Tier 1: In my ideal week, they both wear yellow shirts on Mondays, burgundy shirts on Tuesdays through Thursdays, and blue shirts on Fridays.
Yellow is the official color for Monday in Thailand.
Blue is the official color for Friday in Thailand AND the teachers wear blue shirts on Fridays, and it's nice to match.
The rest of the days don't actually matter, but we inherited a sack of hand-me-down burgundy uniform shirts from a friend, so it makes sense to use them the rest of the week.
This would actually be easy to repeat on autopilot weekly, without thought or stress, except that only two of the burgundy shirts are small enough for L, so this requires mid-week laundry.
(There were no burgundy shirts in his size at the sweetie shop the day we went uniform shopping. I don't know why I haven't just bought one more shirt in the many weeks and months since, except that it seems ridiculous when we have a drawerful one size up and surely he is going to have a growth spurt any moment.)
Tier 1 Stress level: 0
Tier 2: In my not-ideal but still acceptable week, they wear the same color as eachother each day, but not according to the above color schedule. This is easier because you can choose whichever pairs you have that match early in the week and leave the odd-ball non-matching shirts for later in the week, when you have presumably done laundry, and then match them up with the newly-clean brother pair.
In this case, you are not adhering to the official colors of the day on Monday and/or Friday, but you are still matching your brother.
Tier 2 Stress level: 20
Tier 3: In my unacceptable- but I do it sometimes- week, L wears one of the too-big burgundy shirts to maintain either the color schedule or brotherly matchiness. If the color schedule is right, this only sets me up for minimum additional stress. If this is in addition to being on the wrong color day, we are approaching the red zone.
Tier 3 Stress level: 40-60
Tier 4: This is nadir. The boys go to school in two different colored shirts.
It is important to note here that this is a 100% self-imposed, imaginary rule. The kids' dress code allows for any uniform color they desire on any day of the week. And despite Thailand's love of The Sound of Music, siblings are not required to match.
The one good thing about Tier 4 is that on a normal week, if you don't look in the drawer, you might happily consider yourself in Tier 2 for most of the week, until you suddenly find yourself left with two bogies on Friday morning.
Tier 4 Stress level: 80
So, why am I writing all this out today?
Because yesterday M wore his regular yellow shirt to school, while L wore an oversized burgundy one.
Tier 5, the perfect storm.
June 4th, come quickly.