So, dear brother, this is for you. But I'm betting you won't even remember these happenings because you were so young when they took place. (Or else they were so horrifically damaging to your young psyche that you've blotted them from your memory.) But I remember them because I got in a lot of trouble. (Just more proof that Mom always liked you best.)
I'm four years older than my brother. Even though you might think it would be otherwise because of our age difference, as long as I can remember I heard relatives and friends of my parents comment on never having seen a brother and sister get along so well, fight so little growing up, while always playing so nicely together. (It obviously had everything to do with my easy-going personality, giving nature and ability to charm everyone including a bothersome little brother.) Already you may be realizing that I was totally blameless and not at fault in the events I'm about to describe.
When J was first learning to walk (which would make me about five years old) we had a big, enclosed sun porch across the front of our house which was set on a little hill up from the street in front. It was summertime and I was playing there when our mom brought J out, set him in his walker/stroller, and told me to keep an eye on him while she did some work back inside the house proper.
Shortly thereafter, I saw a little friend who lived nearby out in front of our house. I opened the door to the outside and left the sun porch to visit with her on the sidewalk. Problem was I didn't shut the door behind me. J proceeded to maneuver his walker out the door and onto the cement stoop. Nothing really bad would have happened if he had stopped there. Unfortunately, after the stoop there were three cement steps, another small landing, and three more steps down to the sidewalk. Do you see what's coming? Yeah. Boy, once he hit those first three steps he really built up momentum. Because he didn't suffer anything more serious than some ugly road rash, I didn't feel I had done anything grievously wrong . My mom failed to see it that way.
I was aware I hadn't shut the door, but I wasn't going far and who knew he'd be able to use his chubby little legs to propel that walker contraption over the threshold and out through the doorway? Oh, the responsibility heaped upon me. I was not in my mother's good graces for quite a while.
Fast forward now to when J was three or four years old. There were several of us children in the neighborhood that got together nearly every day to play outside. J was the youngest of the bunch so often got the least desirable role in many of the games we conjured up. This particular day we decided it would be a good idea to tie someone to one of the big trees in our side yard. It took a while but we finally convinced J it would be fun to be the one tied up so he willingly (more or less) let us tie him to the tree.
Having accomplished that, the rest of us decided to go off to find another interesting adventure. I wasn't too long before my mother received a phone call from the neighbor who lived next door saying she was concerned that she heard my brother crying, and he seemed to be tied to the large elm tree in the yard between the two houses. Whooee, did I get in trouble for that one. But . . . but . . . we didn't hurt him. He was in the shade. And we would have come back to untie him soon. Probably.
Then there was the time my dad, J and I were playing ball in our back yard and somehow J's face made solid contact with the metal clothes pole. But I swear I had absolutely nothing to do with that. Well, except perhaps . . .