My two little brothers are about to start school and my dad promised me if I helped them get ready for school, he would take me to buy new pens!   Now, helping those two get ready for anything is a difficult challenge but getting them ready for school, now that is close to impossible!  But, I would do anything for new pens.  I helped my mum get their bags ready and I helped the boys tidy their room, I was actually shocked how helpful they were, well, for about 20 minutes but by then the worst of the mess was tidied and they ran off and played outside.  It was all going really well. "We'll be finished by dinner time Mum," I told her confidently as we folded the washing. 

"Unfortunately, we have to take your brothers shopping for uniforms this afternoon," my mum replied, "the worst, I am afraid, is still to come." 

Trying clothes on with my brothers has to be the worst thing you can ever do.  When we arrived in the shop, they started running towards the toy section. "Grab them by the shirt neck," my mum shouted as she lurched forward to grab them." Up to the children's clothes section. Marvin and Matty sat quite patiently as the shop assistant helped them try on shoes for school but they soon got bored.  Marvin started taking shoes out of all the shoe boxes and driving them along the carpets as though they were cars.

"Please put them back sweetheart," the lady said but Marvin was too busy converting his cars into aeroplanes and flying them around Matty's head.  I gathered the shoes whilst my mum paid for them. Next stop, school clothes. 

Whilst my mum kept looking, she sent the three of us into the changing rooms. I was trying on a new school skirt and in the next cubicle my brothers were supposed to be trying on their school t-shirts but there was a lot of laughter coming out of the changing room for two boys trying on clothes.  "You are taking a long time," I shouted from outside the changing room as I waited and the boys giggled inside. "Look at me!" Marvin said as he whipped back the curtain, the grey school shorts standing up right on the top of his head. "Ha, ha! You can't catch me!" shouted Matty in a back-to- front t-shirt as they ran either side of me and across the shop floor. 

Knowing that Marvin is faster I chased after him as he ran and swirled around the clothes rack, throwing trousers and school skirts to the floor. "You can't catch me!" he shouted as he ran past the shoe boxes, darting past the shop assistant and sending a tower of shoe boxes crashing onto the floor.  "Emergency landing!" he screamed as he grabbed a jumper from the shelf and holding it to his tummy skidded on it across the floor.

"Get up immediately!" my mum shouted.  Marvin's emergency mission had ended abruptly when his jumper bumped into the toes of mum's shoes.  She was silent but very angry, she didn't need to say anything, you could just tell . Marvin pulled the shorts off his head and looking at his feet all the way to the car park he carried mum's shopping bag quietly and obediently to the car.  It wasn't until we were driving out of the multi-storey car park that Marvin said "Can I ask a question? Where is Matty?" My mum braked fast.  "Oh no, your little brother, your little baby brother, where has he gone?"

I jumped out the car and ran up the stairs, bursting through the doors and into the shop. I searched frantically, pleading with the shop assistant to help.  Under clothes racks and in cupboards, under the tables in the café, he was nowhere to be found. "Let's go back to the scene of the crime," the shop assistant suggested.  The scene of the crime had to be the changing room.

We burst back into the room, running through past the queue of children waiting to struggle into uncomfortable school clothes. "Matty!" I shouted as I ripped back the changing room curtain, "where are you?"  There was a yellow-shirted ball in the changing room.  It was Matty curled up with his t-shirt still back-to-front clutching a black school shoe to his chest as he slept deeply, breathing in and out.

"Thank you very much my lovely girl," my mum said as we drove home.  Max and Matty barely made a sound all night. "We're going to sleep," they said, after tidying up the dinner plates.

"I can't believe it, so quiet and so helpful, something has to be wrong," I said.  I went to bed quite early too, all that running around had tired me out.  I opened my bedroom door and turned on the light and there at the end of my desk was the biggest box of coloured pencils I have ever seen! "Love Matty and Marvin" was scrawled on a note stuck to the top of the pencil box.

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