Called Out

(scene opens in moderately clean dining room)

Me: (at laptop trying to enjoy morning coffee)

Gamma: (runs in, shaking noisemaker) Mom! Mom! I put candy in this plastic heart!

Me: I can hear it. Good job.

Gamma: (shoves it in her face) For you!

Me: (anticipating gross candy) No thank you.

Gamma: But its your heart! Its full of Nerds!

Me: (blinks) You’re right. It is. (accepts)

Gamma: (runs off screen yelling) Mommy’s heart is full of Nerds!

We Brought it on Ourselves

(scene opens in cluttered dinning room)

Husband: (enters from kitchen) Hey, did you hear what Niece K wants to be when she grows up? (opens up laptop)

Me: (typing, doesn’t look up) I already made the reference and he didn’t get it.

(Husband plays Dentist Song from Little Shop of Horrors)

(Boys watch in WTF)

Alpha: What the hell was that?

Husband: A song from a movie.

Beta: What kind of movie has a song about a dentist hurting people?!

Husband: A movie about a plant. A talking plant. That eats people.

Beta: (pauses) It is not. You’re lying.

Me: He’s not. It was a play called Little Shop of Horror, they turned it into a movie. The the plant talks and is called Audrey Two.

Beta: (stares) You are both totally lying to me.

Me: (starts laughing) It does sound like something we’d lie about.

Husband: I wouldn’t believe me either.

Vague Similarity

(scene opens in doctor exam room, Beta and Gamma suffering each other’s existence, Carrot failing sanity checks)

Doctor: (enters) So, tests came back. They both have strep.

Me: (wearily) Not a surprise.

Doctor: I figured they both had it the way their voices were all garbled, but had to do the test to make sure.

Me: Yeah, they do sound like they have golf balls in their mouths.

Beta: Goth balls?

Me: Golf balls. Sounds like you’re talking around solid objects in your throat.

Beta: Oh, okay. That makes more sense. I was trying to figure out what goth balls are.

Me: Eh, it would probably still work as a descriptor. They’re dark and full of pain. (laughs)

Beta: (stares in WTF)

Doctor: (stares in professionalism)

Me: (sighs) Yeah…you don’t get why that’s funny. When can they go back to school?

Child of Darkness

(scene opens in mini-van, silently listening to the radio)

Me: Oh, this is one of my favorites. (turns up volume on Faith and the Muse’s “Cantus”

(cue all the children talking loudly and with no reason, just to make noise)

Me: (enraged, turns it up to eleven)

Delta: MOMMY! TOO LOUD! TURN IT OFF!

Me: (bitterly turns off the radio) Seriously guys. You were quiet for five damn songs in a row, and as soon as one I like plays you start running your damn mouths?

(cue three meaningless apologies)

Delta: Mommy, why you turn it up so loud?

Me: Because I really like that song. I like the way it makes me feel, not just the sound of it, but the way it reverberates in my bones. It makes my heart sing. It’s beautiful the way it soars.

Delta: Oh. Okay. Turn it up to one hundred, mommy.

Me: That’s my boy.

(“Cantus” roars, fade to black, cut to car commercial)

Fluent in Sarcasm

(scene opens in dining room, conversation in progress)

Husband: So, what you’re saying is that he’s a Tony Stark – he’s going to save the world, but it’s going to take him a little while to get here.

Me: (affecting a Look of No Surprise) Huh. (slurps coffee theatrically) Maybe?

Delta: (starts laughing) Mommy made a joke! Mommy is being funny! You’re funny mommy!

Me: (side eye) …..uh

Husband: I told you that you had to watch what you say around him.

Me: HE’S FOUR! HE’S NOT SUPPOSED TO UNDERSTAND THAT LEVEL OF DISCOURSE YET! WE ARE IN SO MUCH TROUBLE!

College ready

(scene opens in surprisingly clean kitchen)

Beta: (coughing like a typhoid patient)

Me: Sorry Beta, time to give you the big drugs. (pulls out extra strength overnight NyQuil)

Beta: NO! I HATE THAT STUFF! IT TASTES LIKE DEATH! AND CHERRIES!

Me: (starts laughing, pouring out) That’s my new punk band name, “Death and Cherries”.

Beta: Wut?

Me: Nothing, drink.

Beta: NO!

Me: DO IT!

(Alpha walks in, sees the conflict starts chanting)

Alpha: DRINK! DRINK! DRINK! DRINK!

Beta: TO VALHALLA! (slams NyQuill, chugs liter of water)

Me: I should be upset, but that was very well done.

Pure Romance

(scene opens at cluttered dinning room table)

Me: (Headphones on, typing on laptop)

Beta: (struggling through a book report)

(sound of back door slamming off screen)

Me: (looks up, sees someone in kitchen, assumes cheesy come thither stare)

Beta: (also looks up) Who is it? Mom, who is it? Hello? (waves hand in front of Carrot’s face) Mom. Whoisit?!

Me: Oh, just making goo-goo eyes at the serial killer in the kitchen.

Husband: (enters from kitchen, wearing black on black on black, holding a large wood axe) It’s the glasses, isn’t it? If I take them off I’m just a cute lumberjack, right? (takes off glasses)

Me: Yes. Totally changes the threat assessment levels.

Beta: (shakes head) I do not understand you guys.

Me: Few people do, honey.

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!?

Blaspheming

(scene opens in brightly lit kitchen)

Husband: So Alpha, I’m compiling a list of movies for you guys to watch.

Me: (watching the microwave count down) Some of them need vetting.

Husband: You haven’t seen Indiana Jones yet, have you?

Alpha: One, two, three and four?

Me: (takes coffee out of microwave, slams door) THERE IS NO FOUR!

Alpha: (stares)

Husband: (shocked, trying not to laugh)

Me: (icily to husband) I will not have that in my house. (exits, head held high)

Alpha: (calls after her) Is that the one that…

Husband: Dude, just no. Trust me.

Outer Limits

(scene opens in dim kitchen, Carrot on the floor holding screaming Delta)

Delta: (winding down to hiccuping sobs)

Me: You okay now?

Delta: (tearful nod) I just wan’ help.

Me: Honey, mom can’t help you with that. I don’t know how.

Delta: (tearing up) Make it so I can do it.

Me: (fraying sanity) Baby, I’ve never been able to solve a Rubik Cube. I want to help you but I can’t. I legitimately don’t know how!

Delta: (dissolves into wails of hopeless unending sadness)

Me: (closes eyes, rocks screaming toddler, practices deep breathing)

(pounding growing louder off stage)

Gamma: MOM! HELP ME! (Gamma runs through kitchen to bathroom, sounds of sick echoing off porcelain)

Me: (sighs, rolls weeping toddler off lap) Welp, at least this is something I can take care of.

(cue laugh track, fade to black, cut to car commercial)