Older brothers teach vital lessons and toughen you up

THIS week I was told by a close mate that I was a "good egg, but definitely not a lady".

For the record, bud, thanks for that.

Growing up on a rural property with three brothers may not have helped.

I've been roughed up with the best of them.

In my family, after copping a ball to the face, you don't cry. You get back up and peg it straight back at them.

I can swing a punch, I appreciate footy and I love four-wheel-driving.

But there is one downfall to having so much testosterone floating around in one family.

Brothers are also a great deterrent for potential suitors.

The recipient of my first kiss was forever scarred after my brother Matt confronted him.

I had to move out of home to find a boyfriend.

To this day, home is not a place for the faint-hearted if you are dating me.

It only occurred to me recently that perhaps this rule doesn't apply to every family.

I was babysitting a young boy aged nine.

Let's call him Seth.

We had decided to chuck the ball around and, let's be honest, Seth did not have the best hand-eye co-ordination.

After numerous drops of the ball, I decided to go easy on the little guy.

In retrospect, perhaps logging the tennis ball at his head was not a prime example, because it did not improve his catching abilities.

The outburst of tears was enough to make any person with a heart stop and give him a cuddle.

I had finally convinced him to try again, when the exact same scenario unfolded before my eyes in a matter of minutes.

The second time he copped a ball square to the nose I couldn't help but laugh.

I never got that babysitting gig again.

I can just imagine what little Seth's mother thinks of me now.

There's an inherent value in having older brothers. It toughens you up immeasurably, and you have a different definition of hurt.

Procreate people, older brothers are the greatest preparation for life.

On the other hand, I have a few openings this week for anyone needing a babysitter.

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