Too through

(scene opens in unexpectedly clean kitchen)

Alpha: (bent over sink, head under running water)
Me: …and I can tell when you don’t use shampoo when showering because it doesn’t look clean and smells greasy.
Alpha: What does greasy smell like? Fried chicken?
Me: No, not exactly. It smells like…
Beta: (shrieking from dining room) BEE! A BEE! (runs into kitchen) MOM! A BEE!
Me: (throws towel on Alpha, goes to dining room, sees exceptionally large paper wasp on the chandelier) It’s okay, guys. Everyone stay cool and get me a towel.
Alpha: (hands over damp hand towel from trying his hair)
Me: (twirls it, eyeing wasp on chandelier. Rethinking plan, steps up onto dining room table and crushes wasp into towel)
Beta: Yay mom! You got the bee!
Alpha: Way to go mom!
Gamma: You’re so brave.
Me: Yeah I was kinda scared there. (crushes towel tighter to kill wasp, drops it on kitchen floor after gasping in pain, runs to sink, puts hand under cold water) Quick! Who has their shoes on!?
Kids: (collectively panics)
Me: Damnit! Who has their shoes on?! (sees Alpha has one on) Alpha! Step on the towel! Still alive!
Alpha: (figuring it out) I will avenge the Mother! (stomps on towel repeatedly, declaring vengeance until wasp shoots out the side)
Kids: (scatter squealing)
Me: (feeling faint, resting head on faucet) Where is it?
Beta: Behind the door!
Alpha: I’m on it! (squashes wasp dead, cleans up carefully under direction)
Gamma: Are you okay mommy?
Me: (pulls hand out of water, surveys palm, determines it was just a tip, not a full sting) I’ll be okay. It only hurts a little now.
Beta: Mom? Why is your hairbrush on the stove boiling?
Me: (closes eyes against the morning) I found lice in my hairbrush today.
Kids (scatter squealing)

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Temperature controls

(scene opens on dark second floor landing)
Me: (hears voices in the attic, calls up) Boys, past bedtime.
Alpha: Sorry mom.
Beta: There was a noise from Gamma’s room that kept us up.
Me: I took care of it. (hears something) Do you guys have the air conditioning on up there?!?
Alpha: We’re hot.
Me: (climbs curving staircase, stops near the top) See this? This is called a window. It opens. It lets the 30 degree air into a stuffy attic and cools it down.
Alpha: (on edge) But isn’t that where all the ladybugs are coming in?!
Me: 30 degrees out. The ladybugs are hibernating. The air conditioning doesn’t go on until it hits 80 degrees out. Understand?
Beta: Yes, mom.
Me: Besides, they’re coming in through the window over by your beds. Goodnight!

Excellent Customer Service

(scene opens in local CVS, oddly packed for the day and hour)

Guy at the Register: Next!
Me: (approaches counter, resigned)
Guy: Good evening! How are you tonight?
Me: (sighs, puts down a two-for-one brush combo and two boxes of de-louser)
Crowd: (backs up at least a step)
Guy: (starts sympathetic laughter) I’m so sorry. My daughter had lice once.
Me: Yeah, husband is already shaving heads and the washing machine is on hot.
Guy: Going to be a long night. Well, we have a well stocked liquor department.
Me: A little for me (mimes tipping back) and a little for me (mimes pouring it over the head). Alcohol kills bugs, right?
Guy: (more laughter) I’ll keep the beer cold for you.
Me: I’m within walking distance. I’ll probably be back.