We’re running late and I’m stressed. We’re always running late and it always makes me stressed. I wish I was more organised. I wish I was a morning person. I wish clocks had never been invented. I’m ranting and raving and telling the girls over and over to hurry up, move, quickly please, but it washes over them, because it happens every morning. I’m hating the sound of my own voice right now.
I look at my children and I realise they’re finally ready. They’re dressed appropriately, their shoes are on their feet, their jackets are zipped up tight. The baby is restrained in his capsule and is covered in blankets and woollens. We’ve done it. I’ve done it. It’s time to go.
I start ordering the girls to march down to the van and I stop mid-sentence. The kids are dressed, but I’m not. Shit! Why do I always forget to dress myself? I tell the children to wait, and I turn and rush down the hallway, my dressing gown flowing out behind me like a superhero’s cape. I make it to the bedroom and there are piles of clothes everywhere. I don’t know where anything is. I don’t know what I’m going to put on. Nothing even fits me properly since I had the baby. This is why I always put off getting dressed.
I approach the tangled mess of black in the corner. I pick through it and find a pair of pants. I put them on clean yesterday, I’m sure they’ll be fine for today. I whip off my pajama pants and attempt to step into the not-exactly-fresh trousers, but there’s something wrong. There’s a bulge. I remove my right foot and plunge my right hand into the pants instead. Oh. It’s yesterday’s knickers, abandoned, forgotten, left inside my trousers overnight. I throw them on the washing pile, and as I begin my search for clothes that are actually clean I remember...
School has just started and we’re all sitting on the big mat in our rows. We have special rows we have to sit in every single morning and there’s one leader in each row, and that leader has to tell the teachers whether or not everyone in their row is there. The teachers say that’s easier than calling out the roll. It’s easier because there are three classes all in one big room called Team Teaching. It would take a long time to call the roll for three whole classes. I think the special lines are a good idea, but I’m glad I’m not a leader. One time Ngaire forgot to tell the teachers that Mark wasn’t there and she got into big trouble. Miss Peck told Ngaire that Mark had been hit by a car, and Ngaire cried in front of everyone, but Miss Peck just made it up to teach her a lesson. I thought that was mean, and that was when I was really glad to not be a leader.
The leaders are standing up at the back and they’re telling the teachers who is away today. It’s boring so I’m playing with the zips on the bottom of my pants. I love my pants. They are bright pink and they came with a matching jacket, and the jacket has a zip on it too. Mum bought them for me in the school holidays and now I wear them all the time. I like all the zips. They make a good sound when you pull them up and down, but I have to do it quietly because I don’t want the teachers to get mad.
I keep wiggling the zip for a while and then I see that there’s a lump in the bottom of my pants. I feel the lump and it’s soft and squishy and I know that it’s made of material and I think that it must be a sock. It’s so weird that I came to school with a dirty sock in my pants! I open the zip at the bottom of my pants again and I put my hand in and grab the sock and pull it out, but when I look at it I see that I was wrong. It’s not a sock. I’m sitting on the mat and I’m holding the knickers I was wearing yesterday and my face is bright, bright red. I don’t know what to do so I shove the knickers back in the bottom of my pants and I close the zip and I cross my legs so that no one can see the bulge. I hope that no one saw them.
I managed to smuggle the knickers out of my pants and into my backpack without anyone seeing. I didn't even tell Sophie G what happened.