Two Doenças (Diseases) and a Little Bit of Sheakespeare (A Conversation with Molly)

conversations with hank and molly

Me: Good morning, MaGoo.

Molly: Groan.

Me: It’s morning time.

Molly: No it’s not! It’s not morning. It nighttime. It nighttime, mommy!

Me: (walking to the window and raising the shades) I love how Shakespearean you’re being, but I assure you…

Molly: (shrieks, scuttling from the sunshine)

Me: (tapping the deep recesses of my memory for my favorite line) “No nightingale. Look, love, what envious streaks do lace the severing clouds in yonder east.”

Molly: (tossing off the blanket) What?

Me: Someday may you read and love the classics, my dear, just like your mama.

Molly: Colinho (hold me).

Me: I will do my best. (picking her up out of bed with difficulty since my rotary cuffs are shot)

Molly: Oh, I need my kitty!

Me: Of course, we can’t leave without your kitty. (bending slightly to fetch her lovie cat searing pain shoots up my spine and into the base of my skull and out my eye sockets)

Molly: Ah! Soft Cão (dog)! I need my Soft Cão (dog), too!

Me: How silly of us to forget, Soft Cão! (bending slightly to fetch her lovie dog searing pain shoots up my spine and into the base of my skull and out my eye sockets, turn to leave the room)

Molly: (straining for the top of her dresser piled with random bits and bobs) I need my *unintelligible word*.

Me: (stop, losing strength in my arms) Your what?

Molly: My *unintelligible word*!

Me: (further losing strength in my arms) I don’t understand, what do you want? Point.

Molly: (grand gestures) *unintelligible word*!

Me: (suddenly lose all strength in my arms, put Molly on the floor before I drop her, searing pain shoots up my spine and into the base of my skull and out my eye sockets as I bend to put her down)

Molly: (frustrated, three years old, doesn’t understand) Mãe, colinho! COLINHO! (Mom, hold me! Hold me!)

Me: (sit in the middle of the floor, wincing as my knees and hips pop and my spine pinches and burns and open my arms) Of course I will hold you! Come here.

Molly: (climbs into my lap, cute little lap is the literal translation of colinho, by the way)

Me: I am afraid I can’t carry you anymore today, MaGoo.

Molly: Why?

Me: Because mommy’s arms don’t work.

Molly: Don’t work? Why?


Me: (holding up two fingers) Because I have two doenças (diseases).

Molly: (attempting to hold up two fingers, but they get tangled in the mess of her other fingers) Two?

Me: Yes, but papa can carry you and mano (brother) can carry you and all our friends and family can carry you! But, you and I, we have something very special.

Molly: What’s that?

Me: Because you are so very strong and brave and independent we can hold hands and you can walk all by yourself and we can sit, where ever we may be, and you can always, and I mean always, climb up and have colinho (be held) with me. No matter where we are and no matter what we are doing I will sit still with you and hold you in my lap.

Molly: That is awe-some, mommy.

Me: Is it?

Molly: Yah! That is awe-some.

Me: I think so too.

Molly: (sighs and melts into me)

Me: (I melt back)





Privacy (A Conversation with Molly)

Just before Molly fell ill with the flu she took her Pony out for French pastry and a coffee. (do not be alarmed she's drinking warm milk)

Just before Molly fell ill with the flu she took her Pony out for French pastry and a coffee. (do not be alarmed she’s drinking warm milk)


Me: (tucking a sick Molly MaGoo into the sofa) I all better, mama!

Me: You are? Then convince your upset stomach of that, please.

Molly: I vomit in the elevator.

Me: You did, indeed.

Molly: All over papa.

Me: True story.

Molly: I vomit in the bucket.

Me: With perfect aim! We should sign you up for archery!

Molly: I all better, mama.

Me: (sigh) Well, that is a relief.

Molly: (looking out the window) Where the sun, mama? Where the sun go?

Me: (looking out the window to see the sun dipped behind a row of menacing, rain saturated clouds) Amália, how do you think the sun takes a shower?

Molly: I dono.

Me: What do you do when you need privacy?



Molly: (shrugs)

Me: You close the door. Does the sun have a door?

Molly: (puzzled) No?

Me: That is right.  There are no doors in the sky so the sun relies on the clouds to give him a bit of a break. When a cloud passes in front of the sun he takes the opportunity to relax, wash his dishes, tidy his living room and make himself a cup of tea.

Molly: Oh yes!

Me: Often he takes a shower, gets dressed, hangs his laundry out to dry.

Molly: E faz xixi (and pee)?

Me: Claro (of course)! And on especially rainy days the sun stays in his pajamas with a good book and reads and reads and reads while the clouds fill our rivers and streams and water our gardens and make puddles for ducks.

Molly: (to the window, whispers) Mama, the sun is pooping. (nodding)

Me: Then we better give him some space! No one likes to poop with an audience.

Molly: Yah. Sun poops alone.




Reenactment of Molly in her "Byron-esque" shirt.

Reenactment of Molly in her “Byron-esque” shirt as played by Jerry Seinfeld


Molly: I dressed!

Me: You are, indeed and with the flounce of your collar you’d make even Byron proud.

Pai: (busy tiding the house and prepping for a day out) You’re such a nerd.

Me: (in retaliation) Amália, look at your father and repeat after me, “Let us drink wine from the skull of Keats!”*

Pai: What!?

Molly: mumble mumble skull KEEEEEAAAAATS!

Me: (cackling)

Pai: The things you teach our children.

Me: If by teach you mean help them be awesome, then you’re welcome.

Hank: (walking into the room)

Molly: Pai dressed, Amália dressed, mano (brother) dressed, mama? We going! We go. Mama, you no dressed? You not coming? You stay here?

Me: (still in my bathrobe) Because mamas and papas are most often last. Parents put their children first. That is part of the job.

Hank: Mama made sure everyone else was ready before she even got started.

Me: #momlife

Hank: Mom, you go, take some time for you.  I will hang out with my mana (sister).

Pai: (trash bag in hand) I’ll be right back.

Me: Perfect, I need five minutes and in the meantime, Molly, you can tell your mano (brother) the phrase I taught you to go along with the size of your poeticly puffy shirt.

Molly: mumble mumble mumble skull of Keeeeeeeeeeeeeaaaattts!

Hank: Who’s Keats?

Me: Gasp!

Pai: (from the doorway, bursts out laughing)

Me: (standing aghast in my bathrobe and wet hair in a towel-turban) Please accept my deepest and most sincere apology, Henrique.  I was remiss in introducing you to one of the world’s great romantic poets.  I shall remedy this today. Please excuse my slight.

Molly: Skull of Keeeeeaaaattts! (giggling)

Hank: And why is Molly screaming about his skull?

Me: Thank god we have an uninterrupted hour in which I may tell you the whole story of John Keats tragic, consumptive demise and Lord Byron, the world’s first rock star.


Hank: Mom, we won’t go anywhere unless you get ready.

Me: Right, yes, absolutely.  I beg your pardon.


*In my research to back up my recollection of Byron’s desire to drink wine from the skull of a friend I realized I was right about Byron, but wrong about whose skull he wished to preserve! (whoops, ten nerd demerits) It was Percy Bysshe Shelley’s skull as remembered by, E. J. Trelawny, Recollections of the Last Days of Shelley and Byron (1858), pp. 115-39.

“Byron asked me to preserve the skull for him; but remembering that he had formerly used one as a drinking-cup, I was determined Shelley’s should not be so profaned.”