Well fix it, dear Henry

(scene opens at messy breakfast table, kids arguing)
Me: (coming to foggy awareness) What are you fighting about now?
Gamma: (mangles some words)
Beta: (talking over her) She took the crayon box upstairs to her room! Now how am I going to be able to my homework when all the pencils are in her room?
Me: (stroking out) Oh my god, Beta! How ever will we manage! There is no way any human could possibly ever climb all those stairs to the second floor for a pencil! No one could ever survive the arduous trek up a flight of stairs for a pencil! No way could you ever manage to bring one home from school! You’re going to fail school and forget how to write your name! We’re all going to die!
Beta: (furious, pounds up stairs, retrieves crayon box, grabs backpack and leaves for school)
Delta: (WTF look, staring after them)
Me: This is why mommy drinks.

I’m just trying to help

(scene opens over changing table)
Delta: (wrestling the evil clothes) *screams*
Me: (uncaffeinated) Yes, Delta. It’s cold in here, you’re getting pants AND a sweater.
Delta: *screams intensifies*
Me: (unmoved, transfers Delta to the floor) There. It’s 48 degrees in here, you’ll feel better.
Delta: (full of murderous rage rolls across the floor) *blood curdling screams*
Me: I’m going to get coffee (leaves room)
Delta: (realizes how comfy and toasty warm he is – finally – falls asleep)
Me: No one ever listens to me.

Apocalypse Scouts, troop #001

(scene opens on floor of kitchen)
Me: (helps Gamma open a box) Look! It’s your Daisy starter kit! Your books and official vest!
Gamma: I’m a Girl Scout! I’m a Girl Scout! Oh mommy you love me so much! (hugs mother, puts on official blue vest) I’m so happy!
Me: Mommy will sew on the patches when the machines come back from the shop….
Gamma: Mommy! I need to go set a fire so I can get my firestarter badge!
Me: …that’s not exactly how this all works.

Questionable requirements

(scene opens over laptops)
Me: So, Alpha’s Citizen in the Community merit badge? One of the requirements is watching a movie about having a positive influence on one’s community. Would The 300 count?
Husband: American History X.
Me: Harsh. What about….uh…Wolverines?
Husband: You mean Red Dawn? I suppose that would work on a technicality.

Clothes make the man

(scene opens over ironing board)
Me: Here, Alpha, you can wear this shirt for photos tomorrow.
Alpha: (with scorn) I can’t wear that, that’s your shirt!
Me: (only slightly bitter) Alpha, this is a man’s shirt. When I worked at Polo I bought men’s clothing because women’s clothing was too small. I’m wearing men’s jeans right now.
Alpha: (eyes pants, incredulous and crestfallen)
Me: Men’s clothing is generally better made and more comfortable. I’ll leave this shirt here for you to try on once you’re done with your homework.

Outrage, stage left

(scene opens in basement, mother folding laundry)
Alpha: (coming down stairs) I have to do my reading homework and I finished Deathly Hallows.
Me: Cursed Child is on the sewing table. Listen, you need four books in six genres for your Reading Merit badge. Cursed Child is a play. If you document your reading, this will count for your badge.
Alpha: Okay. I’m getting a snack first.
(time passes)
Me: (goes upstairs with clean laundry to hear outrage) What’s wrong?
Alpha: This isn’t a story! This is a play! I wanted to read a real story!
Me: (sigh) It is a real story. You just have to pay careful attention at who’s doing the talking.

Lesson learned

(scene opens in same kitchen, different mess)
Me: (pours coffee)
Delta: (points to mug) *shrill bird cry*
Me: We’ve been through this already. No.
Delta: *shrill intensifies*
Me: Awesome, you’re already a fiend. (holds down mug)
Delta: (takes one looks inside and walks away)
Me: Learning curve achieved.

Job descriptions

(scene opens with an excited explanation of how a Punnett square works)
Alpha: Mom, how come all my teachers are women?
Me: It’s kinda just how it happens. Women are very smart.
Alpha: Then why are there more men in the military than women? If they’re smarter, they could plan special operations and secret missions and lines of attack.
Me: Because men can lift heavy things.
Alpha: (pause) Brains and brawn?
Me: Something like that.