Nutritional Awareness

(scene opens in morning kitchen)

Me: (in bathrobe examining containers of leftovers) Beta? Did you have dinner last night after I left?
Beta: (from dining room) Yeah, why?
Me: (comes in with lettuce bag) Did you have taco salad?
Beta: (slowly) Yeah.
Me: The lettuce isn’t even touched. Did you put any lettuce in your salad?
Beta: I did. I ripped off two leaves about this big (makes a small square with his fingers and thumbs)
Me: That’s not salad, that’s garnish. You basically ate a big bowl of taco meat.
Beta: (defensively) It had cheese on it too.
Me: (deep breath) That would explain why all the cheese is gone.

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Archetypes

(scene opens in laundry strewn basement, Thor: Ragnarok on screen)

Beta: (feverish, weakly laying on couch)
Me: (folding all the laundry) Thor and Loki remind me of you and your brother.
Beta: (pathetically) Which one?
Me: (eyes Delta running up and down the stairs in some pretend game) If I have to tell you, you’re sicker than I though.
Beta: (weak cough)

(on screen, Thor and Loki battle to the ship hangar)

Me: Y’know, they keep trying to kill one another and they still find ways to work together. Maybe you and Alpha should try that for once.
Beta: (whispers) They have mini-lazer guns and are saving the planet.
Me: Maybe the two of you should save the planet known as Mom’s Sanity.
Beta: (mulls that over) Can we have mini-lazer guns?
Me: When Nerf sells them.

Our Truest Selves

(scene opens up on street corner, school bus pulling up)

Delta: (climbing the stairs) ‘Appy ‘Allo-een!
Jolly Bus Driver: Happy Halloween buddy! (gives high five)
Delta: I got pajamas on! (trots off to his seat, compares pjs with seat mate)
JBD: I suppose doing pajama day on Halloween is easier than costumes?
Me: I would guess. All day in costume would wear them out.
JBD: (tugs on overall strap that he wears daily) I dressed as a farmer today! (laughs uproariously)
Me: I dressed as a well-adjusted mother of four.

(More uproarious laughter)

The Way She Moves

(scene opens in grocery store)

Me: (critically looks through the pre-sliced deli selection. Takes a variety of cheeses)
Deli Employee #1: (rolls up with a cart of fresh bagged meats)
Me: Oooh! Do you have turkey?
DE #1: Got some I.D.?
Me: Aww man, you gonna card me for some turkey?
DE #1: (turns to look at co-worker) Make her dance for it?
Me: Make me dance?
DE #2: That’d work. (mimics a little white girl shuffle)
Me: (claps hands, busts out a modified Fortnight emote)

(both deli employees double over with laughter)

DE #1: My man. Giv’er here. (holds out fist)
Me: (completes fist bump, takes the bacon wrapped turkey) Thank you, gentlemen. Have a good one.

Lawful Good

(scene opens in full airplane)

Beta: (spastic) Look! Look! Look! (pointing out window)
Alpha: (white knuckled, grits) Could you not?
Me: (calmly reading Kindle) Alpha, it’s okay. We’re not even turbulent.
Beta: Yeah, Alpha, not like we’re about to drop out of the sky in a flaming wreck.
Alpha: Seriously? Why would you say that?
Me: We’re in a tin can being thrown through the air, held aloft by the Laws of Physics.
Alpha: MOM!
Me: Math is magic.

Its Funny Because its True

(scene opens in dinning room)

Me: (harried, going over high school registration forms) Alpha, you can’t switch to Spanish next year, you’re taking German 2.
Alpha: (outraged) But wouldn’t it make more sense to learn a language everyone here is already speaking?!
Me: You can take Spanish in college if you want. Or you can start Spanish DuoLingo.
Alpha: But I’m already doing German DuoLingo as homework.
Me: You can do more than one at a time. I’m doing three right now.
Alpha: (sullen) But one of them is Klingon and that doesn’t count.
Husband: He’s not wrong.
Me: (harumphs)

How am I not ruling the world?

(scene opens in a tossed parlor)

Me: For the last time today, sit down and do your reading for English.
Beta: (whining) But I did my reading!
Me: That was for your Merit Badge. Different book. English class. Now.
Beta: (more whining, gravity suddenly triples in effort to reach paperback)
Me: (refuses to be baited, sips coffee)
Beta: (studies book as if having never seen it before) What page was I on?
Me: (temporarily looses vision) What makes you think I would know that?
Beta: (guileless) You’re supposed to be keeping up with my homework so I know what I’m doing.
Me: Find. Your. Page. Read. The. Whole. Book. Tonight.

