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)

Radio. Edit.

(scene opens in mini van, Kids Music playing on radio)

Radio: (kicks new song intro)
Me: (ears prick up) Uh, turn off the radio.
Husband: (driving) What?
Gamma: OH YEAH!
Me: Damnit, turn it off! (lunges for phone in holder, fumbles to the floor)
Husband: (confused) What song is it?
Me: How do you not know this song! (wrestles with seatbelt to hunt for phone)
Gamma: I LOVE THIS SONG!
Radio: TURN DOWN FOR WHAT!
Husband: Jebuz! (slaps off radio)
Me: (comes up with phone in hand)
Gamma: BRING BACK THE MUSIC!
Husband: How did you recognize that song? I thought we were playing kids Pandora.
Me: How did you not recognize that song? And we are? (close upon phone shows Kids Rock! Radio)
Gamma: I NEED THE MUSIC!

(Husband and Carrot exchange looks)

Husband: (cautiously turns the radio back on)
Radio: TURN DOWN FOR WHAT! (followed by lengthy instrumental)
Gamma: OH YEAH! TURN DOWN FOR WHAT!

(another exchange of looks)

Husband: We might be really bad parents.
Me: This is the strangest yet most wholesome radio edit ever.

Learning Lab

(scene opens in dim early morning kitchen)

Me: Alpha, get your jacket, its cold out.
Alpha: It can’t be, it was 50 yesterday.
Me: Its also 5:15 am in the morning, hence colder than high noon. Also, welcome to winter in the Midwest. One day 50, the next day -50. Get your jacket.
Alpha: No, I’m good.
Me: 11 degrees. Jacket and gloves.
Alpha: No, I got pockets.
Me: I get that you think you’ll be fine, because you’re going straight from car to school, but having the jacket in case we break down is also a good idea.
Alpha: We’re not that far away, I can walk to school from where ever we break down.
Me: (paralyzed with lack of caring) Fine. Get in the car. Dad’s car. He’s parked behind me.
Alpha: Oh. The shitty cold car?
Me: Without seat warmers? Yeah.
Alpha: (leaves, standing ground on not getting jacket or gloves)

(cut scene to inside mini-van, windows edged with heavy frost)

Alpha: Is the heat even on?
Me: Yeah, its an old car, you have to give it a little time to warm up.

(time passes)

Alpha: Is the blower even working?
Me: Ayup. Takes a lot of work to warm up from 11 degrees.

(more time)

Alpha: Why is it so cold?
Me: Gosh. If only there was an article of clothing you could have brought with you that would have kept you warm. Maybe with sleeves and a hood? What’s that thing called? A ja-quet?
Alpha: (non-committal teen-age harumph)
Me: (smug)

Sing it loud

(scene opens in mini van)

Me: Is it just me, or is every station commercials?
Beta: (pressing radio buttons) Seems like it.
Me: (hears music) Stop. (turns up “Raspberry Beret”) This is a good song.
Beta: (skeptical look)
Me: Yeah, sorry, today you get to listen to oldies with your mom.
Beta: (skepticism intensifies)
Me: Yes, I did just die a little on the inside just saying that.