Me: (opening the oven to find I have burned the garlic bread at the end of a long and painful RA/AS day) GOD BLESS! GAWD DAMN BLESS IT! AHHHHHHHHHHHRRRRGGGHHHH!
Pai: (rushing in) What is it?
Pai But what happened? Are you hurt?
Me: No, I burned the GAWD BLESSED GARLIC BREAD!
Pai: Is that all?
Me: Babe, that isn’t all. I am at the end of my rope. I am running on less than empty. I was standing here watching the oven SO THIS WOULDN’T HAPPEN AND IT HAPPENED IN FRONT OF MY FACE AND I WAS TOO BRAIN DEAD TO NOTICE!!! ARGH! I am fully done and my body is too busy fighting itself to give fuel to my brain so I AM DOING STUPID THINGS LIKE BURNING THE FLIPPING GARLIC BREAD I SPENT THE LAST 20 MINUTES MAKING WHEN THE TOTALITY OF THIS MEAL OTHERWISE TOOK NINE MINUTES.
Pai: (picking up the tray of half burnt garlic toast to throw it away)
Me: NOOOOOOOO! STOP! I CAN SAVE MOST OF IT I AM JUST SO DAMN DONE.
Pai: (creepy calm) If you don’t stop yelling I swear this burnt bread will go over the side of the veranda to feed birds, so help me.
Molly: (toddling into the kitchen, arms in the air, yelling and walking strain over to me) Olha! Olha! Olha! (Look! Look! Look!)
Hank: (following behind her silently)
Molly: Mama mad at Papa? (putting her little hands on my knees looking up at me) Mad? Mama mad?
Me: (deep breath)
Me: No, Molly, I am not mad at your papa.
Molly: Mama mad. (nodding)
Me: (getting on her level) Mama is mad, baby. Mama was mad. I need to calm down.
Molly: Tem calma, mãe. (Calm down, mama)
Me: (pulling Molly into a big hug) Thank you, Moo-Moo. I am sorry, Alfredo.
Pai: You’ve got to learn to ask for help.
Me: I know.
Molly: (petting my hair) It’s okay, mama. Tem calma (calm down).
Me: Thank you, Molly. Thank you for your help.
Molly: Okay. (job done, toddles off singing) Please, no thank you. Please, no thank you. Please, please, please, please, no thank you.
Me: (hugging Pai)
Pai: (hugging me back) You okay? Do you need to lay down? Are you in too much pain? I can finish.
Me: No, no. I’m better. I just need five minutes then we can eat.
Hank: (having stayed silent and taken in the my tantrum declares) Well done, mom. You didn’t use a single palavrão (swear word)!
Me: HA! I didn’t?
Pai: Well, that’s a first!
Hank: Your learning, mama. I’m proud of you and I will set the table.
Me: Thanks, Hank.
Hank: And I don’t mind my garlic bread a little burnt.
Me: (throwing my arm around his shoulder) How’d I get so lucky to have you for my kid?
Hank: Because I picked you. I knew you were the mom for me and I picked you. You’re my choice. (walking away with the plates toward the table)
Me: (smiling, wincing back tears while using kitchen sheers to cut off the burnt edges of the garlic bread)