Written by Amanda Coop
“WELL,” Miss 9 said. “I think we’ve got a case of the Mondays.”
They certainly had a case of something, and it was making me feel like opening a case of something else, one containing alcohol. And I don’t even drink anymore. At least not at 8am on a weekday.
It had started as our standard Monday morning. Kids got up early to try to have sneaky device time, I had snoozed my alarm three times before waking up and freaking out, realising I had lunches to
make and kids to chastise about sneaky device time. Mr 5 was in his PJs and as I told him to get dressed, his little face crumbled.
“But I don’t want to go,” he said through tears. “I only got two days at home!”
I’m sure it’s a relatable problem on a Monday morning for many of us, but that doesn’t make school any less compulsory and I tried to sympathise while making it clear he still had to go.
“I don’t get to choose how many days are in the school week,” I told him, glad to pass the buck.
“Well, you could homeschool me,” he suggested helpfully through his sniffles.
I looked at his sad little face. Did he really want to be homeschooled, or stay at home in his PJs playing video games? I had a feeling it was the latter, considering he’d started school only three weeks before and seemed to be enjoying it.
“I’m not going to homeschool you, buddy,” I said gently. Cue tears.
Miss 9, who had also been encouraging him to get ready, tried an incentive. “What if Mum takes us to get hot cinnamon donuts after school?” she said.
Now, I’m sure her suggestion had absolutely nothing to do with the fact that she loves hot cinnamon donuts (insert eyeroll here), but I waited for his response before I vetoed it given our rapidly tightening timeframe.
“No!” he said, which cleared that up.
“Why don’t you go get your stuff so I can do your hair?” I suggested to Miss 9. She walked away and moments later came the cry, “Mum! I need you!”
I was about to reply when around the corner thundered our excitable young pug, full of energy and ready to start the day (unlike some). He proceeded to launch himself at, you guessed it, Mr 5, who had finally stopped crying and started getting dressed. Naturally, a whole new wave of tears began as he was hit by a flying lump of dog.
The dog had been crated overnight but, unlike the kids, he enjoys a good sleep-in and he’d been perfectly content in there while I dealt with Mr 5.
“Sorry,” Miss 9 said. “I was trying to help.”
After a wild chase through the house, we got him outside. Mr 5 was a different story. Miss 9 found him inside his walk-in closet.
“Come on buddy,” I said, “we have to leave now or we’re going to be late.” “No,” he said. “I need my size 2 shirt.”
I’d bought only one of the smaller school shirts, thinking he’d outgrow it before long. That one, of course, became the favourite.
“I don’t know where it is,” I told him in exasperation. “Did you put it in the wash?”
“Yes!” he said, crying again.
“Well, I don’t have time to –“ I stopped short, looking at Miss 9. “What size shirt are you wearing?”
Miss 9 is also on the small side, and therefore fit comfortably into her brother’s size 2. I’d had to look a bit harder before the penny dropped that her shirt was looking a little snug that day. Thankfully,
this hilarious turn of events broke the tension and after a shirt-swap we headed for the car. Moments later the bickering resumed.
“Why were you wearing my shirt?” Mr 5 asked Miss 9 accusingly.
“I don’t know,” she replied. “Mum put it in my closet. Why did you put his shirt in my closet, Mum?”
“I don’t know,” I told her.
“I think I’ve got a case of the Mondays.”