(walking through the front door at the end of the day)
Hank: They’re home!
Hank: I missed you, mana (sister).
Molly: Mano! Brincar nas escadas (play on the stairs)? Come on! Come on, Mano.
Hank: (looking to me asking if it is a good idea to “play” in the hallway with his eyebrows)
Me: Go on, a few minutes. She just wants to sit on our four steps. Don’t let her near the large staircase.
Hank: (jumping into action) I’m coming, Mana (sister).
Pai: Hello you. (coming over to the sofa where I have draped my weary bones)
Me: It’s you! My favorite person. How was your day?
Pai: Ordinary, buuuuuuuut Adriana’s (Molly’s Nanny) wasn’t.
Pai: Apparently, the girls got into an actual fist fight.
Me: Actual fisticuffs? Seriously?
Pai: Adriana said that she turned her back on them for one second while they were playing and when she looked back their little toddler hands were balled into fists and they were fighting over something.
Me: Over what?
Pai: She didn’t say.
Me: What did Adriana do?
Pai: She walked away. She let them have it out and then she scolded them with an appropriate amount of Portuguese guilt centered around love and loyalty.
Me: Well played.
Pai: She asked that we talk to her about it, too.
Molly: (trotting inside, curls bouncing, happy as a clam)
Molly: Sim (yes)?
Me: Did you and Ariana (her colleague at her Nanny’s house) have a fight?
Me: What made you angry today at Tia’s house? Faz zangado (made you mad)?
Hank: (sitting on the step leading down to our sunken living room)
Molly: (hands folded behind her back) uh, uh, uh, uh, uh… A MINHA! (It [was] MINE)
Me: Oh, I see. And Amália faz zangado (got mad) at Ariana.
Me: And did you (dramatically make hands into fists and grimace face)?
Molly: (eyes wide) Sim. uh. uh. uh. uh. Ariana… A MINHA! (It [was] mine!)
Me: Amália Sofia, when we are mad we don’t hit. We don’t talk with our hands. We use words. We say our feelings we don’t act our feelings. Diz (say)…
Me: (yell) O meu não é teu! (It’s mine not yours!)
Molly: (a bit shocked)
Me: And if your words are not enough you ask for help. You don’t use your fists (show her my fists). You use your words. You ask for help! From your Tia (nanny) or from me…
Pai: Or from me.
Hank: Or from me.
Me: You use your words not your hands. Okay?
Me: No more. No more hitting. Não bate. Nunca. Não mais bater. Nada, ok? Nunca mais. Falar. Dizer… (Don’t hit. Never. No more hitting. Never, Okay? Never more. Speak. Say…)
Molly: Ah… ah… O meu não é teu! (it’s mine not yours!)
Pai: Boa (good)!
Me: We don’t hit in this family.
Hank: No, we don’t.
Me: Did you say you were sorry? Desculpa (sorry)?
Molly: (ashamed) Desculpa. Sim. Desculpa, Ariana. (Sorry. Yes. Sorry, Ariana)
Me: That is a good friend. Good friends say sorry when there is a mistake. Mistakes are how we learn. Okay? What did we learn today?
Hank: (shaking a finger at no one in particular) No more fighting! Use your words.
Molly: Tá bem! (Okay!) Mano, come on. Make a salad. Come on. Make a salad with me?
Hank: Sure, mana (sister).
Pai: (after they go into the kitchen to make the dinner salad together) Ten bucks says she comes home tomorrow with a black eye.
Me: Oh, for sure.