Pass the Matzah

April 12th, 2009 § 3 comments § permalink

Why was that night different from all other nights? Because it was the first night I was able to host a dinner for 18 people and not stress about it! There was plenty of room in our house, the fridge amply held all the food, I had plenty of burners for cooking, and I could relax knowing that with 8 adults and 10 kids, it didn’t really matter what I did because the night would be such complete chaos that no one would know what the heck I did. The only downer of it was that Doodles has some sort of weird something that’s been going around, where during the day he seems pretty fine, but he tends to run a fever at night, so he’s been homebound and lethargic for a while.

So I was pleased with the way the seder went–I went a little cheesy at points (the Pharaoh called in the middle to demand the kids build pyramids; I messed up the story of the Exodus and had to give the kids prizes); Pie complained about my singing (she covered my mouth and whined, “No, Mommy! No!”) although she executed one of the four questions beautifully, if through tears {she had been injured in rough Passover play); I had to simply yell the end of the seder to be heard over the kids (“NEXT YEAR IN JERUSALEM!”); but the food was eaten, the wine was drunk, conversations seemed to flow, and we made it through the (homemade) haggadah. What else can you ask for?

But now we are in the middle of Passover, and all I can do is despair that my diet is normally absolutely, completely, and totally carb based. Sushi on Saturdays. Spaghetti once or twice a week. Rice, tortillas, bread. Snacks are popcorn, veggie chips, snap pea crisps. Passover isn’t a big deal in the sense of “Oh my gosh, how will I make it!” because really, it’s a freakin’ week. I can eat this way for a week (although Doodles is another story–that kid may starve before the week is over; the kids are eating about a dozen eggs a day. Pie woke up yesterday morning crying, “I want Cheerios! I want Mighty Bites!”). But it’s a big deal in, “Oh my God, what is my diet?” Every Passover I swear I’ll eat better. And for one week, I generally do. More fruit. More veggies. This is the way we’re supposed to be eating. All year. Not just at Passover.

Of course, it might all be negated by how much matzah and jelly and matzah and cheese and matzah and cream cheese I eat. And the candy fruit slices. I do eat a lot of candy fruit slices. And the Passover brownies. They’re actually better than normal brownies. I mean, how can you go wrong with any recipe that starts with two sticks of butter (and every Passover recipe starts with two sticks of butter and a dozen eggs).

Tonight’s dinner is a veggie lasagna (zucchini instead of noodles). It’ll be nice and healthy. Which is good, because I just got another box of fruit slices. The yellow ones are the best!

Random Happenings

March 31st, 2009 § Comments Off on Random Happenings § permalink

–The boy twisted his ankle today and sprained it while playing on his gymnastics mat. He had to hop to dinner. Lie on the couch. Moan. We did the RICE treatment, so I had him stick his leg on the arm of the sofa and put an ice pack on it. He got a couple of shows. Adam carried him to bed. And then I asked, “Can you twirl your foot?”

The boy: Ow, ow, ow! [he twirls his foot] It hurts!

Me: Are you sure? Because when you were laying on the couch, it was the other foot was the twisted one.

The boy: Oh. Which ankle did I sprain?

–I promised my b’nai mitzvah class that I’d have a rough draft of our dvar written in two weeks. That was one week and six days ago. It’s a very dry parsha. Jubilee years and all sorts of fun stuff. But no worries. I have a couple hours tomorrow after volunteering in the kindergarten to get it done. Oh, whoops! What’s that? Pie has a fever? No school tomorrow? I’ve had how much wine? Should be an interesting Torah talk…

–The boxes are pretty much unpacked. But in order to get those boxes unpacked, I had to put the stuff somewhere. So the floor is now covered with stuff that had been neatly put away in boxes. I have one week to get it all put away because…

–In one week I host my first social event of the year. Sure, some might call it a solemn religious occasion, but why split hairs? I’m hosting a Passover seder, which will call for full use of my beautiful new stove. I can’t wait. Including my family, there will be 18 of us. I’ve already made two huge batches of chicken soup, farfel kugel, and I’ve bought enough matzah and gefilte fish to get us through at least a few days, so at this point I know no one will starve. I’m plotting out what to cook next.

