(scene opens at the park)
Me: (sitting on bench, running fingers through Delta’s two-toned hair) The blue is starting to fade. I like the slate blue of it, it looks like stone. Maybe you’re an Earth Witch.
Delta: (resigned patience) My hair isn’t stone, mommy.
Me: If we do the color again, what color do you want to do? Pink? Red? Green?
Me: (oddly disappointed) Black? Why would you want black?
Delta: Because I walk through shadow.
Me: Oh. I guess that’s okay then.
(scene opens in unexpectedly clean kitchen)
Alpha: (bent over sink, head under running water)
Me: …and I can tell when you don’t use shampoo when showering because it doesn’t look clean and smells greasy.
Alpha: What does greasy smell like? Fried chicken?
Me: No, not exactly. It smells like…
Beta: (shrieking from dining room) BEE! A BEE! (runs into kitchen) MOM! A BEE!
Me: (throws towel on Alpha, goes to dining room, sees exceptionally large paper wasp on the chandelier) It’s okay, guys. Everyone stay cool and get me a towel.
Alpha: (hands over damp hand towel from trying his hair)
Me: (twirls it, eyeing wasp on chandelier. Rethinking plan, steps up onto dining room table and crushes wasp into towel)
Beta: Yay mom! You got the bee!
Alpha: Way to go mom!
Gamma: You’re so brave.
Me: Yeah I was kinda scared there. (crushes towel tighter to kill wasp, drops it on kitchen floor after gasping in pain, runs to sink, puts hand under cold water) Quick! Who has their shoes on!?
Kids: (collectively panics)
Me: Damnit! Who has their shoes on?! (sees Alpha has one on) Alpha! Step on the towel! Still alive!
Alpha: (figuring it out) I will avenge the Mother! (stomps on towel repeatedly, declaring vengeance until wasp shoots out the side)
Kids: (scatter squealing)
Me: (feeling faint, resting head on faucet) Where is it?
Beta: Behind the door!
Alpha: I’m on it! (squashes wasp dead, cleans up carefully under direction)
Gamma: Are you okay mommy?
Me: (pulls hand out of water, surveys palm, determines it was just a tip, not a full sting) I’ll be okay. It only hurts a little now.
Beta: Mom? Why is your hairbrush on the stove boiling?
Me: (closes eyes against the morning) I found lice in my hairbrush today.
Kids (scatter squealing)
(scene opens in local CVS, oddly packed for the day and hour)
Guy at the Register: Next!
Me: (approaches counter, resigned)
Guy: Good evening! How are you tonight?
Me: (sighs, puts down a two-for-one brush combo and two boxes of de-louser)
Crowd: (backs up at least a step)
Guy: (starts sympathetic laughter) I’m so sorry. My daughter had lice once.
Me: Yeah, husband is already shaving heads and the washing machine is on hot.
Guy: Going to be a long night. Well, we have a well stocked liquor department.
Me: A little for me (mimes tipping back) and a little for me (mimes pouring it over the head). Alcohol kills bugs, right?
Guy: (more laughter) I’ll keep the beer cold for you.
Me: I’m within walking distance. I’ll probably be back.
(Scene opens in cluttered dining room, angry industrial playing in background)
Me: (drinks coffee, watches wee hand carefully reach over the table edge, slide hair brush over edge and quietly disappears. Looks under table)
Delta: (squatting, pulls individual hairs out of brush, puts on head, pats in place)
Me: (watches for several minutes) This is what we’re doing?
Delta: (looks over, gives brilliant grin, goes back to putting loose hairs on his head)
Me: I’m not sure if I should be impressed you’ve figured out that’s where hair comes from or worried you think you can put it back.