Black like my soul.

Look. I can’t be funny all the time.

I can’t even poke my kids and say “Hey, do something funny.”

Okay, I can poke Beta and he’ll step up to the plate, but sometimes translation is hard and you can’t distill the funny into a cut-scene. So today we do shameless promotion.

(cue trumpet fanfare)

BEHOLD SHAMELESS PROMOTION!

Today’s beloved topic is the coffee.

Oh, that magical brew that allows me to be functional against my natural circadian rhythm and the demands of children who apparently do not have circadian rhythms and do not respect the circadian rhythms of others. The brand I propose to you today is the Perle Noire.

(linky goes not to the Amazonian empire and I am not being paid for this review)

The bag was a birthday gift from my sister-in-law, who understands my love of coffee. She also understands that Mama Ain’t Proud(tm) and I will drink whatever coffee is on hand. Because I am just grateful to have coffee. Because its hard to justify the really expensive coffee when I have a pack of feral chimps in my house who’ll eat two dozen hardboiled eggs in less than a day.

There’s my self-slam. I’m cheaper than eggs.

Thus I am gifted the Expensive Coffee. Because when you’re all grown up, its the expensive treats that really get you excited.

Anyway – I cannot tell you in pretentious wine terms about “hints of oak” or “a chocolate finish”. I have not that refined a palate (see again, Mama Ain’t Proud(tm)) But it is smooth. So smooth. Like they took out that bitter sucker punch of your first morning’s hit and replaced it with unicorns and rainbows. I suppose it must be mentioned that I drink my coffee black. Black black blackity black. No sugar. No cream. Nothing. Just me, hot water, and the sacred almighty bean to whom I pledge life and loyalty.

There is nothing to stand between me and whatever the Coffee Gods decide to put in my mug in the morning and so I must taste its full savage judgement.

And Perle Noire loves me. It says to me “Child, life is hard. You’re going to need this. Godspeed.” And I say, “Thank you, Perle Noir. Without you, my life is meaningless.”

Even the smell is smooth. Everything about Perle Noire is dark and silky and full of love. You want Perle Noir. Trust me.

Bail! Bail! Bail!

(scene opens in early morning dinning room, several bouquets of multi colored roses on the table)

Me: (reading email, drinking coffee)

Beta: (sees card, picks it up to read it, item drops out) Mom? What’s this?

Me: Your father gave that to me. We’ve been married twenty years today. That’s my golden watch.

Beta: (with relief) Oh good. I was hoping dad got this for you and wasn’t some toy of Delta’s laying around. You know that there’s no way he bought this by itself, right? That this was probably some Paw Patrol set and there’s a bunch of other Paw Patrol stuff just laying around the house somewhere.

Me: Going the extra mile for the joke is why I like your dad so much.

Beta: It kinda makes sense he’d give you a gold watch. I mean, you’re kinda retired. You don’t work.

Me: (mildly) I don’t work?

Beta: (recovering) You don’t work for money. Dad works for money and you kinda hang out here with him.

Me: (obviously laying a trap) Oh. I just hang out here and let dad do all the work.

Beta: (sweating) No! That’s not –

(footsteps off screen announces the arrival of Husband)

Husband: (blinking in the bright light of the dinning room) What are you doing up so early?

Me: (gets up, kisses husband) I was going to sneak out and get you a card, but I forgot that pandemic means nothing opens before 6 am any more. Beta loves the gold watch you got me. Said it made sense since I don’t work.

Husband: (gives Beta “you done messed up” look)

Beta: (dramatically flails arms)

Me: (sitting, picks up coffee) Also told me that you work, and I just kinda hang out.

Husband: (dramatically alarmed, looks at Beta) Run.

(Husband flees off stage, not pursued by a bear)

Beta: (mean mugs Carrot) That’s not what I meant! I know you work hard!

Me: Extra mile for the joke, honey. Have a good day at school.

SC937-0176CEC

(scene opens in cluttered dinning room)

Husband: Do you like it?

Me: I love it it.

Husband: Does it fit okay?

Me: Perfect. The only gripe I have is that they didn’t put the Admiral pins on the sleeve.

Husband: (pause) You’re bothered by the fact that your cheap silkscreened knock off sweatshirt from China isn’t cannon accurate to the franchise it was taken from.