–So the contractor handed back his key today. Sad, sad day for me. No more, “Could you just…” “Would you mind…” “Hey, maybe we should…” Now it’s just me and Adam. The trailer’s out of the front yard, the garbage is off the front porch, and the mailbox has even been returned to its rightful place on the house. All that’s left is for me to get my crap off the floor.

–Random link: I love this site. Everyone go save a word. I haven’t officially adopted a word yet. I haven’t found the one yet. I’m waiting for my beshert. Although I’m sure you’ll be able to tell on this blog when I’ve chosen my one. I’m also into the Very Short List. Best e-mails I get.

–When I was a wee girl, I had three stuffed animals: Beady Bear (named for the book of the same name), Snoopy, and Elly Belly Elephant. I will come out and say that Elly Belly Elephant was a disputed animal: The Tweedle Twirp seemed to think that Elly Belly was hers. Let me set the record straight here: The Tweedle Twirp was wrong. I still own Beady Bear. He’s a little worn, but still recognizable. Tweeds had custody of the other two.

Tweeds decided it was time to pass the two on to my children. I took the two creatures, which were recognizable. That is, if by recognizable you think of a homeless, strung out, Avenue Q-version of Snoopy and Elly. Those two have never been washed. I’m pretty sure not ever. Those animals are about 38 or so years old, and untouched by water. So I took those animals in the name of my children. And I decided it was high time they were introduced to the pleasures of cleanliness. Into the washer they went.

It is with great regret that I have to inform you that they didn’t make it back out and they have gone to the great playroom in the sky.

RIP Snoopy and Elly. You were well loved.

Why on This Night Do We Dip Our Herbs Twice?

August 13th, 2008 § 2 comments § permalink

Speaking of food group… Apparently last week, when they were making Thai chicken, the woman who runs the program explained that they’d be putting basil into the pot, and that basil is an herb. She later told me that Doodles responded by saying, “That’s good because Jewish people eat herbs.”

Of course he was referring to the bitter herbs of Passover. He was a little nonplussed to discover that gentiles eat herbs, too.

Nightly Prayers

May 14th, 2008 § 1 comment § permalink

Classes at my synagogue are scheduled for 8 p.m. because they want to encourage people to attend the evening minyan. Minyan is held at my synagogue twice a day (morning and night), which is important if you’re saying Mourner’s Kaddish, because you need a minyan to do so, but sometimes rallying ten people can be a challenge, hence starting classes after minyan.

Minyan’s not so bad in the winter, when it’s simply the evening service. But this time of year, because it’s daylight so late, we suffer through both the afternoon and evening service. So before each class I have this dilemma: Do I go to minyan? Or stay home and help put the kids to bed? Needless to say, I’ve been a very good Jew lately.

Bedtime has gotten intolerable. Doodles goes to bed as easily as he ever has, but the Pie is just digging her heels in and making life miserable for us. Last night, I left the house at 7:15 for minyan. I know that Adam put the kids to bed at 7:30. I got home from my class at 9:15. And before I even had the door unlocked, I could hear the screaming.

It’s this vicious cycle–she doesn’t want to go to bed, she’s overtired the next day making her more temper tantrum-y and unpleasant to be around, she’s so overtired she can’t go to sleep well… I’ve tried increasing naps. I’ve tried decreasing naps. We’ve tried putting her to bed earlier. We’ve tried putting her to bed later. Doesn’t seem to matter: We’re guaranteed about an hour to two hours worth of screaming (thank goodness Doodles, who shares a room with her, can sleep through it all).

She gets so worked up that she can’t articulate what she wants. Sometimes it can be solved as easily as a different train from the train table next to her bed. But sometimes–like last night–it’s a guessing game. Do you need a cuddle? Do you need a train? Do you need socks? What do you need?!? And there is no letting her scream it out because it seriously simply won’t end.

I have another class tonight. Oh, I’m sorry, Adam. I’ve got to go early. They really need me for minyan….

