Groady to the max

(scene opens in cluttered dinning room)

Beta: (poking at Alpha next to him, on laptop, earbuds in)

Husband: Beta, focus, I’m trying to explain something to you.

Beta: Alpha’s not listening.

Alpha: (eyes don’t leave the screen) I can hear you just fine.

Husband: Excellent, so as I was saying…

Beta: (licks hand, smears it across Alpha’s face, runs out of the room)

Alpha: (rises like a monster from the deep, rips out earbuds) Oh hell no. (spits copiously into his hand, makes to chase after)

Me: (screams) OH MY GOD THAT’S SO GROSS DON’T YOU DARE (proceeds to collapse in hysterical laughter)

Husband: (hard won patience) Alpha, go wash your hands. (Alpha exits)

Me: (still laughing, in tears) I blame you. And your brothers. No way in hell any of mine ever would have done that. That is so…boy.

Husband: (reprovingly) You’re making it really hard to be the disciplinarian with all that laughing.

Me: (more shocked defensive laughter) IT WAS SO GROSS! WHO DOES THAT!?

Blaspheming

(scene opens in brightly lit kitchen)

Husband: So Alpha, I’m compiling a list of movies for you guys to watch.

Me: (watching the microwave count down) Some of them need vetting.

Husband: You haven’t seen Indiana Jones yet, have you?

Alpha: One, two, three and four?

Me: (takes coffee out of microwave, slams door) THERE IS NO FOUR!

Alpha: (stares)

Husband: (shocked, trying not to laugh)

Me: (icily to husband) I will not have that in my house. (exits, head held high)

Alpha: (calls after her) Is that the one that…

Husband: Dude, just no. Trust me.

Outer Limits

(scene opens in dim kitchen, Carrot on the floor holding screaming Delta)

Delta: (winding down to hiccuping sobs)

Me: You okay now?

Delta: (tearful nod) I just wan’ help.

Me: Honey, mom can’t help you with that. I don’t know how.

Delta: (tearing up) Make it so I can do it.

Me: (fraying sanity) Baby, I’ve never been able to solve a Rubik Cube. I want to help you but I can’t. I legitimately don’t know how!

Delta: (dissolves into wails of hopeless unending sadness)

Me: (closes eyes, rocks screaming toddler, practices deep breathing)

(pounding growing louder off stage)

Gamma: MOM! HELP ME! (Gamma runs through kitchen to bathroom, sounds of sick echoing off porcelain)

Me: (sighs, rolls weeping toddler off lap) Welp, at least this is something I can take care of.

(cue laugh track, fade to black, cut to car commercial)

Inner Conflict

(scene opens in tossed parlor)

Me: (sitting at embroidery frame) Ready for school?

Beta: (struggling into jacket) Yeah. What day is it?

Me: Thursday. Do you have Robotics Club tonight?

Beta: (thinks) Yeah. I do. Y’know what? Today is not only Robotics Club, but Knitting Club and Anime club. All on the same day!

Me: That’s usually how it goes.

Beta: (deep dramatic sigh) It’s so hard being a nerd like me. (nods once, exits)

They know a thing, too.

(scene opens at cluttered table)

Alpha: I need help finding references on how alcohol affects the body.

Me: Look up Betty Ford Clinic.

Alpha: Says page is denied.

Me: The school laptop won’t let you look up Betty Ford Clinic? That’s absurd. You can look it up on my computer and use it as a reference.

Alpha: But she’ll think I’m making it up if we can’t pull it up on a school computer.

Me: Trust me, the teachers will know what the clinic is and who Betty Ford is.

Innate knowledge

(scene opens in cluttered parlor)

Gamma: (shrieking) MOM! BETA IS CALLING ME A LOSER.

Me: (resignedly enters the room, sees Beta with thumb on either side of his head, single finger raised like horns) Beta?

Beta: (waggles hands) I’m not calling her a loser, I’m pretending to be a moose.

Gamma: (moar shrieking) THOSE ARE ‘L’s! ‘L’s MEAN LOSER!

Me: (inhales deeply, stares in Ron Swanson) That’s not a moose. You need all your fingers for moose horns.

