Tribalism

(scene opens in messy kitchen)
Me: Gamma. Why are you not being nice at school. The teacher says you’re hitting, kicking and calling people names. Don’t you want to make friends?
Gamma: No.
Me: (pause) Why not?
Gamma: Alpha and Beta are my friends.
Me: (tries new angle) Kids aren’t going to want to talk to you, do you want that?
Gamma: Yes. I want Alpha and Beta to talk to me.
Me: (Throws up hands) Gamma! Alpha and Beta are at home, you need friends at school!
Gamma: I don’t need friends. I have Alpha and Beta.
Me: (grinds molars and tries not to blaspheme over Beta only wanting to be friends with Alpha and Alpha having no fucks to give for any sibling) I wish everyone had similarly functioning loyalty in this house.

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Foul creatures

Alpha: We got our gym locker assignments today.
Me: Oh yeah?
Alpha: (gasping desperately) It. Smells. Bad. I think something died in there.
Me: Welcome to Jr. High gym class.

Dancing

Gamma: Turn on music so I can dance!
Me: (silently seethes, coffee time is quiet time) Okay.
(Pandora pulls up the Goth Station)
Beta: What song is this?
Me: It’s called “Kiss” it’s one of my favorites to dance to.
Beta: This isn’t dance music!
Me: You’d be surprised.

Mommy’s little helper

(scene opens in the dining room, noises coming from kitchen)
Me: Gamma, what are you doing in there?
Gamma: Washing the dishes of course.
Me: (looks pointedly at Beta) That’s very nice of you, Gamma.
Beta: (slinks behind his book)
Gamma: I’m doing the dishes so you don’t have too! Your cup is clean now!
Beta: (slinks deeper)
Me: That was so nice of you, Gamma, (glare intensifies) especially since you did it without asking.
Beta: (lays under the table to do reading homework)

I’m a big boy now

(scene opens in messy kitchen)
Me: Alpha, do you know where your bus stop is?
Alpha: (quietly) Yes.
Me: Did you want me to walk with you, just in case?
Alpha: (even quieter) No.
Me: (spider sense tingling) Alpha, would you be embarrassed if I walked you to your bus stop?
Alpha: (pause) Yes.
Me: It’s okay, Alpha, I understand. My feelings are not hurt. (cue “My baby is all grown up” soundtrack)

Best foot forward

(scene opens in kid’s barely organized room)
Me: First day of kindergarten! What skirt do you want to wear, khaki or navy?
Gamma: I like black.
Me: It’s navy. Trust me. What shirt?
Gamma: Red like the blood.
Me: Awesome. I’m going to love talking to your teacher.

Can we get a do-over?

(Scene opens with mother washing her hands in the bathroom. Yelling occurs)
Me: (runs out thinking she’s about to witness sibling death) What’s going on?!
Alpha: There’s a live bug in my cereal!
Me: (looks, pulls limp moth out of the milk) Not any more.
Alpha: (pause, then sourly) I’m going back to bed.
(Alpha exits stage right, cereal gets dumped)

Just eat it

(Scene opens with maternal unit watching son stuff the last few bites of dinner into his mouth)
Me: Was it good, Beta?
Beta: (chipmunk cheeks, nods furiously)
Me: Do you know what the sauce was on the chicken?
Beta: (still chewing, shakes head)
Me: Spaghetti sauce. I used the last of the spaghetti sauce in cooking the chicken so from now on, I don’t want a single damn complaint how you don’t like sauce on your noodles. Am I clear?
Beta: (contemplates his now empty dinner plate and sighs) Okay.

Aging well

Alpha: Mom, how old were you when the Great Chicago Fire happened?
Me: (blink) Uh….that happened long before I was born. I was born in 1972, look in your book and see what date it happened.
Alpha: (fips through book) Oh, so it happened the year before you were born. 1871.
Me: (sigh)….Alpha. That’s 101 years.
Alpha: Oh. Right.