13 August 2013

The Joys of Siblings: An Inside Joke

Welcome to the August 2013 Carnival of Natural Parenting: Sibling Revelry
This post was written for inclusion in the monthly Carnival of Natural Parenting hosted by Code Name: Mama and Hobo Mama. This month our participants have written about siblings - their own, their hopes for their kids, and more. Please read to the end to find a list of links to the other carnival participants.

The theme for this month's Carnival of Natural Parenting is Sibling Revelry.

With only a single child of my own, I do not have any tales to recount of Niko's experience with siblings. I, however, have two siblings, whom, despite maybe not always showing it, I love and appreciate dearly.

I am the eldest of three children, spaced out pretty evenly with a maximum of about five-and-three-quarters years between us. I recently celebrated my 29th birthday; my sister, the middle and "favorite" child, is 26; my brother, the baby, is 23. Fun, right?

I clearly remember when my sister was born. I remember my Grandma being over my house while my parents were at the hospital and getting a call on the yellow phone we had mounted on the wall in the kitchen (If you were unaware, phones used to have cords, used to be only really central in the house, and had a rotary dialing circle... I was born in 1984). I remember, very clearly, talking to my Mother and Father - I had a sister. Ugh. Ugh.


My life was over.

I don't remember a ton from when my brother was born - Sorry, John! I remember the hospital and being pretty enthralled with the baby - I think a lot of the memories are still overshadowed by the unnerving of the introduction of my first sibling. I'm sure being 5 instead of 2.5 helped ease in the second sibling.

Fast forward about 15 or so years.

This is a story about a joke that we skillfully developed whilst the three of us, mind you, adult-size, sat in the backseat of my Mother's Jeep on the way to Christmas visiting. It still evokes a cringe when it's told, but it still makes me giggle.

As I said, we were crammed into (albeit somewhat spacious.. for not three adults) the backseat of my Mother's Jeep Liberty en route to Christmas celebrations at my Grandmother's house. We were traveling in our typical fashion - "Turn the radio to something not awful." "Turn the heat down." "Turn the air on." "Turn the heat up." "Unlock the windows." - In summation, obnoxiously. I was enrolled in my sophomore year of college, just having taken a course in Ichthyology. I was also living at my Grandparents' house (not the one we were en route to visit) with my Aunt, Uncle, and young Cousin, who had a plethora of Grade-School appropriate jokes to share. This joke is an amalgamation of my love of Ichthyology and the awesome jokes I learned from the seven-year-old I was living with.

Have I built up enough suspense?

Me: Knock-knock. (Okay, you can tell it's a good one at this point...)
Sister: Who's there?
Me: Coho. (It's a type of salmon.)
Sister: Coho who?
Me: What did the Coho say to the Smelt? (Another type of fish.)
Sister: What?
Me: Knock-knock.
Brother: Who's there?
Me: Pudding.
Brother: Pudding who?
Me: Pudding on your pants before your underpants is a baaaaaaaad idea.
Mom: Stop it.

I know that joke was a lot to handle. If you're not perplexed or giggling.. well.. I think maybe I'll have to apologize.

We still tell this joke, much to the confusion of others and much to the dismay of my parents, and we still lose it whenever it's told (although I always have to commandeer the joke by inserting a knock-knock wherever I can).

The point of my story is this. Some memories with your siblings such. Some are positively memorable and become inside jokes, intimate memories, or favorite stories to tell (I'm totally going to have to write a separate post about my Uncle's favorite story about my Dad).

I'm sort of hoping that I'll be able to give Niko a sibling so he can share some of those experiences - the dependability of a sibling, as well as the camaraderie, empathy, role model-ship, shared memories, seeming unfairness, character building, sharing, coveting, loyalty, and love that are unique to having siblings.

My siblings and I at Niko's Christening

To my siblings, I love you. To my parents, thank you.

Do you have a funny story about your siblings? What do you appreciate most about them? What about your children - Any funny or memorable sibling stories to share? Tell me about it the comments or on the FaceBook!

Bookmark and Share

Carnival of Natural Parenting -- Hobo Mama and Code Name: Mama
Visit Code Name: Mama and Hobo Mama to find out how you can participate in the next Carnival of Natural Parenting!

