Susan watched her son as he stamped Lego pieces into the carpet.
"Honey, please. Don't do that.'
"Mommy, I'm helping,' Daniel said.
Susan lifted her eyes to the ceiling. "How are you helping, honey?'
"I made a spider and it started crawling.' Daniel tottered over to his bucket of Lego and kicked it down. The "spider' disappeared under a muddle of coloured bricks.
Kyle, her husband, appeared over his newspaper. "Name an author that hasn't died before the age of fifty.'
Susan kept her eyes on Daniel. "What? Why do you think I care about that?'
Kyle pushed his glasses up his nose. "Drop everything and give me ten books ... authors who haven't died before they're fifty.'
"How do you expect me to know that?'
Daniel gripped a handful of bricks and tossed them at the patio window. They hit the glass with little taps. "Can I have a spider, Mommy?' he said. "Those ones with the fat legs?'
"We got you that terrapin, remember? You didn't take care of it, did you?' Susan clicked on the television to distract him from any more brick throwing. The cartoons were still showing and she watched as promenading poodles in tap shoes danced across the screen.
"Why don't you wear those, Mommy?' Daniel said.
"Your mother wears army boots, son,' Kyle said from behind his newspaper. "They gave her a bunion. Give me that author, honey.'
"You think I didn't hear you the first time?' she said. Her gaze crept to Daniel who was prodding the screen with a finger.
"That's not an author.'
Daniel reached over and yanked on the hem of Susan's red skirt. "What's a snark, Mommy?'
Susan glanced at the television where a blue cartoon shark was swimming on screen.
"That's a shark, honey. A shark.'
Daniel stared at the shark and started slapping the screen with his open palms.
Susan massaged her clammy forehead. "Don't do that. Do you hear Mommy?'
"One more author. Try one more.'
"Daniel's intent on destroying the house. Do you really think I care?'
"You've got to admire the will of the wisp,' Kyle laughed.
"He is not a wisp. He's small for his age!'
"What's a galleycat?' Daniel asked. He popped his pink thumb in his mouth and began sucking.
"Do you mean an alley cat, honey?'
Daniel shrugged his little shoulders.
"Don't suck your thumb. You'll ruin your teeth.'
Susan looked up as Kyle rustled his newspaper. "Would you listen to the crap they write in this thing?'
Susan glared at her son. "Get your thumb out your mouth. Do you hear?'
"Listen to this, Susan.'
"I don't want to listen. Would you help me out here, please?'
"Roar of the greasepaint, smell of the crowd -that's what some lousy reporter's written here. Damn sentence is round the wrong way.”
Susan wasn't listening. She stared out the patio window, where the sun was setting and the glass was bringing her own reflection back to her.
Miss Snark is now planning to jump into the East River after putting her head in the oven and taking an overdose of Nyquil. Yikes!!!!
Scoring to come...should she survive.