Bonding Moments

(scene opens on sidewalk for a twilight walk)

Me: (hopeful) So, Beta. Since we’re doing some mother-son bonding, is there anything you wanted to ask me about? Anything you were curious to know?

Beta: (thinks) Hmmm. Is cereal a soup?

Me: (sighs, disappointed) Yes.

Beta: (surprised) Wha….really? Oh. (doubles down) Are potatoes amazing?

Me: (more sighs) Yes.

Beta: Am I a potato?

Me: No.

Beta: (laughs in gotcha) So I’m not amazing?

Me: (gives up) Nice use of logic. This is what we’re doing now. Right. Okay, here we go. “God is love, love is blind, Ray Charles is blind, Ray Charles is God”.

(Beta stops in his tracks, Carrot continues to walk)

Beta: No. NO! That’t can’t….I don’t even know who Ray Charles is! It’s not true! If I don’t know who it is, it doesn’t work!

Me: (calls over her shoulder) Gotta refute better than that.

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)

I showed them

(scene opens at cluttered dining room table)

Me: (frowning over embroidery hoop)

Gamma: (sitting stupidly close, poking at her tablet) Mom, which is a German horse breed? Shetland, Holsteiner, or Gelderland?

Me: (stops, perplexed) Why on earth are you asking me that?

Gamma: I’m playing Horse Haven and I can earn coins for answering horse questions.

Me: Oh. (thinks) Uh, I’d guess Holsteiner. (turns back to embroidery)

Gamma: Yes! (silent a moment) Mom? What’s the name of Alexander the Great’s horse? Is it…

Me: (doesn’t look up) Bucephalus.

Gamma: (jackpot noise from tablet) You’re right! I got a thousand coins! You’re so smart, mom.

Me: There have been times in my life I’ve been mocked for knowing that.

Too through

(scene opens in unexpectedly clean kitchen)

Alpha: (bent over sink, head under running water)
Me: …and I can tell when you don’t use shampoo when showering because it doesn’t look clean and smells greasy.
Alpha: What does greasy smell like? Fried chicken?
Me: No, not exactly. It smells like…
Beta: (shrieking from dining room) BEE! A BEE! (runs into kitchen) MOM! A BEE!
Me: (throws towel on Alpha, goes to dining room, sees exceptionally large paper wasp on the chandelier) It’s okay, guys. Everyone stay cool and get me a towel.
Alpha: (hands over damp hand towel from trying his hair)
Me: (twirls it, eyeing wasp on chandelier. Rethinking plan, steps up onto dining room table and crushes wasp into towel)
Beta: Yay mom! You got the bee!
Alpha: Way to go mom!
Gamma: You’re so brave.
Me: Yeah I was kinda scared there. (crushes towel tighter to kill wasp, drops it on kitchen floor after gasping in pain, runs to sink, puts hand under cold water) Quick! Who has their shoes on!?
Kids: (collectively panics)
Me: Damnit! Who has their shoes on?! (sees Alpha has one on) Alpha! Step on the towel! Still alive!
Alpha: (figuring it out) I will avenge the Mother! (stomps on towel repeatedly, declaring vengeance until wasp shoots out the side)
Kids: (scatter squealing)
Me: (feeling faint, resting head on faucet) Where is it?
Beta: Behind the door!
Alpha: I’m on it! (squashes wasp dead, cleans up carefully under direction)
Gamma: Are you okay mommy?
Me: (pulls hand out of water, surveys palm, determines it was just a tip, not a full sting) I’ll be okay. It only hurts a little now.
Beta: Mom? Why is your hairbrush on the stove boiling?
Me: (closes eyes against the morning) I found lice in my hairbrush today.
Kids (scatter squealing)