Somethings that start with an F


(Molly is still too small for a high chair so at dinner she sits in a Bumbo in the center of the table surrounded by us as if she were the main course.)

Me: I wonder if I put soy sauce on my salad if it will taste like sushi.

Pai: Your diet is going to your head.

Me: No, my salad has cucumber and avocado maybe if I drip a bit of this on here it will taste… (putting my plan into action)Yum, like sushi. I am a food genius! Sushi Salad (doing my sushi salad dance) this is how I will make my fortune!

Pai: You will make your fortune writing, but if you want to believe it is with a salad then by all means…

Molly: (growling and babbling)

Hank: What is that Molly? You want something? Something that begins with an F…

Pai: Fungus?

Hank: No.

Me: Frangipani?

Hank: (giggling) Nope.

Pai: Ferias (vacation)?

Hank: No.

Me: Formica?

Hank: Mama, you are just saying silliness. I will give you a hint. It is something she has every day.

Me: Fits?

Hank: No.

Pai: Fraldas (diapers)!

Hank: No!

Me: Fire hydrants?

Hank: NO: Food.

Me: Oh.

Pai: Ok, good one Hank.

Hank: That was a fun game. We should play this game every night!

Pai: I am thinking of something that Molly LOVES to do after she eats that begins with an F.

Hank: Um…

Me: It’s farts.

Pai: Yup.

Molly: (drooling and squeaking)

Hank: (positively purple with laughter)

Me: This little one can fart you out of a room.

Pai: (taking her hand) Yup.

Hank: (falling to the floor, hysterical)

Me: She’s a member of the semi-professional flatulence team.

Hank: (possibly getting brain damage from the hilarity)

Me: She’s Fart-tasitc.

Pai: We’re so proud.

Hank: Stop! Please, stop! (taking a breath) My belly hurts. (wiping tears from his eyes)

Molly: (squealing, kicking)


Oh, The Stories We’ll Tell

Me: I guess we park here.

Pai: I see the monastery there. It isn’t far. I can walk up a bit and see if we can drive.

Me: (opening the car door) No, I want to walk.

Hank: It’s cold.

Me: That is just the wind on top of this ridge. Look there, Hank. Across that river is Spain.

Pai: (donning the baby carrier) As soon as we take this path we will be out of the wind in the trees and you will see what a nice day it is.

Hank: I don’t feel good. I’m carsick.

Me: The best cure for carsickness is a walk. Trust me. I am a professional.

Hank: But my legs are wobbly.

Pai: Uh-oh. We have a situation.

Me: What?

Pai: (displaying a destroyed outfit on a super happy, kicking baby) Diaper Blowout.

Me: Nobody panic. I have everything under control. Hank, get in the trunk and get the emergency baby kit.

Hank: Why does Molly always poop everywhere?

Me: So we can have plenty of, “remember that time when Molly had a blowout and we had to change her on the hood of the car on top a blustery a mountain ridge while Hank whined incessantly before we had an epic day at an abandoned 11 century monastery,” stories to tell in the future.

Hank: Oh.

Pai: Yah, so there!

Molly: (kicking, laughing and covered in poop)

(When you are next near Valença, Portugal consider taking a picnic to the Mosteiro de Sanfins de Friestas. Simply magical.)


Saturday Morning Misunderstanding


Me: (holding a sleeping Molly) Hank, please go and wake up your papa and tell him it is time to go to the garden.

Hank: Ok. (leaves the room)

Me: (putting Molly in her crib) Is he up?

Hank: Can we go to the gardens after lunch, papa needs his sleep.

Me: (annoyed) He can sleep, but I need to go to the garden so I will walk over with Molly. (rushing off to get ready)

(few minutes later)

Me: (brushing my teeth)

Hank: So, do I need to come with you or can I wait until papa comes?

Me: (spits) That is your decision, Hank. I can’t make it for you.

Hank: I will stay here. (walks away)

Pai: (sleepy) Ready to go to the garden, boss?

Me: I thought you needed your sleep and you wanted to go after lunch?

Pai: I never said that.

Me: Hank?

Hank: (Xbox controller in hand)

Me: Why did you tell me that you papa wanted to sleep until lunch?

Hank: I…

Pai: I never said that.

Hank: But…

Pai: Hank came in and woke me up and now I am ready to go.

Me: Hank, why would you lie about something like that?

Hank: (pause) I didn’t mean too.

Me: Of all the stupid things to lie about. All so I would leave and you could play Xbox. This doesn’t make any sense.

Hank: I didn’t mean to lie.

Me: I hate lying.

Pai: No Xbox for the rest of the day and get dressed we are all going to the garden. End of discussion.

Me: It just makes no sense.

Pai: Let it go, Hanford. We will talk about this later.

Hank: (stomping into his room)

(flash forward: much later, after the garden and lunch, tucked up in my big bed and reading books to Molly)

Me: Hank?

Hank: Yes?

Me: Something just came to me. This morning, were you telling me your papa wanted to wait until after lunch to go to the garden or were you asking me if we could wait until after lunch to go to the garden?

Hank: I was asking you. My papa never said that.

Me: Oh, I see now. I have been playing and replaying this morning over in my mind because it just didn’t make sense. You wouldn’t make up a lie like that. I know you wouldn’t. And just now I was thinking, “maybe he was ASKING me if we could stay, but was a little nervous and it didn’t come out right.”

Hank: That is it exactly. I wanted to stay and play Xbox and my papa always likes to stay asleep on Saturday. I was trying to ask you, but I didn’t want you to get mad.

Me: I am sorry, Hank. I didn’t hear it as a question. I heard it as if it was something that happened. I overreacted.

Hank: That’s alright. You’re still learning.

Me: (smirk) That is very true. I am still learning. I learn to be your mama every day and I make mistakes. I will never know exactly what to do or say, but I promise to keep learning. I’m sorry I didn’t stop to listen to you.

Hank: That’s ok. I had a lot of fun at the garden and then this whole day.

Me: Thanks for being a part of my team.

Hank: (smiling)

Me: Why don’t you go and play some Xbox while I put Molly down for her nap.

Hank: Really?

Me: Yup and next time we have a misunderstanding lets use our word: Space.

Hank: That’s what we say when we need to have a minute alone.

Me: True, so in the future when we need to stop and listen again to each other lets say: MISUNDERSTANDING SPACE.

Hank: Yes and lets tell papa when he gets home.

Me: (relieved) I am so happy we figured this out. I am sorry I called you a liar. Thanks helping me understand.

Hank: Me, too. I ‘m happy, too. (dashing out to play Xbox)