Into the Wild

(scene opens in packed camp Trading Post, girls filling arms with last minute camp swag)

Me: (standing patiently in line) Did you have a fun week? Glad for it to be over?

Gamma: How long until I can be a CIT?

Me: Oh. That’s high school level Girl Scouts. (starts to stroke daughter’s hair) You’ll have to wa… Gamma, did you shower at all this week?

(mom behind in line with similarly grungy daughter starts laughing)

Gamma: (sighs) Yes, mama.

Me: (horrified amusement) Your hair is…crunchy.

Gamma: (eye roll and sass) Mom. It’s camp.

(more laughter from behind)

Me: (concedes point) I was probably flexible with my shower schedule at camp too.

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For Whom

(scene opens in cleaned parlor, new grandfather clock against the wall)

Beta: Now where did this clock come from?

Me: (dusting the wood gently) My grandparent’s. You probably never noticed it because Busia had the chimes off.

(clock strikes the half hour, Westminster Chimes ringing clear)

Beta: Ohmigod! Alpha! Come here! The clock got its ring from the clock in Five Nights at Freddy’s!

Me: (irked) No, the music comes a tower clock in England….

Beta: (interrupting hastily) Right, right. But that’s where we know the chimes from.

Me: (dismissive) Learn you some.

(multiple cut-scenes follow, shots through out the day of the chimes at the quarter hours, Alpha and Beta shouting out “Freddie clock!”)

Me: (completely unhinged) I SWEAR BY ALL THE OLD GODS AND THE NEW THAT THE NEXT ONE THAT CALLS THE WESTMINSTER CHIMES A “FREDDIE CLOCK” WILL BE SACRIFICED TO ERII SO HER REIGN MAY LAST FOREVER!

Scale Appropriately

(scene starts in bedroom, Carrot knee deep in girl toys)

Me: (sorting, cleaning, organized)

(off screen the shouts and yells of boys)

Me: (sighs, extracts self, goes downstairs)

(scene begins in kitchen, moderately clean)

Delta: (wailing in toddler)

Alpha: (throwing up hands) That’s it! I’m done! I’m done! No more!

Beta: (sees disapproving Carrot in the doorway) Delta gets upset because the show ends and he wants another one.

Alpha: (outraged) And he doesn’t tell me what he wants, he just cries for what he wants! We already showed him out to use the remote!

Me: (sighs, rubs forehead) He’s four, guys. He needs help using the remote for a smart TV. That’s a little above his pay grade.

Beta: (indignant) He can do lots of things above his pay grade. He should be able to use a smart remote!

Me: (with salt) Almost like how, as teenagers, you should be able to brush your teeth twice a day without me yelling at you, yet for some reason that seems to be way beyond your pay grade.

(camera cuts to three way stare down)

Alpha: (sighs, takes Delta’s hand, head to tv room) I’ll fix it for you, Delta.

Me: (silent and strategic retreat)

Away She Goes

(scene opens in wooded clearing, small cabins in semi circle)

Me: (hugging daughter, taking photos)

Gamma: (brightly) Okay! Bye mom! See you in a week!

(Husband and Carrot wave excitedly, turn to leave)

GS Counselor: (perplexed) You’re leaving already?

Husband: We’ve been dismissed.

GS Counselor: ….Oh. (proceeds to chat with Gamma as parents move away)

Alpha: (falls in with Delta on his shoulders) That went a lot easier than I expected. I was expecting tears or something.

Husband: I don’t know why you’d think that.

Me: This is her second year of resident camp and she’s only going into third grade. You and your brother didn’t go to resident camp without a parent until going into sixth.

Husband: She’s the bravest kid we’ve got.

Alpha: (makes sound of one pwned)

Potential Avenger Spoilers

(scene opens in kitchen in the midst of a deep clean)

Me: (walks in from outside, carrying bucket of movie popcorn)

Husband: (looks up from cleaning the stove) Hey, how was it? Did you cry?

Me: A couple of times.

Husband: A couple?

Me: The first time was…(voice starts to crack and waver) …was… (hard swallow) when Cap called the hammer. (tears start, looks away from audience) Hang on…hang on…wait…. (looks back, composed) Okay. Good. (deep breath) Right.

Husband: (nods in understanding) Hawkeye’s family.

Me: Yeah. (deep breath) Second time. Um, there was that one line up? (husband nods) And Gamma leans over to me and… (voice quavers again) ….and…and she says to me… (braces self) “Women make the best super heroes.” (tears start again)

Husband: (small voice) Oh. (face turns pink, looks away)

Me: Yeah. (sniffs) I was not prepared for the feelz.

He’s On To Us

(scene opens in early morning dinning room, Husband and Carrot at the table)

Alpha: (wanders in, sleepy) I had some weird dreams.

Me: (sips coffee) Oh yeah? What were they about?

Alpha: (groggy) I was on a bus going some place. Me and my friends from school. And we were just going. And it was dark. And the ride just kept going and going and going. Like we were never going to get there…

Husband: (leans over, in stage whisper) I think he knows.

