State of the Nation

(scene opens at the dinner table)

Me: (lights the first candle in the menorah and the first candle on an Advent wreath)
Beta: Why are we lighting the menorah if we’re not Jewish?
Husband: We’re not exactly Christian either.
Me: (firmly) Every culture has a celebration of lights during the dark of the year. The first week of Advent represents Hope, so tonight we focus on our Hopes for the season and the coming year. We light the menorah as a reminder that we stand with our Jewish cousins. In this country, people are still terrorized for being…
Husband: (calmly) When she says “terrorized” she means “being killed”.

(awkward pause)

Alpha: No way.
Husband: (to wife) Don’t you remember a few months ago? Eleven people shot at a synagogue?
Me: (thinks) I thought it was a shopping mall.
Husband: Starting to become hard to tell them apart, isn’t it?

(another awkward pause)

Gamma: (brightly) Let’s eat!

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Devil’s Details

(scene opens at breakfast table)

Me: (wearily drinking coffee)
Beta: (off screen, sounds of animal outrage)
Me: (sighs) Beta. Slither hither, please.
Beta: (stalks into the room, hunched in pouty outrage)
Me: What’s going….
Beta: (interrupts, begins a twenty minute rant of the evils of little sisters, exceptionally and unnecessarily detailed, beginning with unimportant side stories of happenings that started a week ago)
Me: And then she threw rock, you threw paper.
Beta: …wut?
Me: (sighs, puts down coffee) Hey Beta, did you have any homework you needed to finish?
Beta: (pauses uncertainly) I think so? Maybe? I don’t remember.
Me: (voice hardens) Don’t you think its a little odd that you can accurately detail every single supposed crime of Gamma – down to the expression on her face – and the immense torture you’ve been under the entire time, but you can’t remember if you did your homework last night?
Beta: (starts to crumble, sheepish grin) Uh…
Me: Get out. You’re not allowed to talk for the next 20 minutes.

Spirit of the Wolf

(scene opens in girl’s tossed bedroom)

Me: (shakes blanketed form) Gamma, time to get up for school. (notices sheet hammock from top bunk) What’s this?
Gamma: (rolls over, still sleepy) All my dogs.

(shot inside shows Wolfenoot gift, smaller stuffed dogs, including a mini-Fluffy from Harry Potter)

Me: That’s cute. They’re all nice and warm in there.
Gamma: (gets up, points at Wolfenoot wolf) All my dogs were orphans until he took them in and now they’re a dog family.
Me: (overwhelmed, kisses Gamma’s forehead)

Lame Start

(scene opens in early morning parlor)

Gamma: (still in pjs with sequined sleep mask) Mom! I looked everywhere for the presents and there isn’t anything!
Me: (confused, re-heating yesterday’s coffee) Honey, Christmas isn’t for another few weeks.
Gamma: No! Wolfenoot! There’s supposed to be presents!
Me: Oh honey, yesterday was Wolfenoot. Its on your birthday. That’s why you got a stuffed wolf.
Gamma: (crushed) When’s the next Wolfenoot! Do I have to wait another year?!
Me: Yes, you have to wait another year. Things got busy this month, I promise next year the Spirit of the Wolf will do a better job.
Gamma: (slumps out of the room) That was the worst Wolfenoot ever.
Me: (calls after her) It was the first Wolfenoot ever! We’ve not had enough practice! (to self) Man, no love for the Wolf Mom.

Eat All The Things

(scene opens in brighter kitchen, partially clean)

Me: Tart chilling, cran-apple sauce chilling, butternut soup in the crock. Time for breakfast. (takes mini-cupcake off a tray) Please tell me you had one of these before I eat them all.
Husband: (washing dishes) No.
Me: They’re delicious. Pumpkin spice cake with cream-cheese frosting. You didn’t have any last time and I bought these specifically for breakfast.
Husband: (dismissive) You don’t have cupcakes for breakfast.
Me: (outraged) Why not?! There are breakfast burritos, no reason we can’t have breakfast cupcakes! (takes another mini cupcake) Besides, now its noon and so now they’re lunch cupcakes.

High Needs

(scene opens in 4 am bedroom)

Delta: (off screen) Mama!
Me: (opens eyes, sees clock, lays still, hoping)
Delta: (off screen, louder) MAMA!
Me: (mouths profanities, lurches up, into Delta’s room)
Delta: (screams) MAMA I NEED YOU!
Me: (hurriedly checks small body for wetness, temperature) What’s wrong honey?
Delta: (helplessly laying in the shadows, eyes still closed, points to feet imperiously) Mama. I need my blanket.
Me: (looks at blankets laying on feet, processes, pulls blanket up to Delta’s chin)
Delta: (snuggles in, rolls over)
Me: (stumbles back to bed)
Husband: (sleepily) What was that all about?
Me: I’m putting him out with the recycling in the morning.
Husband: (pats wife comfortingly)

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.

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)