The Trials Of Siblinghood


You would think, having raised four children–two of whom are (arguably) mature and independent adults–my parents would be able to handle a lazy seventeen year old. They cannot.

I have ranted many times about my youngest sibling and her debilitating bone-idle-itus that has plagued her (and in many ways, me) throughout her adolescent years. I do not know when the symptoms emerged, only that now the signs of infection are evident in every aspect of Bedroom Yeti’s daily life and now by proxy, our own. The Parents refuse to take her to the doctors for fear that it’s permanent; wanting to clutch onto the naïve belief the behaviour will only last a few more years. Her serious allergy to manual labour is probably terminal, given how successfully Bedroom Yeti has mastered the ability to avoid work, while simultaneously getting her daily dose of the most powerful painkiller known to man – the torture and suffering of her older siblings.

Recently, we have officially had to reduce her duties to hogging the music player, playing piano in broken intervals, assaulting whichever sibling is closest and very, (very) occasionally wiping the table (badly). All when she isn’t upstairs on the loo (read: iPad, since no one stays up there that long without serious gastrointestinal issues). The Magna Carta of Bedroom Yeti is now pride of place on the fridge.

Our renewed attempts to cure her have spectacularly failed: yelling over the dishes was ignored with more glaring and whining and bribery was useless since she’d already stuffed all the food into her gob like a giant ginger hamster. Only Male Parent braved the kitchen on Wednesday to satisfy his addiction to gummy Rowntree sweets, holding off Bedroom Yeti’s wrath with a sacrifice to the angry god, leaving the green ones on the table like a sugary representation of the woman in the movie King Kong.

It has now become a daily routine that is accepted as normality, as though we are cursed by the Gods themselves; the modern day Sisyphuses (Sisyphi? Sysyphusus?), doomed to push our boulder uphill for all eternity. Except in this case the boulder is a euphemism for my sister. And their towering mountain is her bed. And eternity is probably until we can throw her belongings out of the car at whichever university her idle ass ends up at. Probably some fancy Cambridge college because that’s how the world works. (I’m not bitter.)

Dog Boy and I have attempted strikes previously mentioned in the rise of organised labour in the Lee family. But our campaigns always last less than ten minutes and result in more personal loss and humiliation when we are forced to retreat; bow before the might of the demon-spawn.

I don’t know why The Parents had another child after me; what with the success of my birth one would think they would have accepted their blessings and continued on. Alas, overcome with hubris they tried again and gained themselves the Midas touch. If any of you have had a child and thought: “Hey, we made perfection once, let us try again!” DO NOT. Your first (better) child will not appreciate teenage siblings constantly trying to prove they’re better than them. Most certainly do not train either child in martial arts and make them fight each other because they’re similar heights (The Parents learned that the hard way with one winded child and another with a bloody nose). The excuse: “But you would have been lonely!” in no way makes up for any of the suffering a younger sibling brings.

Either way, the mistake has been made and we must learn to live with her in all her Yeti glory. Perhaps I can find my parents a course in “How to raise Angry Yetis” it seems that a new species is more difficult to raise than the other three humans they have already succeeded with (debatably).