My (slightly crazy) view of the world

Posts tagged ‘sister’

Whoops! I Didn’t Mean To Give Your Child Nightmares – Honestly!

Image of terrified child from the Internet

I was playing around with my friends one-year-old the other day – you know, peek-a-boo, tickling her feet, pulling silly faces… the usual. 
After a moment, the peek-a-boo thing got a little tedious for me (she was loving it, but I suspected she would still have been loving it three hours later, and there’s only so much I can hide behind my hands, remove them to show an insanely smiling face, make a stupid noise that is supposed to sound like ‘peek-a-boo’ but just sounds like a ridiculous loud noise, then start all over again, until I want to kill myself), so I switched to a different game: ‘I’ve got your nose’.

At first she didn’t really understand what the hell I was going on about, and looked at me in a way that suggested she thought I was a crazy woman, talking in a language she didn’t understand, and that she hoped I’d hurry up and leave her alone soon (ouch).
After a while though, the realisation of what I was doing seemed to dawn on her. However, instead of being met with gurgling noises of happiness, as I had expected – or at least hoped for – she looked positively terrified!

Now you’d have thought following this reaction I’d have stopped, right? Any normal person would be mortified with such a response, and abruptly change the game to one a little less scary. Well, it would seem I am not normal, as I literally couldn’t stop. I found the fear written all over her tiny, scared little face absolutely hilarious! I kept doing it, over and over again, trying to coax a little smile from her, but instead receiving the same, fearful look at having ‘stolen’ her nose, while I had tears streaming down my cheeks from laughing so hard.

I’m happy to inform you that after a few minutes of entertaining myself – and before she also burst into tears – I did stop. But it got me thinking – and I am about to share these thoughts with you lucky little so-and-so’s. 

You’re welcome 🙂

It occurred to me, we – adults – do this often. We invent games that actually scare children, but act them out in such a playful way that we convince ourselves this is acceptable. 

Case at hand: my Dad. 

When I was a child, my dad would playfully pick me up and advise me he was going to throw me away in the bin (or ‘trash’, for my American chums). I would squawk and giggle, crying “No! No!” until he put me back down again. 
To my dad, that was the end of the game. For me, it was the start of something else…

Unfortunately, I got it into my head that one day he WOULD actually throw me away into the bin. And this thought terrified me. So, in my warped, innocent and small child-mind, I decided the best way to avoid being ‘thrown away’ into the bin/trash was, well… to be nice to ‘it’. 

(oh dear lord, here comes the crazy…)

“Be nice to the bin?” I hear you ask, “How exactly would you do that?!”

Well, whenever I had to throw away any paper – envelopes, scrap, post-it’s, etc – I would, erm… well, I would write a note to it (the bin), with offerings of rubbish/trash.

Okay, hold on! Don’t go running off just yet! Hear me out!

I genuinely believed that any day now my dad would be THROWING ME AWAY! I had to do something, right?! So I decided to get ‘Bin’ on my side. If I managed that, it wouldn’t ‘eat’ me. You see?

C’mon, I was young. This logic worked in my tiny mind.

The notes generally consisted of:

Dear Bin,
I hope you enjoy this present.
Love, Belle. 

And of course, once the paper was folded a couple of times, I addressed the ‘note’ to the bin:
To Bin, Love Belle xx

This went on for AGES! It got to the stage where if – heaven forbid – I forgot to address the rubbish to the bin, I was sure ‘it’ would never forgive me, and the very next time the (apparently) funny game of ‘Put Belle In The Bin’ ensued, I was bound to be eaten alive. 

Now I realise you will all be thinking, “Who the hell IS this girl?! She’s actually insane!” and frankly, I wouldn’t blame you. But if it wasn’t for the (terrifying) ‘game’ of throwing me away, this fear would never have emerged, and the subsequent ‘notes’ would never have existed!
So really, it wasn’t actually my fault. 

