Bad Business

(scene opens in cluttered dining room)

Me: (sorting Girl Scout cookies into piles)

Husband: (enters) I hear we have cookies to sell?

Me: Yes. These are what we have left. (camera cuts to mostly empty box)

Husband: Beta said we had Thin Mints.

Me: I just sold them to your brother.

Husband: My brother?! How could you? I was downstairs!

Me: I could hear you on a conference call.

Husband: I was downstairs!

Me: This has more to do with me selling them to your brother and not that I sold them before you could get off the call.

Husband: (outraged) Well obviously!

Groady to the max

(scene opens in cluttered dinning room)

Beta: (poking at Alpha next to him, on laptop, earbuds in)

Husband: Beta, focus, I’m trying to explain something to you.

Beta: Alpha’s not listening.

Alpha: (eyes don’t leave the screen) I can hear you just fine.

Husband: Excellent, so as I was saying…

Beta: (licks hand, smears it across Alpha’s face, runs out of the room)

Alpha: (rises like a monster from the deep, rips out earbuds) Oh hell no. (spits copiously into his hand, makes to chase after)

Me: (screams) OH MY GOD THAT’S SO GROSS DON’T YOU DARE (proceeds to collapse in hysterical laughter)

Husband: (hard won patience) Alpha, go wash your hands. (Alpha exits)

Me: (still laughing, in tears) I blame you. And your brothers. No way in hell any of mine ever would have done that. That is so…boy.

Husband: (reprovingly) You’re making it really hard to be the disciplinarian with all that laughing.

Me: (more shocked defensive laughter) IT WAS SO GROSS! WHO DOES THAT!?

Mercenary

(scene opens in dim cluttered parlor)

Me: Got your ID? Have a good day. Or try to, anyway. And find about about Cross Country.

Beta: (dismissively) I don’t want to do Cross Country.

Me: (surprised) I thought you were going to run this year?

Beta: Yeah, dad said if I ran this year, I could have a cell phone. But what he’s actually going to do is get Alpha a new one and I’d get his old one. What Alpha ever done for me? He doesn’t even like hanging out with me. (acidly) Why should I help him get a new phone?

Me: (bemused) He’s not getting a new phone, its a second-hand phone.

Beta: (sassy) Yeah, and then mine is third-hand. Again, why should I help him?

Me: So…no phone is better than a third hand phone?

Beta: (nose in the air) Exactly. (sails out, stage right)

Scale Appropriately

(scene starts in bedroom, Carrot knee deep in girl toys)

Me: (sorting, cleaning, organized)

(off screen the shouts and yells of boys)

Me: (sighs, extracts self, goes downstairs)

(scene begins in kitchen, moderately clean)

Delta: (wailing in toddler)

Alpha: (throwing up hands) That’s it! I’m done! I’m done! No more!

Beta: (sees disapproving Carrot in the doorway) Delta gets upset because the show ends and he wants another one.

Alpha: (outraged) And he doesn’t tell me what he wants, he just cries for what he wants! We already showed him out to use the remote!

Me: (sighs, rubs forehead) He’s four, guys. He needs help using the remote for a smart TV. That’s a little above his pay grade.

Beta: (indignant) He can do lots of things above his pay grade. He should be able to use a smart remote!

Me: (with salt) Almost like how, as teenagers, you should be able to brush your teeth twice a day without me yelling at you, yet for some reason that seems to be way beyond your pay grade.

(camera cuts to three way stare down)

Alpha: (sighs, takes Delta’s hand, head to tv room) I’ll fix it for you, Delta.

Me: (silent and strategic retreat)

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.