Yom Ha’tzmaut

May 7th, 2008 § 2 comments § permalink

Warning: This is one of those long self-indulgent posts probably most interesting (or not!) to family.

So today is the 60th anniversary of Israel’s independence, which isn’t normally a topic I’d blog about (as I, last post excepted, do tend to shy away from anything political int his blog), however…

Our synagogue had a big shindig tonight (and guess–out of the hundreds of people there tonight–who was the absolute first on the dance floor? Can you say Dancing Pie and her buddy Dancing Jasmine?) and I submitted some photos for the slide show that are just way too embarrassing to not share with you guys. Actually, this first trip was in a good phase. One of the few. That’s me and my cousin Oliver in Sfat. That trip was–gasp!–thirty years ago, and it’s easy to remember because we were there for Israel’s 30th independence day (and for those doing the math, I was not quite ten at the time). Oliver and I traveled with my grandparents on a UJA (United Jewish Appeal) trip that was done in a first-class kind of style. I can’t be sure, but I do seem to recall staying at the King David hotel, which was pretty fancy shmancy. Before the trip, my grandmother deemed that my fashion sensibility was lacking, so she insisted that we go to Jordan Marsh for a complete new wardrobe. Even then I wasn’t a fan of shopping and I didn’t completely get why my clothes all had “G”s on them (my grandmother apparently was a fan of Givenchy at the time). Things I remember most about the trip: taking turns with my cousin wearing my grandfather’s gold necklace; being terrified on a camel ride, which my grandfather found humorous; a man on the street in Sfat making a tin picture of a deer for me and my grandfather tipping him and telling me, “Nothing’s for free in this world”; getting a plastic hammer that made noise when you bonked people on the head with it during the independence celebrations, but I was too short and I hit someone–hard–with the plastic part; dancing the hora in the streets with my grandmother; and the way my grandmother would smile coyly and say, “Oh no! I’m not their mother. I’m their grandmother,” as if she didn’t know people would be confused by the fact that we called her Ema, which is Hebrew for Mom.

Oh dear lord, there it is!! Yes, I did dress like this as a sixteen year old (that’s me on the left). The scary thing is, even dressed like this, I never had a problem dating. Or maybe it’s because I dressed like this I never had a problem dating? Who knows? [Side note: I recently had reason to go through my high school yearbook. Dear God, we were a John Hughes movie come to life!] Anyhoo, when I was sixteen, I convinced my grandparents to send me to High School in Israel (not that it was all that hard–my parents are well known for their Jewish apathy and my grandparents were desperate to get to us grandkids any way they could. I distinctly remember my grandfather saying to me at Oliver’s bar mitzvah, “You know, if you had a bat mitzvah, you could get all these presents, too! You’d get a lot of money if you had one”). I have extremely mixed feelings in retrospect about the High School in Israel program: there was a more than fair amount of brainwashing involved, however, it was one of the first school programs to truly engage me. I’m sure you’ll all be shocked to hear that I was not a stellar student as a youth (my best buddy in high school, Eric, who I should say went to Princeton and is now a cardiologist, wrote in my yearbook [as I just rediscovered] “Sometimes your frivolity annoys me and sometimes your irrational moodiness drives me crazy, but I love you anyway,” but I digress), and High School in Israel was the first time I realized that studying could actually be interesting. Some of what I remember about the trip is: the eggs. The damn hardboiled eggs. I was a vegetarian, and those stupid eggs were pretty much all I could eat. I remember Shlomo who sold falafels from a cart out back, but they weren’t always in the budget. I remember not quite grasping my budget because at the time the Israeli currency was spiraling out of control and something that was 100 shekels at the beginning of the summer was 500 shekels at the end. I remember the cute Israeli soldiers who lived on campus who seemed so old to me; thinking that the hike up Masada was incredibly long and hard; going out with my twentysomething cousin to a bunch of bars and parties (no drinking age in Israel) and while we were on our way to the umpteenth party at about 3 or 4 a.m., telling him I just couldn’t take it and I had to go to sleep, and his surprise and disappointment at having to go home early; sitting in the desert and having a teacher tell me, “This is where Abraham buried his foreskin”; and the Zionist zeal that I was indoctrinated with, to the point where I returned home and told my parents that I was going to grow up to become an economist and save the Israeli economy.

