Hank: (from another room) What? (walking into the living room)
Me: Hank, I asked you to put these school papers away. You have three options: your homework cabinet in the dinning room, the cabinets in your room or you can choose to recycle them.
Hank: (looking at me blankly, says nothing, walks off to his room without the papers and shuts the door)
Me: Hank? Can you please come here?
Me: Henrique José, unless your room is on fine and you are attempting to subdue the flames march back here now.
Me: (now yelling) Hank, do not make me come in there.
Hank: (storming back into the dinning room, snatching the papers off the table)
Me: (grabbing him by the wrist) What is wrong, Hank?
Hank: Largo-me (let me go).
Me: What is this behavior? Why are you having a birra (tantrum)? This is the fifth time I asked you to move these papers.
Hank: (now sobbing)
Me: (suddenly furious, yelling) Should I punish you like a baby and give you a spanking? (turning him around and not hard or violently, but embarrassing him by spanking him) There now baby… Don’t disrespect your mother.
Me: Room, NOW!
Hank: (complete out of control, screaming and crying)
Pai: What the…
Me: I have no idea. Did you hear the whole thing?
Pai: Yup. Something’s up, best to let him and YOU calm down. You both are in rare form today.
Me: Excuse me?
Pai: (hands up in surrender) Just stating the facts. You are also irritable, today.
Me: (defensive, furious, yelling) Just because I called you out on giving me carte blance to plan our ferias (vacation) and then with the first sentence of my idea you completely contradict and start to micromanage me doesn’t mean I am irritable it means I am IRRITATED.
Pai: (super calm) I am not saying you were wrong. I am saying you are screaming.
Pai: Yah. (rubbing my back) Tem Calma (calm down)
Me: You know telling someone to calm down is offensive in America.
Pai: That is why I said it in Portuguese where it is not offensive.
Me: (deep, angry breath)
-30 Minutes Later-
Me: (peeking my head into Hank’s room) Ready to talk?
Hank: (in bed, pajamas, under the covers, light on) Yes, I’m sorry.
Me: I’m sorry, too. I lost my temper and because of that I wasn’t in control and wasn’t in a place where I could ask you what was bothering you. Hank, what is bothering you? Why did you get so upset about putting those papers away? It couldn’t have been about the papers.
Hank: I was doing something and I hate it when you ask me to do something when I am already doing something.
Me: That is frustrating. (deep breath)
Hank: (mirroring that deep breath)
Me: The thing you need to understand is that your responsibilities trump fun stuff. You have to handle your business first before you can enjoy your hobbies, like homework before Xbox. Yah dig?
Me: And I had asked you to put those papers away four times before and you neglected to do it, so I was irritated. What were you doing when I asked you to come and put those school papers away?
Me: Do you not remember?
Me: Is it a secret?
Me: Then is mustn’t have been too important if you forgot by now.
Hank: (nervously playing with his bed sheets) I miss my Tia Alice (his great aunt that died a few months ago).
Me: Now that is something you absolutely do not get to do. We all miss our Tia, but you do not get to say the first convenient thing to justify your behavior, especially if it isn’t true. That is manipulating other people’s emotions and has nothing to do with what I asked you, because we all miss Tia, everyday all day. But right now, you are lying and Tia would also call you out on this lie.
Hank: (bursting into tears, guilty and knowing he got caught)
Me: As for me, I am glad you tried this manipulation out now seeing as you are all ready for bed at 8pm because you won’t be leaving this room for the rest of the night unless you have to pee.
Hank: (wailing) I’m sorry.
Me: Good. Thank you. Now you can learn that the truth is always the right answer and a lie will only get you punished. I will ask you again. Do you remember what you were doing when I asked you to put your school papers away?
Hank: (sobbing, guilty) I was looking for my Nintendo charger.
Me: Is that related to fun or to responsibilities?
Hank: (stuttered deep breath) Fun.
Me: Thank you for being honest with me. In the future I would like for you to remember this conversation and think before you are rude about handling your responsibilities and I would like you to remember this punishment the next time you think lying and manipulating are justifiable. (parental mic-drop)
Hank: (guilty, returns to wailing)
Me: (leaves the room, turns off the lights)