Exhibit A

(scene opens in sunny dinning room)

Me: (tiredly gathering up pandemic homeschool supplies)

Beta: (laying on floor in sunbeam with doggo) Mom? Which do you love more, the kids or the dog.

Me: (sighs) Well, the dog doesn’t argue with me about every. single. thing. I. say. so maybe I love the dog best.

Beta: Except when he’s pulling on the leash or not sitting when you tell him or chewing on things he’s not supposed to…

Me: Hey Beta? You’re kinda proving my point.

Beta: …..damnit.

Regrets? I’ve had a few…

(scene opens in morning parlor)

Me: (comes downstairs to collective cheers of MOM!) Hey guys. Beta, come here.

(scene changes to kitchen)

Me: (opens fridge, hands Beta large styrofoam cup) I thought it was going to be a can or 1-liter, but it’s a root beer. I ordered cheese fries last night and got you a rootbeer ’cause the pizza places never have them. It might be flat. Sorry about that.

Beta: That’s okay, mom. I’ll –

Alpha: (suddenly appears) Did I hear someone say cheese fries?

Me: (hands Alpha a styrofoam box) Here’s the last of them. I couldn’t finish them all.

(Gamma and Delta run in, chanting “Cheese Fries!”)

Me: Christ! I’m not awake yet! (rubs face) Alpha, could you share a little of your fries? Like I’m sharing with you?

Alpha: (resigned) Sure.

(twenty minute montage of arguing over cheese fries and lamenting not enough cheese fries and wanting moar cheese fries)

Me: (head in hands over cooling coffee) For the love of… I should have thrown them out. Why do you make me regret the things I do for you guys?

Gamma: Because we like food.

Delta: Because I’m five.

Beta: (smugly slurping root beer) Wow, when did he get self-aware?

Me: He’s always been more self-aware than the rest of you. Maybe you guys could go somewhere and let me have my coffee in peace?

Though she be but little…

(scene opens in post holiday dining room)

(Husband and Carrot existing)

Gamma: (hotly) You know what mom? I want cranberry sauce. And I want it now!

Me: (sigh) Sure. Go ahead. Why are you so angry?

Gamma: (savagely) Because I like it!

Husband: (faint laughter) God help her first boyfriend.

Me: (resigned) It’ll probably be for the best.

Peasant Revolt

(scene open in cluttered parlor)

Me: (frazzled) It is three in the afternoon. Is everyone finally done with their school work?!

Beta: (staunchly) Yes. (puts on his shoes)

Me: What are you doing?

Beta: I’m going to take the smalls outside for a sword fight. Get them out of your hair.

Gamma: Yay! Sword fight! (throws down toys, runs for shoes) I want two swords!

Delta: I will use a peasant weapon because I am a peasant.

Husband: (hears this, puts on shoes)

Me: Where are you going?

Husband: Be right back. Have to teach a spear class.

Tactical Advantage

(scene opens up in cluttered dinning room)

Me: (head phones, trying to write)

Gamma: (head phones, preparing for online virtual classroom meeting)

Delta: (comes into kitchen from outside, runs through crying)

Beta: (Follows in, comes to parlor) Good job, Alpha. That was all your fault.

Alpha: (playing Destiny 2) Wut?

Me: (removes headphones, gets up, finds Delta hiding behind door crying) What’s going on?

Beta: We were playing bridge battle. He touches the grass and says, “This is water and I’m Jesus” and runs across it. Alpha taught him that. I told him I wasn’t playing with cheaters any more.

Alpha: (guilty smile)

Me: (laughs, picks up Delta and hugs him) Good job.