One of my earliest memories is of my mom and dad bringing my sister home. I don't recall seeing her in the hospital at all. I just remember mom bringing her through the door and laying her on the couch. She would push a chair against the couch so she wouldn't roll off. I asked multiple times if I could hold her and the response was always negative. I might drop her or break off the cord that was to remain attached until it was time to fall off.
One day I just couldn't take it anymore. I had to hold her. It was like someone telling you not to think about elephants. What's the first thing you think about? Right ... So I did it. I picked her up. She was sound asleep on the couch and I gently put one hand under her back and the second I started to lift, a freakishly loud scream came blasting out of her tiny little mouth.
I retreated to the other end of the couch and made like I was watching my cartoons like I was supposed to be doing. But mom knew. "I told you not to touch her", mom said angrily. I thought fast and replied with, "but I didn't". Little did I know that babies do next to nothing besides eat, sleep, cry and poop. Every line of defense I had was shot down by the surprising fact that she was a baby and couldn't get up for some milk or to watch tv and that's the simple reason why she was moved three inches from where mom put her.
The rest of the early memories to follow were a combination of ones protecting my sister from our family rooster that would chase her around the yard. "Go outside with your sister so the rooster doesn't chase her," mom would say. I didn't want to because secretly I was afraid of the rooster too. So I started to convince her to do other things instead of going outside to play.
I remember one day, about a month before Christmas I decided to go in our closet to see what spooky and cool things lived in there. I rarely went in there because not only was I told not to but also because I was afraid of what may be lurking inside. I guess I was a month older than last so that meant I was braver. That's when I found out that I got a Sailor Moon VHS for Christmas and that it was taken back the next day because putting the same used wrapping paper around it after opening it wasn't good enough to fool mom.
That was just the beginning of being "old enough" to try to get away with things that were riskier than just not wanting to put clothes on. I was sure I was cool and old enough to smoke. Mom did it and she looked cool. So I took one. I waited until everyone was outside and I lit it in my room with the door closed. It tasted horrible. But to be sure it was as gross as I thought, I took a few more puffs. And then I heard the back door open and close. And I panicked. So I threw it on the floor.. the carpeted floor. And then mom walked in. She knew before she even saw. I got a bare butt spanking from dad for that one.
But of course, that didn't phase me. I waited until bedtime when everyone was asleep for my next stunt. I was tall enough that I could reach the kitchen counter but short enough that I could reach the cupboards. So I boosted myself up onto the kitchen counter and was able to access all the goodies mom and dad hid up high. Eerily scavenging the cupboards and filling my face at the same time, a cupboard door slammed shut. And I froze. Seconds later dad came out of his room.... naked and half asleep. He gave a quick look around and proceeded to head to the bathroom, take a whiz and head back to bed. Never did I ever go on the kitchen counter again.
Through my rebellious adventures, I couldn't recall my sister ever getting into as much trouble as me. In fact, it seemed like I didn't have a sister. I couldn't remember the last time we interacted. I would walk her across the road to the neighbors when we wanted to play with anyone and I would leave her to be taken care of by the adults while I played with the "big kids".
When I was old enough, mom decided to let me stay home alone with my sister while she ran to town for some groceries. It was a five minute drive. I decided that I wanted to be an adult and cut the watermelon mom was saving for after dinner. It didn't go quite like I had planned. Somehow the knife came out the side of the melon and cut my finger. Blood was everywhere. My sister had her wits about her and said she was going to the neighbors for help. She left and came back a few minuted later with an actual and adult. The first thing my sister said when she came back was, "I looked both ways before crossing, just like you taught me".
I never watched my sister alone again after that. But I did make more of an effort to learn from her because she obviously listened better than I.