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!



Caught in the Rain

Eventually we made it home.

Eventually we made it home.


(dashing into a café and out of the rain after Hank’s morning run)

Hank: (anxious) Mom, there are no tables.

Me: Deep breath, my dove.

Hank: Mom! It is pouring out and there are no tables.

Me: Stay calm and scan the room.

Hank: Mom, what are we going to do? Should we go to another café?

Me: (scout a woman picking up her hand bag, make a dash for the table) See, stay calm and keep a level head and all will be well in the end.

Hank: I can’t believe it started raining.

Me: It was perfect timing. When it started drizzling and I was wondered if you would panic and stop your run to hide under a tree or something, but then you bounded over the hill just in time to hide under my tree before the worst of it hit.

Hank: I thought about hiding actually, but then I knew where you were sitting and my run was almost done so I just kept going.

Me: Thatta boy. Spoken like an athlete.

Hank: That makes me wonder what would happen if there was a marathon and it was raining?

Me: (dabbing my rain speckled forehead and cleaning my glasses) You run anyway.

Hank: And what about the winter when it is raining everyday?

Me: You run anyway, but with a bit more gear on so you doing get pneumonia.

Hank: Running is exciting.

Me: That makes me happy for you.

Hank: Today was easier than yesterday.

Me: Diligence is a wonderful attribute that both your papa and I posess in spades! I really hope you inherit this trait.

Hank: Does diligence mean hard work?

Me: Diligence means never giving up, always trying, setting goals and completing them. Diligence is the motivation behind thoughtful hard work and if you work diligently at something every single day you will be amazed at what you can accomplish.

Hank: That is how you write your books and papa makes his science research.

Me: Yes. Diligently. Diligence is an investment in something with the biggest pay off of being proud of yourself.

Hank: Tomorrow, I will remember to check the weather report before we leave. I wasn’t really worried about me in the rain, but I was worried about you.

Me: That sounds like a solid plan and thank you for worrying about me. Thank goodness for the Portuguese love of coffee! We can stay here, safe and dry, all day if we wanted to.

Hank: (looking out the window at the sheets and sheets of summer rain) We may have to!