Just a Wittle Bit

conversations with hank


Pai: Molly and I were just talking in the car about Avó Dalia (grandmother).

Me: Oh, I love her.

Pai: Me, too.

Molly: Me, too too. You know, mama, Avó Dalia (grandmother) scared of snakes and skeletons, but I not scared. I love them.

Me: And fantasmas (ghosts). Avó Dalia (grandmother) is also afraid of fantasmas.

Molly: Avó Dalia (grandmother) is scared of snakes and ghosts and skeletons, butInotscaredofthembutsheis (deep inhale) AND I no.

Me: Buuuuut you’re a little scared of bugs.

Molly: (pinching her fingers together and looking at me through her tiny unit of measure) Just a wittle bit.


Permitten (Toddler for Permission)

Reenactment of Molly eating a Chupa-Chupa (sucker) as played by the Tootsie-Pop owl.

Reenactment of Molly eating a Chupa-Chupa (sucker) as played by the Tootsie-Pop owl.


Me: (walking through the front door after work)

Pai: (from the kitchen) Who’s home?

Molly: I dono.

Pai: Who were you just crying for?

Molly: Mommy!

Hank: (giving me the best hug ever) Hi mom, how was your day?

Me: (melting into his hug) Hi buddy, how was your day?

Hank: Good.

Molly: MOMMY! (crashing into Hank trying to get to me) Desculpa, mano (Sorry, brother).

Hank: (gives way for Molly to give me a hug, smiling as he walks away)

Molly: (hugs me with the force of a snow-plow) MOMMY!

Me: Ofta! Hello chicken!

Molly: Mommy, I crying.

Me: (inspecting the frozen tears on her face) I see the evidence of that, but why are you crying?

Molly: (complicated mumbling toddler explanation)

Pai: (stepping out of the kitchen, bringing delicious dinner smells along with him) Amália asked for a chupa-chupa (sucker) which she promptly chewed to nothing and by the time I turned around she was opening a second chupa (sucker) without asking then was rather upset when I took chupa (sucker) number two away from her.

Me: Goodness!

Molly: Papa took my chupa (sucker) away! It mine! I open it.

Me: (sitting on the floor to be at her level) I see, but did you ask permission?  Did you say, “Papa, I am all done with my chupa (sucker).  May I have another?  May I have a chupa (sucker) number two, please?”


Pai: She did not.

Me: You don’t just get what you want because you want it, little one.  You have to ask first.  You have to ask your papa or I if you may do something or eat something. You have to ask for permission.

Molly: But I want it.

Me: And I totally understand.  I hear you.  I wish you could eat 10,000,000,000,684 chupas (suckers) but your tummy would be so sick and your teeth would suffer beyond repair!  Just because you want something doesn’t mean you get it, especially when it comes to candy and world peace.

Molly: (arms crossed, lip sticking out, pouting)

Me: Mollly, you always have to ask permission for things because you are a learning and growing, but also because you are a part of a team.  What do you think would happen if you just walked in the door with a pet elephant because the circus had no room for him just because you wanted him.

Molly: I want an elephant!

Me: I know, BUT do we have room for an elephant in this house?

Molly: (excited) Yes! Baby elephant, YES!

Me: But baby elephants GROW into big elephants.

Molly: Oh.

Me: And where would the elephant sleep?

Molly: WITH ME!

Me: But your bed would break and he’d steal all the blankets and we have no grass or hay or thorn bush for him to eat and his feet would crack out tile floors and we just don’t have room in our family for an elephant, SO you couldn’t bring one home, unless you had permission.  Chupas (suckers) are like elephants.  You always have to ask first.

Molly: My elephant… my elephant lives at Marta’s house.  She has grass and he lives with the leaves.  My elephant loves leaves.  He stay at Marta’s house.  I ask permitten.

Me: (confused)

Pai: Remember, mommy? Amália decided her TOY elephant should fly and he got lost in the bush at Marta’s house?

Me: Yes, gotcha.

Molly: My elephant no ask permitten! Can’t have chupas (suckers), my elephant lives at Marta’s house. My elephant ask permitten from Marta for Chupas, okay mommy? Okay. (toddles off)

Pai: Would it be fair to say that analogy failed?

Me: Utterly fair. Total fail. Alright (groaning off the floor). What’s for dinner?




Buçaco Forest, Portugal. Photo by: Hank

Buçaco Forest, Portugal. Photo by: Hank


Me: (on the sofa reading) Good morning, pal.

Hank: (Harrumph)

Me: How did you sleep?

Hank: You know how I slept.

Me: I meant after you crawled in bed with us?

Hank: Fine. I slept fine in your bed… where’s papa?

Me: He gave up and went and slept in your bed.

Hank: Oh.

Me: Speaking of papa… I have something important I want to say.


Me: I don’t want to evict papa from his bed one more night.  If you are struggling with sleep, you may come and get me, and I will come to your room.  Our bed may appear big, but it is the perfect size for just he and I.

Hank: I’m sorry.

Me: I am sorry you’re having troubles sleeping in your new room.  You weren’t that way in the beginning; you were loving your new room.

Hank: It’s different now. I regret my decision to leave my sister’s room.  I miss her. I feel alone in my new room and then I get nervous.

Me: I am listening.

Hank: I don’t know… there are new sounds.  I can hear people on the street sometimes and it makes me feel like they are right there with me. I can hear the elevator and when it arrives on all the floors and clicking and ticking, the wind makes the windows rattle…

Me: All very new sounds.

Hank: And they all make me nervous and then I can’t sleep.

Me: I understand.

Hank: I wish I could just go back to my sister’s room.

Me: You can.

Hank: What?

Me: You can change your mind.

Hank: But…

Me: Did you know that uncle Andy moved to a whole new state, got a whole new job and lived in a whole new house and regretted the decision immediately.

Hank: When was this?

Me: A few years ago.

Hank: That is horrible.

Me: No, it wasn’t horrible, it was a problem with a solution.  He thought about it and then changed his mind and moved again.

Hank: And now he is happy and has a family.

Me: Exactly.

Hank: But Molly is sleeping in my bed and (beginning to panic)…

Me: I know that we gave Molly’s bed away, but we would have done that anyway around this time and there are always solutions.

Hank: Bunk beds?

Me: A sound investment, but all of the solutions involve money I didn’t think we’d be spending so we will need some time to budget and transition.

Hank: (relieved) That’s okay.

Me: Wonderful, let’s take a minute to map out a solution this afternoon, but whatever you do don’t tell you sister.

Hank: No.

Me: If you do then we will hear of nothing else until our idea is achieved or abandoned.

Hank: I feel better already, mom, and who knows maybe I will stop being nervous. Just knowing I can change my mind is making me feel much better. I don’t think I will need to come to your room tonight.

Me: I’m glad. We are highly intelligent people with options.  We can always come up with a solution if we stay calm and don’t panic.  The one thing I know for certain are the best plans are made over coffee and chocolate milk! (getting up to start our day off right)

Hank: Thanks, mom.

Me: Thank you for being honest and telling me what you need.