Karma she is

(scene opens in dim dining room, argument in process)

Me: (exhausted) Now what’s going on?
Beta: (from behind a protective wall of cereal boxes) She never shuts up! She just talks all the time! Doesn’t she understand no one wants to listen to her non-stop talking?
Gamma: (looks heartbroken)
Me: (sips coffee, without inflection) You’re right. Its totally awful to have to put up with someone who won’t stop talking about something you have no interest in. Worse when you tell them to be quiet and they won’t. (sips coffee again)
Beta: (scowls above the cereal boxes)
Me: Beta, I’m pretty sure the Gods sent me Sera so that way you could better understand what you’re like and what the rest of us have to go through. She’s your mirror. In Girl Form.
Beta: (slinks into a pout)
Gamma: (raises arms) Yay Girl Form!

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If she gets the jokes, we’re bad parents

(scene opens in chilly kitchen, hear Gamma off screen talking to her new Kindle)

Gamma: (runs into kitchen) Daddy! Daddy! Look at my boobs!
Parents: (freeze, share concerned look)
Husband: Your…what?
Gamma: (proudly) Boobs! She’s my new pet! (turns Kindle to show off screen and cartoon blob dressed as Harry Potter)
Me: (at Husband) Boos. As in scary ghost “Boo!” The game is called “Boos”.
Gamma: Mom, I want to change her name from Boos, but it won’t let me I want to name her after me!
Me: Let me try. (several minutes of trying to edit a stubborn profile)
Husband: Just put her name after Boos if it won’t let you erase it.
Me: Awesome. Now we have Boos Ser as a name and it won’t let me erase that either.
Gamma: (impatient) I’ll just play mom. (Grabs Kindle) C’mon, Boos Ser! Let’s play! (runs off)
Husband: Boozer. Good job.
Me: Well, now she’ll want to show off her Boozer instead of her Boobs. (throws up hands) Not my fault the clicky game has a shitty interface.

Understanding fate

(scene opens in the foyar)

Gamma: (looking at all the Christmas cards on the glass door) Momma? Who’s this?
Me: (surveys cards) That’s Krampus. He takes away all the bad children and eats them.
Gamma: (alarmed) Then how will you get me back?!
Me: ….I think you’re missing the point.
Gamma: (outraged) Then what happens to bad adults?!
Me: I think they become Krampus.

Maybe if you just listened to me

(scene opens along dark suburban sidewalk)

Me: So what do you think of your potential Jr. High? Excited?
Beta: Yes!
Me: So why did you sign up for AVID as an elective? I’m glad you want study skills, but its geared for kids who’ll probably be the first generation of their family into college.
Beta: Exactly.
Me: (considers) …Daddy and I both have college degrees.
Beta: (astounded) You do?!? I didn’t know that!
Me: Clearly I have failed to impress upon you that I might know a thing or two.

Doc, can you help me?

(scene opens in ophthalmology exam room)

Doc: (clicks on the eye chart) Can you read those letters?
Gamma: Nope. I need glasses

(repeat through four different lines of various sizes)

Doc: (studies clipboard) Has she been complaining of not being able to see the chalkboard?
Me: Not really. She came home about two weeks ago and claimed to have failed both vision and hearing test, but the school never sent home anything or called me for a retest.
Gamma: I need glasses.
Doc: (winks at mother) Well, let me try something. (pulls out a pair of ophthalmology glasses, removes lenses, settles them on Gamma’s face) Is that better?
Gamma: It is! (reads four lines perfectly at 20/20)
Doc: That’s what I thought. See you guys in a year.
Me: Thank you, Doctor.

History is a spiral

(scene opens in dim basement, closing credits of Atomic Blonde playing)

Me: Man, that movie made me sad. I can’t believe I’m nostalgic for the Cold War.
Husband: You mean back when we knew who our enemies were? Don’t worry, the Russians as still the bad guys.

Someone who understands

(scene opens in brightly lit festive face-care aisle)

Helpful Target Lady: Can I help you find anything?
Me: Yes. I woke up yesterday to discover I had teen boys covered in acne and now have to teach them a skin care regimen that’s not too girlie. There used to be a St. Ives blue clay face mask?
HTL: I haven’t seen that in a while. I can recommend some other brands if you like. How many boys do you have?
Me: Three. (Points to Delta, hiding his face) He’s the youngest. The other two are just 12 and about to hit 14. They haven’t even gotten to the serious acne age yet and we’ve already hit gross levels. Like they still stink getting out the shower.
HTL: I called those the Gangrene Years. I had five boys.
Me: (Helpless laughter, touches arm in sympathy) You are a woman of strength. There’s hope for me?
HTL: Yes. But it’s going to take a while.

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.

I’ll show you weeping angels

(scene opens in empty parlor, deep cleaning in progress)

Me: (sweeping under couch) Gamma! Come here and get your books! (repeat several times, turns to look)
Gamma: (perfectly still, posed on a footstool)
Me: Gamma, come here please.
Gamma: (no response, immobile)
Me: Gamma! (grabs arm)
Gamma: (resists while keeping pose)
Beta: (with derision, from dining room) She says she can’t move while I’m looking at her. (stare intensifies)
Me: (incredulous and with murderous intent) Maybe you could stop looking at her.
Beta: (callously) Fine. (breaks eye contact)
Gamma: (bright and spritely, turns to mother) Did you want something mama?
Me: The tears of the innocent.

Placing bets

(scene opens up in dining room, adults obviously syncing up after long day)

Me: (sifting through a stack of paperwork) Oh, by the way, Girl Scout cookie sales start in a month.
Husband: Dear gods.
Me: Did you know that if Gamma sells 3,000 boxes of cookies, she and I get a trip to Disney World?
Husband: I don’t think I can eat that many Thin Mints.
Me: You’re not trying hard enough.

Motivation

(scene opens in rarely clean kitchen)

Me: (sipping coffee) I’ve noticed you’ve been eating in the cafeteria more.
Beta: (proudly) Yes. You’ve been wanting me to try new things. Aren’t you happy?
Me: (pointedly sipping again) I’ve noticed that your willingness to try new foods coincides neatly with you being responsible for making your own lunches.
Beta: (defensively) I’m trying new foods!
Me: I’m happy you’re trying new foods. I’m a little put out this adventure is rooted entirely in laziness.