Article

Hard to Sleep When You’re TWO!

Molly and her treasures celebrating that she is Two years old!  We have had a non-stop tea party ever since (as it should be).

Molly and her treasures celebrating that she is Two years old! We have had a non-stop tea party ever since (as it should be).

 

Molly (screaming) MAMA! PAPA! (crying)

Me: (entering Hank and Molly’s shared bedroom at 11:15pm) Hush now.

Hank: (groan) I am never sleeping this night, ever.

Me: Too many M&Ms.

Hank: (groan, roll over)

Molly: Ir por chão. (go to the floor)

Me: (rubbing her back) No, MaGoo.

Molly: (crying) MAMA! Peeeeeeeess!

Me: The day is done. It’s time to sleep. You can’t get out of bed.

Molly: (collapsing dramatically, sobbing)

Hank: We should tell her who is sleeping.

Me: We did that already. Molly knows that everyone she loves is sleeping, but I think she forgot about how wonderful her day was.

Molly (sobbing)

Hank: She doesn’t remember her birthday?

Me: I don’t think so. Molly only knows she doesn’t want today to end.

Hank: Oh.

Me: Lets help her remember her day from the beginning.

Hank: Amália, remember you woke up and had some milk and then we gave you presents and said, “Happy Birthday.”

Molly: (sobbing reduced to whimpering)

Me: We did, indeed. We were all so excited to celebrate the first day of your second year! You’ve done two whole tours around the sun! So to celebrate we gave you a…

Molly: Tea poc. (Tea pot) TEA POC! (tea pot)

Me: Yes, a tea set and Mano (brother) celebrated you by giving you…

Molly: (sniffels) Meeeeshka, Moosca, Mickey Mouse! (holding her Mickey Mouse Tsum Tsum aloft)

Hank: I knew you would love him and I love you.

Me: And then you and your Mano (brother) had a tea party in your pajamas!

Molly: Tea poc (tea pot). Agua! Tea poc (tea pot)! Yum. Mmmmmmm!

Hank: Yes, we had water in the tea pot and in our little cups and Mama, I didn’t tell you, but I put a tiny bit of sugar in the bowl and she ate it with the little spoon.

Me: Lost by 100 lost by 1000! And then MaGoo all your buddies came to visit!

Molly: Festa! (mimics blowing out the candles)

Me: And you had a dinosaur party.

Molly: Dinosaur. Cake! Cake. Yem-a-Yems (M&Ms).

Hank: Yes, and Ariana came. She’s your best friend and we played and played and played.

Molly: FISH!

Me: Yes, and Vaibhav came and brought you a toy fish that can swim.

Molly: Agua! Fish!

Me: Yes, swim in the water.

Molly: Fish (pointing to her hand) Mão (hand).

Me: Now, this is the hard part. That fish is sleeping. He can’t play until tomorrow.

Molly: Yem-a-Yem? Peeeeeeeeeees.

Me: And all the M&Ms are sleeping.

Hank: And your Mano (brother) and Mama want to go to sleep. We are so tired.

Me: True story.

Molly: Papa?

Me: Sleeping.

Molly: Ama e Ouis (her nanny and her husband Louis)?

Me: Adriana and Louis are fast asleep ready to see you tomorrow after you are done dreaming.

Molly: Ariana?

Me: Ariana is definitely sleeping.

Molly: Akika? Pedro? Avó Avó (grandmother)?

Hank: (mid yawn) All sleeping.

Molly: Inês? Tio?

Me: Sleeping.

Molly: Shhhhhhhhhh?

Me: (whispering) That is right we need to be quiet. The whole world is going to sleep and everyone you love are dreaming sweet dreams until the morning comes.

Molly: Tea poc (tea pot)?

Me: Your tea pot is sleeping ready to serve you a lovely cup of tea in the morning. It’s time to hush now. You need to join your friends.

Molly: Teria? Shhhhhhh. Tia? Shhhhhhh. Papa? Shhhhhh. Ana? Shhhhhhhh.

Hank: Good night, Mana (sister).

Molly: Mano? Shhhhhhhhh.

Me: Molly, you had the loveliest of all 2nd birthdays and now it is time to dream about it. Today we celebrated you and it was wonderful but now you need to dream about your special day.

Molly: Shhhhhhh, mama. Micky Mouse, shhhhhhhh.

Me: Good night, little chickens.

Molly: Chickens, shhhhhhhhhh.

Hank: Good night, mama. Have a good sleep.

