(Based on a true story)
It was Monday morning and my second week of kindergarten was about to begin. Mom was rushing around the kitchen frantically, letting slip the occasional obscenity. She liked to swear in all different types of languages so “FUCK!” as well as “SCHEISSE!” ricocheted off the stove top she was bending over, each shooting straight into the ears of her young children. Judging by the frequency with which these words left her mouth, I appeared to be the only one who cared about the language my younger brother was being exposed to. I thought back to just a few days ago when a rubber duck with bright red fire decals painted on its wings had mysteriously come into Wyatt’s possession. He had marched into the house and informed us all: “I know, what I’m going to name my duck: Fuck! The perfect combination between fire and duck.” I, being six, and two years older than Wyatt, was frankly appalled. But my mother could not stop laughing. Once again, I was forced to take control of a situation really better suited for an adult.
“WY GUY!” my mom yelled, “EAT YOUR FOOD.” Wyatt sat planted on the carpet several feet below me studying a book entitled The Complete Star Wars Encyclopedia. It took several attempts before my mother could persuade him to peel his eyes from the pages and acknowledge the plate of food in front of him. Even then he just stared off into space, no doubt imagining what he would do in the event of meeting his personal hero, Luke Skywalker. I examined his round face, wondering how I was ever going to break the news that Luke Skywalker was not, in fact, a real person. Wyatt’s face was by far the fattest face I had ever come into contact with. His cheeks engulfed the majority of his features and when he smiled, they came dangerously close to obstructing his eyesight. After overhearing a conversation between my aunts about the magic of plastic surgery, I could not help but wonder if we would be able to afford the clearly much needed cheek reduction for Wyatt.
After breakfast I decided to head to my room and spend the remainder of the morning reading on my bed. I kept one eye firmly planted on the clock, knowing nobody else would be doing so. At 8:00 am I alerted my mother that we should really get going as school would be starting at 8:30. Upon receiving this information she nearly had a heart attack, and frantically began to apply lipstick and straighten out her disheveled bathroom. “LET ME JUST FIND MY KEYS!” she exclaimed. Ten minutes later I returned to the master bedroom and found the contents of my mother’s tote bag sprawled across the bed and yet another tote bag being emptied on the floor below. “LET ME JUST FIND MY KEYS!” she yelled again.
Another ten minutes later and I stepped out of my room only to be bulldozed over by my mother, now in full-blown panic mode. Her hair was sticking out in four different directions, she had lipstick smeared across her teeth, and beads of sweat were slowly making their way down her forehead. She sprinted through the hallways, ripping open every drawer, and searched under every piece of furniture. I began to do the same, trying to stay calm but silently praying that my eighth day of kindergarten would not be ruined due to my mother’s stupidity. I heard a loud bang quickly followed by a “FUCK,” emanating from the hallway and sighed. It was then that I realized Wyatt was missing.
I found him perched on a cushioned chair in the office. His Star Wars encyclopedia lay sprawled out on his lap. After a short wrestling match, it became clear to me that it would not be easy to remove him from the chair, and I decided to save the tussling for when we actually had the means to operate the car. I silently vowed to burn The Complete Star Wars Encyclopedia and jogged back into the living room. My mother was pacing back and forth across the carpet cradling her iPhone.
“Bob, I think you are going to have to take the kids today, I can’t find my keys and…” I heard my father’s muffled voice cut her off mid sentence.
“Honey, school started ten minutes ago what are you talking abou-”.
“I KNOW SCHOOL STARTED TEN MINUTES AGO BOB, JUST BRING THE CAR HOME”.
“Ok, I’m at work it’s going to be around 20 mi-”
“JUST BRING THE CAR!”
“Ok,” my father ended the conversation, clearly terrified of what my mother had become.
Fifteen minutes later we found the keys. They had fallen underneath the couch cushion in the living room. Five minutes after that my father arrived at the house, sweaty and confused. Upon surveying the scene, he promptly got back in his car and drove away.
“WHERE IS WYATT?” my mother bellowed. We entered the office and found him perched in the exact same position I had found him minutes earlier. I lunged to tear him from his book, but his gigantic cheeks got in the way and I fumbled several times before I was able to get a good grip. I began dragging him to the car but heard my mother exclaim “WAIT, WHERE ARE MY GLASSES?” from behind us and promptly put him down, abandoning all hope of ever leaving the house.
At 8:50 my mother closed and forgot to lock the front door. We were on the road by 8:55. I realized halfway through the car ride that Wyatt did not have on any shoes but decided not to say anything for fear of having to go back. At 9:15 I stood before the front desk looking apologetically at the lady writing up my tardy attendance pass. She stared down at me, reached for a pencil and asked, “So, why are you late today?”
Mia Ogle lives north of San Diego and is a sophomore in high school. Her bedside table is piled high with books written by funny women. In her free time she watches sitcoms that aired in the early 2000’s.