Best. Birthday. Ever.

(scene opens, Carrot walking out of restaurant with her mom)

Host: Are you a Marine?

Me: (touches hair self-consciously) Uh…no?

Host: Oh, your sweatshirt says “Enterprise” on it. That’s a Navel vessel.

Me: (looks down at her brand new StarFleet hoodie) Oh! No – this is a Star Trek thing. Its a future Enterprise, not the current Enterprise.

Host: Oh, okay. (laughs and salutes) Thank you for your service, Captain.

Me: (salutes back) Carry on.

A Whole New World

(scene opens in busy mall. Carrot walking with purpose, Alpha and Beta trotting along behind)

Me: (stops in front of Hot Topic) Okay, here we are. Go in there, look for your cool edgy hoodies. I’ll be back in five minutes.

Alpha/Beta: Got it!

(cut-scene)

Me: (wanders up, finds both boys leaning on the railing) Did you find what you were looking for?

Alpha: (dismissive) No, its where all the emo teens shop. Nothing there for me.

Me: (raises eyebrows, said cooly) Then it was totally your shop. (peeks in) I’d wear half that stuff if it was in my size. No wonder you didn’t like it. (thinks) Okay, there’s one other place we can try.

(montage of wandering through difficult crowds, uneven floor plans)

Me: (stops in front of Spencer’s Gifts) If you don’t find anything befitting your tough teen image, we’re back to the internet. (sails calmly past a shirt display full of profanity and pot leaves)

(Alpha and Beta edge carefully in, skittishly pick through the store)

Me: (discovers she lost her shadows, back tracks, finds them at the lava lamp display) I always wanted one of those.

Beta: (hopeful) Me too. Think we can get one?

Alpha: Uh…mom? I have questions.

Me: (looks up, follows Alpha’s gaze behind her to the Bachelorette section. Contemplates a row of turgid and rainbow colored lollypops for a moment.) Well. I have answers.

Alpha/Beta: (laughs nervously)

Me: What, embarrassed of a few penises?

Alpha/Beta: (more nervous laughter)

Alpha: (turns to brother) We will never speak of this again.

(both boys turn on their heels and march out of the store. Carrot follows humming a jaunty tune)

I can’t make it any easier

(scene opens in stairwell, Carrot wresting Delta into clothes)

Me: (yelling) Beta, are you calling for me?

Beta: (off screen) Where are my uniform pants?

Me: (calls up) One doesn’t fit, one it in the garbage for holes, and the third pair is still being treated to get all the ink stains off of it. Wear jeans.

Beta: I don’t have any!

Me: (stops, Delta runs away) What do you mean you don’t have any?! (stomps up stairs)

(scene cuts to walk up attic, Beta in shirt and underwear, in front of two dresser sets, one with each drawer labeled for contents)

Beta: (sullen) I don’t have any.

Me: (opens drawer labeled pants, camera close up of a chaotic mess of everything but pants. Opens drawer labeled shirts, camera close up on chaotic mess with a flash of denim. Pulls out a pair of jeans)

Beta: (sullenly takes jeans, wrestles them on)

Me: (enunciates) I labeled them. So you could be organized. So you could find. your. pants. We both know what you’re doing after to school today. (picks up shirt, sees high school logo, opens unlabeled drawer from second set, find it empty save for one sock. Close eyes, sigh, drop shirt, leaves room)

Bonus to Awarness

(scene opens in basement, knee deep in baskets of folded laundry, She-Ra on tv)

Delta: (laying upside down on couch)
Me: (in bathrobe, hunting for clothing)
Beta: (breathless, pounds downstairs) What’s that noise!
Me: Probably me laughing, this show is ridiculous. Mermista obviously wants to be She-Ra…
Beta: No! It was loud! Like an alarm!
Me: I don’t hear anything. I…(sudden realization) Oh. You’re hearing the tornado sirens. Its the first Tuesday of the month.
Beta: (flailing) When did they start doing that?!
Me: Since forever.
Beta: (more flailing, more panic) This is horrible! What if there was a real tornado! On the first Tuesday! Of the month!
Me: (finding toddler clothes) Never happens. Against the rules.
Beta: (pause) ….really?
Me: No, not really! How have you never heard a siren before?
Beta: (thinks) Not paying attention?
Me: Huh. Imagine.

Fashion Commentary

(scene opens in parlor)

Me: (scrutinizing daughter) Did you get those pants from grandma for Christmas?
Gamma: (jumping around) I don’t know.
Me: I like the color, but they look awfully snug.
Gamma: That’s just the fashion, momma.
Me: (frowns) I’m not a big fan of jeggings. Do you like them?
Gamma: (bouncing on a mini trampoline) Yes! They’re pretty!

(follows several scenes of daughter running through room, mother staring perplexed)

Me: (resigned) Gamma, come here please. I need to look at those pants.
Gamma: (obediently walks over, turns round so mom can check tag)

(camera close up on size 4T)

Me: Oh dear gods, you’re wearing your little brother’s pants.
Gamma: So?
Me: You’re eight. He’s three. Go take them off and change into something else!
Gamma: I was wondering why they were a little tight.

Taking direction

(scene opens in messy kitchen, body language suggesting recent maternal altercation and cooling down)

Boys: (slink in stage left)
Me: (deep breath) Thank you for getting your pjs on. Now we’re going to try this again. Beta? Go get your pjs on, please.
Beta: (trying not to smile through a pout steps around corner)
Alpha: Walk walk, stairs stairs stairs, change change, stairs stairs stairs, walk, walk.
Beta: (comes out from around the corner)
Me: (realizes what just happened) That was very well done. (gets back into scene) Thank you, Beta. Now, did you want seconds on the pork chop or dessert?
Beta: Seconds, then desert.
Me: Head to the table.
Beta: (leaves)
Me: Stage directions? Really?
Alpha: (proud) I thought it would be funny.