Me: I’m still gonna wear it.

Husband: (tolerant sigh) Merry belated Christmas, dear.

The gift that keeps on giving.

(flashback)

Big Boys: (yelling) Die Hard is not a Christmas movie, dad!

Husband: It’s okay to be wrong.

(scene opens in Christmas flavored pandemic parlor)

Husband: (unwrapping present, pauses in wonder) Oh. You didn’t.

Big Boys: (yelling) Mom! You didn’t!

Me: (smug) Now every year we can read it on Christmas eve and remember the true meaning of Christmas.

Big Boys: (yelling) Mom!

Me: Maybe you’ll stop complaining about being forced to watch the Hogfather every Christmas eve?

Beta: I thought you loved us.

Me: I love your father more.

Best. Birthday. Ever.

(scene opens, Carrot walking out of restaurant with her mom)

Host: Are you a Marine?

Me: (touches hair self-consciously) Uh…no?

Host: Oh, your sweatshirt says “Enterprise” on it. That’s a Navel vessel.

Me: (looks down at her brand new StarFleet hoodie) Oh! No – this is a Star Trek thing. Its a future Enterprise, not the current Enterprise.

Host: Oh, okay. (laughs and salutes) Thank you for your service, Captain.

Me: (salutes back) Carry on.

Premium American Import

(scene opens in mostly empty Post Office)

Lady behind the counter: Next!

Me: (walks up with large box and custom form, hands both over to Postal worker)

LBtC: (looks at form) You’re sending Cheesy Poofs to England? I love Cheesy Poofs. How do they not have any in England? (begins to type)

Me: Right? They have Starbucks and McDonald’s, what’s with no Cheesey Poofs?

LBtC: (points to monitor) Go ahead and accept the price on the screen and sign your name.

Me: (blinks in sticker shock, signs anyway) I’ll have you know, its cheaper to send Candy Corn to New Zealand.

LBtC: How do they not have Candy Corn in New Zealand?!

Me: That’s what we’d like to know!

Spirit of the Wolf

(scene opens in girl’s tossed bedroom)

Me: (shakes blanketed form) Gamma, time to get up for school. (notices sheet hammock from top bunk) What’s this?
Gamma: (rolls over, still sleepy) All my dogs.

(shot inside shows Wolfenoot gift, smaller stuffed dogs, including a mini-Fluffy from Harry Potter)

Me: That’s cute. They’re all nice and warm in there.
Gamma: (gets up, points at Wolfenoot wolf) All my dogs were orphans until he took them in and now they’re a dog family.
Me: (overwhelmed, kisses Gamma’s forehead)

Lame Start

(scene opens in early morning parlor)

Gamma: (still in pjs with sequined sleep mask) Mom! I looked everywhere for the presents and there isn’t anything!
Me: (confused, re-heating yesterday’s coffee) Honey, Christmas isn’t for another few weeks.
Gamma: No! Wolfenoot! There’s supposed to be presents!
Me: Oh honey, yesterday was Wolfenoot. Its on your birthday. That’s why you got a stuffed wolf.
Gamma: (crushed) When’s the next Wolfenoot! Do I have to wait another year?!
Me: Yes, you have to wait another year. Things got busy this month, I promise next year the Spirit of the Wolf will do a better job.
Gamma: (slumps out of the room) That was the worst Wolfenoot ever.
Me: (calls after her) It was the first Wolfenoot ever! We’ve not had enough practice! (to self) Man, no love for the Wolf Mom.

I am altering the deal

(scene opens in tossed parlor)

Me: Gamma, Delta’s therapist is coming in a few minutes, I want you to go downstairs until she leaves.
Gamma: But there’s nothing to do! Alpha’s playing Halo!
Me: (inaudible swearing, pounds on floor, older boys summoned)
Beta: What?
Me: Turn off Halo. Turn on Star Wars.
Alpha: What? Why?
Me: Today is May the fourth. Today is Star Wars day. You have to sit in the basement and watch Star Wars all day.
Beta: (suspicious) Seriously?
Me: Seriously. It’s May the fourth. And really, what else are you doing to do on a day off from school when its raining?

(Alpha and Beta share incredulous looks, run off to do mother’s bidding)

Me: (mutters) And how else am I going to keep from learning a force choke?