(scene opens in busy mall. Carrot walking with purpose, Alpha and Beta trotting along behind)
Me: (stops in front of Hot Topic) Okay, here we are. Go in there, look for your cool edgy hoodies. I’ll be back in five minutes.
Alpha/Beta: Got it!
Me: (wanders up, finds both boys leaning on the railing) Did you find what you were looking for?
Alpha: (dismissive) No, its where all the emo teens shop. Nothing there for me.
Me: (raises eyebrows, said cooly) Then it was totally your shop. (peeks in) I’d wear half that stuff if it was in my size. No wonder you didn’t like it. (thinks) Okay, there’s one other place we can try.
(montage of wandering through difficult crowds, uneven floor plans)
Me: (stops in front of Spencer’s Gifts) If you don’t find anything befitting your tough teen image, we’re back to the internet. (sails calmly past a shirt display full of profanity and pot leaves)
(Alpha and Beta edge carefully in, skittishly pick through the store)
Me: (discovers she lost her shadows, back tracks, finds them at the lava lamp display) I always wanted one of those.
Beta: (hopeful) Me too. Think we can get one?
Alpha: Uh…mom? I have questions.
Me: (looks up, follows Alpha’s gaze behind her to the Bachelorette section. Contemplates a row of turgid and rainbow colored lollypops for a moment.) Well. I have answers.
Alpha/Beta: (laughs nervously)
Me: What, embarrassed of a few penises?
Alpha/Beta: (more nervous laughter)
Alpha: (turns to brother) We will never speak of this again.
(both boys turn on their heels and march out of the store. Carrot follows humming a jaunty tune)