I don’t know how many more times I can tell my baby brother to stop riding the cat. ‘Riley, off. Get off the cat. Don’t ride the cat. The cat is not a horse. He is a sad, old, moody cat who doesn’t like people. GET OFF HIM. Also, why are you in my room? I know you’re only two years old, but respect my boundaries, you feral baby. I AM TRYING TO RUN A BUSINESS in here.’
Babies don’t understand business. Babies also smell. This baby currently in my room, riding the cat, smells like off milk. Oh, and he’s sticky. You touch that baby and you WILL need gloves and a mask. He always has a runny nose, even IN SUMMER. Why? Grosssssss.
‘Stevie, get up. NOW. You’ll miss the bus,’ Mum yells from the hallway. ‘Steven, get up.’
My name is Stevie. But Mum thinks calling me Steven is funny. She is not funny. She is, in fact, weird. She’s going through a phase. A ‘there’s a crystal for everything’, hippy dippy, incense in every room, phase. Mum insists on wearing tie-dyed house muu- muus, which are giant dresses that look like she cut a hole in a bed sheet, put her head through it and called it an outfit.
Last year she made us go to a meditation and yoga course for the summer holidays, as though that’s what every twelve-year-old wants to do. Although, it was funny when she farted in the quiet yoga room.
‘Steven!!!!’ Mum is now at my door. The cat has since run away in fear of its life, so Riley has moved on to chewing on my Maths book. (And honestly, I hope he eats it – I hate Maths.) I’m wrapped in my doona, looking like a burrito. I am NOT a morning person. (But I am a burrito person.)
‘STEVEN. You are going to miss the bus. And if you miss the bus, I will take you to school in the car, and I will get out of the car and wave you off in front of all your classmates. I will yell, “I love you, Steven Louise. I miss you already, my little joy.” ’ Mum’s really on a roll now. ‘It will be embarrassing, Steven. It’s my day off today and I’m as free as a bird to embarrass you if you don’t get on that bus!’