Shall we flash forward twelve years? I’m not an economist. I didn’t save Israel. I do have an MFA in creative writing, a boyfriend who thinks we should become engaged, and no real prospects for an actual paying job. So what’s a girl to do? Run off and join a kibbutz! Well, not exactly join, but volunteer at for four weeks. Hmmm, make that six weeks. As long as I’m here, let’s just make that two, no four, okay six and a half months. That trip was a whirlwind and not something easy to summarize here. It’s been the fodder for plenty of writing (one of my favorite essays on it appeared here). I picked kiwis, managed (almost) irrigation lines, decided that the boyfriend was not for me (aren’t you happy I went on that trip, Adam!), drank lots of beer, realized just what babies those Israeli soldiers are, gave up being a vegetarian, traveled, wrote, figured out my life, and generally had the Israel experience I was looking for.

And now? Now even that trip is eleven years past. Now I’ve shed the glasses (yea, Lasik!), lost the hummus-olive-oil-labanah pounds (yea, Weight Watchers!), married, procreated, and am planning my fourth (but never final!) trip to Israel, this time with family in tow. And who knows? Maybe for Israel’s 90th independence day, Pie will be posting on her blog: “And this is from my first trip to Israel, when I was three. I was in a good phase then, still with the curly hair and chubby cheeks…”

Friendly Folk

April 23rd, 2008 § Comments Off on Friendly Folk § permalink

My father’s been calling me the Friendliest Brown for at least a couple of decades now. I’m a talker. Anyone who knows me knows I’m a talker. I’ll chat with anyone, anywhere. For instance, in the early ’90s we took a family vacation to Seattle (long before I thought I might live there). My family flew in from Miami, and I met them there as I was living in New York at the time. By the time I got off the plane, I already had plans to meet up with a woman I’d met on the trip at a bar in the U District. It’s a good thing I’m friendly because otherwise Adam and I would never have gotten together. I wouldn’t call Adam unfriendly, but, okay: He’s unfriendly.

Well, the Friendliest Brown is going to have to pass the mantle. Because there’s a new Friendliest sheriff in town. That boy of mine. Yesterday, we were at a local B. Dalton’s. I left Doodles and Pie in the children’s section while I looked for some books. I could hear him chatting away, and I finally went back and there was a mom there with a son a year or two older than Doodles. I couldn’t hear everything he had said, but I asked the mom, “So, is he telling you his life story?” She laughed and said, “All I want to know is just how do you make matzah pizza?”

Of course, this wouldn’t be so bad if he got his stories straight. He’s been going around telling people that he saw a fight. It was a battle. But it was okay, because it happened a long, long time ago. There were a lot of guns. You know what he’s talking about, right?*

I’m so torn between loving his openness and knowing it’s time to talk to him about “stranger danger.” I see him making connections in his mind all the time, and it’ll crush me to have him learn that not everyone is nice. (We recently read a Passover book that we’ve read many, many times and for the first time, he put two and two together. “So God killed the Egyptians? But why?”)

In the meantime, if you see a short kid in a Red Sox shirt, humor him. He actually makes a pretty decent matzah pizza and if you ask nicely, he’ll tell you how.

*You did get that, didn’t you? We went to the re-enactment of the Battle at the Old North Bridge in Patriot’s Day Celebration.

Shabbat Dinner at Our House

April 9th, 2008 § Comments Off on Shabbat Dinner at Our House § permalink

Ah, Shabbat. Every Friday night, Jews all over the world share a peaceful moment with their families as they welcome in Shabbat. Now, we’re not very observant Jews. We don’t observe the laws of Shabbat. But like many American Jews, we end each Friday with a celebratory meal. Giving of tzedakah. Candle lighting. Blessing of children. Grape juice for the kids, wine for the grown-ups. Homemade hallah (and I have a kick-ass recipe). A lovely, special home-cooked meal, always chicken (and if I decide to deviate, Pie, very agitated, will demand all night, “Where’s the chicken!”). A song or two. In our house, it’s the one night of the week the kids get a dessert after dinner, Shabbat cookies, which they pick out themselves in the afternoon at our local farm stand. All in all, the Shabbat dinner is a lovely tradition and a way to bring Shabbat peace into the house.