Me: I can’t wait. (walking out into the hallway, closing the door but for a crack) Love you.

Molly: Mama, shhhhhhhhhh.

 

Article

Two Years

Conversations with Hank

Animated Version Available on iTunes and Also Available at Google Play and Amazon (still version)

 

Me: (staring blankly over my book)

Hank: (noticing) Mama?

Me: (snapping back to reality) Hum?

Hank: Whatcha thinking about?

Me: Shoe Mice.

Hank: Your book you wrote?

Me: Yup (nodding). Our Shoe Mice are two years old today.

Hank: Really?

Me: I was just thinking in 2014 I published a book then three days later had a baby and then 4 months later…

Hank: You got sick.

Me: (a little emotional, whispers) Exactly. (clearing my throat) That was what I was thinking about.

Hank: You used to be so busy and you’re still busy just with doctors and stuff.

Me: It’s a different kind of busy.

Hank: Well, that means if your book is two then Ms. Molly MaGoo will be two! On Sunday! I am so excited!

Me: (smiling) Me, too. A very happy birthday to MaGoo it will be. (going back into my memories)

Hank: (noticing, stepping away from his homework, curling his arms around my shoulders for a big hug and a kiss on the cheek)

Me: (half there accepting and half away remembering, pretending to read)

Article

Choosing to be Scholars

Ready to Start the Day, Wavy Books and All.

Ready to Start the Day, Wavy Books and All.

 

Hank: OH NO! AGAIN!

Me: What?

Hank: I forgot my homework.

Me: Again?

Hank: I know right?

Me: Didn’t this happen yesterday?

Pai: It did.

Me: What is going on at the end of the day that has you so rushed and distracted?

Hank: I don’t know.

Me: Are you rushing to catch a bus?

Hank: No.

Me: A train?

Hank: Mama, no.

Me: Are we the first parents at the gate for pickup screaming your name and holding up traffic.

Hank: Never.

Me: (deep breath) So what’s gotten into you?

Hank: I don’t know. I was having a bad day.

Me: Are you sure your homework isn’t hiding in that big backpack?

Hank: (pulling out books) Yes, wait… ARGH! MY BOOKS ARE WET?

Me: What?

Hank: My books are wet! My backpack… My water bottle! OH NO.

Pai: Stay clam everything can dry.

Me: And you don’t have homework in these books so we have time.

Hank: Today is the worst day. (on the verge of tears) Ruined! Everything is ruined.

Me: Ruined is vomit this is water.  Water only makes things a bit wavy. I will blow dry your backpack it looks like it was a slow leak. You have to stay positive.

Pai: (placing his various books around the space heater and turning it on low) Your mother is the queen of positive.

Me: We only have one life and we are in control of our happiness so I will Pollyanna my way through, thank you very much.

Pai: Plus you are cursed with the name, Joy.

Me: Indeed.

Hank: Who is Pollyanna?

Me: A perpetually positive character from a novel who charms her way into the hearts of all she meets.

Hank: That sounds like you.

Me: Okay, I am off to blow dry this backpack, Pai, you are on homework triage.

Pai: What was your homework this evening?

Hank: Frações (Fractions).

Pai: Good. We will use Escola Virtual (supplemental online school materials) and I will help you. Then I will write a note to your teacher telling her that you forgot your homework but that together we studied fractions and asking her to send a note home on how we can best help you study what you are now behind on if we don’t cover it today.

Hank:

Pai: You are doing homework tonight, not the homework assigned, but homework.

Me: (returning with a toasty interior backpack to put the rest to dry by the space heater) You have a choice in life when you encounter something you don’t know: you can stay stupid or you can be a scholar. I chose scholar.

Pai: I chose scholar.

Hank: I chose scholar. I just wish I remembered my homework.

Me: Here, (reaching into a cabinet and handing him a package of post-its) take this and when you get to school write yourself a reminder and stick it on your desk: HOMEWORK with seven exclamation points. Then when you are collecting and putting things away in a rush at the end of the day you will see your note and not forget.

Hank: That isn’t a very good idea.

Pai: Why?

Hank: Because the kids in my class are always mex-ing (mexar: to move or to mess with).

Me: Then give them a post-it and tell them to do the same. I know you are not the only kid who chronically forgets his homework.

Hank:

Pai: Right, lets get to work so we can enjoy the rest of our evening.

Hank: (taking the post-its) I will try the note, mom.

Me: No one ever called you dumb.

Hank: And I don’t want to stay stupid.

Me: That’s my little scholar.