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.

State of the Nation

(scene opens at the dinner table)

Me: (lights the first candle in the menorah and the first candle on an Advent wreath)
Beta: Why are we lighting the menorah if we’re not Jewish?
Husband: We’re not exactly Christian either.
Me: (firmly) Every culture has a celebration of lights during the dark of the year. The first week of Advent represents Hope, so tonight we focus on our Hopes for the season and the coming year. We light the menorah as a reminder that we stand with our Jewish cousins. In this country, people are still terrorized for being…
Husband: (calmly) When she says “terrorized” she means “being killed”.

(awkward pause)

Alpha: No way.
Husband: (to wife) Don’t you remember a few months ago? Eleven people shot at a synagogue?
Me: (thinks) I thought it was a shopping mall.
Husband: Starting to become hard to tell them apart, isn’t it?

(another awkward pause)

Gamma: (brightly) Let’s eat!

Exceptions to every rule

(scene opens at mostly empty table)

Beta: (shoveling ice cream into his face)
Me: (disgusted look) Beta. Dignity. Refinement.
Beta: (straightens up) What does that mean?
Me: It means you eat like an adult that has learned manners, not like a pig. Eat every meal as if you were dining with the President.

(awkward pause, looks are exchanged)

Me: Okay, how about the Pope?

In all things, manners

Beta: (looking over my shoulder at scrolling memes) That’s Trump.
Me: Yes it is. How do you know who Trump is?
Beta: He’s running for president. He was in the school magazine talking about people running for president.
Me: What do you know about him?
Beta: That’s he’s mean.
Me: That’s about right.
Beta: But if he’s mean, how can he be running for president?
Me: Some people like the fact he’s mean.
Beta: (stunned silence, shocked look)