So last night as I am putting With-a-Why to bed, he suddenly remembers that he needs a costume for school the next day. He's doing an oral report and he needs to dress like a pirate. After explaining that he should have told me sooner and I am NEVER EVER going to help him with a last minute effort like this again, I give in and help him make a costume. Spouse and Boy-in-Black, cleaning the kitchen, add their unhelpful advice.
Here is the scene:
Me(working fast): Find that weird black hat. Get some black pants, and I'll get you a blousy white shirt. Then we'll pin this silky red cloth to your shoulder.
Boy-in-Black: Mom, no matter what costume you make, it's always the same outfit.
Me: What are you talking about? I'm great at costumes.
Boy-in-Black: That's the outfit I wore as Napoleon.
Boy-in-Black: No matter who the character is, you dress us ... like some kind of bullfighter.
Me: You got any better ideas?
Shaggy Hair Boy: It's the outfit I wore as Benedict Arnold.
Boy-in-Black: Kind of a cross between a bullfighter and the waiter in a fancy Italian restaurant.
Me: So long as you look like you have some kind of costume on. It's the general effect that counts.
With-a-Why: This hat is too big. I can't see anything.
Shaggy Hair Boy: Been. A. Dick. Arnold. I love that name.
Boy-in-Black (looking closer at the red silky cloth): WHAT THE .... Mom, you can't let him wear that.
Me: Don't be ridiculous. A sash of red makes the whole costume.
Spouse: Is that lingerie you are hanging on his shoulder?
Me: It's red silk! It's a nice touch!
Boy-in-Black: Ew. That. Is. Just. Wrong.
Me: I need a safety pin. Where are the safety pins?
Boy-in-Black: Let me find some OTHER red cloth.
Spouse (looking closer): I carefully washed this by hand and you are making it part of a pirate costume?
Me: I WILL GIVE A MILLION DOLLARS TO ANYONE WHO FINDS ME A SAFETY PIN!
Spouse: Use a diaper pin.
Me: A DIAPER PIN? WE DON'T HAVE ANY KIDS IN DIAPERS! HAVEN'T YOU NOTICED? WHEN WAS THE LAST TIME YOU CHANGED A DIAPER?
Spouse: Well, I just thought there might be some still lying around.
Boy-in-Black: A red pillowcase, maybe. Anything. Anything. At. All.
Me: (dialing the phone) NONE OF YOU ARE ANY HELP. I AM GOING TO CALL DAUGHTER.
Me: Do you know where I could find a safety pin in this house?
Daughter: (laughing) You called to ask me that?
Me: You are my only hope
Daughter: Try looking in the sewing kit.
Me: Great idea.
Me: Uh ... where is the sewing kit?
Daughter: (laughing) In the hall closet.
Daughter (in an aside to college roommate): My Mom called me to ask where she could find a safety pin.
Me (rummaging through sewing kit): WE HAVE NO SAFETY PINS!
Daughter: What is it you are doing?
Daughter (aside to roommate): They are lost without me.
Me: I'm making a costume for With-a-Why.
Daughter: Oh, let me guess. Black pants, white shirt, some kind of red hanging from the shoulder.
Me: Yes! How did you know? He's a pirate.
Daughter: You could add some gold jewelry.
Me (to at-home family): We need some pirate jewelry.
Spouse: Don't look at me. I don't wear jewelry.
With-a-Why: I can't see with this hat on.
Spouse: I'm cleaning the kitchen. The costume is your project.
Me: Hey, Boy-in-Black, how about all those medals you've gotten for academic awards? They look like pirate medals, don't they?
Boy-in-Black: Yes, many a pirate got an award for chemistry or math.
Me: NO ONE IS GOING TO READ THEM! IT'S CLOSE ENOUGH!
With-a-Why: Are we almost done?
Me (to Boy-in-Black): YOU wore medals pinned to your shoulder when you wore this costume.
Boy-in-Black: That's because I was being Napoleon.
Me: STOP DRUMMING SO LOUD!
Boy-in-Black: But I've got a drum lesson tomorrow so I REALLY need to practice.
Shaggy Hair Boy: You owe me a million dollars.
With-a-Why: Can I take this hat off now?