One morning in November, Mum came in to Priya's bedroom, or tried to. There was so much mess on the floor she could only poke her head around the door. Priya sat in the
middle of it all reading a book.
“What a mess,” Mum said. “You need to have a clear up in here.”“Why?” Priya asked.“Why?” Mum repeated. “Because things cannot be found and they get
broken or lost when they're all willy-nilly like this. Come on, have a tidy up now.”
“But I'm very busy,” Priya argued, and it's
boring on my own. Can't you help me?”
“No I can't, I'm busy too. But I'll give you extra pocket money if you do a good job.”
When Mum came back later all the toys and clothes and books had
disappeared and the floor was so clean.
“I'm really pleased and impressed,” said Mum. “But I'll inspect it properly later.”“It was easy,” said Priya. “Can I have my extra pocket money now?”“All right. Get it out of my change purse. It's in the kitchen drawer.”
In the kitchen Priya went over to the dresser and pulled open the
drawer. She hunted for the purse.
“Did you find the purse?” Mum asked.
Priya shook her head. “It must have dropped to the bottom,” Mum said. “Let's have a proper look.” She pulled the drawer out and carried it over to the table. Priya kneeled up on a chair to look inside. There were lots of boring things like paper, envelopes, cards, staplers and string but there were lots of interesting things
“What's this?” Priya asked, holding up a
plastic bottle full of silver dust. Mum laughed. “Those are the glitter when I did some stars for the stage years ago. Your Dad and I took you to that, as it was a Christmas play.”
“I don't remember that.”
Priya carried on
looking through the
drawer. She found some costume jewellery. Mum pulled out a glittery hair band. It had springs with wobbly balls on the top that flashed disco colours. She put it on her head while she carried on
looking through the
Priya found some sparkly hair elastics to match the hair band. She made her Mum put lots of little bunches all over her head so she looked really silly. “I remember this,” Priya said as she pulled out a plastic bag. “ This is from my pirate party.” Inside there was a black, false moustache and some big gold earrings.
She peeled the sticky backing off the false
moustache and stuck it on Mum's top lip.
“Come here,” Mum said and put a dance cap on Priya's head. Priya found a set of jutting out teeth and put them on. Also some gloves with long witchy fingers.
She made scary noises at Wow-Wow the cat. He ignored her and
carried on washing himself on the seat next to her.
“Wotch thish?” Priya asked, holding up a flat rubbery thing. It was hard to speak through the big teeth.
“It's a whoopee
cushion,” Mum said. “You blow it up and sit on it. It makes rude noises.” She blew it up and gave it to Priya.
Suddenly there was a knock at the door. A voice called out. “Hello, it's only me. Shall I let myself in.”
It was their nosy
neighbour, Mrs. Derana. She was always
complaining. She entered the kitchen. Her mouth dropped open. “We're jush wooking for the mum's pursh,” Priya explained. “Yes, well, er,”
Mrs. Derana said, “I just
wanted a word about your fence. Some of it's blown down on my side.”
At that moment Priya sat on the whoopee
cushion and let out an enormous, rude noise. Wow-Wow jumped off his seat and ran away.
“Well!” said Mrs. Derana and hurried from the room and out of the house.
When the door banged shut Priya and Mum burst out laughing until Mum's moustache hung at one end and Priya's funny teeth dropped out. Priya sat on her Mum's knee.
“It's fun doing this together,” she said. “Maybe. But we still haven”t found the change purse.”
They both looked at the enormous heap of things spread over the kitchen table. “Well, you know things will get lost, or broken, when they're all willy nilly,” Priya said. “You cheeky monkey” Mum laughed. “But what shall I do with it all?”
“I know, it's easy,” Priya said and scooped everything off the table into her arms. She dumped it all back in the kitchen drawer.
Mum looked at her
suspiciously. “Let's go and inspect your bedroom shall we.”
Priya followed her upstairs and into her
bedroom. Wow-Wow was there, sitting in front of her fish tank looking
hungrily at the goldfish. He dashed under the bed when he saw Mum and Priya. Mum kneeled down and lifted the bed cover to get him out. Underneath were heaps of Priya's toys, books, tapes, clothes and shoes, empty plastic cups and wrappers and a half-eaten sandwich on a plate. “Priya! What's all this?”
“It's my tidy drawer,” Priya said. She wrapped her arms around her Mum and gave her a kiss. “Let's sort this one out together now.”