Why I Oughta

My Three Stooges: Hank, Pai (dad) and Molly

My Three Stooges: Hank, Pai (dad) and Molly


(from the back seat of the car)

Hank: Mana (sister)?

Molly: Mano (brother)?

Hank: Are you my baby?

Molly? Noooo.

Hank: Then who’s baby are you?

Molly: Um… mama’s baby.

Me: (fist pump, whisper scream) Yes!

Molly: Quero água (I want water).

Pai: (driving) Do we even have…

Me: (inspecting the picnic basket) Moo-Moo, I don’t have water. I have juice.

Molly: Juice, please.

Hank: That was so polite, mana (sister).

Molly: Juice please, agora (now)!

Pai: (officially micromanaging) And there is no sippy-cup is there?

Me: (bicker-flirting) I didn’t get the motherhood preparedness badge in girl scouts, okay?

Pai: You were a girl scout and that is a real thing?

Me: I was a brownie for like 4 weeks until my contrariness caused the other mothers to advise my mom that maybe girl scouts wasn’t for me.

Pai: You couldn’t even be a scout?

Me: AMERICAN girl scout. I am sure I would have excelled at European Scouts where the girls and boys are equal, but I wasn’t into selling cookies and knotting macramé.

Pai: (mocked shock, completely facetious) Don’t you write a parenting blog?  Isn’t being perfect, like, your job?

Me: (soooooo much side eye)

Molly: JUICE!

Hank: Say please, be kind.

Molly: Juice, please, sim (yes).

Me: I have a cup and I have a straw which means I will need your help, Hank.

Hank: That is perfectly fine! I will make sure she doesn’t get a juice bath. Just don’t hit any big bumps.

Pai: Portuguese highways don’t have bumps or traffic and for this our country was practically bankrupt. If you can help, Hank, then we will be home in 15 minutes without a birra (tantrum).

Me: (handing back the unsecured drinking vessel to the nine year old to be administered to the two year old completely unsupervised)

Pai: (turns up the radio, whispers sarcastically, escalating the mock argument) Do you have a change of clothes for her? (trying to keep a strait face)

Me: (feigning defensiveness) If I didn’t pack a gawd-damn-sippy-cup do you think I would have planned ahead and packed a spare outfit for the toddler? You’re lucky there were diapers and wipes today.

Pai: (chuckling)

Me: What happened to the 15 minutes and we’re home attitude? Next time you make the lunch and pack the picnic basket then I’ll better pack the diaper bag instead of doing (whisper scream, shaking a fist at him) ALL THE THINGS, BRO.

Pai: (practically hysterical) Did you just call me bro?

Me: (giggling) You’re gonna drive me to drink. What makes you think I am the prepper in this family? Just because I carried those kids for 9 months each in my broken down trash heap of a body doesn’t mean I’m the one that has to carry their gear.

Pai: (positively purple with laughter)

Me: She’s lucky I didn’t ask Hank to have her drink strait from the bottle. Where’s the “she can scream for 15 minutes covered in orange juice” option, huh?  You’ve completely forgotten what parenting toddler Hank was like. He screamed for all of 2009. Every single day all day. Where were you?

Pai: Dissertating.

Me: (switching to my best three stooges impression)  A wise wise guy, eh? Why I oughta!

Molly: All done!

Hank: Here is the cup, mama.

Me: Well done! Thank you, Hank. (rhetorically to Hank, flirtatiously barbed towards Pai) Jeeze, how did you get to be such a kind and capable young man?

Hank: I don’t know. You’re my parents and you both taught me to be my best me so I guess I learned it from you because you’re such good parents.

Me: (heart melted into a puddle)

Pai: (beaming)

Me: Thank you so much, buddy!

Pai: That was so kind, thank you.

Hank: I’m your best filho (son) and you’re my best pais (parents).  I don’t know how good I’d be in another family, but I am so lucky I don’t have to think about that because you’re my parents.

Pai: Obrigado, filho (thank you, son).