Thankfully, the older I got (which was still pretty young), the more I realised this was ridiculous and abruptly stopped addressing my rubbish/trash to the Bin (it also has a little to do with the fact my younger sister ‘discovered’ (aka spied on me to find out why I was always behaving rather strangely whenever I had to throw anything away) this note-to-bin thing, and let’s just say it become her bribery tool for many, many, maaaaaaany years…).
But it makes me wonder how many other ‘games’ were invented by our parents/aunts/uncles, etc, that entertained them to the point they almost threw-up with laughter, but terrified us as children, and maybe even then led to fears/phobias in adulthood that we haven’t even made the connection with yet…

So I ask you to consider this, big, scary adults: if you find it roll-on-the-floor-and-wet-yourself-funny, the chances are it’s scaring your poor child shitless!

I will not be ‘stealing’ any noses for the foreseeable future. 

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It’s A Twin Thing

Being one half of a set of twins (yep, that’s us above. And yes, in clothes that look like they were intended for children half our age – Mum? Really? What was going on here? The jumper cuffs don’t even reach our wrists, and are our trousers REALLY tucked into our socks?! Oh, the shame…), people often ask, “What does it (being a twin) feel like? Is it strange? How do you feel about it?”

Hmmm. Well, if you really want to know: we have telepathic powers when in the same room, send messages to each other when apart via the secret ‘Twin Pigeon’ – the existence of which only real twins have any knowledge – and if you look really carefully, you’ll see our backs are actually blue, scaly and slimy. Our tongues are forked, too…

I’m kidding, silly!

(‘Twin Pigeon’. Honestly.)

Seriously, though: “How do I feel about it?” Is it me, or is that just a really odd question? I don’t think I have ever approached someone and said, “You have a sister? How do you feeeeel about that?”

That aside, I have decided to answer this question on my blog, for all you curious non-twin individuals to read.

‘Cos I’m nice like that 😉

So, being a twin. It’s pretty cool, I guess. We’re not identical, my twin is male, and I – as you know – am female. So we never actually had the opportunity to do the whole ‘freak people out’ thing. Which is a shame. I reckon that would have been really entertaining (for us, not so much our ‘victims’ – cue evil laugh). Imagine if my employer wasn’t aware I had an identical twin; we could have worked half the working week each 😉 (I realise this wouldn’t be a particularly viable option, what with two people living off one salary, etc, but oh, imagine the fun!)

The thing about being a twin is, you never feel like you’re alone in the world; no matter where you are, there is always the other ‘half’ of you somewhere. It’s pretty difficult to explain to someone who isn’t a twin (pretty crappy idea for a post then, Belle…), but together you’re a whole – apart, you’re a half.

Does that make sense? Nah, thought not :-/

The same people who say to me, “I can’t imagine being a twin,” are the people I tell, “I can’t imagine NOT being a twin.” To wake up on your birthday as a child, and not be excited to rush into the other bedroom and say “Happy Birthday!” before your twin sibling can – or indeed as an adult, to beat each other to the birthday phone call; to not go through your first years of school in the same classes, copy each others homework, or share the feeling of freedom on the final day of school.
To me, that seems really, well, quite lonely.

Don’t get me wrong though, we had our spats – oh, did we just. And given I have three sisters (two older, one younger – our ‘baby’ of the family – spare a thought for my poor brother here, please; with his only siblings being four females, you can imagine who got/gets picked on the most) I found I spent more time with them than my brother, but that’s not to say we aren’t close. We are. But where I speak with my sisters on a daily basis, my brother and I can go weeks without a phone call, then pick right up where we left off.
There were also the moments of being referred to as ‘The Twins’, as though our individual names were no longer necessary: “’The Twins’ like that film”, “Would ‘The Twins’ like to come round our house?”, “Can you tell ‘The Twins’ that dinner is ready?”…
And the matching outfits! Oooh, the matching outfits… (and here come the flashbacks)

Looking at us, you’d never believe we are twins – we couldn’t look more opposite if we tried – I am a short-arse, he is 6 feet tall, I have blue eyes, he has…hmm… I’m not too sure what he has, actually (whoops!), but I know they aren’t blue!
He is caring, quiet and thoughtful; I am loud, excitable, and at times, a little brash.
But our similarities lie within our love for creativity (writing for me, art and design for him), our need to be the very best at everything we do, our desire to ensure everyone we love are as happy as possible, and our personalities – quite simply, we are both fun loving, energetic, craaaazy people 🙂

So yeah, being a twin. Not much different to having a brother or sister, really, but with that extra sprinkling of ‘special’.