Or, at least, that’s what in theory is supposed to happen.

Pie: I want my Dora harmonica!
Me: Okay. Here’s your Dora yarmulke.
Pie: No, I want Lightening McQueen! No, I want a grown-up harmonica! Give me that one. You wear Hello Kitty.
Me: Okay, I’ll wear the Hello Kitty one.
Doodles: Where’s my quarter? I can’t find my quarter! I need my tzedakah!
Adam: It’s right there under your napkin.
Doodles: Oh. Can I shake the tzedakah box?
Pie: Daddy wear the purple harmonica. My harmonica is falling off!
Me: I’ll pin it.
Pie: No! Do it self!
After a three-minute struggle.
Pie: Mommy, put on my harmonica!

Time to start.
Me: What song shall we sing tonight?
Pie: The train song!
Me: Okay.
Me, Pie, Doodles, Adam: There’s a train that goes from town–
Pie: NO! You don’t sing. Just me and Doodles.
Kids sing three lines. Forget words. Look to me for help.
Time to say the blessing over the candles.
Doodles: How does fire get into the match? Why isn’t the candle lighting? Is that candle broken? But how does the fire get into the match?
Adam explains sulfur and striking and all sorts of fun stuff while I struggle to get the candles lit.
Doodles: Okay. But how does the fire get into the match?

Go to bless the children.
Doodles: You blessed her first last time!
Adam: No, actually, I distinctly remember we did you first last time because we were at the synagogue Shabbat dinner. Remember?
Doodles: Oh. I should go first anyway.
Pie picks her nose while we bless her.

Finally we make it through all the blessings. Dinner is served.
Me: Doodles, get your fork out of your nose. Sit down. On your tushie. Pie, that’s broccoli. You love broccoli.
Pie: Don’t like broccoli!
Me: Fine. Don’t eat your broccoli. But eat one of those little trees on your plate, wouldja?
Pie: Okay! [eats broccoli]
Me to Doodles: Eat your dinner.
Doodles: I think I’m going to throw up.
Me [having heard it before]: Go to the bathroom to throw up, please.
Doodles hops down and runs to the bathroom.
Doodles calls out: Can you turn on a light?
Adam does so. After five minutes:
Adam: Why are you taking so long?
Doodles: Now I’m going potty!
After a few more minutes:
Me: Don’t forget to wash your hands.
Doodles: I *am* washing my hands!
Adam: Did you flush?
Doodles: Ooops! I forgot to wipe and my pants are already up.
Adam goes to remedy the situation. Returns to the table.

Adam: So, Pie, what did you do today?
Pie: What? No. Tell me about your day.
Adam: I already did. What did you do?
Pie: I went to school. I played dress-up shoes.
Me: What did you have for snack today?
Pie: What? I had Jasmine’s snack.
Me: What was it?
Pie: What? Jasmine’s snack.
Me: But what did you eat?
Pie: Oh. Cucumber. And…. Cucumber.

Me: Doodles, sit. On your tushie. Facing the table. Do you want to be excused before Shabbat cookies?
Pie: Can I have my Shabbat cookie?
Me: Not till everyone’s done eating.
Pie: I want my Shabbat cookie.
Me: Eat your chicken. Doodles, SIT!

Adam: What did you do after nap today?
Pie: What? What? What?
Adam: What did you do after nap today?
Pie: What? [pause] What?
Me: We did something after nap today. What was it?
Pie: Ice skating?
Me: No.
Pie: Um, playground?
Me: No.
Pie: What? What? What? [leans in closer to me and whispers] What?
Me: [whispering back] Did someone come over today?
Pie: [whispering to Adam] Someone came over today.
Adam: Who?
Pie: What? Um, Jasmine.
Me: No.
Pie: E.?
Me: No.
Pie [whispering again]: What?
Me: D and G.
Pie: D! And G!

