Family is automatic chaos. Growing up constantly surrounded by siblings teaches you a lot about life, love, and plenty of other things, too. Living with a lot of siblings is, to say the least, interesting. You hate them one second and love them the next, but nothing can tear you apart. It doesn't matter how different you are all from one another or that you disagree on everything. It doesn't matter how many arguments you have or how many times they take your clothes and leave crap in your car (even though you told them fifty million times not to). And it doesn't matter how many times they embarrass you in front of your friends. It doesn't matter because they are family, and family is all that matters. So even when you hate them, you love them- contradicting, but true. Growing up with siblings or being part of a big family is an adventure and there are some things that only those who have can truly understand.
1. Your kitchen inspired the "Hunger Games."
If you want to eat, you have to hide food in the fridge or cabinets, mark your territory with your name in huge letters with a permanent marker, and threaten every person in the house- and even then, you're not guaranteed it will be there when you get home. There's a 50% chance your siblings pretend they didn't see your name on it and eat it anyway. In moments like this, it's hard to not completely lose your shit, so you learned self-control the hard way (some of us are still working on it).
2. The disappearing act: Food edition
Food is a big deal in a big family. It disappears within a 24-hour span- especially if it's good. If mom buys "good cereal", you eat it in record timing. You don't even have to be hungry, you'll eat it anyway because you know it'll be gone by the time the sun rises. Either that, or there will be no milk left to eat it with. And there's this weird thing with milk. It's like every time you crave cereal, there's no milk. Even if you never eat breakfast, but decide one morning you will and wake up excited to eat a bowl of cereal, there's no milk- or there's a tablespoon left in the carton. Which leads me to..
3. The evil master of empty boxes and baby sips.
There's one in every family (sorry, almost done with food). Someone, for some reason, feels the need to ruin your day by leaving an empty box of pop-tarts in the cabinet or a drop of milk in the fridge. It's inhumane. It's cruel. It's, it's unbelievable. And even after all of these years, you're still not exactly sure who it is. But boy, when you find out..
4. We do everything we can to get out of doing chores.
The oldest never has to do it. They benefit serious perks and it's so unfair. Someone always has to do the dishes, bring down the laundry, sweep the kitchen floor, vacuum the living room, windex the windows, or something. We all try so hard to get out of it, but eventually are chosen. But when we aren't the one doing the dishes, we definitely make it known.
5. We have secret languages, secret movies, and secret secrets. We're best friends.
Your house is on a different planet- literally. You grew up with your own set of "classic" movies that you're pretty sure don't even exist outside of your house and have traditions you're not sure how they even started. You and your siblings speak a language and live in a world that nobody else will ever understand. Your inside family jokes are hilarious. Like really, really hilarious. You can imitate each others laughs and personality perfectly, you speak with facial expressions and eye motions, and can actually read each others minds. You all have a different sense of humor, but it doesn't matter because you somehow all laugh at the same things.
6. We're brutally honest.
You can't help it. You can't lie to your siblings about what they're wearing, the thoughts that are going through your head about what they did, or your intentions. And if you don't think they are being honest, you ask them to "be honest" until they say what you already thought about your outfit because you know those shoes don't match. You lay it all out on the table. No sugar. And they usually don't like your answer but hey, they asked.
7. It's a judge-free zone.
You have no shame is being overly dramatic about things around your family. You can have serious conversations about the most absurd things that anyone else in the world would be traumatized after hearing. You can say whatever crosses your mind and don't need to filter your words. You can be as ridiculous as you please. You obsess over the same things. Especially tv shows and movies, and talk about actors and characters like they're your best friends or significant other, because in your head they actually are and nobody else gets that you're 100% not kidding. At all.
8. The “I’m-chasing-you-around-the-house-screaming-moms-name-and-cornering-you-in-the-bathroom-until-you-take-my-shirt-off” routine.We are no stranger to this routine. If you have sisters, there is nothing you fight about more than clothes. It's always clothes. Sisters are possessive human beings. It doesn't matter what piece of clothing it is or how important it is or if you wear it once a year. It's yours and you don't want anybody but you wearing it. End of story.
9. Getting caught red-handed.
10. The "I don't care, I'm older" line.
We use our age to justify every and any situation we possibly can and try using it to our advantage. When it comes to getting the first shower, the oldest always wins. When it comes to anything- the oldest wins. But even if we're younger we refuse to backdown or show weakness. We don't let up until mom or dad yells at us and declares that they won. We cannot give you the satisfaction of you telling us what to do. "You're not my mom".
11. We love to argue.
We need something to fight about. We need to argue. We can't go a week without fighting with our siblings. It's part of our relationship. We instigate and challenge one another as much as possible and never waste an opportunity to try and prove we're smarter than them. We love arguing with our younger siblings the most though, because we know we can prove them wrong (even if they're right).
12. Love-hate relationships.
You’re weird, creepy, loving, funny and generous, but also selfish and harsh towards one another all within a 24-hour span. It's constantly up and down. Sometimes they are your rival and competition, other times they're your partner in crime and helping sneak you out of the house in the middle of the night. One minute you love them, the next you hate them. Two minutes later, you love them again. You have a hard time deciding whether or not you want to hug them or hit them. It's so much harder to be nice than it is to be a smart-ass, so you usually take the easy way out. They get on your nerves and push your buttons, but at the same time you need them. That's just how it works.
