A Scout is Honest

Beta: What’s this for?

Me: Because you done good, kid.

A little proud

(scene opens in evening dinning room)

Me: (weary in front of laptop)

Beta: (walks in with dog) I found something on my walk.

Me: (looks confused) What’s is that?

Beta: (hands it over) There’s a lot of money it it. That’s enough to help me get an Oculus, but that’s stealing. So I though you and dad could get it back to the guy.

Me: (stunned, opens wallet to see cash and cards) Uh, yeah. We can do that. That was good of you, Beta. It’s important to get all the cards and I.D.s back, but sometimes that cash is all someone has to get them through the month. This could be a life saver.

Beta: (shrugs, pleased and embarrassed, leaves stage left)

Code Names

(scene opens in dim kitchen)

Alpha: Who keeps tangling up the leash? (struggles with chain)

Me: I don’t know. (takes mug out of microwave, looks at clock) I guess I’d better go get small boy out of bed. (pauses, shocked look, starts laughing)

Alpha: What are you laughing at?

Me: (points to Alpha) Tall Boy. (points straight above) Chonk Boy. (points to dinning room) Not Boy. (points above the stairs) Small Boy. (points to dog at the door) Fur Boy. (dissolves into hysterical laughter)

Alpha: (with concern) Are you okay, mom?

Me: (wipes tears) No. No I’m not.

Nerd Flex

(scene opens in gloomy dinning room, Disney lightsaber builds playing on laptop)

Laptop: (emits saber noises and delighted coos of fan base)

Beta: (longingly) Wow. That’s amazing. Are you overcome with the magic of it, mom?

Me: Not entirely. I’m Trek not Wars, remember?

Beta: (narrow eyed suspicious look) Does Trek have a theme park?

Me: (regretfully) No, they do not.

Beta: (smugly) Well. Now we know that Wars is superior.

Return Serve

(scene opens in sun drenched kitchen)

Beta: (throws up hands) Welcome to the one year anniversary of the two week lock down!

Me: (checks FitBit) Not yet. You have a couple of days. Unfortunately. (refreshes coffee)

Beta: Why unfortunately?

Me: We’ve been inside so long, I’ve forgotten how to people

Beta: (crouches down to scritch Doggo) Did you ever know how to people?

Me: (uses foot to knock him over) You’re a jerk. (starts to laugh)

Beta: (also laughs) I learned it from my parents!

Me: Not wrong. Still a jerk.

Exhibit A

(scene opens in sunny dinning room)

Me: (tiredly gathering up pandemic homeschool supplies)

Beta: (laying on floor in sunbeam with doggo) Mom? Which do you love more, the kids or the dog.

Me: (sighs) Well, the dog doesn’t argue with me about every. single. thing. I. say. so maybe I love the dog best.

Beta: Except when he’s pulling on the leash or not sitting when you tell him or chewing on things he’s not supposed to…

Me: Hey Beta? You’re kinda proving my point.

Beta: …..damnit.

The Darkest Timeline

(scene opens in sun bright dinning room)

Me: (sees Bigs stumbling into the kitchen) Morning guys. I got a phone call last night that today is supposed to be a snow day.

Beta: (opens fridge, pauses) Supposed to be?

Me: (typing) If you were actually at school, it would be a snow day. But, since half the student body is on camera, everyone is on camera today.

Beta: (overcome with sadness, door drifts shut) So. There’s no more snow days?

Me: (eyes on laptop, typing) Apparently not. Get some breakfast and log in.

Beta: This is the worst.

Me: (pauses) Yeah. I’m sorry.

(cue sad dramatic music, fade to black)

I guess he’s family now.

(flashback)

Me: So, do we call this one Epsilon?

Husband: (reprovingly) No. I want there to be some difference made between the kids and the dog.

Me: I’ve already called him Delta three times today.

Husband: (firmly) There needs to be a difference between the kids and the dog.

(cut-scene to evening dinning room)

Me: (settles self with hot drink, prepares to write, turns on Spotify)

Dog: (picks head up, side eyes) Woof.

Me: (looks over) What.

Dog: (deeper) Woof!

Me: Oh, I’m sorry, is my music bothering you? (shuts it off)

Dog: (more side eye, lays back down)

Me: Yeah, you’re Epsilon. I don’t know what Husband was thinking.

Here’s the wind up…

(scene opens in dim kitchen)

Gamma: Look at that chonky squirrel! I want a squirrel as a pet!

Husband: (looks out window) Eh, you can’t really have a squirrel for a pet. They’re not domesticated animals.

Gamma: Can I domesticate it?

Husband: You could tame one, but that’s different than domesticating.

Me: (looks up from making coffee) I don’t know how many generations it takes to domesticate something. Gamma, what you really want is to make some Crow Friends.

Gamma: How do you do that?

Me: Well, you need to feed them, but there are so many squirrels here, you’d need to call them to the yard first and then feed them.

Gamma: (skeptical) How do we do that?

Me: You can get a Crow Call on the internet.

Gamma: (skepticism deepens) A Crow Call?

Husband: Yeah! A Crow Call. Watch. (cups hands, leans towards window) HEY CROW! COME HERE CROW!

Gamma: (stares)

Me: (closes eyes) Seriously.

Husband: (laughs himself silly) I’m helpy!

Literature

(scene opens in Pandemic Homeschool)

Me: (miserable between two zoom meetings)

Delta: (fascinated by sing song story time)

Gamma: (talking to speech therapist) I have to read something out loud?

Me: (looks around quickly for suitable reading)

Gamma: (to screen) I have a copy of Terry Pratchett’s “The Hogfather” if that’s okay? (hold up book taken from stack of stuff)

Me: (dumbfounded)

Gamma: (begins to read “The Hogfather” outloud to teacher)

Me: (silently)

Experience Counts

(scene opens in cluttered kitchen)

Carrot: (cooking dumplings)

Husband: (hovering)

Gamma: (runs in, lips blue and glittery, holds up eyeshadow pallet) Mom! When can I use the eyeshadow?!

Carrot: (distracted) I forgot to order brushes. I’ll pick some up tomorrow and you can play around with it.

Husband: She can use sponges for that, right? (Goes to mudroom cabinet)

Carrot: What? Wait! No! She can’t use those!

Husband: Why not? I used them to put on make up.

Carrot: Clown make-up!

Husband: I fail to see the difference.

Carrot: Point. But no. Could everyone just believe the one person in this room that actually has worn make-up? I’ll get the right brushes tomorrow.

Husband: I’ve worn make up. I’m also the person who has worn make-up most recently.

Carrot: CLOWN MAKE-UP!

Husband: Again, I fail to see the difference.

Helping the Revolution

(scene opens in cluttered dining room, Pandemic Homeschool in progress)

Carrot: Okay after you draw your picture, we have to write sentences.

Delta: (scribbles out a snowman) Done!

Carrot: Write “My snowman has long hair”

(twenty minute montage of this being attempted)

Delta: Done!

Carrot: (slightly frazzled) Okay, is your snowman a boy or girl? A he or she? Or is your snowman a they?

Delta: (thinks) My snowman is a they. Because snowmen can be boys or girls.

Carrot: Awesome. Write “They have long arms”.

(another twenty minute montage as Carrot sinks deeper into her coffee)

Delta: Mommy, this is my last one. Teacher says I only have to do two sentences, not three.

Carrot: (sigh) Honey, I am your teacher.