Me: Truth.

Molly: More juice! MAMA! Juuuuuiiiiccceeeee.

Hank: Amália Sofia?

Molly: Please. PLEASE!




Ta Quase (Almost)

Molly (forcefully) leading their Afonsina (renaissance fair) dance

Molly (forcefully) leading their Afonsina (renaissance fair) dance and Hank trying desperately to keep up.


Molly: Quero (I want) get out.

Pai: But it is dinner time, Amália. We are all sitting down to our nice meal together.

Molly: Quero (I want) get down. Ir pro chão (go to the floor). No quero (want) eat.

Me: MaGoo? Is that spoken with kindness?

Molly: No. Get down. No eat. Cartoons? (nodding, doe eyed, hands clasp in prayer) Um-hum?

Hank: Amália Sofia we are all eating. You don’t have to eat, but it is not time for cartoons.

Me: She did have half an avocado.

Pai: Are we giving in to her demands?

Me: That depends on how kindly Molly can ask for what she wants. In this house nothing is impossible when asked with kindness and respect.

Hank: Where are your pleases and thank yous, Amália?

Molly: You’re welcome.

(collective giggle)

Me: No, say: May I watch cartoons, mama?

Molly: Pode (you may).

Me: (facepalm)

Pai: (chuckling)

Hank: Amália, you can get what you want if you use please, thank you and you’re welcome when asking.

Molly: Okay.

Hank: Can you ask nicely?

Molly: Pode, cartoons obrigada. (You may, cartoons please).

Pai: Ta quase. (Almost)

Me: (cracking up)

Hank: How is this not working?

Me: No clue.

Molly: Quero (I want) get down. Ah-ah-ah, Posso (May I) get down?




Molly: (yelling) POSSO MAMA (MAY I, MAMA)?

Me: (at the point of surrender, wanting to enjoy my meal in peace) Pode, amore (You may, my love).

Pai: (lifting Molly from her high chair)

Molly: MANO (BROTHER), (walking over to touch his arm, whispers) Mano, anda ca. (Brother, come here) Cartoons? (pointing to the TV)

Hank: What do you say Amália? Where is your kindness?

Molly: (kissing gently her brother’s arm, before grabbing it and yanking him toward the TV then abruptly singing from Moana) YOU’RE WELCOME!



Our Little Lady Knight

So tired from her sword play that Our Lady Knight, Amália, abandoned her sword for her paige to sort out and fell asleep before she even reached her bed.

So tired from her sword play that, Our Lady Knight Amália, abandoned her sword for her page to sort out and fell asleep before she even reached her bed.


Molly: (dressed in full Afonsina (renaissance fair) regalia like a medieval garb) MAMA! Maaaaaa MA!

Me: You bellowed, chicken?

Molly: Mama, brinqua espada (play with the sword)? (pointing to the tall shelf, taking off her flower crown) No princess. Espada (sword)? (nodding) Please.

Me: Marvolous (fetching her sword), I shall be your page then.

Molly: (pulling at her lovely, long skirt) Take off. Mama, take off?

Me: Right, we loose the skirt. You’re a knight now! You need to move freely.

Molly: (wielding the heavy wooden sword, war crying) SO AMÁLIA! SO AMÁLIA! (I AM MOLLY! I AM MOLLY!)

Me: Cavalinha!

Pai: (popping his head into the bedroom) Um, what did you mean to say?

Me: She is a little lady knight! Uma Cavalinha!

Pai: A little lady knight would be pequeno cavaleira…

Me: (realizing my mistake) I called my daughter a little horse, didn’t I?

Pai: More like a pony.

Me: (laughing to myself) I really must remember to stick to English after 5pm.

Molly: (joisting with her crib bars) SO AMÁLIA! YAH! YAH! ARGH!!! (full attack mode)


Every year our beautiful city throws the best party.  Afonsina is my favorite time of year! If you are in the North of Portugal The Feira Afonsina goes on through Sunday, June 25th.