It is back to school today, and the 5 year old twins have been asked to take in something that will remind them of their Christmas holiday.
“I am taking a pompom from New Year”, says Twin 1.
“I am taking a mask from New Year”, says Twin 2.
“But what do I say about my pompom, mummy?” asks Twin 1.
“Well why don’t you get dressed and then we can talk about it?”, mummy suggests.
“But I don’t know what I’m SAYING!!!” says Twin 1 as he rolls around on the floor.
“Just say what the pompom reminds you of, sweetheart. You danced with it at our little new year’s party, and you had your friend to stay – you remember. Now, why don’t you put your pants on?”
“But I can’t REMEMBER that, mummy. I can’t remember ANY of it.”
“I can’t remember how to do my tie up, mummy”, says the eldest boy with tears in his eyes.
“We’ll help you with your tie in just a minute, sweetheart.” says mummy to the eldest boy; before turning to Twin 1 and requesting that for now he concentrates on putting his pants on, and puts the Christmas holiday task out of his head.
Mummy is doing her best to use her most patient new-year-new-voice, voice.
“I’m going to take my finger torch as well” announces Twin 1.
“And I’m taking my finger torch”, says Twin 2.
“That’s not FAIR, he’s COPYING me!”, says Twin 1.
“I’m NOT copying you!” insists Twin 2. “It’s just a really good idea – I like it. It’s not because I’m copying you, I just want to take it.”
“Why are you discussing the Christmas task with them?” booms daddy, who is just about to leave for work. “Why don’t they just get dressed?”
“I am trying to get them to get dressed”, says mummy through gritted teeth and in her slightly less patient new year voice. “I didn’t bring up the Christmas task, they did.”
Mummy returns to the subject of pants with Twin 1, who is on the floor sobbing about pompoms and finger torches. Mummy understands that Twin 1 is feeling anxious about going back to school and that he is expressing this through his outburst about the Christmas task. She would still like him to put his pants on.
Mummy announces that no-one is taking finger torches and adds an imaginary line to the note that came home from school. The imaginary line states that twins must not take in the same item as each other.
Mummy then separates the twin boys in a bid to speed up the getting dressed process.
“But mummy!”, shouts Twin 1. “I can’t remember ANYTHING, mummy! NOTHING is going to remind me of my Christmas holiday!”
“Ok darling. Well just tell your teacher that then. Just say that you’ve forgotten all about your Christmas holiday and nothing will remind you of it” suggests mummy. “Shall we go and have some breakfast?”
“I’m going to take the tiger mask, mummy”, announces Twin 2. “Actually, the elephant. Or what about the lion? I’m putting my tiger mask on now. Do I look like a tiger, mummy?” he asks.
“Yes you do, darling”, says mummy.
“No he DOESN’T!” bellows Twin 1. Because he has BROWN HAIR, and he’s wearing TROUSERS! And he doesn’t have white paws.”
“Did you know that no two tigers are the same?” asks the eldest boy. “Like ladybirds.”
Everyone takes a moment to process this information. Mummy then prepares the breakfast and explains to her children that going back to school or work after a break is sometimes hard and that we all have to be kind to each other to make it easier.
The eldest boy and Twin 1 kick each other under the table and call each other names as mummy is explaining about being kind.
“If I take my tiger mask then I can tell everyone about my tiger onesie, can’t I mummy?” says Twin 2. “I know I can’t take my tiger onesie though”, he adds.
“That’s right, sweetheart”, says mummy.
“Wait a minute!” says Twin 2 urgently.”Or can I take my tiger onesie?”
“No onesies allowed, darling”, says mummy. “Shall we all put our shoes on?”
The children start putting their shoes on after at least 87 requests from mummy. Twin 2 announces that his shoes are too small, and the eldest boy panics about what to do with his playtime trainers – should they be in a bag or not in a bag? Should he take them out of the bag when he gets to school? He doesn’t need the bag as this will just be an extra item on his peg, so how will he get the bag back to mummy?
Mummy and her children leave the house.
“I am just going to say I did dancing with my pompom, mummy.” says Twin 1 as he walks down the path in his bobble hat. “That is all I’m going to say.”
Mummy’s heart breaks a little bit.