It's International Siblings Day so naturally, we're feeling the *cough* love. Behold, 10 reasons to be glad you're not an only child.
1. The joys of favouritism
Despite the fact that your brother, at almost 33 years of age, still goes out of his way to convince you that he's always been the favourite while you, who came along 6 years later, were either a mistake, an alien, or found in a recycle bin, your parents are in fact hardwired to love each and every one of you just the same. Even if in reality, you're the better one who never got caught having a free-gaff party (stinger), you've just got to share the love.
2. They've got your back against your meanie guts parents
Well, you've certainly got theirs, as you feel instinctively bad whenever they're the one in trouble, but wouldn't it be nice if that were a two-way street? Even though your sibling might have been in the wrong, as a caring brother or sister it's your job to defend them rather than throw them under the bus. But of course that all depends on whether you're getting along on that particular day or not.
3. You can always rely on their brutal honesty when it comes to your fashion choices
Unfortunately, you just can't ditch your family members with the same ease that you could eject anybody else from your life. So, if they tell you that in all honesty, that dress and high-top bun combo you're rocking really does make you look Mrs Trunchbull, you've just got to take it on the chin. They mean well, most of the time. While they might take an unhealthy amount of pleasure in tearing you to shreds in said outfit, at least they've saved you from leaving the house looking like a total state.
4. They NEVER forget
"Remember that time you ruined my eighth birthday party when you turned off my 'Cool Kidz Party Mix' and replaced it with The Prodigy's 'Smack My Bitch Up' and I cried? Yeah, you just wait. Your fortieth's going to be one hell of a night to remember." There is simply no statute of limitations when it comes to getting your own back on your siblings.
5. They're a good judge when it comes to other halves
If you already get along with your brother or sister, and they just cannot warm to your new bae, chances are that you need to get rid of said bae and do it fast. Though your brother will go to any lengths necessary to get a rise out of you, deep down they'd hate to see you settle down with a tool. They're the one who's going to have to endure many a family dinner together, so it's in their best interest that they get along.
6. Older siblings make you smarter
Yes, apparently this is true. Older siblings encourage the young'uns to work harder at school, thus making you/them more successful later in life. Read all about that over yonder.
Unlike your friends who might go MIA for a few years as far as birthday and Christmas gifts are concerned, your siblings can't worm out of that one; it's a familial law that says they must mark your day of birth with something more than birthday bashings. Especially pleasant is when your only brother writes in the card to you, his only sister, that you are his favourite sibling in the whole wide world which, given that there's only one of you, you can take to mean that you're their least favourite too.
8. Free babysitting
Whether you have or are planning on having kids, there's another unwritten familial law you should know about: siblings are on call to babysit - free of charge - as often as you damn well require it. Give them the coveted title of Godfather or Godmother, and they'll never be able to say no to your little, snotty-faced darlings. And if they dare say no, just threaten that they'll never be referred to as the favourite aunty or uncle again. NEVER. Ah, blackmail.
9. It's cheaper
Mum's hitting the big six-oh and your cycle of interning and buying prosecco in Aldi means your bank account is looking glummer than glum. This is when the group WhatsApp saves you from throwing some prodigal son/daughter vibes and arriving home with nothing but your apologetic smile. Agree on a budget, divide it evenly, and you've got a decent present. And if your mum isn't happy with her Miriam O'Callaghan-inspired wares, she can blame everyone equally. This also works for Christmas and anniversaries. @JeanneDeSutun
10. The constant slagging keeps you grounded
Sure, you may want your sibling to get a crowded bus to the other side of the country sometimes, but their slagging is what keeps you real. All notions should be stamped out before your first communion if your brother or sister are doing their jobs right. Developing a morbid teenage interest in poetry? Thinking of doing an obscure eastern philosophy degree? Boasting about your entry-level job and how you have so much disposable income now? A sibling is there to swoop in and bring you back to reality. No potentially embarrassing stone will be left unturned. Any bath time photos from your toddler years will have been captured on camera and stored in a safe place until you bring home any serious lovers. @Jeannedesutun