13. You laugh when someone gets in trouble, but then mom yells your name a minute later..
If you argue with a sibling about something and somehow get it to blow up enough to reach mom, and end up being the one not getting yelled at, it's one of the most satisfying feelings in the world. It's pretty messed up but we are always trying to prove a point. And if mom says you're wrong, it's an automatic win.
14. You're not afraid to go into detail.
You love to get your siblings in trouble. You have this evil look on your face as you're doing it too. You always have something to prove to your siblings, always. And the more detail you share, the more trouble they get in. So here it goes, "mom, I'll tell you exactly what happened."
15. Your siblings are always super nice when you have friends over and it pisses you off.
They do it every time. Every. single. time. They were arguing with you and being rude right before your friend walked in the door, and now they want to be all nice and buddy-buddy with you and hang out? No. Hell no. Are you serious? No.
16. Privacy? What's privacy?
There is no such thing as privacy. At all. There is no sense of personal space in your house whatsoever. Not in your living room when you have a boyfriend or friend over, someone walks in every 3 minutes. Not in the kitchen when you want to eat because someone saw what you were eating and now they want some too. Not in your own room at any point in the day because if you’re not downstairs someone notices and makes it their mission to come find you. Plus, you share a room room anyway so you can't really deny them. And the bathroom? Forget it. Even if you're in the shower you get disturbed. Someone will need toilet paper, they'll need to brush their teeth, etc. Privacy all together, for-get-it. But sometimes having a lot of siblings does come in handy..
17. You did the most absurd things to piss off your siblings when you were younger.
Did you ever try putting hot sauce on their tooth brush? How about trying to pick the lock to their room with a bobby pin when they had a friend over? Maybe you took it really far and told on them, or tried taping their feet together with Scotch tape because they called your favorite singer fat. Remember when you went upstairs to rip off their comforter and sheets while she was downstairs because she wouldn't change the channel? How about that time you threw a family sized container of Country Crock butter at her because she was being mean? My little brother threw a scooter at me once. I didn't even know he was strong enough to lift it, but apparently I was wrong. Good times, good times.
18. You played the coolest games ever and had the best childhood.
There were so many great games. Indoor, outdoor, in the car, on the lawn, in the pool.. there was always a game to play. Jumping couch to couch playing the lava game was so unbelievably real and intense. Your front lawn was famous for holding games of red light green light, flag football, and capture the flag. The "movie game" in the pool was a blast, you always fought over the floats, you loved to make wave pools and whirlpools, and twirl around in your donut floaty until you were sick, and you went the hardest in chicken fights. You had the most epic snow days and snowball fights, and your imaginary restaurant, store, and house were fabulous. You have the greatest childhood memories because of your brothers and sisters.
19. There's nothing singing a good duet can't fix.
I think this is actually in a contract somewhere. Every set of siblings has a famous duet or song (or songs) that they know like the back of their hand and can perform on cue at any given moment. What is it? Is it the Shania Twain and Billy Currington duet Party for Two? Is it a song from a musical or movie that you obsessed over years and years ago? Or is it your favorite song from when you used to play karaoke all the time? We all have at least one serious jam. This might actually be my favorite thing about having siblings- you always have somebody to sing obnoxiously loud and dramatically with.
20. There is a different lesson to be taught by each sibling.
We all grew up under the same roof, following the same rules (mostly, except the babies of the family get away with murder), influenced by the same people and places- but we are all different. We each have our own personality, our own passions and interests, style, and mindset. Once you grow up it can feel like you all came from different parts of the world, but regardless nobody knows you like your siblings do, and nobody ever will. Your differences can lead to a lot of arguments, but they teach you a lot of lessons and guide you down the right path. Without them, you wouldn't know what to do or how to do it. Without them, you wouldn't even be who you are. They all play a part.
21. If your heart's broken, then our heart's broken too.
We fight as much as we love, but we love a lot harder and deeper than we fight. We cry over the pain and heartbreak inside our siblings chest and feel it as if it were our own. We feel everything they feel. We share our deepest emotions, worst nightmares, and greatest disappointments. And of course we make fun of you for some things, but the second we hear that someone from outside of our family thinks they can too, we're ready to suit up and put on our boxing gloves. Nobody messes with you, but me.
If you make a mistake, or do something wrong, we'll tell you the truth about what we think. But whether it's wrong or right doesn't matter. We never judge you. We accept you for who you are and understand you better than you do yourself. We will stand behind you and defend your every move. We will never give up on you, ever. Not even when you have given up on yourself. And it doesn't matter if you say you hate me, it doesn't matter if we haven't talked in weeks or months, it doesn't matter if we don't get along most of the time or think alike, it doesn't matter if you let me down. It doesn't matter what you did or didn't do. It doesn't matter what you're going through. No matter what, I will always, always love you.
23. You brag about your family to your family.
You have the best family ever and you're not afraid to show it. Every single one of your siblings is more awesome and funnier than your friends' siblings. Your childhood was better than theirs, and so are your parents. You have way cooler cousins than everyone else. You also have the best traditions and cooking recipes. Basically, you have the best siblings. And when we all get together we say things like, "Thank God mom is our mom and dad is our dad. Without them, without each other, and without growing up the way we did and being raised how we were, I don't know what we would do. Like, we're awesome. And really funny. We're the best."
We've been through everything together. Literally, everything. And as much as you say you hate them, you love your siblings with every ounce of your body and would go to hell and back for them. In fact, you have. And you'd gladly do it a million more times if need be. There is nothing that can tear you apart and there is nothing that will make you love them any less because they are your family and family is all you've got.