I am a older sister. Within the realm of older-sisterhood, there are several categories: The Manipulator, The Nag, The Bitch, The Boss, The Goodie-Goodie, Madame Overlord, The Underminer, etc. I happen to fall under the category of Benevolent Dictator. Ask my sister; growing up, my sovereignty, although relatively amicable, was absolute. Every so often I was forced to assert myself, and let me say, it hurt me more than it hurt her.
Anyway, I am married to a person who is also an oldest child. I need to ask Abby, but I suspect Bryan must have been either The Assailant or The Disregarder (I just asked Bryan what kind of older brother he thinks he was and he said, "I'll tell you some kinds of brothers I was not: complacent...umm, solicitous... nurturing?"). Anyway, as a general rule, we two older siblings live together peacefully until we disagree about something, at which point, we get down to the business of being oldest siblings. And here's something I've noticed: it's exceedingly difficult to fight fire with fire.
So, Bryan has been wanting a wood stove for about 2 months. I have been skeptical about the plan for Reasons #1-#58, which I won't bore you with. Each time I bring up another difficulty with having a fiery furnace sitting in the middle of the only fully baby-proofed room in our house, Bryan has held up his roughly hewn wooden cross and shaken a couple of garlic cloves in my face. He has involved my father and mother. He has scoured the Internet with tireless enthusiasm. And finally, after countless discussions about code violations, insurance liabilities, safety hazards, space considerations, fuel scarcity, impractical house renovations, and what feels like over one hundred just plain "No's," yesterday Bryan drove 4 hours to Asheville and returned with a small, greasy black wood stove with a cracked window.
So all of your hats off to my husband, Bryan Nuse. I surrender. The best older sibling has prevailed.