Good Clean Fun

(scene opens in chaos filled parlor, video game war in progress)

Me: That’s it. (turns off Xbox, picks up remote) We’re going to watch something fun.

(collective groan from four children)

Me: Here. We’re going to watch the 2019 Marblelympics.

(silence as marble filled lego stands comes on the screen)

Alpha: (full of teen angst) What in fresh hell is this?

Gamma: I’m Green Ducks!

Delta: I’m Savage Speeders!

Beta: (scowls at the tv) This is cancer.

Husband: (rushes in) Who’s winning, did I miss anything?

Me: No, they just lit the torch.

Husband: This is very exciting. I hope Oceanics does well this year.

Alpha: That’s it, I’m going for a walk.

Price of Nerdity

(scene opens in gloomy dining room)

(montage cut scenes of four children not able to exist without active involvement of their mother)

Me: (slams laptop shut) THAT’S IT!

(collective silence)

Alpha: (too little too late) Guys, you have to leave mom alone, she’s taking a test.

Beta: (having missed the last ten memos) What kind of tests?

Me: I am trying to take my Starfleet exams and I just got my first “pass” and just ruined my grade point average.

Alpha: (smirks) Starfleet? Oh, you’re playing game.

Me: (dangerous) I’m not. I’m reading .pdfs and taking tests. I’ve been homeschooling you all day, I’d appreciate it if you’d let me go to school.

Beta: (dismissively) It’s not even real school. Why would anyone pretend to go school?

Me: (hotly) Because that is what geeks do! Geeks go to pretend schools from pretend realities to get pretend degrees in pretend subjects and then wear pretend alumni shirts for pretend college reunions and talk about their awesome pretend careers! (puts head in hands) I’ll never graduate with honors now.

Gamma: Why even learn all that stuff if its pretend?

Me: So my people will think I’m cool.

Bad Business

(scene opens in cluttered dining room)

Me: (sorting Girl Scout cookies into piles)

Husband: (enters) I hear we have cookies to sell?

Me: Yes. These are what we have left. (camera cuts to mostly empty box)

Husband: Beta said we had Thin Mints.

Me: I just sold them to your brother.

Husband: My brother?! How could you? I was downstairs!

Me: I could hear you on a conference call.

Husband: I was downstairs!

Me: This has more to do with me selling them to your brother and not that I sold them before you could get off the call.

Husband: (outraged) Well obviously!

There’s some good in this world, Mr. Frodo

(scene opens in Woodman’s grocery, everyone masked, social distancing)

Me: (finds herself in aisle with two other women, pulls over to let traffic clear, keeps social distancing)

Woman #1: (starting to pass, wearing paper mask) That is a lovely mask, it fits so well!

Woman #2: (stops, well fitting cloth mask) Thank you, I made it myself!

Woman #1: I’ve been trying to find a place to get one, I’m running out of the paper ones.

Woman #2: Oh! I can make you one! Give me your contact information and I’ll send you one tomorrow.

Woman #1: Really? Oh! That would be lovely!

(women exchange information, turn to look at Carrot)

Woman #2: I’m sorry, we’re blocking traffic.

Me: I’m good. Carry on. No rush.

Peasant Revolt

(scene open in cluttered parlor)

Me: (frazzled) It is three in the afternoon. Is everyone finally done with their school work?!

Beta: (staunchly) Yes. (puts on his shoes)

Me: What are you doing?

Beta: I’m going to take the smalls outside for a sword fight. Get them out of your hair.

Gamma: Yay! Sword fight! (throws down toys, runs for shoes) I want two swords!

Delta: I will use a peasant weapon because I am a peasant.

Husband: (hears this, puts on shoes)

Me: Where are you going?

Husband: Be right back. Have to teach a spear class.

Small Person, Big Question

(scene opens in bathroom, bubble bath in progress)

Delta: When will Corona end?

Me: (taken aback) What? Uh…Oh, I don’t know honey. No one knows. It’s a mystery.

Delta: (agog) No one knows? In the whole wide world?

Me: Nope. Scientists are working on it.

Delta: Where did Corona come from?