Me: (same whisper) Hush.

Alpha: (pauses uncertainly, then with determination) No. (stalks out of the room)

(Husband and Carrot laugh uproariously)

No Gratitude

(scene opens with mom coming from grocery shopping)

Me: (humming, puts away groceries, pulls out bag of hazelnut M&Ms, divides equally in four bowls, hands them out)

Alpha: (doesn’t notice bowl balanced on his belly, too busy raiding)

Beta: (takes it with extreme dramatic suffering, cheek stuffed with gauze)

Delta: M&Ms!? I LOVE M&Ms!

Gamma: (hands bowl back) Mom, I only like Skittles.

Me: (sighs) Eat your M&Ms, sweetie. They’re good for you.

Surprise!

(scene opens in dentist waiting room)

Dental Assistant: (leading out grumpy Beta) He did great. Had no idea what he was here for.

Beta: You lied to me.

DA: (joins in laughter)

Me: (evil laugh) I did!

Me: Show me the tooth.

(close up on baby tooth with roots still present)

DA: Yeah, that wasn’t going to be coming out on its own any time soon. Now there’s room for the adult tooth to come in.

Me: Excellent. Thank you so much.

Beta: You lied to me. I thought I was getting a cleaning.

Me: You did. We cleaned out an old tooth you didn’t need any more. Don’t you feel cleaner?

Two Jokes In One

(scene opens coming out of the pediatrician’s office)

Beta: (wailing) I can’t believe you let them do that!
Me: (unmoved) You know nurses do that on purpose, right? The more a male patient whines about shots, the girlier the band-aid?
Beta: (yanks up sleeve to display his horror) My Pretty Pony! You let them give me a My Pretty Pony band-aid! She said it’d be cool!
Me: For one, some people think that’s cool. For two, next time don’t whine so much. For three, look – squirrel.

(both stop to consider squirrel a foot away, at the base of a tree)

Beta: He doesn’t seem scared of us.
Me: I think he is, but he’s not moving a whole lot. His eyes are drooping.
Beta: Maybe he’s going to sleep?
Me: Not in broad daylight at the bottom of a tree. He’s probably sick. C’mon – let’s go and leave him be.

(both move off to parked cars)

Beta: (hopeful) There’s a doctor’s office right there?
Me: A pediatrician takes kids, not squirrels. (pause) Even though they’re both wild animals.
Beta: (flatly) Really. You went there.
Me: (laughs maniacally) I did.

Expectations

(scene opens in moderately clean kitchen)

Me: (washing dishes at sink)
Beta: (comes up with small desert plate, plain cheesecake with a single bite taken)
Me: Want some cherry on top?
Beta: (hesitantly) Uh…no. I don’t like it.
Me: What’s wrong with it?
Beta: It doesn’t taste like cheese.
Me: (laughing) Honey, its cheesecake not cheese.
Beta: (explosive) What manic decided it was a good idea to put sugar in cheese?!
Me: Its a sweet cheese! Its supposed to be soft and sweet and creamy and used in desserts!
Beta: (fumes in outrage)
Me: (waves a wet hand) Put it on the counter, I’ll eat it when I’m done.

(Beta stalks off screen)

Husband: (watching from other doorway) The best part of that was him thinking he was being served a wedge of hard cheese for desert and being okay with it.
Me: Now I know what to give him tomorrow.

Man vs Nature

(scene opens in cluttered kitchen)

Me: (enters, passes by open porch door where Beta lurks, stops) What?
Beta: (red faced teary eyed, chokes up) I…I just…the grass…

(over grown yard half mowed behind him comes into view)

Me: (interrupts) Look, this is nothing to cry about. This is mowing the lawn. If you just go and cut and stop coming here to cry about how hard it is every five minutes, you’d be done by now.
Beta: (redder face, tears building)
Me: This is a challenge. Rise up and defeat it. Pretend the grass is an army you’re slaughtering. Say to them “Behold, grassy army, I will destroy your legions and defile your grassy corpses and revel in my victory.”
Beta: (stares)
Me: I want it on record that ten year old me would have had this done in twenty minutes. You can verify that with my brother. Begone.
Beta: (slinks away)

Out the Gate

(scene opens in eye doctor lobby, a khalasar of children run out the door to the car)

Doctor: So, here’s the prescription for Beta. (hands over paper) I’ll see him in a year, the rest in two. (turns to desk nurse) Can she get three dilation sunglasses? (back to Carrot, with sympathy) Try to have a good summer.
Me: (brave smile) I’ll do my best. Thanks, Doc.

(doctor exits)

Me: (eyes Desk Nurse) Uh…I have four kids. Is there any possible way I could get a fourth set to prevent any fighting on the drive home?
Older Desk Nurse: (starts laughing)
Younger Desk Nurse: Sure thing. (opens up a fourth set)
Me: I appreciate it. Maybe I could come back once a week and sit in your exam room for twenty minutes? I could bring snacks.

(both desk nurses laugh)