Here’s the wind up…

(scene opens in dim kitchen)

Gamma: Look at that chonky squirrel! I want a squirrel as a pet!

Husband: (looks out window) Eh, you can’t really have a squirrel for a pet. They’re not domesticated animals.

Gamma: Can I domesticate it?

Husband: You could tame one, but that’s different than domesticating.

Me: (looks up from making coffee) I don’t know how many generations it takes to domesticate something. Gamma, what you really want is to make some Crow Friends.

Gamma: How do you do that?

Me: Well, you need to feed them, but there are so many squirrels here, you’d need to call them to the yard first and then feed them.

Gamma: (skeptical) How do we do that?

Me: You can get a Crow Call on the internet.

Gamma: (skepticism deepens) A Crow Call?

Husband: Yeah! A Crow Call. Watch. (cups hands, leans towards window) HEY CROW! COME HERE CROW!

Gamma: (stares)

Me: (closes eyes) Seriously.

Husband: (laughs himself silly) I’m helpy!

Experience Counts

(scene opens in cluttered kitchen)

Carrot: (cooking dumplings)

Husband: (hovering)

Gamma: (runs in, lips blue and glittery, holds up eyeshadow pallet) Mom! When can I use the eyeshadow?!

Carrot: (distracted) I forgot to order brushes. I’ll pick some up tomorrow and you can play around with it.

Husband: She can use sponges for that, right? (Goes to mudroom cabinet)

Carrot: What? Wait! No! She can’t use those!

Husband: Why not? I used them to put on make up.

Carrot: Clown make-up!

Husband: I fail to see the difference.

Carrot: Point. But no. Could everyone just believe the one person in this room that actually has worn make-up? I’ll get the right brushes tomorrow.

Husband: I’ve worn make up. I’m also the person who has worn make-up most recently.

Carrot: CLOWN MAKE-UP!

Husband: Again, I fail to see the difference.

The children are our future.

(scene opens in brightly lit kitchen)

Husband: (preparing to cook dinner)

Carrot: (staying out of his way) I was reading this moderately alarming article about how Covid has tanked the birthrate. Add that to the Covid death rate, that’s a significant population drop. There’s going to be some massive demographic shifts fairly soon.

Husband: Now stop to think all the Millenials that can’t afford to buy houses and start families and that Gen Z isn’t going to be able to do that either.

Carrot: A faster and bigger drop. (thinks) Y’know – even though we have four kids, its very possible we won’t have any grandchildren.

Husband: (washing a dish) Oh, I don’t know about that. Alpha is good looking and prone to making bad decisions.

Carrot: (with adoration) Awww. Just like his father!

Husband: (turns, glares, kisses Carrot’s forehead) Nice.

Carrot: I know.

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.

Did you eat them?

(scene opens in dinning room)

Husband: (grouchy) Beta is wearing shorts.

Me: (too through) I told him to go through Alpha’s dresser for jeans if they’re not in his.

Husband: They say they don’t have any. Alpha has been wearing the same shorts for two weeks now.

Me: But…I went to Goodwill. In a mask. I bought a dozen. It’s a pandemic. We. Haven’t. Been. Anywhere.

Husband: (throws up hands)

Me: (still confused) All the laundry has been done.

Husband: I told them at lunch they’re going up to their room and finding all their pants.

(the two stare at one another)

Me: It’s gonna get real cold in here when the Polar Vortex comes and they have no pants.

Husband: I doubt that will motivate them.

At What Cost

(Scene opens in mini-van, three of four children at top volume)

Husband: (pulls three dollars from his pocket) Okay! Hear this! I have a dollar for everyone who can keep their mouth shut until we get home!

Beta: Ok.

Husband: (drops one dollar) Beta’s out.

Beta: (outraged) …what! Wait! WAIT !THAT’S NOT FAIR I WAS JUST ACKNOWLEDGING I HEARD YOU! (proceeds to complain for the next twenty five miles)

Gamma: (hums to herself)

Delta: (stone silent)

Me: (laughs silently for the next thirty miles, pulling a rib muscle)

Best Dressed

(scene opens in apocalypse parlor)

Husband: (enters from the kitchen) I have a video conference call. Do I look okay?