Beta: (processes, opens both hands) I’m a moose!

Gamma: (quick reversal) YOU’RE A MOOSE! MOOSE! MOOSE! MOOSE!

Me: (contemplates the absurdity of her existence, exits stage left)

Best. Birthday. Ever.

(scene opens, Carrot walking out of restaurant with her mom)

Host: Are you a Marine?

Me: (touches hair self-consciously) Uh…no?

Host: Oh, your sweatshirt says “Enterprise” on it. That’s a Navel vessel.

Me: (looks down at her brand new StarFleet hoodie) Oh! No – this is a Star Trek thing. Its a future Enterprise, not the current Enterprise.

Host: Oh, okay. (laughs and salutes) Thank you for your service, Captain.

Me: (salutes back) Carry on.

Magic Word

(scene opens at cluttered dinning room table)

Alpha: (at laptop) Mom, how do you spell relativ….reali…rel

Me: Relativity?

Alpha: Relatively.

Beta: (hovering around for no reason) He’s looking for a word that rhymes with “orange”.

Me: R-E-L-A-T-I-V-E-L-Y. And “door hinge”.

(stunned silence follows, boys stare, Carrot drinks coffee)

Beta: (mimes mind being blown)

Alpha: Holy shit.

Me: Language.

Alpha: No. Mom. Holy shit. You rhymed orange. That’s insane.

Me: (raises coffee mug and shrugs) Maybe now you’ll believe me when I tell you I know a thing?

Can’t Even

(scene opens in dim basement, Carrot surrounded by laundry baskets)

Me: (sorting t-shirts, stops looks around) Are you still smelling B.O?

Husband: (looks up from computer) I put a load through earlier because it was smelling.

Me: Yeah, I just took that out of the dryer. (sniffs article of clothing, drops it) Jebuz!

Husband: (gets up to look at basket) Did some dirties get in with the clean?

Me: I don’t think so. (Husband and Carrot proceed to sort boy clothes based on smell) Some of them don’t smell at all. How did so much stank get through the wash?

Husband: (turns to stairway, lets out a battlefield yell) BETA!

(Beta hurries downstairs into scene)

Husband: Explain to me your washing process.

Beta: (shrugs) Take the clothes, put them in the machine, close the door, push the button.

(moment of silence)

Me: And when do you put in the laundry pod?

Beta: (tries to affect confusion, fails) What laundry pod?

Husband: Holy god you’ve been washing your clothes without detergent all this time? (points at stank basket) Take these back to the laundry room, I will show you what laundry detergent looks like.

Trap, Set, Spike

(scene opens around cluttered breakfast table)

Me: (reading Kindle) So. Beta. Did you brush your teeth this morning?

Beta: (shoveling cereal into his mouth) Yeah.

Me: (conversationally) With what?

Beta: (spidey senses tingling) …with…toothpaste?

Me: Oh yeah? Where’s your toothbrush?

Beta: ….upstairs?

Me: (affected mildness) Interesting. Because I’ve noticed that your toothbrush has been bone dry for a few days, so I brought it down stairs with me at 6 am this morning so I could prove to you that I know you for a liar. So. When you’re finished with breakfast, go do that. The reason you’re getting cavities is not because you’re not brushing well enough, you’re not brushing at all.

Beta: (mopey, drinks last of milk goes to brush teeth)

Me: (calls after him) Also! Your toothbrush is electric and makes noise! I can tell you didn’t brush your teeth if I didn’t hear it! Sound travels! SCIENCE!

Fear the Burn

(scene opens with pensive Carrot in empty gym, gaggle of grandmas enter stage left)

Grandma #1: You came back!

Me: (wan smile) Wasn’t sure if I was going to make it. My legs still hurt from yesterday and today is leg day.

Trainer: (sailing in) Okay everyone! Grab a bench from the back, two or three risers as you like!

Grandma #2: (pats Carrot’s arm) Two. Only get two, my dear.

Me: (smile grows strained) Think anyone would judge if I only got one?

Grandmothers: (collective laugh) No!

Me: (gets two risers anyway)