Please take time to read the submissions by the other carnival participants:
  • The Damage of Comparing Siblings — Comparing siblings can lead to hurt feelings and poor relationships. What Jana Falls has learned and why she hopes for more for her son.
  • Connecting Through Sibling Rivalry — With four children who are spaced so that each child grows up in a pair, Destany at They are All of Me shares her method for minimizing the competition so her children can focus on bonding, rather than besting each other.
  • Sibling Revelry — Lucy at Dreaming Aloud shares the two-week transition that happens every summer as her kids transform from bickering to learning how to play.
  • Baby Brother born from an OceanAbby Jaramillo describes how her toddler connects in a possibly mystical way with her new baby brother and his birth at home, and Abby draws parallels with her own sister's new baby.
  • Hard, But Worth It — Claire at The Adventures of Lactating Girl discusses how difficult having two children can be, but how it's definitely worth it.
  • Raising Attached Siblings — At Living Peacefully with Children, Mandy and her husband are making conscious choices about how they raise their children to foster sibling connection and attachment.
  • It's Complicated — Henrietta at Angel Wings and Herb Tea reflects on how life's twists and turns have taken her from a childhood with no siblings to a constantly changing family life with five children, including one in spirit.
  • Supportsustainablemum reflects on how the differences between her relationship with her siblings and her husband's have affected their family and at a time of need.
  • Peas in a Pod — Kellie at Our Mindful Life enjoys the special relationship her oldest two children share.
  • Lessening the competitive enviornment in the homeLisa at The Squishable Baby discusses how downplaying competition in the home has led to cooperation, not competition.
  • The complex and wonderful world of siblings — Lauren at Hobo Mamareflects on her choices to have not too many children, spaced far apart — and how that's maybe limited how close their sibling relationship can be.
  • 5 Ways to Help Young Siblings Have a Loving Relationship — Charise I Thought I Knew Mama shares the strategies that help her three year old and 14 month old have a somewhat beautiful relationship and aid in keeping peace in their home.
  • 4 Steps to Encourage Sibling Revelry, even in Hot Moments of Rivalry — Sheila Pai of A Living Family share 4 Steps she uses to shift hot moments of sibling rivalry towards connected moments of sibling revelry and human compassion.
  • Twins Are Fun — Mercedes at Project Procrastinot witnesses the development of her twins' sibling bond.
  • Growing Up Together- Sibling Revelry in Our House — Amy at Me, Mothering, and Making it All Work realizes that there is great utility in raising siblings that are close in age, and is grateful to have been blessed with healthy siblings that both love and challenge one another every day.
  • Top 5 Ways to Reduce Sibling Rivalry — Deb Chitwood at Living Montessori Now shares ideas that helped her two children be best friends along with Montessori resources for peace education and conflict resolution.
  • Sibling Uncertainty — Alisha at Cinnamon and Sassafras wonders how her children's relationship will change now that the baby is mobile.
  • Living with the Longing — Rachael at The Variegated Life sees that she can live with her longing for another — without changing her plans.
  • For My One and Only DaughterPlaying for Peace mommy reflects on her choice to not have more children in order to focus on other dreams.
  • Siblings: A Crash Course in Relationship Training — How have your siblings prepared you for later relationships? One of Dionna at Code Name: Mama's top priorities as mama of siblings is to help them learn how to navigate relationships.
  • The Joys of Siblings: An Inside Joke — Ana at Panda & Ananaso shares the a glimpse into the joys of having siblings through sharing a perplexing yet hilarious inside joke betwixt her and her own.
  • Sibling Support, even in the potty! — Even though Laura at Pug in the Kitchen's children didn't start out best friends, they are joined at the hip these days, including cheering each other on with potty successes!
  • Don't Seek What Isn't There - On Sibling Jealousy — Laura from Authentic Parenting analyzes the seeming desire people harbor for seeking out hints of sibling jealousy.
  • Sibling Love / Sibling Hate?Momma Jorje speculates whether her children will have a different sibling experience than her own. Did she make the right choices based on her own history?


  1. What an awesome post. When you are young, I think it's difficult to understand. It's so nice that you guys grew up so close.

    Do you think being spaced further apart helped in the long run or no?

    1. I think so, and I think it was done very intentionally by my parents to ease their sanity. Both of my parents are from pretty large families (my mom is the eldest of 5 with similar spacing, my dad is the middle of 9 with variable spacing).

      Overall, I think it worked out well and was best for our family.

  2. That made me laugh! I love inside jokes — sometimes the more pointless, the better they are.

  3. {snort} Well I thought it was funny, but when you've heard your 5yo tell you knock knock jokes that make absolutely NO sense, you're not in a place to critique the more sensical comedy ;)

  4. Your knock-knock jokes are so sweet!

    As for my relationship with my siblings — they probably know me better than anyone in the world. Being known in that way can be frightening — but as we've grown older, it's mostly meant that they've been a great help to me.

  5. I love that families have inside jokes and stories like yours. I think the older I get the more I can truly appreciate my siblings. :)

  6. I love the inside jokes. Siblings are weeeeird.