Too Much Creativity

(scene opens in tossed parlor)

Gamma: (fresh from school) Mom! I have to make a machine for school tomorrow!
Me: Wha..? Why?
Gamma: I…(self aware pause) I didn’t finish it in class. Maybe draw it?
Me: Do you have to make or draw?
Gamma: (mental processing) …both? I need a machine that makes my life easier with snacks.
Me: (can’t even) With what? Snacks?
Gamma: Whatever we have in the house. Its a machine about snacks.

(scene cuts to cluttered dinning room)

Me: There. You have styrofoam cups, bendy straws, tape, scissors, and this aluminum tray you brought home from school. Have at.
Gamma: Whee!(proceeds to cut everything into confetti)
Me: Uh, what are you making?
Gamma: I’m just cutting.
Me: What about your snack machine?!?
Gamma: (surveys carnage) Oh. I forgot.

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Condiment Wars

(scene opens at cluttered breakfast table)

Alpha: I want to try meerliwhup.
Me: (blinks, strives for focus) What?
Alpha: Meerliwhup. I want to try it.
Me: (sees he’s reading grocery adds) Sure, but what the hell is meerliwhup?
Alpha: I’m being silly. Miracle Whip.
Me: (recoils) Absolutely not. Not now, not ever, not in this house.
Alpha: But what if I want to try it? What if I think it’s delicious?
Me: When you’re all grown up and living in on your own you can eat all the Miracle Whip you want, but I will not have it in this house. There are few things that I am completely inflexible about and this is one of them. Don’t push me.

Being Helpy

(scene opens at tossed dining room)

Me: (absently eating a bowl of diced chicken while reading)
Delta: Mommy, I want. (pulls on bowl)
Me: Okay. (holds bowl down for him to take a piece)
Delta: No mommy. I want. (pulls bowl)
Me: (considers last five pieces) Okay, you can have it.
Delta: Thank you. (wanders off)

(Off screen, the sound of the garbage lid)

Me: Delta! Did you just throw away my lunch?!
Delta: (proudly) I help! (puts dirty bowl back in the cabinet)

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.

Big Brother is Mommy’s friend

(scene opens in dim dinning room)

Me: (putting lunch box on the table) I packed your lunch, Gamma. Do you like being able to get milk at the cafeteria?
Gamma: (slurping cereal) Yeah. I get chocolate.
Me: That’s nice. No more rice krispy treats. That account is for milk only.
Gamma: (pauses, stares wide eyed)
Me: I can see online what you’re buying and I have the same problem with your brothers. That food account is for milk and lunches, not treats and chips.
Gamma: That’s creepy.

Reading for Success

(scene opens in crowded middle school cafeteria orientation night)

Alpha: (pushing through milling crowd) Mom! Mom!
Me: (looks up from a signing a million pieces of paperwork) What?
Alpha: I need five dollars (points to bake sale table). I want to get a blunt cake.
Me: (pauses, processes) Blunt. Cake.
Alpha: Yeah! Little round cakes with vanilla frosting!
Me: Oh. Those are bundt cakes. Bun.d.nt. (draws out sounds) Not blunt. Those aren’t legal. Yet.
Alpha: (confused as well as stubborn) Really! They’re blunt cakes. I saw the “L” in there!
Me: Then you’re really not getting one apart from me not having the five dollars.

Problem Solve This

(scene opens in rough finished laundry room)

Me: (sorting dirty laundry hip deep)
Beta: (shouting from kitchen above) Mom! We’ve got a problem!
Me: (already through) Then solve it, Beta! I’m working!
Beta: That’s the problem. I don’t know how to solve it!
Me: (mutters curses, extracts from dirty laundry, climbs stairs to kitchen)
Beta: (waiting by door, holding moldy strawberry)
Me: (stares, incredulous)
Beta: What do I do with it?
Me: (heartbeat) Eat it.
Beta: No way! (throws it in the garbage can)
Me: Really. You called me upstairs for that. You couldn’t figure it out.
Beta: (sheepish smile)

In Accordance

(scene opens in moderately clean kitchen)

Beta: (snaps off dish gloves) Done!
Me: (surveys work) Thank you, Beta,for all your hard work and for abiding by the contract.
Beta: What do I get out of it?
Me: You continue to get fed.
Beta: I can feed myself.
Me: With my food.
Beta: Fair enough.

Close as I’m going to get today

(scene opens in cluttered kitchen, sandwich fixings crowding the counter)

Me: Okay, Alpha, this is very important.
Alpha: (eyes fastened on the industrial sized jar of pickles) Piiiiicccckkkklllles
Me: Alpha. Do not drink the pickle juice. I can take that juice and put it in that ice cream maker (points to top of the cabinet) and we can have pickle juice slushies.
Alpha: (shocked) But….wait…pick…. I don’t think I want…
Me: Look into your heart, you know it to be true.
Alpha: Slushies. (in wonder) Of pickle juice.
Me: We can make this happen. You and me.
Alpha: (dazed look)

That’ll learn ya

(scene opens in cluttered kitchen)

Delta: (pointing to top of cabinet at a bucket of Easter candy)
Me: No, that’s not yours. That’s Alpha’s.
Delta: (bird shriek)
Me: Too much candy will make you sick. No. Not yours.
Delta: (shriek intensifies)
Me: You’re lucky Alpha doesn’t like candy very much. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.

(time passes,scene changes to 23 month old in a high chair)

Me: Was it yummy?
Delta: (picks a masticated pile of what once might have been yellow peeps)
Me: Ready for nap time?
Delta: (looks up, face clearly saying “I have learned the true meaning of regret. Put me to bed.”)

Appetizing

(scene opens a dining room table)
Beta: I couldn’t find Crackle or Snap in this word find. I did find Pop.
Me: (idly looks over to see the word puzzle on the cereal box)
Beta: I also found the word poo!
Me: Look closer. It’s ‘spoon’ not ‘poo’.
Beta: No! Look! Right there….oh….yeah, the word spoon.
Me: They wouldn’t have put ‘poo’ on a cereal box. Not on purpose.
Beta: They might have.
Me: Not if they wanted parents to keep buying Cocoa Krispies.