Can’t Fool Me

(scene opens in cluttered parlor)

Beta: (warbling scales on baritone)
Me: (not looking up from embroidery frame) That second to last note is wrong.
Beta: (hotly) No its not.
Me: It is. Play it again.
Beta: (warbles, second to last note wrong) I didn’t hear anything wrong.
Me: What valve are you pushing? (looks up) Try pushing the middle one.
Beta: (plays scale through three times, none keeping the same octave all the way through)
Me: I’m waiting.
Beta: (wails) Mom! I’m playing it right! The teacher told me this is the fingering! Its just how my baritone plays!
Me: (sighs, gets up from couch, pulls up fingering chart for Bass Clef on laptop) Oh look. That’s the note you’re trying to play? (points to note) Looks like it’s middle valve.
Beta: (sullen, plays scale, all notes correct, stares at mother)
Me: Seriously. “This is just how my baritone plays?” You actually thought I’d fall for that? Remember this next time I’m not taking you seriously.
Beta: (goes back to playing scales with less warble)

Min-Maxing

(scene opens in foyar, back pack up-ended)

Delta: MOM! MOM! Today is the last day! (waves brochure)
Me: (unfazed) Last day for what?
Delta: (incredulous) Duh! The last day to sign me up!
Me: (absently) Don’t “duh” me. Sign you up for what? (takes brochure) This is for the Boy Scouts. You’re already a Girl Scout. Did you want to be both?
Delta: (glows like a thousand suns) I could do both! I could go on twice as many adventures! I could be a sister to every scout!
Me: That’d be one way to level up faster than your brothers.

To Try Men’s Souls

(scene opens in tossed dining room)

Me: So how was school? Any homework? (sips coffee)
Beta: Yeah, English. I have to find a word that describes me that rhymes with the sound of my name.
Me: (pause, confused) You have to find a descriptive word that rhymes with your name? Or one that starts with the same letter?
Beta: (instantly exasperated) Rhymes with my name!
Me: (pretty sure he’s wrong) There aren’t going to be any descriptive words that sound like your name, honey.
Beta: (falls apart, verge of tears) It has to rhyme with the “L” sound.
Me: (staying calm, grits out) Rhyme is the wrong word. Rhyme is “bat, cat, rat, prat”. Starting with the same letter is completely different. (Points to computer) Get on Thesaurus.com and look up a word.
Beta: (hysterical) But I don’t even know what word I’m looking for yet.
Me: (slams hands on table) Would you just trust my judgement for once and get on the computer!
Beta: (does so, stares at blanks screen for five minutes, quivering with tears)
Me: (sighs deeply, leans over to type)

(close up on screen shows word “argumentative”)

Me: There. (conversationally reads) Belligerent. Combative. Contrary. Litigious. Litigious is a good word. That starts with the letter “L”.
Beta: (bright and cheery) Yeah! It is a good word.
Me: (stares into the blackness that is her coffee)

Sing it loud

(scene opens in mini van)

Me: Is it just me, or is every station commercials?
Beta: (pressing radio buttons) Seems like it.
Me: (hears music) Stop. (turns up “Raspberry Beret”) This is a good song.
Beta: (skeptical look)
Me: Yeah, sorry, today you get to listen to oldies with your mom.
Beta: (skepticism intensifies)
Me: Yes, I did just die a little on the inside just saying that.

In Preparation

(Scene opens in dinning room, ridiculous piles of school supplies everywhere, fast sort begins)

Grade School Pile: ALL THE THINGS! YOU MUST STOCK UP FOR THE APOCALYPSE! THERE IS NO HOPE OF EVER FINDING ANOTHER PENCIL PAST THE START OF SCHOOL! IF YOU ARE NOT TRIPLE STOCKED NOW YOU WILL NEVER GRADUATE AND IT WILL GO ON YOUR PERMANENT RECORD! YOU WILL BE JUDGED ON THE TYPE OF CRAYONS YOU GET AND YOUR FOLDERS NEED TO BE SPECIFIC COLORS THAT NO ONE CARRIES! ALSO ANTI-BIOTIC EVERYTHING BECAUSE OF REASONS!

Middle School Pile: Overly organized and oversized binders that you will never use. Start to flirt with college ruled. Adult calculator but your scissors are still safety. More pencils than grade school, half the markers. Do kids not use pens any more?

High School Pile: Got a folder? A pencil? Cool. Here’s your locker combo. Good luck.