The day I threatened to move.


Hank: I will never get this homework done. IT WILL TAKE ME TWO HOURS! AHAHAHAHAHAH#EHNFANAJKE! (stomping away, door slamming)

Avó Dalia: Eu não gosto quando ele faz essas birras. Fazem-me nervoso. (I do not like it when he has these tantrums. They make me nervous.)

Me: Todos os dias, Sogra. Ele tem uma birra todos os dias. Eu não sei o que estamos fazendo de errado. (Everyday, Mother-in-law. He has a tantrum everyday. I don’t know what we are doing wrong.)

Avó Dalia: (knowingly walking us to stand in front of his bedroom door) Mas ele não faz isso na escola ou na frente de seus amigos? (But he doesn’t do this at school or in front of his friends?)

Me: (loud enough for him to hear) Na escola não só comigo. Faz-me pensar que ele não gosta de mim. Como ele não tem respeito por mim. Talvez seja eu. Talvez eu deveria mover e sua vida será melhor. (At school no only with me. Makes me think he doesn’t like me. Like he has no respect for me. Maybe it is me. Maybe I should move and his life will be better.)

Hank: (bursting out the door) NO! (sobbing, Dalia walking away, leaving us alone)

Me: You don’t think I should move?

Hank: (from a hug) I want to live with you.

Me: I want to live with you, too but these tantrums are just over the top and how am I supposed to understand. Your Avó Dalia (grandmother) made a good observation that you do not have birras (tantrums) at school or with other people only with me and your Pai (dad).

Hank: (thinking)

Me: If living with me causes you to be upset and angry maybe I should leave.

Hank: NO. No. (pause) This is my problem I need to fix.

Me: Can I help you?

Hank: I need to calm down and do better.

Me: You sure?

Hank: Yes. I don’t need to get so upset.

Me: I bet you get so tired afterward.

Hank: I do. My whole face is tired and my body hurts.

Me: Sounds like you are allergic to tantrums.

Hank: Yes. I am better now. Can we start over?

Me: Sounds good to me.

(and the homework was done in under five minutes)


Time: 9:30pm Status of house: Pajamas


Hank: Tomorrow I need to wear all white to school. White shirt and white pants.

Me: Do you think you own white pants?


Pai: Why?

Hank: Amanhã temos algo a fazer para … como se diz o cancro da mama? (Tomorrow we have something for … how do you say breast cancer?)

Pai: Cancro da mama. (breast cancer)

Hank: E toda a escola vai se vestir com roupas brancas. (And the whole school will dress in white clothes.)

Me: How long have you known about this day?

Hank: Um… forever.

Me: And you wait until NOW to tell me.

Hank: (whinny) I am sorry.

Me: I am also sorry that I cannot help you with white pants this late at night. If I had known you needed white pants yesterday or Monday or this past weekend… no issues, but now I can do nothing.


Me: You are being a bit extreme.

Pai: You needed to tell us sooner. Now we can do nothing about it.

Hank: You are blaming me.


Me: I understand you feel guilty. I also understand you made a mistake and next time your teacher gives you the responsibility to inform me, your mother, who would never in a million years buy you white pants due to your propensity to save trees by using your pants as a napkin, you will remember to give me advanced warning OR to write it down along with your homework assignment so you don’t forget.





Me: You have a white shirt and black pants. This is all I can do at this time.

Hank: Oh. My teacher said that would also work.

Me: (facepalm)


Comida Americana (American food)


Hank: What’s for dinner?

Me: Leftover remix. Your Avós and Pai (grandparents and dad) are having something else. I just hate when food goes to waste. So you and I are having…

Hank: YES!


Hank: Oh man! Do we need plates?

Me: No. I think we can just be American about this situation and eat off the tray.

Hank: Wow.

Avô Alfredo: O que é isso? (What is that?)

Me: Comida Americana. (American food.)

Avô Alfredo: (walks away, shaking head)

Me: I don’t think he’s convinced.

Hank: My Avô (grandfather) would never eat this.

Me: He is very picky about food. You know, I used to eat this at school.

Hank: You ate nachos at school?

Me: Yup. At my school there was a choice of hamburger, cheeseburger, chicken sandwich or nachos. I didn’t eat meat so I ate nachos with cheese only. Orange cheese.

Hank: (frustrated) Cheese isn’t orange. Cheese is made of milk. Milk is not orange.

Me: I have no answer for you besides you are correct. I remember my buddy Brian was always on the hunt for the ultimate nacho which he would declare loudly when he found it.

Hank: What is an ultimate nacho?

Me: An ultimate nacho is loaded with the perfect amount of toppings naturally without having to scoop additional items on to the chip.

Hank: Like… wait. (searching) THIS IS THE ULTIMATE NACHO!

Me: I believe it is.

Hank: (chewing) Mama. (pause) Are nachos how you got weight?

Me: Gained weight?

Hank: That is what I mean. This isn’t very healthy food and you said you ate it every day at school. We would never eat this at my school. We have soup and salad and fish and carne grelhada (grilled meat).

Me: This is why I like your school. No. Nachos did not make me fat that was much later. It was a combination of love weight, because I fell in love with your papa and wasn’t paying much attention to what I was eating, and after you were born I thought it was a good idea to eat ice cream every single day.

Hank: But then you decided to be healthy again.

Me: It is a much better life when you live a healthy one and then you can have a nacho treat every once and a while no harm done.