Me: (looks up from lap top) Well, I love that color shirt on you, the tie is fabulous and the hat really brings it together)

(boys collectively turn to see Husband wearing a black octopus hat)

Beta: Now you need to wear the Plague Doctor mask.

Me: No, he needs to ration them out.

Alpha: Next time you can wear the Moose Hat.

Husband: Wore that last time.

Beta: You can borrow our Rainbow Poop Hat.

Husband: No.

Beta: Why not?

Me: Too unprofessional.

Husband: (turns, nods, tossing a tentacle over his shoulder, exits stage left)

You Don’t Say

(scene opens in cluttered kitchen)

Me: (taking her daily Flintstone vitamin, holds out handful for Husband)

Husband: I’ve always been a Wilma kind of guy (picks one up)

Me: That’s Betty. (points) This is Wilma.

Husband: (picks it up, squints) How can you tell?

Me: I have better eye sight than you.

Husband: Oh. I thought you were going to say that one has better legs.

No One Should Live Like This

(scene opens in cluttered dinning room)

Me: (to Husband walking in) Your mother called, she’s canceling Easter.

Husband: Oh my god! Do you mean he’s still dead?!

Me: (stares, laughs, fumbles for comeback) Okay, I got nothing. Can we start that scene over again?

(Husband exits to kitchen, comes back)

Me: Your mother called, we’re not having party on Easter.

Husband: Oh my god! Were they not able to roll the rock back?

Me: No!

(Husband exits to kitchen, comes back)

Me: (sigh) Your mother called. We’re not getting everyone together on Easter for the family gathering.

Husband: What am I going to do with all these extra nails?

Me: (gives up) That’s it. I’m blogging that and you can’t stop me.

We Brought it on Ourselves

(scene opens in cluttered dinning room)

Husband: (enters from kitchen) Hey, did you hear what Niece K wants to be when she grows up? (opens up laptop)

Me: (typing, doesn’t look up) I already made the reference and he didn’t get it.

(Husband plays Dentist Song from Little Shop of Horrors)

(Boys watch in WTF)

Alpha: What the hell was that?

Husband: A song from a movie.

Beta: What kind of movie has a song about a dentist hurting people?!

Husband: A movie about a plant. A talking plant. That eats people.

Beta: (pauses) It is not. You’re lying.

Me: He’s not. It was a play called Little Shop of Horror, they turned it into a movie. The the plant talks and is called Audrey Two.

Beta: (stares) You are both totally lying to me.

Me: (starts laughing) It does sound like something we’d lie about.

Husband: I wouldn’t believe me either.

Pure Romance

(scene opens at cluttered dinning room table)

Me: (Headphones on, typing on laptop)

Beta: (struggling through a book report)

(sound of back door slamming off screen)

Me: (looks up, sees someone in kitchen, assumes cheesy come thither stare)

Beta: (also looks up) Who is it? Mom, who is it? Hello? (waves hand in front of Carrot’s face) Mom. Whoisit?!

Me: Oh, just making goo-goo eyes at the serial killer in the kitchen.

Husband: (enters from kitchen, wearing black on black on black, holding a large wood axe) It’s the glasses, isn’t it? If I take them off I’m just a cute lumberjack, right? (takes off glasses)

Me: Yes. Totally changes the threat assessment levels.

Beta: (shakes head) I do not understand you guys.

Me: Few people do, honey.

As long as we’re laughing

(scene opens in tossed parlor)

Me: (holding hair tie between gritted teeth) Gamma, stop moving or brushing your hair will be more painful.
Gamma: (ridiculous suffering)
Beta: (stomping down the stairs, snuffling loudly)
Me: Beta, go upstairs and brush your teeth.
Beta: (sighs in busted, turns around to go back up, snuffling loudly)
Me: (calls after him) And blow your nose!
Husband: (looking around for his gear) And do a little dance.
Me: And make a little love!
Husband: Hey Beta! Get down tonight!
Beta: (off screen) I’m not talking to you guys!
Gamma: You guys make no sense.