Take your daughter to work day! Molly with the research psychologists at University of Minho wearing her “Power Ranger” sensors.
Juliana (psychology grad-student researcher): Now Amália would you like to play a game?
Molly: YAH! I a Power Ranger! (showing off her cool head and wrist band sensors worn for the experiment)
Juliana: You are a Power Ranger? Wow!
Molly: Yah! (showing off her Power Ranger moves)
Juliana: I am have a puzzle just for Power Rangers.
Juliana: (placing a puzzle in front of Molly to put together, the kind of puzzle where you remove a puzzle piece with the exterior of a food and underneath you see what is on the inside of the food) What Power Ranger are you?
Me: Are you the Red Power Ranger, the Blue Power Ranger?
Molly: I all dem.
Me: She’s all of them.
Molly: (removes the fish puzzle piece)
Me: Look Amália, this is the fish skeleton.
Molly: WHAT!?! Loooooook, Juliana! SKELETON FISH!
Juliana: Yes, those are the bones of the fish.
Molly: You like skeleton, Juliana?
Juliana: No, I don’t like skeletons, I am scared of them.
Molly: (serious) They not scary.
Me: Amália loves the skeleton.
Molly: (nodding, jumping to her feet, pointing) You have one! You have one skeleton!
Me: Amália’s best friend is also scared of skeletons so I told her to help her friend not be scared she could explain we all have a skeleton so we shouldn’t be scared of them.
Molly: Juliana, you have skeleton! You have a coluna (spine). You have crânio (skull).
Juliana: I do! I won’t be scared anymore.
Molly: You no scared. You have skeleton! You no scared anymore!
(the morning after Molly literally kicked Hank out of his bed in the middle of the night and claimed it as her own like a bite-sized buccaneer)
Me: (entering the kitchen for coffee, only one eye open)
Hank: (sitting up in the guest room/my office bed, sipping hot chocolate gazing out the window)
Me: Good morning, Hank.
Hank: Good morning, mama! Do you want to make your coffee and meet me in here?
Me: I do! (push the correct buttons, add coffee and go stand in the doorway of the guest room/my office which is off the kitchen) How did you sleep after being so abruptly evicted from your own bed last night?
Hank: Honestly, that was the funniest thing that has ever happened to me.
Me: You’re such a good sport when it comes to Molly. I know it isn’t always easy having a three year old sister.
Hank: I love her so much it is easier than you think.
Me: You are Molly’s best big brother. (pausing to collect my coffee and enter the guest room/my office to sit on the opposite end of the bed from Hank) But you were warm enough? You slept well?
Hank: Mom, last night was the best. I love this room so much and I woke up without an alarm with the rain on the windows and I watched that for a long time before I got up and made myself a hot chocolate and the best part was I didn’t have to be quiet, I was able to turn the light on and not worry about waking up Amália and I didn’t have to use the light from my phone to find my slippers. I know we were talking about moving me to this room after Uncle Jesse’s visit, but mom, I mean I will wait, but do I have to go back? Can I just sleep in here until Uncle Jesse comes and then after?
Me: (realizing my kids are ready to have separate spaces and so grateful for the privilege to give them their own spaces) Well, Molly made it clear last night that she was ready to take over your big bed! Your bed has been proper hijacked.
Hank: She was so funny! I couldn’t stop laughing!
Me: She literally kicked you out of your bed then fell asleep.
Hank: And she slept all night?
Me: YES! I assumed she would be scared to sleep alone since you two have always shared a room, but she was fine. Not a peep!
Hank: Molly is brave, mom, she’s not like me.
Me: You’re also brave, Hank, no two people are alike and you will be brave for Molly in ways she isn’t able to be brave for you!
Hank: Are you okay with giving up your office? You can still use the desk when I am at school!
Me: Don’t you worry about me, pal. I can work anywhere.
Hank: I love this room. It is so cozy and special and I have been watching the pombos (pigeons) flying around and the swans over at the Casa (estate) across the street and everyone going into the hospital and to the bus stop; it’s just so peaceful. I understand why you love this room so much.
Me: (smiling and nodding)
Hank: This room just feels good.
Me: I’ve written two novels and countless children’s books in this room. I’ve written every single conversation for my blog, a clutch of travel articles, illustrated Billy Blankenstooth and made hundreds of drawings, day dreamed, emailed… I have worked here every day for the past six years and loved every minute.