Exhibit A

(scene opens in sunny dinning room)

Me: (tiredly gathering up pandemic homeschool supplies)

Beta: (laying on floor in sunbeam with doggo) Mom? Which do you love more, the kids or the dog.

Me: (sighs) Well, the dog doesn’t argue with me about every. single. thing. I. say. so maybe I love the dog best.

Beta: Except when he’s pulling on the leash or not sitting when you tell him or chewing on things he’s not supposed to…

Me: Hey Beta? You’re kinda proving my point.

Beta: …..damnit.

Ars Gratia Artis

(scene opens in dining room)

Me: (slowly and carefully assembling flower pieces)

Beta: (enters from kitchen) Those are really pretty mom. Can I pick one up?

Me: (abstractly) Sure. Be careful.

Beta: Now what are you going to do with them?

Me: (sighs) I don’t know.

Beta: Something else to lay around the house and gather dust?

Me: (reprovingly) Maybe. Not all art is profitable. Sometimes we do it anyway. Because we can. It makes the world a prettier place.

Tough Crowd

(scene opens in dining room)

Delta: (watching Carrot light Advent candles) What are those for mommy?

Me: Each week we light one to remind ourselves what’s important; Peace, Hope, Love…

Husband: (interrupting from foyer) Profits for the candle manufacturers.

Me: ….and Joy. Which your father is.

Delta: No, he is pain and despair.

Me: Well then.

Husband: I heard that.

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.

Magic Word

(scene opens at cluttered dinning room table)

Alpha: (at laptop) Mom, how do you spell relativ….reali…rel

Me: Relativity?

Alpha: Relatively.

Beta: (hovering around for no reason) He’s looking for a word that rhymes with “orange”.

Me: R-E-L-A-T-I-V-E-L-Y. And “door hinge”.

(stunned silence follows, boys stare, Carrot drinks coffee)

Beta: (mimes mind being blown)

Alpha: Holy shit.

Me: Language.

Alpha: No. Mom. Holy shit. You rhymed orange. That’s insane.

Me: (raises coffee mug and shrugs) Maybe now you’ll believe me when I tell you I know a thing?

Experience vs Youth

(scene opens in cluttered dining room)

Alpha: Is today the day Beta gets back from grandmas?

Me: (wearily) I don’t know. I don’t know what anyone is doing any more.

Alpha: I like the quiet.

Gamma: Me too!

Me: (side eyes her, does not comment) Alpha, you know how you get more silence? Do good in school. Excel at sports. Get a scholarship and go away to college where you have your own dorm room and enjoy all the peace and quiet and never have to talk to anyone.

Alpha: That’s not how it works.

Me: (annoyed) That’s exactly how that works.

Alpha: I’ll have to share a room. That’s why they call it a dorm.

Me: It’s called a dorm because its a dormitory – a place where people sleep. You can get your own room and not have to share. They haven’t been one big large room of some twenty odd people since maybe the 1800s.

Alpha: (hotly) No. I…

Me: (interrupts) I had my own room in college and didn’t share with anyone.

Alpha: (Sullen rebellious stare)

Me: I swear to god, if the next words out of your mouth is “Things have changed a lot since you went to college, mom” I will destroy you.

Alpha: (exits scene)