Not a Paid Endorsement, Just a Typical Conversation with Hank

Hank's is the Hot Tamale.  We joke that it looks like if smallpox was a backpack.

Hank’s is the Madpax Hot Tamale. We joke that it looks like if smallpox was a backpack.


Me: (closing yet another chapter on a good book) Alright, then sailor. You all tucked in?

Hank: Yup.

Me: Teeth brushed?

Hank: A long time ago now.

Me: Then I’m off. I love you, see you in the morning.

Hank: You know, sometimes I sleep for 40 minutes?

Me: Um, yes? You sleep 10 hours a night so you sleep for 40 minutes 15 times consecutively.

Hank: Huh?

Me: Exactly. What are you talking about?

Hank: In the morning sometimes I wake up at like 6 and then I am like… Wow, I am awake but then I tell myself that I will just close my eyes for five more minutes and then it is like 40 minutes and papa is waking me up.

Me: Gotcha.

Hank: What does consecutibly mean?

Me: Consecutively means one after another after another.

Hank: Oh like in a line? Now I know what you meant.

Me: Good, (noticing his backpack is in the middle of the floor) hey we gotta get this backpack out of the road or else your papa or I will faceplant the floor in the dark while trying to put our night owl (Molly) to bed. (moving his backpack off to the side of his bed)

Hank: When did I get this backpack?

Me: First grade.

Hank: And I can carry this backpack until I go to High School.

Me: That backpack will last you to the army.

Hank: Mama, I’m not going to the army. I can’t hurt people. I am nonviolent, but I bet I could take it to university.

Me: Sounds like a plan.



Hank left the house before I could make a copy of his map of Portugal so today our guest artist is Molly'. This is her first drawing.

Hank left the house before I could make a copy of his map of Portugal so today our guest artist is Molly. This is her first drawing.


Me: The great and powerful brother has returned.

Molly: Screaming at the top of her lungs (Brother, you are my favorite person besides papa!!)

Hank: Hello, Amália. (bending down to give her a hug) Hello, mama! I can’t talk long I have a ton of studying to do. Can I have a chocolate milk and a snack while I am studying in my room?

Me: Certainly.

Molly: Arms wrapped tightly around Hank’s legs, screaming (I will not let you leave! I waited all day! You must play with me!)

Hank: It’s alright, Molly McGoo. You can come and play in our room while I study.

Molly: Releasing Hank and crawling toward the bedroom, mumbling baby-nonsense (Yes, you understand me perfectly)

Me: (entering their bedroom a bit later with a tray of snacks) Okay troops, chow time!

Molly: Looking up from her attempted murder of her hedgehog puppet, innocently

Me: Amália Sofia, that hedgehog is friend not food.

Hank: Thanks, mama.

Me: What are you studying?

Hank: The map of Portugal. I need to know all of the regions and cities and places and things. We have traveled a lot in Portugal.

Me: Indeed.

Hank: When my teacher tells us of a place she asks if any of us have been there and I have almost always been there.

Me: We like to travel.

Hank: It helps me study, because I remember things because I have been there.

Me: Cool.

Hank: I know.

Me: Do you also take notes?

Hank: Sometimes.

Me: Did you know there is a way of taking notes where you can be creative and draw and use colored pencils to help you?

Hank: Like Braulio does in his notebooks and you do in your sketchbooks?

Me: Exactly. We can trace the map of Portugal in your notebook and then you can fill it out as an active way of studying. That way you are drawing and coloring and doing things you like while learning at the same time. It is called bullet journaling or creative note taking. YouTube is FULL of tutorials you can watch.

Hank: (excited by all things related to YouTube) Really? Can we watch some?

Me: Yup, but after you study a little.

Hank: Alright. Can I go and get your fancy pens and pencils to make the map with you?

Me: Sure.

Hank: I love to study.

Me: Best gift you can give yourself is the wish to learn.

Molly: Screeching, ripping the fur off her miserable hedgehog puppet.

Hank: You save the hedgehog. I’ll get the supplies.

Me: Sounds like a plan.


First Life’s Dream

conversations with


Hank: Mama?

Me: Hum? (agonizing over bedframes at IKEA, Pai and Molly some distance away)

Hank: I have decided that it is my first life’s dream to have a studio apartment some day.

Me: A smart, achievable goal my friend, but why is that your first life’s dream?

Hank: Because I know I am eight and I will have many dreams to add, but this is just my first.

Me: (squeezing him into a side hug) No one ever called you dumb.

Hank: (skipping off, calling behind him) Not one day.