Sibling Synergies


SIBLING – each of two or more children or offspring having one or both parents in common; a brother or sister.

SYNERGIES – the interaction or cooperation of two or more organizations, substances, or other agents to produce a combined effect greater than the sum of their separate effects.

Now that we have that cleared up, I thought I would share a little yarn with you.

Growing up in quite a large family, (I have three sisters and one brother) we fought between us a hell of a lot. I look back now and don’t know how they oldies coped. Although there was always an open box of Fruity Lexia in the fridge, so that may have had something to do with it. Despite the constant bickering, there was one underlying thing that we all had in common.

We could talk crap about each other to third parties, but the moment a third-party started talking crap about any of us, defence would be swift and aggressive.

“YOU FUCK WITH MY FAMILY, YOU FUCK WITH ME” Was our unofficial motto.

When someone made my little sister cry in the playground, I was all over that like alligator shoes at a Gold Coast race course. Nothing physical of course, because I have always been a lady (and we saved the physical stuff just within our inner circle of sibling-hood.) But there were menacing looks and perhaps the odd verbal threat mate, as I popped her under my arm and led her away to the bubblers for a splash of “Magic Water.”

And the tradition continues. When Jack was in Kindy, I heard thought the grapevine he was getting teased for wearing hearing aids (heart-break imminent). One afternoon, while he was doing his reading, I stopped him to ask me if this was true. He didn’t even look at me before replying…

“Have you seen the size of my brother?” Turned out, he had his own security detail for that first term in the playground. I didn’t push it, as I wasn’t sure I wanted to know….

And even the animal generation of Woogs have adopted this practice.

Last week, after dinner, menacing noises outside the back door alerted me to the fact that Darth Vader was in the hood. Darth Vader (not his real name) is the local neighbourhood bully cat who has caused my darling cat Chuy to spend a fair bit of time lingering close to death at the vets in the past few years.

Now before you ask, Chuy comes inside at night at about 7pm. Darth had come early.

That horrible growl grew louder. Chuy is great at defending his territory but with this particular foe, he is no match for Darth’s brute strength. So I called out for back up…


Now Isobel is my little dog, who thinks she is a Rottweiler. She could cause not harm to anything as her bark is worse than her bite, but she shot out that doggy door with all cylinders firing and chased Darth all the way down to the back of the garden where he leapt over the fence like a large, fluffy, black flash.

Chuy was in the kitchen at this stage, screaming for the dreaded Fancy Feast, when Isobel trotted in looking very pleased with herself. She approached Chuy, perhaps thinking she would be on the end of some sort of praise. Instead, Chuy greeted her with an enormous hook to the head. And then for good measure, followed up with a jab.

I was upset for Isobel, but somewhat happy that they had both continued the family tradition.

When it comes to your own siblings, how likely are you to defend their honour?

Do you practice Sibling Synergies?