I'm the youngest of five kids, meaning that between myself, my parents, my four older siblings, and the plethora of pets that we've had over the years, there was almost never a dull (or quiet for that matter) moment in my house when I was growing up. Over time, we developed a couple of unique rules that we all learned to live by. We also noticed that some things we did normally, most other families didn't. If you happen to come from a big family yourself, several of these things may seem all too familiar to you, and if you don't come from a large family, here is a little insight into what it's like to be a part of one.
1. Everyone is extremely competitive
We take every opportunity to turn regular activities into competitions to prove who is the best sibling. Our most competitive tradition by far is the annual Stolte family pumpkin carve off, where it is not uncommon for the night to end with accusations of unfair carving tactics and snide comments about each other's carvings.
2. Ordering takeout is a day long event
"I want pizza but would settle for Greek, just as long as we don't get Chinese again."
"I could really go for some sesame chicken and wonton soup, but I guess pizza is alright. Just not Greek."
"I just had pizza yesterday for lunch so definitely not that. Gyros sound really damn good right now though."
3. The rule of food in the fridge: No name? Fair game
Bought yourself lunch and left it in the fridge for later? Have left overs from dinner the night before? Starting a diet and bought some healthy snacks for yourself? Well, if you leave any of it in the fridge without your name written in permanent marker directly on it, it probably won't be there when you go looking for it
4. Don’t expect any elbow room in the car during family trips
Especially if, like me, you are the youngest and get crammed in the middle seat between two of your siblings in the back of the car.
5. Want to shower? Gotta call dibs
This is especially true for my family since we have only ever had one shower. Trips home from the beach were always the worst. If you didn't call dibs on the shower quick enough, then you sat in a sandy, wet, chaffing bathing suit that smelled of low tide while you waited for your turn to come up.
6. Eat quickly if you want to eat at all
My parents were usually pretty good about making sure there was at least enough for everyone to have one serving, but if you didn't come as soon as dinner was ready, your serving might be a bit smaller than the others, and even if you did come on time, unless you ate at the speed of light someone probably already beat you to taking what was left for seconds.
7. You mess with one of us, you mess with all of us
We all take care of each other and watch each other's backs. Do anything to hurt any of us, and you've made four other enemies too.
8. Don't expect to get any reading done in the house
Between TVs blaring, people walking around the house, dogs barking, arguments going on, and a bunch of other factors, the house is never ever quiet. Ever.
9. There is no such thing as secrets
Everyone is nosy, everyone knows your business, and everyone has an opinion about it. If even one person finds something out about you, everyone will be joking with you and asking you about it within minutes.