Tucking Him In


Me: Ok. Teeth brushed?

Hank: Check.

Me: Face washed?

Hank: Check.

Me: Other bathroom business attended to?

Hank: Xixi (pee), check. In Portuguese we call that necessidades (necessities) not business.

Me: Right, good to know. Singing in the mirror and (ruffling his hair) combing your hair?

Hank: (giggling) Check, check.

Me: Wonderful… Book?

Hank: Not tonight. Can we just talk a minute?

Me: Lovely, I’d be delighted. (sitting on the edge of his bed)

Hank: (smiling, pause) Mama, some people don’t like themselves.

Me: True Story.

Hank: I don’t understand that. I love myself.

Me: I am proud of you for that. You gotta love yourself first before you can know how to love anyone else. This is an important lesson you have learned young. Much younger than I learned it.

Hank: You gotta be you and that is fine. That is who you are.

Me: Wise words, my friend.

Hank: Like Mariama. She doesn’t like her hair. She wants hair like Irina’s, but I love Mariama just as she is and you LOVE her hair.

Me: Yes, I do.

Hank: You are always telling her that you wanted hair just like her’s when you were little.

Me: Yup. I used to beg my mother to braid my hair like our neighbor, Denis Hicks cousin Bebe’s. I loved her braids and twists fastened with baby barrettes at the ends. I was so upset when my mama told me, “Your hair just won’t do that.”

Hank: You wanted something you couldn’t have just like Mariama wants Irina’s caracóis (curls).

Me: Exactly. I have told Mariama many times I would give anything to have her tranças (braids). I love her hair!

Hank: But mommy, did you know? Mariama doesn’t believe you. She thinks you are lying.

Me: I am not!

Hank: I tell her that, but she doesn’t change her mind. She thinks her mother can take her to the cabeleireira (hairdresser) and they can make her hair fall strait.

Me: Cabeleireiras (hairdressers) can do that, it’s called a perm, but it involves a very strong chemical and it is very bad for children. Mariama can choose to have a perm when she is an adult, but now it is dangerous for her hair and her skin.

Hank: I wish she could see what we see.

Me: I hope someday she will. She is lovely.

Hank: I am ready to sleep now.

Me: Good night, Hank. Sweet dreams.

Hank: Good night, my mama.


**Guest Artist: Irina


Forgetting the Poop (again)


Me: (nursing) OUCH! Argh.

Molly: (smiling, nursing)

Me: Amália Sofia! Not Funny!

Hank: What’s wrong.

Me: She bites and if she doesn’t cut it out… (giving Molly a stern, serious look) It is the circus for you, little one.

Hank: No!

Me: I hope you’re ready for your life under the big top. They don’t mind biters in the circus. She can work with the lion tamers.

Hank: Can’t we at least wait until she’s 20 to sell her?

Me: Not if she’s chewing on me!

Hank: She’s just learning. She doesn’t know it hurts you.

Me: Then how do I explain it to her?

Hank: I will help. Molly, don’t bite.

Molly: (unlatching, looking at Hank as if he hung the moon)

Me: Yah!

Hank: Don’t do it, Molly. I love you. I don’t want you to go and live with the circus.

Molly: (answering back in goos and coos)

Me: But she’ll love a life with elephants.

Hank: Again, mommy? Your imagination is forgetting the poop.

Me: Oh.


Pencil Snitcher


Me: Hank? Have you seen my pencils?

Hank: What pencils?

Me: My fancy colored pencils for work?


Me: (knowingly) Yah… it’s a mystery. They aren’t in my work supply drawer. Must have been the fairies.


Me: I really need them for work today… I am working on some Molly designs to take to Isabel (friend who is a seamstress). Maybe I should call Paige Portensia through our fairy door and ask her if the fairies snitched my pencils.

Me: (returning to emails)

Hank: (looking guilty leaving the room)

(few minutes later Hank enters my office carrying his large box of crayons)

Me: Ready for school?

Hank: Mama, I used your pencils and now I cannot find them in my room and I have to go to school and I cannot look anymore until I get home. I am sorry.

Me: Thanks for being honest. We will look together tonight when you get home, but please do not use my work supplies. You are blessed with TONS of art stuff. You don’t need mine.

Hank: I know, but I wanted to use your lapis de aquarela (watercolor pencils). I brought you my crayons. I will help you when I get home from school. I just cannot make my brain remember where I put them right now.

Me: I think I can use these instead. I am just sketching ideas. Thanks for helping, buddy. Have a good day at school.

Hank: Have a good sketches day! I love you.

Me: Love you, too pencil snitcher.

Hank: (giggling)