Doodles waves his hands wildly, coming perilously close to the candles.
Me: You know how you knocked over the iPod player this morning?
Doodles: Yeah.
Me: Remember how angry I got?
Doodles: Yeah.
Me: Knock those candles over and I’ll be even angrier.
Doodles: Why?
Me: Well, you knock this over, you could set the house on fire.
Doodles: But that’s okay. The firemen will come.
Me: Maybe not in time.
Adam: And then all your toys would burn up.
Me: Like your Leapster! And your Legos.
Pie: [gleefully] And my microphone?
Me: Yep.
Pie: The blue one?
Me: Yep.
Pie: And the pink one?
Me [thinking, What pink one?]: Yep.
Pie: And the white one?
Me [thinking, Okay, there’s definitely no white one]: Yep.
Pie: Okay.

Doodles: Is it time for Shabbat cookies?
Me: Eat your dinner.
Pie: Is it time for Shabbat cookies?
Me: Doodles needs to eat his dinner.

Pie, playing with the food on the plate: Who made this?
Me: I did.
Pie: Thank you.
Me: You’re welcome.

Doodles: I finished my vegetable. Can I have my Shabbat cookie?
I hand out Shabbat cookies. Doodles devours his. Pie takes two bites and then eats some more chicken.

Two hours later, the kids are in bed. Probably asleep. Can’t tell for sure. I kill off the bottle of wine. Sink into a comatose stupor. Swear I’m not going to bother with the trouble next week. Somehow forget that by the time the next Friday rolls around. Wait for the peace to hit. Wait for the peace to hit. Waiting. Waiting. Waiting….

System Failure

March 19th, 2008 § 1 comment § permalink

Hey, you! What are you doing here? Are you just trying to distract me. People, I have THINGS to do!

Okay, deep breath. Those of you who know me, know I’m a fairly organized person. I have binders. They’re labeled. They’re color coded. They’re pretty. Adam just went to the accountant to do our taxes. The accountant said we are the most organized folk he’s ever seen. I have systems and techniques and methods for staying on top of things. I have charts. Being type-A makes me happy. Nothing is more satisfying to me than purging the crap from my life. Did you know that I’ve not only made four batches of hamantaschen at home, but I, somewhat successfully, managed to eke out a few dozen batches with a class of nine toddlers and then a class of twelve preschoolers. And I make freakin’ good hamantaschen. (My recipe comes from The New Jewish Holiday Cookbook, which is amazing!) Is it because I’m a good cook? Nah. I’m really not. It’s because I’m organized!

So how is it that it’s now 8:29 p.m. and at 4:30 tomorrow my son is to be dressed as King Ahasuerus and I have nary a king’s robe nor scepter in sight. Yes, that’s right. I’ve got nothing! Nada. Or, to be somewhat holiday appropriate, Klum. Purim, the most joyous of Jewish holidays, is gonna be a tear-fest for one of us.

How did this come about? I’d like to blame the Y chromosome. Because the X chromosomed of this family are all set for tomorrow.

If you recall, Doodles was an astronaut for Halloween. A lovely idea but a less than lovely costume. I ordered it online, and the helmet was this rolled up piece of plastic that supposedly attached by Velcro to an inflatable backpack. Except the Velcro never stuck and I was worried he was going to suffocate behind all that plastic. It’s not a practical costume, certainly not if part of your Purim festivities include a “festive meal,” which ours certainly does.

