Siblings bicker, but then, just occasionally, there are moments of harmony

My brother is annoying. He is 6. I’m told that all 6 year olds irritate their siblings, but as far as I can remember, The Bug has been annoying since birth. My Mum would have it that he’s cute, given as he is to bear hug cuddling; she claims he is sensitive, referencing his tendency to literally drag her to me if I suffer an injury; and she is convinced he is kind, citing his inclination to share his teddies if one of us is feeling down. But I know him better than anyone. Hello?! How do you think he got his nickname?

He whistles. Much as I try, I can’t manage a puckered sibilant, so I do my best to ignore it. But hiding irritation is not my strong point, and once he’s twigged, he won’t stop. So I sing: Let it Go (Frozen) is a current favourite, particularly since the film he once adored now brings him out in a fury. I can sing that line for hours. The Bug never bothered me anyway…

He eats with his mouth open. If I look at him over my waffles. Ordinarily a polite eater, if he catches me watching him I’m treated to a full-on display of his calorific intake. Ticking him off mother-style only serves to prolong the agony. Why does he listen to our mum, but blatantly ignore me when I say the same thing? I make sarcastic faces at him over my cereal. He whines, and I get into trouble.

He enters my room without asking, yet kicks me out of his every morning as I offer my standard issue greeting of “get dressed now.” He edges into my territory in the bath, whines when I use the only purple LEGO brick, and complains to M&D when I gently nudge him out of my way in the coat cupboard.

But I miss him when I’m away from him. His giggle is hysterical, and I’m the best at making him laugh. He totally gets my particular brand of daft. When he’s down it is my mission to find that laugh and work it until he forgets. I’m the first person he wants to see in the morning, and I rarely pass his room without checking in with him. When asked what cereal he wants in the morning, he checks on my choice first. He won’t stay on the trampoline once I’ve climbed off. He’s increasingly better than me at football, but it’s me he wants to pass the ball to.

Maybe he’s not so annoying after all. Yeah, actually, he is…

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