Innate knowledge

(scene opens in cluttered parlor)

Gamma: (shrieking) MOM! BETA IS CALLING ME A LOSER.

Me: (resignedly enters the room, sees Beta with thumb on either side of his head, single finger raised like horns) Beta?

Beta: (waggles hands) I’m not calling her a loser, I’m pretending to be a moose.

Gamma: (moar shrieking) THOSE ARE ‘L’s! ‘L’s MEAN LOSER!

Me: (inhales deeply, stares in Ron Swanson) That’s not a moose. You need all your fingers for moose horns.

Beta: (processes, opens both hands) I’m a moose!

Gamma: (quick reversal) YOU’RE A MOOSE! MOOSE! MOOSE! MOOSE!

Me: (contemplates the absurdity of her existence, exits stage left)

Hard to tell

(scene opens at zoo. Mom and child with activity backpack)

Gamma: Look at the bunnies! I’m a wild animal too, mama.

Me: (without inflection) Really. I had no idea. Okay Gamma, station four. (hands over ziplock bag) What is our activity?

Gamma: (pulls out laminated cards) Domestic Animals. Am I a domestic animal, mama?

Me: (hesitates) No. I’m pretty sure you’re not.

Gamma: (continues to read) Domestic animals are animals that can’t take care of themselves, they do not know how to find food or shelter in the wild. See, mama? I’m totally a domestic animal.

Me: (resigned) I stand corrected.

Opportunity strikes

(scene opens in tossed dinning room)

Alpha: (thinking himself clever) Mom, if people evolved from monkeys, why do we still have monkeys?
Me: (shock) Did you just seriously ask me that question?
Alpha: (bravado wavers a bit) Yeah.
Me: (anticipatory stretch, cracks knuckles) I have been waiting for this moment for a long time. Sit down while I learn you good. Its been a while since I used the Anthro degree. (picks up pencil to sketch out hominid family tree)

(time passes, multiple cut scenes follow, science happens)

Alpha: (whimpers)
Me: There. And that’s why, my little hairless ape, there are both monkeys and human beings. Before you decide this play this trick again, the same goes for dogs and wolves. Unless you’re dumb enough to think that pre-historic saber-toothed Bichon Frise roamed the earth hunting undersized mammoths.
Alpha: (slinks off to kitchen to do dishes)

Its his only defense

(scene opens in pediatric exam room, mother aggravated)

Gamma: (climbing on exam table, jumping down. Repeat)
Delta: (clad only in a diaper, runs in circles)
Nurse: (enters) Okay, guys! Let’s get some height and weight!
Gamma: Yay! (jumps down, runs to scale)
Delta: (stops cold, lays down on the floor)
Me: C’mon, Delta, let’s go. (slithers bonelessly out of grasp)
Nurse: That’s okay, we can lay him on the baby scale.

(scene cuts to Delta motionless on baby scale)
Nurse: Okay! Time to see how tall you are!
Gamma: Yay! (runs to measuring marks on the wall)
Delta: (remains slug like, eyes the only thing moving)
Nurse: (slightly daunted) Okay then. We can just lay him on the table and measure there.

(Scene cuts to Delta on exam table, eyes tracking measuring tape)
Nurse: Time for flu shots!
Gamma: No! (runs, cowser in the corner)
Nurse: (Grabs Delta’s arm, gives vaccine)
Delta: (doesn’t move, doesn’t flinch)
Nurse: That is amazing.
Me: I think his spirit animal is a fainting goat.

Meteorology Games

(scene opens over dish washing)

Beta: Mom, explain this groundhog thing to me.
Me: On the second of February, the groundhog comes out and it’s bright and sunny, he sees his shadow, gets scared, goes back to his burrow and its six more weeks of winter. If he comes out and it’s cloudy, no shadow and he just tools around doing his groundhogy thing, then winter is over and spring has arrived.
Beta: That doesn’t make sense. It should be the opposite. If the sun is out and the weather is nice, winter is over and winter is still here if it’s cold and cloudy.
Me: (mental sigh as she tries to find the words) Groundhog Day is a…poetic conceit? The cultural game we all play and pretend to go along with. No one actually believes it, we just go along with it.
Beta: But what happens if the groundhog says it’s spring?
Me: He never does! It is always six more week of winter because it is six weeks from February 2nd to the March 21st, which is when spring starts.
Beta: Then why do we do it?
Me: (starts up lecture of the cultural forerunners, Imbolc and Candlemas, then realize that no one is listening to her) Because humans are silly.
Beta: Oh, that makes sense.