One Day More

(scene opens in cold dinning room)

Husband: (shuffles in) Listen up, I want you all to go check your school stuff and get ready for tomorrow. Fresh pens, clean clothes, Chromebooks charged. Go.

(children scatter, Carrot at laptop, become progressively more morose)

Gamma: (singing to herself, pounds down stairs) I’m going to see my friends tomorrow! I can hardly wait so see my friends! I missed them so much! I can hardly wait to go to school!

Me: You’re not.

Gamma: (stunned) What?

Me: You’re not. Just got an email from the school. Too many hot cases, so they’re going to be doing distance learning for a couple of weeks.

Gamma: (wails) But I want to go back to school!

Me: Trust me, baby, I want you to go back to school too.

Important Distinctions

(scene opens in cluttered parlor)

Gamma: (laying on the floor, watching Loki confront Thanos) Mom? I thought Loki was a bad guy. Why is he being a good guy now.

Me: (scrambles) Oh…uh…he’s not always bad. He’s what’s called a “Trickster”. They’re sometimes bad and sometimes good. You just never know what he’s going to do.

Gamma: (ponders) Loki is a sometimes friend. A Frenemy.

Me: Exactly.

Distilled

(scene opens in busy Starbucks, camera follows tea carrying individual through crowd to fireplace seating area)

Me: (looks up from phone, sees Childhood Bestie) Hey.
CB: Nice seats. (settles in)
Me: Right? Very comfy. (picks up cooling coffee, takes a sip, flinches and grimaces)
CB: (WTF look)
Me: Christmas blend. (grimace intensified)
CB: And?
Me: (another cautious sip) Tastes like 2018.
CB: (nod of understanding)

O+

(scene opens in early morning kitchen, everyone in pjs)

Husband: Did you have fun on your trip yesterday?
Me: (fumbles tiredly with coffee cup) Oh yeah. We had a blast. Everyone was disappointed we weren’t spending the night, but I feel like I passed a test with all these road trips I’m suddenly being invited along on.
Husband: (sips tea) Oh yeah?
Me: Maybe I’m easy to travel with? I don’t have any feeding restrictions. I can sleep anywhere. I have no conversational filters and have limited hot button issues. I’m always up for an interesting side trip. I can tolerate a wide range of music.
Husband: (mildly) You are good at putting up with being annoyed.
Me: (ignoring implications) Oh, that reminds me. Pregnant Friend told me I’m #2 on her speed dial for when she needs back up on going into labor. Apparently husband faints at the sight of blood and not am I the only one she knows who’s done it a few times, but she’s betting I’m perfectly fine with casual random nudity.
Husband: You’re like the Universal Donor of Friendship.

Tribalism

(scene opens in messy kitchen)
Me: Gamma. Why are you not being nice at school. The teacher says you’re hitting, kicking and calling people names. Don’t you want to make friends?
Gamma: No.
Me: (pause) Why not?
Gamma: Alpha and Beta are my friends.
Me: (tries new angle) Kids aren’t going to want to talk to you, do you want that?
Gamma: Yes. I want Alpha and Beta to talk to me.
Me: (Throws up hands) Gamma! Alpha and Beta are at home, you need friends at school!
Gamma: I don’t need friends. I have Alpha and Beta.
Me: (grinds molars and tries not to blaspheme over Beta only wanting to be friends with Alpha and Alpha having no fucks to give for any sibling) I wish everyone had similarly functioning loyalty in this house.