“You’re in charge Missy” Mom said as she grabbed her keys to head off to work.
“Why is Missy always in charge? Why can’t I be in charge for once?” Justin asked looking up from his bowl of cereal.
“Because she is the oldest.” his mother responded
“That’s not my fault, doesn’t seem fair. I’m 14, why can’t I be in charge for once?”
“Justin, you know I am working a lot of hours right now and looking after the twins is a lot of responsibility. I didn’t think you would want to take all that on.”
“Well I do, I’m tired of Missy always telling us what to do. She’s only a year older than I am!”
Missy looked at her mother and said “Let him be in charge, I’m OK with it.” and winked at her. Missy was always the responsible one, since her Dad passed away three years ago and her Mom had to work to make ends meet, she took on a lot of responsibility around the house. And dealing with Justin and his constant complaining, not to mention his unwillingness to lend a hand with the twins really made things hectic for her most days. She could use a break, even though she really didn’t think that she would be getting one.
“OK. Justin, just go by the list that I left for Missy and please make sure the twins don’t get into my stuff. Last time it took me a week to get my files organized again after the twin tornadoes went through my desk.”
“I got this Mom, have a good day at work” Justin pronounced proudly.
Before she pulled away, Missy got a text from his mom saying “Please don’t let the house burn down” Missy just smiled and put her phone away.
“Well, I’m going to my room to finish reading my book.” Missy declared.
“Good.” was Justin’s reply, as he put his empty cereal bowl on the counter and headed for the TV. “This is going to be easy. I can do whatever i want ALL day.”
Five minutes later, Justin heard a crash from upstairs. He ran up the stairs to find his four year old twin brothers, Jacob and Joshua, standing in the middle of his mom’s room with their hands behind their backs, looking suspiciously guilty.
“What the heck was that noise?” he demanded.
“I dunno” Joshua said as Jacob held his hands out to his side and shrugged his shoulders.
“Get out of Mom’s room before I drag you out by your ears, you little jerks!” The boys ran past him and down the hall giggling. Justin looked around the room but did not see anything out of place, then he noticed that the closet door was ajar an inch or so. He walked over and opened the door and found that all of the boxes that his mom used to store old pictures and keepsakes had been pulled off of the shelf and their contents were spread out all over the closet floor. “Dang it!” he said and he commenced the clean up.
As he left his mother’s room, Missy called out from her bedroom “Everything OK?”
“Yeah, why wouldn’t it be?” Justin replied
“Cool.” and she went back to reading.
Just then the doorbell rang, and as he made his way to the front door, he saw the UPS truck pull away. Joshua was chasing Jacob around the couch trying to hit him with a plastic sword, both were screaming at the top of their lungs. Justin went to the front door and retrieved a package from outside, a large red sticker on it saying “Fragile, handle with care”, addressed to his mom. He closed the door and put the package on the kitchen counter as he went to break up the sword fight in the other room. Apparently Joshua caught up to Jacob and was now pummeling him with the sword.
“Josh, cut it out. You’re going to hurt Jake” he told his brother
“He’s OK” said Joshua
“I’m OK” said Jacob. and they ran past him into the kitchen yelling “We’re hungry.”
“Fine, I’ll get you something. You want some juice?”
“Yeah!!!! and peanut butter and jelly!!” So Justin got out the fixings for sandwiches and made them lunch, this was easy. As he turned to put the food on the kitchen table, he was terrified to see the two boys playing catch with the box that he had left on the counter. He ran across the room and intercepted one of the throws crashing into the kitchen counters, but saving the box. The boys laughed, Justin grimaced.
“Go eat!” he commanded the boys
“We can’t” they laughed “Roxy already ate it” Justin looked over to see Roxy, their German Shepherd, finishing off the last of the boys sandwiches, licking his lips, trying to get the peanut butter down his throat.
“Crap! Roxy! Get outta here.” Just then his phone buzzed, a text from his friends who were putting together a baseball game up at the field. Missy walked by to get something from the refrigerator, pointed at the list his mom had left and smiled.
“Umm….yeah. They are getting a bunch of guys to go to the field to play ball and…..” he tailed off. “….and I can’t go because I have to take care of the twins.”
“Your call. You wanted to be in charge.” Missy smiled at him. “You also have to start laundry according to mom’s list.”
“Missy, I can’t do this.”
“Sure you can. Do you want some help? I mean it is only 9 o’clock and Mom won’t be home until dinner”
Together Missy and Justin took care of mom’s entire list, they took the boys up to the park so that they could run around. Missy told Justin to go ahead and play a few innings in the pick up baseball game and her and the boys sat and watched. They went home, Missy took out a pan of frozen lasagne for dinner while Justin played with the twins in the back yard.
Around 6:45, their mom came home. Dinner was on the table, laundry was folded, and all four of them were in the kitchen waiting for her so that they could all eat together.
“Wow” his Mom said. “Justin, I underestimated you. I am impressed” as she kissed him on the forehead.
“I told you I could do it. But Mom” he said as he looked over at his sister. “I’ll be OK if Missy was back in charge every day”