Write On!

A Matter of Time

In Uncategorized on March 30, 2012 at 5:59 pm

By Tara Wiley

Madeline
Do you have any idea how annoying it is to live with twins? No, not just twins – twin BROTHERS. And not just twin brothers. MY twin brothers. Seriously, take the most obnoxious person you have ever met, say, the dude that always sits in front of you on the bus who never wears deodorant and always cracks his knuckles and cranes his neck around to stare at you without saying a word. That guy. Now multiply that dude by two. Maybe now you are beginning to get just an inkling of the two troubles of my life.

They weren’t even part of the plan, anyway. Mom and Dad had given up on having more kids. I overheard them in those conversations where grownups think the kids aren’t hearing them, but duh, we’re right there, why wouldn’t we hear them, saying I was more than enough for them to handle. I tried not to take it personally. I knew I was a challenge. I enjoyed being a challenge. I also enjoyed being the only kid. Other kids annoy me.

Then, wham!, miracle of miracles, Mom’s pregnant. And my whole carefully constructed life begins its steady crumble. They interrupt my seventh birthday party with their early arrival. Two constant interruptions.

Don’t I love them? Yeah, I guess so. But when I was nine and they were two, wow. That year just about did both Mom and me in.

I have this favorite ride at Worlds of Fun called the Timberwolf. It’s this amazing all-wood roller coaster, just like they used to build them years ago. Nothing flashy or crazy, just wood and wheels and wind and adrenaline. Clackity-clackity-clackity up that first hill, and the tension just mounts with each second as you near the first drop. That was those days with the boys. I felt like I had to strap myself in before I even got out of bed, get all secured in my little world so when the boys sent me racing down the hills and around the turns, I was safe somehow.

And keeping them safe is a full-time job. When they were toddlers, I lost count of how many times I pulled Benjamin out of the street before a car came racing by, or wrested knives from little Ryan’s pudgy fingers.

Those boys know how to find trouble, even now at age 9. And they know how to drag me into trouble with them. Living with those brats requires an arsenal of tactics.

I love to read, mostly fantasy and sci-fi. I keep a book under my pillow, read late into the night and then wake up early to read a chapter or two before getting out of bed. I try to learn a thing or two about slaying the dragons so I can handle the twin thorns under my fingernails.

Only one problem: most of the heroines in those books have some kind of superpower. Not me. I’m just Madeline. So I have to get creative. The pranks began on the family camping trip three years ago. They started it, of course. The brats put garter snakes in the faded blue duffle bag that held my books for the car ride. When we were half an hour down the road and I opened it up to get out a book, my scream just about made my dad have a wreck. We all three got in big trouble for that one – them for the snakes, me for the scream – and the boys had their first taste of power. I got them back that night when we were camping and I just about made them wet their sleeping bags as I imitated bear sounds outside of their tent.

So April Fool’s Day, no holds barred, the whole family gets in on the game. Last year I found mayonnaise in my conditioner bottle. The boys’ precious Lucky Charms turned into All Bran. Mom made this weird breakfast thing that looked like bacon and eggs but it was really chocolate and stuff. I don’t remember what Dad did.

But this year, I’m going to make the joke work for me. Now that I can drive, I get the privilege of taking them to school in the morning. Those brats are always making me late; it drives me crazy! So l’m gonna wait until they are asleep, then go in their room and change the clocks back two hours so their alarm goes off stupid early. Maybe I should even change all the clocks in the house… yeah, that’s what I’ll do. Then they’ll be totally ready before they realize how early it is. And they’re so dense, it won’t even faze them that it’s still dark out. For once, I will get to school in time to actually talk to my friends instead of running into class as the bell rings.

Ryan
Ben and me have this great idea for April Fool’s this year. We’re really gonna make Maddy go crazy; it will be s-weee-t.

Who’s Maddy? Seriously? Don’t you ever listen? Dude, she’s our SISTER. And oh-my-gosh she is so annoying sometimes. Most times. She thinks she’s like the queen or something. What Maddy wants, Maddy gets, and it better be on time, or early. Watching her, Ben and me are chill. She wastes so much time freaking out.

Like when we play football out front after school, she is always “Watch that car!” or “Don’t throw so hard!” or whatever. She can’t just sit back and enjoy the game, or even let US enjoy the game. Man, she can be a drag.

So the one cool thing about our family is that we love to play tricks on each other. Ben and me really got Dad good once when we put salt in the sugar jar by the coffee pot. Get mad? Yeah, at first, but then he just hollers and tackles us. He’s cool like that. Besides, he knows he’ll get us back.
This year, for April Fool’s, we have it all planned out for our trick on Maddy. Ben has a timer in his spy gear that he’s gonna set to go off at like 3 a.m. So when everyone is asleep, we’ll get up and change all the clocks in the house so they’re two hours later. Then we can get up and play some XBox or whatever while the fam sleeps in. When Maddy realizes she’s two hours late for school, the look on her face? Priceless!

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