Shrinking Siblings

There were five of us. Six if you counted the one my brother brought home who never really left. For the most part we got along, and now as adults we’re all close.

B2, Mont 09 116


heybrook tower aug 07 011

The brother with his nephew

Well, there was that Friday Night Gripe Group. Dad started it because we must have been not getting along. By the second meeting, the youngest sibling was bringing a long list. I think the group got cancelled after about a month. Dad said it had turned into a tattle-tale session. We know who was responsible for that, don’t we?


A villain even then. I used to pull her socks out the toes of those shoes so she couldn’t walk.

Then there was the time my brother and sister were fighting about something. He couldn’t reach her for revenge because he couldn’t see her. She’d smeared tunafish all over his glasses. But yeah, we got along.

siblings 2

Look how sweet and innocent that youngest appears.

Oh, wait. That youngest sibling again. The time she threw a rock at me and broke my glasses. She told mom she was just throwing rocks and I accidentally got in the way. And mom believed her!

Mom & us

The gullible mother

Okay, so there was also the time when the youngest sibling fell off her bike and knocked herself out. My brother and I dragged her to a ditch, laid her out with her hands crossed over her chest, and left her. Turned out she had a concussion, but poor mom thought she was dead.

Anyway, I don’t have a long list like some. I did used to wonder though why no one questioned how much time I spent in the bathroom.

I spent a lot of time in that bathroom.

Creating concoctions.

I had a plan. I’d sneak a bowl in there and mix whatever I could find in the medicine cabinet. Each mix was an experiment so I had to try different combinations and different amounts. Crushed baby aspirin, iodine, mercurochrome, calamine lotion, toothpaste. Hydrogen peroxide was very satisfying when everything foamed dramatically.

I almost got caught once. An older sister found the bowl on the back of the toilet. She said it smelled like chocolate and accused me of sneaking food. Ha! If she’d really known, she’d have been terrified. Actually, now that I think about it, she’s probably lucky she didn’t end up with brain damage from sniffing fumes.

Beth, me, Arthur Lake Serene

No brain damage and a great hiking partner

After mixing each concoction, I’d take the bowl outside and smear the foaming mess on rocks. And then wait.

The goal was to create something that would shrink rocks. Because I had a little cage.

You can guess my ultimate evil plan. I was going to shrink the siblings and put them all in the cage.

I’d have my own bedroom. I’d have the freedom of the whole house. I’d have mom and dad’s undivided attention. I wouldn’t have to sneak chocolate into the bathroom.

Holly chocolate frosting face

Ha! Proof! It’s the youngest sibling again – with the chocolate face

If a concoction worked on rocks, it would work on them. I’d paint them at night while they slept. They’d never know what happened until they woke up in that cage.

Unfortunately I could never figure out the magic combination of materials. So instead, we all grew up. Which is a good thing after all because honestly, I love my siblings.

But for that youngest one, I’m compiling a list to send to Santa this year, you stinker.

Lisa Holly Christmas

11 thoughts on “Shrinking Siblings

  1. OMG, I’m crying! You rascals! Got me thinking about all the stuff we used to do! I only have one sibling, but we had a neighborhood full of kids… oh, the things that seemed like a good idea at the time … and weren’t, in hindsight.


      • There was the tree fort security-booby-trap debacle, the fair we put on when we built a ride by stringing a rope between 2 trees and suspending a shopping cart from it, the plays, the bicycle road trip when the chain fell off my bike and I crashed into my sister, the chipmunk I rescued and took to school (I thought it was dead, it wasn’t. And it escaped), the roosters we brought home that terrorized the neighborhood, the time we talked the neighbor kid into pouring water on a bees’ nest … the list is kind of endless. Story material!


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