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.

The kid gets it.

(scene opens in dim dining room, pandemic homeschool in session)

Delta: (climbing into his chair) Mommy, I was made for two things.

Me: (clutching coffee mug) Oh yeah?

Delta: Yeah. Eating chocolate and playing games!

Me: Those are good things.

Delta: And loving you! (big cheese five year old grin)

Me: (sound of heart melting) That’s three things.

Delta: Yeah. I made a mistake.

So Not Prepared

(scene opens in mini-van in the rain)

Delta: Mommy? Are you going to tell me a secret?

Me: What? (laughs in mom) No. I don’t have any secrets.

Delta: (incredulous) You’re not going to tell me secrets about love?

Me: What?! (scrambles) Uh…you can’t make people love you.

Delta: (dismissively) I already knew that. I want a different secret.

Me: (panicky) I don’t know how to explain this to a five year old. Uh…well…someone’s love won’t complete you. You have to be a whole person all by yourself.

Delta: That’s a good secret.

(ten minutes drive in silence, split screen between confused Carrot and contemplative Delta)

(pulls up in front of school, Carrot hops out to unbuckle Delta)

Dela: People forget the secrets their family tells them. I sometimes forget.

Me: (uneasy) It’s okay to forget sometimes.

Teacher: (walks up with digital thermometer for daily check) Looks like you’re good to go, buddy! Ready for a new day of kindergarden?

Delta: No. (walks slowly inside)

Me: (drives home in WTF)

Moral Support

(scene opens in cluttered dining room)

Me: (head in hands, giving up)
Husband: Is there anything I can do to make it better?
Me: (morose) No. Nothing went right this week and I’m raising wild and incompetent meat puppets.
Husband: (sits down along side, wraps arms around wife) You’re a good mom.
Me: (pathetically) Really?
Husband: Not the best mom.
Me: Seriously?
Husband: (going for broke) Probably not even in the global top ten. Realistically, above average. But you’re a good mom. I mean, technically your only job is to keep them alive! So far all that hard work is really paying off, despite their best attempts otherwise.
Me: (weak laugh)

So it begins

(scene opens in tossed parlor)

Gamma: Mom! I want to go play with Christopher! Or Malia!
Me: (exhausted) Okay. Be home by 3 and if no one is home, come back right away.
Gamma: (rockets out the door)
Delta: Metoometoometoometoo! (runs over with shoes)
Me: (sadly) No, honey. Gamma is going to play with her friends. You’re too young.
Delta: (infinite sadness) Too young?
Me: Yes, too young. You can’t go.
Delta: (infinite sadness + tears) Want Gamma! WANT GAMMA! WANT GAMMA! (runs to screen door and pounds on frame) NEED GAMMA! I NEED GAMMA!
Me: (hides face) How comes kids only love the siblings that won’t play with them?