Despite being 4 years younger (and a boy!) John and I have always been close
One of the things I’ve always loved about him is his quick wit. He’s fast with the one liners and follows them up with a big cheeky grin.
For as long as I can remember, his nickname has been Chap (our surname is Chapman) and it was used so much by his friends that me, James and Stacy started using it and have carried on calling him Chap ever since!
As I was the eldest, and a bit
bossy I’d make him go and ask Mum & Dad or Nan-Nan if I wanted something. They said yes to him more often than they did to me (it’s one of those things kids just know….the youngest gets the better deal, the eldest is very hard done too!) and if he didn’t want to ask, I’d make him by trying to bribe him with something or I’d just put my bossiest big sister voice on and order him to do it. I took my role as the eldest very seriously and that meant I had power over the younger ones!
I’d make him go downstairs on Christmas Eve to see if Santa had been and one time, Mum and Dad were still watching tv, no signs of Santa anywhere. When John asked why Santa hadn’t been yet, Dad said, ‘you’ve only been in bed an hour, get back to bed!’ I think I also made James do this once or twice as well; I didn’t want to get told off if it wasn’t morning yet! (An hours sleep can feel like a full night to a child on Christmas!).
One of the worst things about being the eldest is getting the blame for what the younger ones do. Even though I have no proof, I have my suspicions and I’m sure I got in trouble for something John did once! I seem to remember having a conversation about this a couple of years ago and for the life of me, I can’t remember if I got a confession out of him or not.
If it turns out it was our Jay or Stacy who did it, I’ll apologise to Chap!
At our old house in Denby, we had an old fashioned pantry in the back room. Mum used to store all the tins and packets in there and one day she had a right go at me for opening a packet of jelly, taking a bite and putting it back on the shelf, leaving it open. I tried to tell her it wasn’t me but she wouldn’t believe me because she said I was the only one who could reach it.
None of the others came clean and up till a few years ago, it used to really bug me that no one believed me when I truly hadn’t done it.
I think Chap got a chair, put it in the pantry and climbed up to get the jelly!
I can laugh about it now but back then it I felt it was a huge injustice.
|John, James and Stacy
I don’t remember much fighting or arguing between us although my Mum would probably disagree with that! From what I remember, we all got on quite well and spent a lot of time playing on our back garden.
My Dad kept pigeons and John used to love helping him feed them and he’d sometimes sit with him on a Saturday afternoon waiting for them to come home from a race.
I seem to remember we used to make mud pies quite often on that backyard, especially before the patio was put in. For some reason, I either can’t remember or never knew, a trench had been dug out where the patio was going to go and I think there was a pipe at the bottom. We used to play in the trench and scoop the mud out to make our pies. John and James would find worms to put in it and they’d leave it in the garden saying it was a pie specially for the birds!
One thing we all had in common was our love of Christmas, although what kid doesn’t!
I remember the year John got a Thunderbirds machine/toy thing. I have no idea what the name of it was but I remember he absolutely loved it. It opened up and had smaller machines inside. He played with that toy for years, along with his action men and toy cars.
He’s now in his thirties and has children of own. He’s married to the lovely Gemma, (I’m very lucky to have 2 sisters in law who I not only get on with, but genuinely really like. It’s great having more sisters!) who has 2 boys, George and Oliver from a previous relationship but who John classes as his own and who they class as their dad and together they have Alyssa. John also has an older daughter from a previous relationship. Her name is Chloe and she was born six weeks after my Aiden.
I’m sad that I don’t get to see her or the others as often as I’d like but hopefully I’ll get to see them on boxing day. I’m keeping my fingers crossed!
I’ve always been and will always continue to be proud of my brother
Love you Chap xxx
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