Having a 5 year old sister at 22


They say to write about what you know and what I know is what it is like to have a five year old sister at twenty-two. My sister, Ava,  and I are seventeen years apart and still live in the same house, I’m currently exhausting my efforts to try and move out, but that’s for another blog post.

I love my sister very much, but it doesn’t come without some very difficult days to live with her. It makes for a very different environment, we have some really hard moments where it seems everyone is crying. But then there are also some very funny days where she just says the right thing to make us all crack up in hysterics.

A couple of nights ago:

It’s conversations like these that have me cracking up, I think she says her funniest things when she is half asleep. It’s also probably when I get the least feisty side of her, if I’m lucky she’ll tell me how much she loves me as she cuddles me. Daytime Ava though gives some rather snarky remarks that are also very funny. She is getting to the age of believing she knows everything and knows better, so along with talking back, she also likes to give us informative facts about things she’s learning about. I think you’re brain is ready for the most information when you’re younger, you’re much more susceptible to it and can learn it without getting distracted by social media etc. Ava has been learning about the Titanic recently as well and the Muslim religion, we have been receiving lessons on both, which I think is fab, especially when she teaches me things I didn’t know.

It must be strange for her to live with her mummy, her daddy and her very much older sister. Most older siblings are still at school and are someone to play

with at weekends, not full time workers who spend their weekends out and about or writing blog posts. Ava probably has expectations about what a sister should be that I fill in a different way to what she thinks I should, sorry kid! But I can drive her about and buy her cool birthday presents.

One of the most unexpected things about having a sibling at this age is having to share my mum. I know, at twenty-two I shouldn’t be writing that as a reason to find it hard to adjust, but I didn’t realise how much one on one time my mum and I spent together until we didn’t. Whether it was a spontaneous shopping trip or just sitting and chatting on her bed, it makes it harder to do these things with a five year old expecting the most attention. It’s not easy to do something without planning now and if we bring Ava with us then we have to be prepared for our outing to be a quick one.

My favourite moments are when Ava has her creativity untapped, I recently took her for a walk with our puppy and we looked for fairy houses in the trees. She thrives in that kind of an environment and reminds me of myself when I was younger. Seeing her grow up and become a functioning tiny person is very strange, we can have full conversations now, she’s getting too big to easily pick up and she knows how to record things on Sky Q.

For three years of her life I was at university, this is the most amount of time I’ve spent living with her and it’s definitely different. I can’t really think about what my life was like before she suddenly appeared in it, I think I had more free time and felt less stress, but there was also one less tiny human in the world to tell me which ocean the Titanic sunk in. She’s also offered me a new timeline perspective on when I would want children of my own, the twenty-five I used to have in mind has gone miles out the window to be replaced by a number with a thirty in it instead.

I love my sister, she certainly is a handful and I often think about how different my mum’s life is because of her. She was nearly done raising one child and decided to have another, she’s either crazy or a superhero. I wouldn’t change anything though, I can’t wait for the years to come when Ava is able to come and stay at my house and we can go shopping and to the cinema together. For now though I shall enjoy the days where she is a good egg and hide in my room on the days she isn’t.

(I promise she looks far more angelic in this photo than she actually is…)

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  • Reply Tecsie 13/10/2018 at 1:01 pm

    My fiance has a closer to 20 year age gap with his little sister too and even though he doesn’t live with her she has definitely given some perspective on how much of a handful children can be when they’re having a not so cute day :’) My own sisters are almost ten years younger than me and that already felt like a huge age gap before but now that they’re “catching up” and are in their teens it’s kinda fun to be the cool big sister who they can stay with when they wanna do a shopping trip to the city and stuff!

    • Reply BooksNest 13/10/2018 at 2:35 pm

      Ahh that’s the age I’m looking forward to!

  • Reply Alex 13/10/2018 at 2:12 pm

    This is such an interesting post because I am in a similar situation, there is 13 years between me and my sister but there is 17 years between my oldest brother and my sister. It can be challenging and it can be amazing, so I can totally understand where you’re coming from. I deal with a lot of guilt when it comes to my sister because I am working full time and I have very little time to see her which makes things harder for me. Really well written post without sounding nasty or too dramatic!
    Alex x

    • Reply BooksNest 13/10/2018 at 2:36 pm

      Thanks Alex, I really appreciate that. It’s a very odd situation to be in, I feel like I have half the responsibilities of being a mum early, it’s strange!

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