Zangado (Angry)

photo by Hank

photo by Hank


(sitting three deep on the sofa in our pajamas watching Chitty-Chitty Bang-Bang)

Hank: (throwing his head back) ARGH! I have so much to do today!

Molly: (who does absolutely everything her big brother does these days throws her head back) ARGH!

Me: And what is it exactly that you have to do?  I thought you were done with your homework for the weekend.

Hank: I did, but…

Me: That but doesn’t sound convincing.

Hank: I didn’t lie. The things I have to do are personal: I want to finish my power point presentation about YouTube Tech Gear, I want to clean my room, I have to read over an hour today because I have fallen behind on my thirty minutes a day goal, I neeeed to start again on my bullet journal spread because yesterday just wasn’t my day and I have to recopy my notes from my notebook onto my Muji binder paper because I didn’t remember to take it to school last Friday and none of my regular paper fits into a Muji binder, only Muji paper.

Me: Well, as we have absolutely nothing to do today I wouldn’t stress yourself out.  There is plenty of time for all those thing.  Simply make yourself a to-do list and check tasks off one by one.

Hank: (in all his pre-teen glory) ARGH! Why do you always assume I am stressed out! I am not stressed out!

Me: Because of your our tone of voice and body language?

Hank: ARGH! NO! (gets up and storms off to his room)

Molly: (toddles, ungracefully off the sofa) ARGH! (collects all her many stuffed friends) ARGH! (huffing and stomping her feet)

Me: And where are you going?

Molly: I going zangado (angry) with mano (brother).

Me: Lovely, have a great time!

Molly: I love you. (smiling angelically) Thanks, mama. (pauses) ARGH! (adopting a grimace, stomps out of her room to pout with her brother in solidarity)


Be Here Now

conversations with hank and molly

(leaving the grocery store)

Molly: (desperate to practice her tight rope walking on the parking lot curb) PAPA! Papa, wait! PAPA!

Pai: (in a rush to leave)

Me: You pack the groceries. I will deal with our future circus performer.

Molly: Thanks, mama.

Me: Can you do it or do you need my hand?

Molly: (struggling to keep her balance) I can do it! (loses her balance) ARGH! I NO CAN DO IT, MAMA! (foot stomp)

Me: Would you like my hand?

Molly: (determined) Yes, I want to go there. (points to the very end of the parking lot where the curb turns at a right angle)

Me: Well, that is your problem, MaGoo.  In order for you to get all the way over there you have to be here now.

Molly: Now? Here?

Me: (holding her hand) You have to focus only on your steps now in order to keep your balance.  You cannot think that far ahead, that will only cause you to lose you focus, stumble and fall.  You have to be here now, with these steps, breath and focus on your feet.  Do the work of walking balanced here and that work will carry you to where you want to go in the end.

Molly: (holding my hand and balancing, putting one foot in front of the other) one foot, other foot, one foot, other foot.

Me: That’s the way.  Be here now. Focus.

Molly: One foot, other foot, one foot, other foot, one foot, other foot… I ALMOST THERE, MAMA! (excitedly loses focus and stumbles, grabs on to me tight) WHOA!

Me: (helping her find her balance, squeezing her hand) Don’t panic, stay calm and breathe. Don’t look ahead yet.  Be here now. You will only get there when it is time.  It takes every step to get you there, you can’t rush it, be here. Don’t get lost thinking you’re almost there and have no more work to do.  Almost is not enough.

Molly: One foot, other foot. I doing good, mama?

Me: You are doing well; focus, balance and breathe.

Molly: One foot, other foot, one foot, other foot, one foot (gasp) MAMA, I DID IT! I here. I here now.

Me: You are indeed.  Congratulations.

Molly: I here now. I good. Let’s do it again.

Me: Yes, let’s.



Hungry or Hungary?

Photo by Hank

Photo by Hank



Molly: NO!

Me: ‘Fraid so

Molly: But I’m hung-ger-y!

Me: I don’t think you’re really hungry.  I think you’re stalling.

Hank: Are you sure you’re hungry and don’t just want to go to Hungary?

Me: Oh, I want to go to Hungary and sit at the edge of the Blue Danube, but what I am not sure about is if I want to do that in Buda or Pest.  I guess I can decide when I’m there.

Molly: Whhhhhhaaat?

Me: Hungry is a thing you are when your belly is empty and tells you to eat food and Hungary is also a place.

Molly: A place?

Hank: A place you can go!

Me: A place you can go where everyone is so hungry all the time they are called Hungarians.

Hank: Are you sure that is how it works?

Me: Have you ever had Hungarian Goulash?

Molly: Goooolash?

Hank: That isn’t a thing.

Me: It is indeed.  It is a thing like Feijoada is a thing and Chili is a thing only once you eat Hungarian Goulash you will never be satisfied by another meal ever again and will remain for the rest of your days hungry because it is that good.

Hank: Not true.

Me: The part about it being that good is true and don’t be fooled by American Imitation Goulash! The difference between the two is comparable to the difference between Crab and Imitation Crab, but I digress.

Hank: (to Molly) So do you want to go to Hungry, meet Hungarians and have goulash?

Molly: No, I want chocolate milk.

Me: Wise choice.