!
    My two elder sisters once came to me for help. Their voices were really shaking as they begged me to quietly tip toe into their room and pick up some keys on the floor by the bed. They warned me to be very very quiet because there was a strange woman sleeping in their bed and they didn't want to wake her and were too afraid to go in themselves.
    So I quietly went in, shaking, looking at the woman on the bed with scattered black hair. Tip toe-ing as silently as I could. My sisters were whispering, be quiet oh! See the key, pick it quickly before she wakes up...
    (And the keys were sooo close to the woman. Kai! I had never seen my big sisters so scared. Their tension made me all the more frightened. Then the 'woman' moved and I screamed and my sisters screamed and I could not manage it again-- I screamed, cried and ran at the same time lol!

    They had arranged several clothes together in their bed in the likeness of a sleeping woman, complete with wig. It turns out they had played a similar joke to my immediate elder Sis when she was my age (5 I think). Just for laughs. Usually my Mum and Aunt are no-nonsense about pranks but they seemed to enjoy this 'tradition'.

    Lol, good days... I miss them.

    www.northernchica.blogspot.com

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  20. Lol at your reply.Dont know what got into me that afternoon. O da eshi!? Lolzz

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  21. OMg OMG! Enid Blyton!?!!! I sooo have a past with those books. In fact, i made money outta them too. I had so many and coulndnt bear the thought of throwing thme out so I stared renting them out to friends in my Primary 6 class....tillI was caught..:D .good times.
    LMAO ..You were sucking your thumb too? Are you sure you ain me and I aint you? No of those treatments worked for me either....Pepper...bitterleaf...shio. In fact, it got to a point when I grew so used to the bitterleaf that I started relishing the taste. Oh yeah...cant even categorically say I stopped at age X, but I stopped nonetheless..
    *dreamyeyed* dont we just love those particular siblings?! For me. it is Ngor, my sister. she is/was an amazing although just as annoying. She has refused to give me any nephew or niece yet...:(
    At a certain age, Ngor and I looked alike very much physically, even with voice sef. And i am sure this most have been the most trying time for my mom. why? Cos we became literally pyschic! Ngor would tell a lie to Ma from Kontangora without filling me in and Ma would ask em about it in Kafancha and we would have a tallying story! Ma got tired of it and never asked the two of us questions anymore. Instead, she would pick me or her and another sibling...:)

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  22. Ah! I have 3 sisters and I was the oldest. They were mainly a pain in the butt, but sometimes fun. Oldest children have a lot of pressure. The youngest ones get away with murder! Hah!

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  23. @Ginger, sucked them alternately...lol...when i finish with one, I jump to the next. u dare not stop me!
    @sisi yemmie, yes o! my youngest sister does same to me!

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