There’s some good in this world, Mr. Frodo

(scene opens in Woodman’s grocery, everyone masked, social distancing)

Me: (finds herself in aisle with two other women, pulls over to let traffic clear, keeps social distancing)

Woman #1: (starting to pass, wearing paper mask) That is a lovely mask, it fits so well!

Woman #2: (stops, well fitting cloth mask) Thank you, I made it myself!

Woman #1: I’ve been trying to find a place to get one, I’m running out of the paper ones.

Woman #2: Oh! I can make you one! Give me your contact information and I’ll send you one tomorrow.

Woman #1: Really? Oh! That would be lovely!

(women exchange information, turn to look at Carrot)

Woman #2: I’m sorry, we’re blocking traffic.

Me: I’m good. Carry on. No rush.

Evidence of learning

(scene opens in apocalyptic parlor, boys playing Minecraft)

Gamma: (stomping in dramatically) I finally found the charger in my room! It was hiding from me! It hates me!

Alpha: (resigned) That is statistically impossible for being an inanimate object.

Gamma: (hotly) It’s hyperbole, Alpha. I’m not stupid.

But Complaining is More Fun

(scene opens in cluttered parlor, three kids, two player Skylander)

(Beta, Gamma, Delta arguing who’s playing)

Delta: You need to stop! My turn!

Beta: No. Stop. I’m telling you that this is my character and you can’t play it.

Gamma: But you’re not using it and I want to use it.

Beta: But its mine and I don’t want you using it.

Delta: I want a turn.

Me: (can no longer stand the bitching) ENOUGH! (rises from her chair) Gamma – get back to the table and finish the breakfast you forgot about. Delta, you play her character. Beta, we share our characters and you were using another one, so finish playing this level and you can use it later.

Beta: (bitchy) You know what? Never mind. (Gets up from chair) Just forget it. I quit.

Me: (enraged) Goddamnit, sit your ass back down. You made such a fuss I had to come over here and solve all your damn drama. You don’t get to quit now, you could have quit fifteen minutes ago before I had to get involved. Take your win, play your game, and next time keep your damn mouth shut.

Beta: (sits back down, pouts his entire way through a level)

Day Seven of the Pandemic

10 am – That’s it. I cannot stand you two any more. Run around the back yard until you’re tired.

10:05 – Gets Delta dressed, sends him outside.

10:10 – Frog marches Gamma upstairs with instructions to get dressed.

10:15 – Delta comes to the door looking for Gamma.

10:20 – Delta comes to the door looking for Gamma.

10:25 – Delta comes to the door looking for Gamma.

10:30 – Delta comes to the door looking for Gamma.

10:35 – Delta comes to the door looking for Gamma.

10:40 – Goes up to extract Gamma. Finds her under the covers with the lights off, demanding to be allowed to sleep in.

“Gamma, if you wanted to sleep in, you should have thought about that at 7 am when you exploded into this time stream and pounded down the stairs singing to yourself at the top of your lungs. Get out of my house.”

You Had Options

(scene opens in pandemic living room, kids strewn about for reading hour)

Husband: (comes in looks around)

Me: (takes off head phones) Reading hour ends at 2.

Beta: (looks up) Maybe picking a book about a fast spreading virus was a bad choice.

Me: (no pity) Hey, I gave you one about aliens and horses and you didn’t like it. This is all on you.

Book Club

(scene opens in quarantined parlor)

Beta: (sullen) I finished folding laundry. Now what.

Me: (fiercely) Excellent. Time for one hour of book reading.

Beta: (collapses bonelessly into chair, reaches for laptop)

Me: What are you doing?

Beta: Logging on to the school library for an audio book.

Me: (outraged) No! Reading! Re-ah-ding! Silently! With your eyes!

Beta: (hysterical) But I’ve read every book in this house!

Me: (evil laugh) You have not.

Beta: (sullen again) I’ve read every book in my room.

Me: (standing up from table) I bet you haven’t, but follow me.

(camera cuts to messy but obviously parental bedroom)

Me: Behold (waves hand at stuffed bookshelf) I have over a hundred Dr. Who books. Pick one. Pick two, they’re short. I have books you’ve never seen before. I have boxes of books in the back of the closet. I have books in boxes in the attic. I have boxes of books in the basement. I have more books than you can possible read in two pandemics. The one things you can never say to me is “I’ve read everything”.

Beta: (collapses onto the bed in tears)

Me: (hands him “Novels of the Jaran” by Kate Elliot) Start reading. You’ll like this one, it has aliens. And horses.