Tuesday, 4 p.m.
Child 1: “My French teacher said we probably won’t have school tomorrow.”
Parent 1: “OK… Wait, what? Why?!”
Child 1: “A storm.”
Parent 1: “That’s bizarre. It’s 55 degrees out.”
Child 1: “I dunno. She said high winds.”
Parent 1: “School pictures are tomorrow. Do people still do that? We all have phones with cameras. Is there a form?”
Child 1: Has exited the premises.
Tuesday, 11:50 p.m. Hurricanical winds. Crashing limbs.
Parent 1: “The thing is, the house was built in 1845. It would have blown over already.”
Parent 2: Light snoring.
Parent 1: “We just aren’t the type of parents who would ever frame a school photo, or prepare for a storm. We don’t own a flashlight — iPhones have made us believe everything is fine. Do better people fill the tub? Or was that about nuclear war?”
Parent 1: “Are you seriously sleeping?”
Parent 2: Mutterings.
Parent 1: “Holy moley. Did you hear that? Sounded like someone threw a cast-iron skillet at the side door.”
Parent 2: “Please stop talking.”
Wednesday, 4 a.m. Power goes out.
Parent 1: “I swear, if the power comes back on before coffee, I’ll prepare next time. I’ll collect rainwater in sustainable barrels. I’ll fashion homemade lanterns out of bamboo. The kids will make candles from the neighbor’s bees. Uh-oh! Only 11 percent on my Kindle. I’ll start reading actual books — and knitting blankets. Is crochet for blankets?”
Thursfriday, who knows.
Parent 1, dragging water pail up the stairs: “My rib is definitely in the wrong place. Did their pails have wheels back in the day?”
Parent 2: “Is it already dark out? I can’t tell if my eyes are open or closed.”
Parent 1: “Some flush water just splashed in my eye.”
Parent 2: “Oh god. Can I not know that? I’m freezing. It’s warmer outside. Where are the children?”
Parent 1: “Probably in the basement.”
Parent 2: “We don’t have a basement. It’s a crawl space for raccoons and their dead mice friends.”
Parent 1: “They said it was warmer down there. We have no dinner. We can have room temperature butter with uncooked rice.”
Parent 2: “Coffee truly tastes better when it takes 90 minutes to heat the water by the fireplace!”
Parent 1: “We aren’t supposed to wash our hair that much anyway. Mine looks amazing. Look at my hair!”
Parent 2: “It does look really good. I still smell nice after splitting a cord of wood.”
Child 2: “Croissants are my favorite lunch. I could eat croissants for every meal. Scurvy is the no-vegetable disease, right? I don’t think it killed that many pioneers.”
Parent 1: “Not too, too many. They didn’t live terribly long, but they seemed super excited about so many things. Like an orange, or a pregnant goat, or smallpox sparing the fifth-born.”
Parent 2: “Are you wearing an actual shawl?”
Parent 1: “Yes! Well, it’s a blanket with a head hole I added.”
Parent 2: “Oh wow. Impressive.”
Saturday, 5:05 p.m. Power restored. Prepare to repeat stages for the next storm.