(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.
(scene opens in cluttered dining room Beta sitting next to Carrot at the table)
Me: The reason you’re failing is that you’re not turning in your work. That’s it. You’re passing all your tests. Just turn in the goddamn work.
(Husband approaches the table)
Husband: (in calm receptionist voice) Thank you for calling Parent Phone. Press 1 if you want to be yelled at by Dad. Press 2 if you want to be yelled at by mom. Press 3 if you want a vague sense of parental disappointment.
Beta: What does four….
Husband: (yelling) I TOLD YOU IF YOU WANTED TO BE YELLED AT BY DAD YOU PRESS 1! DO YOU EVEN LISTEN?
Carrot: (puts head down and laughs)
Beta: What’s wrong with you?
Carrot: (crying) I’m blogging that and you can’t stop me.