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Things you only know if you’re the oldest

I think I know what’s in your head. Sure, we’ve never met, and the existence of telepathy has yet to be proven – but I think I know what’s in there at least 40 per cent of the time you spend with your siblings.

You’re thinking, ‘how have they got away with that.’ You’re thinking ‘I swear the ‘rents are getting soft.’ You’re thinking ‘how have you managed to get a smartphone already when mine took YEARS of sustained lobbying and even then it came with a debilitating set of parental controls?’

And you’re thinking that, while you find your youngest brother as annoying as all hell, the person who dares to suggest he is anything less than brilliant is dead.

Younger siblings have it easier

No really – they officially do. In 2016 a YouGov of British families with more than one child discovered that most first-borns feel they are more responsible than their siblings, and that younger siblings are more likely to say they are more funny, more easy going and more relaxed.

My theory, backed up by nothing more than my own experience as the eldest of three, is that parents are just way more relaxed once they’ve done the whole raising a human thing already. You turned out alright, ish, so chances are the next one will also – without them watching their every move like a hawk.

And they’re cooler

At least, they appear to be – no doubt for the same reasons described above. You like to think that maybe they’ve just taken your lead on their whole aesthetic, but deep down you’re not entirely convinced. From their style to their mates to their grades to their taste in music, It’s looking worryingly like they might one day beat you in the lit-ness test.

Though, actually, how much do you care really?

Somehow being that up, close and personal with one of the ‘cool kids’ makes you realise it’s all a bit meaningless anyway. Far more entertaining to troll them with your own conscious lack of cool – my personal favourite is a full recital of Ed Sheeran’s Galway Girl – and watch them squirm.

At least you got the first of everything, right?

No matter how many times it happens, you can’t stop doing a double take when you see them in your old clothes.

You always end up doing way more than your fair share of chores

Perhaps because you’ve been roped into helping from an early age – in most cases, from the moment your mum was too pregnant with your brother or sister to be able to do much around the house without help.

And as a result are deputy nagger

For, as the bullied all too often become the bullies, so the nagged are more likely to nag,

You find the line between older sister and mother difficult to draw

Maybe it’s that you saw them as just a red, crinkled newborn, but there’s something about younger siblings that just inspires the maternal instinct – even when they’re at their most irritating!

Which is why, despite their countless flaws, their easy ride, your parents obvious favouritism and that stupid smug grin they get when they know they’ve just outsmarted/outfunnied/outcooled you, you love them with every single fibre of your soul.

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