I think it's funny that because of the age difference, among various other reasons I'll glaze over, the drastic difference in how my parents treat my brother Reece as opposed to when us older three were growing up.
I can kind of see how they aren't as hard on him as he is the only one his age and us three had each other, as well as his feelings are more sensitive. But I find it amusing how much they try to protect him when with us three it was all fair game. I can also see how much he gets away with as opposed to us older three when we are the same age.
I will give a few examples.
First, one of my moms steadfast rules has always been "no balls in the house". This may not seem like something huge but us older three especially knew that no balls in the house really meant no balls in the house. We didn't throw them in the house and if we dared do it, usually a very quick and stern talking to/yelling at was given. Especially if we didn't listen. Reece has not learned how serious this rule was. There reached a point where we just didn't bring balls in the house and if we did we didn't dare let them leave our hand for we knew the reparations. Reece still tests my parents limits and throws balls in the house. All that's told is "Reece leave that out in the garage" or simply "stop it" without all the vehemence in my parents voices as was directed towards us. Like I said something simple but something worlds apart.
Second, how us kids have ever talked to each other is no longer suitable for how we interact with Reece. Yes we are older but we make fun of Reece the same way we make fun of each other. The only difference is he probably does get it worse, not because he's younger, but in my opinion because he's more annoying and gets away with more than we did so it's our way of "playing fair". If Reece doesn't want me to pick on him, he needs to learn to play with the big boys. On the same respects, he also needs to learn that if he's going to be disrespectful to me all the time, he better learn to receive the same treatment back....as us older three all treated and still do treat each other.
Kevan, Marshall, and I used to get in all out brawls and arguments when we were together, especially when mom and dad weren't present. Dents were made in walls, arms and legs were bruised from balled fists, and harsh reparations (including groundings, spankings, and chores) were dealt via mom and dad when they learned of such actions. Or if things were too bad we'd simply call our parents and find out the reparations asap.....mom and dad actually used to deal out reparations. Now I find that not the case.
A couple weeks ago, I came home to find my brother on my dad's laptop, which my dad had stated several times not to play games on his computer in the last couple days to Reece but the day before had told him to all-around not touch his computer. I came home and Reece was on the computer. I reminded him he wasn't supposed to be on there and told him to shut it down, much like I would my other brothers and always have done. He claimed he was checking his email so I gave him five minutes to finish and then shut it off. Five minutes later I told him again to shut it off and went up behind him to find him shutting down a game and bringing up his email. I told him to get off it. He threw the computer on the couch, threw the remote, called me a bitch and punched me in the arm.
Had that been Kevan or Marshall, an all-out brawl would have taken occurrence. Even when we were younger I was known for shoving my brothers down on the ground and punching them when they talked to me like that. All I could simply do was remind him again not to call me a bitch (of which is becoming a normal occurrence out of his mouth) and followed him down the stairs screaming at him that if it happened again he'd find out what it's really like to be my sibling and call me a bitch....next time it will result in his head meeting either the ground or the closest wall and punches WILL be thrown. He doesn't know what it really means to grow up as the Carr siblings. We take it easy on him. With each other, we never did. If cuss words were thrown so were punches and other objects. If you were mean to one, the other two ganged up and attacked. It's how it was. You learned to fend for yourself.
Reece made it to probably cry to mom and dad first and nothing was said about how wrong he was to call me a bitch....rather I was told to stop picking on him and learn to be respectful.
Third, an occasion happened when we had gummy worms here two weeks ago. I had one handful out of the whole bag before I went to get ready and leave on my first official date with Eric. The next day the bag was almost completely empty somehow and while my mom was cooking, Reece grabbed a ton and headed into the living room, leaving probably about seven total left in the bag of which I decided to take the last of. While I was about halfway through, he decided to come in and just grab them out of my hand. I told him to get out of my food, he had just had three times the amount I did and he needed to not grab my food out of my hand. Next thing I know I'm being yelled at about he's sensitive and probably eats because of that and blah blah blah. I didn't even care he was eating gummy worms. I cared that he was being a shithead and taking gummy worms out of my hand. If it's Kevan or Marshall I simply have always told them to get the hell out of my food and if harsh words are thrown it's no problem.
Last, last night I found Reece on the computer looking at youtube videos of "girls big tits" and told him it was inappropriate and let him know (very nicely and calmly mind you) that I would tell mom and dad. Shit, all my brothers and I tattle on each other, especially with that stuff. Not so much anymore because we all respect that we are three sexually experienced adults and it's no one's business but in the day, we told if someone was found looking at nakes pictures or magazines or whatever. Most of this I will admit was me tattling on them. They had no ammo towards me in that department until I went to college and then my bigass mouth accidentally let it slip that I was sexually active on my own without their help. But they got me back in other ways by trying to embarrass me in front of ex's and whatnot.
I told dad and he laughed and told me not to embarrass Reece which I didn't intend to do. Just told him he might want to have a talk with Reece and start monitoring his phone, the family computer (in which is the only one I can use as I don't have my own), and the like.
Marshall overheard this and because he can't say anything to my parents without them telling him he's just picking on Reece, he asked me to bring it up to my parents. So today I told my dad about it and told him he might want to start monitoring that because next thing it's going to be porn and whatnot. I realize all guys go through this stage but it shouldn't make it ok for him to just easily go buckwild with it when my parents were SO strict and SO monitoring of us older three. My dad made some sort of comment that was descending towards me, though I have had a very nice and calm sense of approaching all this, and when I asked what he had said he said "Nothing.....remember, don't be too critical".
That's bullcrap. Just because I'm saying this about Reece doesn't mean I'm being too critical of my brother. Hell I tattled hardcore on my older three. Granted we also kept certain things from my parents as a unit but we also tattled, especially when we knew that we couldn't hide it. I don't see anything wrong with letting my dad and mom know that they might need to start monitoring Reece with all that's going on, just as I had no problems cornering Marshall under the bleachers and yelling at him around the same age and then telling my parents he had been looking at porn. It's the same thing. It's a sibling right of passage to be tattled on.
If my parents really want us to treat Reece like he's one of us siblings, then they need to really let us. It needs to include including him in things....which will happen when we can relate to him more. Marshall and Kevan can start doing this to some extent now, as they are all guys, but I can't relate to Reece at all so I don't do it. The kid simply gets on my nerves. But my parents also can't use that isolation as an excuse to baby him....just as Reece is separated by age, so I was separated from a great deal of things from my brothers because of gender. It's just how it is. But my parents also need to let us treat him like we do each other....we laugh and joke but we've learned respect for each other. Reece won't learn that respect that we have learned for each other if he's not allowed to go through the beatings, the brawls, the yelling fights, the being made fun of, the getting each other in trouble ways that we all had. That's how us three really grew close is because we were able to love each other but we were able to go at it when we needed. We can't do that if we can't treat Reece the same. We can't even look at him in a harsh way without being told we are picking at him but when we do it to each other it's nothing. Hell, Kevan Marshall and I still cuss at each other, yell at each other and argue at the top of our lungs. There's not as many punches thrown anymore as I'm severely limited in that capability anymore....they are two very built, muscular young men....but when enraged enough I can hold my own.
I hate being told to not be too critical when I'm actually looking out for my brother and have done it in a very non-embarrassing and sisterly way. I'm not treating him any different than Marshall and Kevan....I'm treating him like I always treated them and along with that comes the realization that he very much has a protective older sister who looks out for his best interests even when it includes me being "mean".