Me: An animal. Sometimes people can get sick and give it to animals and animals can get sick and give it to people. It’s why we have to be careful when we cough and stay clean. Wash your hand! (lathers Delta’s head)

Delta: (laughs) Animals can’t cough!

Me: No, but they can spit on you! (pours water on Delta’s head)

Delta: (shrieks and laughs)

(fade to black, cut to car commercial)

Positioning

(scene opens in messy kitchen)

Alpha: (wanders in, groaning) My back hurts.

Husband: Did you sleep wrong?

Alpha: I don’t know. (stretching)

Husband: Did you sleep funny?

Alpha: What?

Husband: Did you sleep funny?

Alpha: (thinks about it) I’m not doing this. (exits, stage left)

Shots Fired

(scene opens in cluttered dinning room)

Alpha & Beta: (being dumb)

Husband: (homework checking laptop) You guys are being dumb.

Alpha: We learn from the best. (strutting through the room)

Me: First, we don’t want dumb kids, we want smart, driven, and ambitious kids. Second, that presumes you have the capacity to learn.

Husband: (turns to look at Alpha) You have something on your jeans. (points) Come here.

Alpha: (looks down, steps closer)

Husband: (knuckle punches Alpha in the thigh)

Alpha: (collapses) I can’t believe I fell for that!

Beta: (laughs) I would have fallen for that.

Me: Back to that capacity to learn.

Will to Live

(scene opens in homeschool parlor)

Me: (gingerly steps into room, clad in bathrobe)

Delta: Mommy! (runs over, slam hugs)

Gamma: Mom! (runs over, bear hugs)

Me: (wanly) I love you too. (pats children) Don’t hug me so hard, my stomach hurts.

Delta: (lets go) Are you better?

Me: Mostly. I need to get something to eat. I’ve not eaten in five days. (moves gingerly to kitchen)

Beta: (looks up from table) How are you alive if you haven’t eaten in five days?

Me: Gatorade. Spite. Mostly spite.

Beta: Your hatred for all humanity?

Me: Something like that.

With a side of whimsy

(scene opens in chaotic kitchen)

Beta: Stop it!

Me: (struggling with traffic control) What?

Beta: Every time I turn my back he drinks my drink! (holds up empty mug and 2 liter of Hawaiian Punch)

Alpha: (washing dishes, evil laugh)

Me: Then take it to the dinning room and pour.

Gamma: I want to drink blood of my enemies too!

Beta: (snotty) It’s not blood it’s fruit punch.

Delta: What fruit punch?

Me: Its a bunch of fruit juice all mixed together (takes 2 liter) Although this isn’t really fruit anything. (gets glasses)

Gamma: Blood of my enemies!

Beta: (hotly) It’s not blood!

Me: Blood of my enemies, Beta. Get it right. (pours two more glasses)

Tactical Advantage

(scene opens up in cluttered dinning room)

Me: (head phones, trying to write)

Gamma: (head phones, preparing for online virtual classroom meeting)

Delta: (comes into kitchen from outside, runs through crying)

Beta: (Follows in, comes to parlor) Good job, Alpha. That was all your fault.

Alpha: (playing Destiny 2) Wut?

Me: (removes headphones, gets up, finds Delta hiding behind door crying) What’s going on?

Beta: We were playing bridge battle. He touches the grass and says, “This is water and I’m Jesus” and runs across it. Alpha taught him that. I told him I wasn’t playing with cheaters any more.

Alpha: (guilty smile)

Me: (laughs, picks up Delta and hugs him) Good job.

Bro, do you even school?

(scene opens in dinning room)

Me: Guys, I’m getting emails from teachers updating me on your assignments. Who’s teacher is Ms. W? Who has Ms. D? Anyone have Mr. G?

Kids: (collectively) Uh, I don’t recognize those names.

Me: Okay, they’re either Alpha or Beta’s ’cause I know Gamma and Delta’s.

Bigs: I dunno.

Me: (slogs through school web page directories) Okay Beta, you have Ms. W and Ms. D. Alpha – you have Mr. G.

Beta: Oh yeah, Ms. W is the English teacher. I forgot.

Alpha: Who is Mr. G? I don’t know a Mr. G.

Me: IT IS APRIL HOW DO YOU NOT KNOW THE NAMES OF YOUR TEACHERS?!?