Exactly a week ago, on the way to feeding group, we passed by a party store that advertised “Purim Costumes.” We stopped off.
Me: What do you want to be?
Doodles: I don’t know.
He flips through the racks.
Doodles: Oooh! I want to be this!
He found a Power Rangers costume. I’m not crazy about Power Rangers, but I look nonetheless.
Me: It’s a size eight to ten.
Doodles: Will that fit?
Me: No. You’re a size 4T. Sort of. [Note: Doodles is still small. Very, very small. Truth be told, there are probably some 2T costumes he could comfortably fit in.]
Doodles: How about this knight?
Me: Nope. I’m not sending you to school with a sword. Hey [pointing to a 2T to 4T sized king’s outfit]. How about King Ahasuerus?
Doodles: No. I think I want to be Superman.
Me: King Ahasuerus is a pretty cool costume.
Doodles: No, Superman. Maybe Spiderman.
Me: [Sigh] Okay, well they don’t have any of those in your size. We’ll have to check another store.

We leave the store.

Over the weekend, we’re pretty busy. In my oh-so-organized way, I take my son to a Shabbat service, co-chair a tot Purim program, take my son to a birthday party, and color Easter eggs with friends. I mention to my son that we need to go to the party store to look for his costume.

Me: Superman, right?
Doodles: No! I’m going to be King Ahasuerus. Remember?
Me: WHAT?! I thought you wanted to be Superman!?!
Doodles, sighing heavily: No, mom! I want to be King Ahasuerus!

On Monday, I tell Adam, “Listen, I need you to go by that party store [it’s absolutely, completely, totally, can’t miss it, on the way home from work for him] and get Doodles his costume.” Adam, of course, replies, “Yeah, sure.” Adam, of course, neglects to stop by the party store.

I contemplate making the outfit, but invariably, I’d end up spending about five times more on materials for a less-than-satisfying costume than if I had just bought the damn thing.

So today, on our way back to feeding group, we stop at the party store. Where they have one king costume left. Size 12 to 14.

Me: Doodles, they don’t have your king costume.
Doodles: Okay. We’ll get it somewhere else. Hey, Pie!
Pie: Yeah?
Doodles: Pie, why don’t you go as Queen Esther.
Me: Doodles, hush up! Pie has already decided to go as Pooh [a costume that our neighbors gave us a long time ago as dress up and is sitting in our basement just waiting for Purim.]
Doodles: No, Pie wants to be Queen Esther. Look at the pretty Queen Esther costumes!
Me: Doodles!
Doodles: Pie, don’t you want to be Queen Esther?
Pie: I’m going to be Pooh.
Doodles: But look how pretty Queen Esther is.
Pie: Yeah. Pie going to be Queen Esther.
Doodles: See!!! She wants to be Queen Esther.

I dragged them out of that store as fast as I could. I told Adam we needed a king costume and he had to stop by a different party store. “Oh yeah. Didn’t you tell me to do that earlier in the week?” ARG!! “I can swing by on the way home.” When I tell him the store in his neighborhood is all sold out, he has the nerve–the freakin’ nerve!!–to say to me, “Well, what did you expect? It’s across the street from a synagogue.” Little does he know that the wine I served him tonight is poisoned.

So, anyway, here we are, now 8:50 p.m., and I have nothing. Nada. Klum. Did I mention that before? I wonder if I can convince Doodles that there’s a ghost in the Book of Esther. A plain ghost. Made out of a sheet. A green sheet. Because, you know, we don’t have any white sheets.

Purim freakin’ Sameach, people. Happy freakin’ Purim. Good thing I’m supposed to get drunk.

Shabbat Guests

February 13th, 2008 § Comments Off on Shabbat Guests § permalink

Doodles goes to a Jewish preschool. For the past few weeks, each child has been working on a Shabbat book. Doodles is extremely proud of his book and he explained what each page was. Here is the artist’s statement about this picture: “This is a picture of Jason Varitek because I wish he could come to Shabbat but he can’t because we don’t know him.” Jason Varitek, if you ever stumble across my blog, please consider yourself formally invited to Shabbat at our house.

Too Big for His Britches

January 30th, 2008 § Comments Off on Too Big for His Britches § permalink

And then there’s the Doodles, who’s no longer a bug in any way shape or form. The questions are nonstop. And they’re getting tougher. Keeping in mind the advice of a fellow preschool mother, who told me that when kids ask about where babies come from, they’re often asking something else (like “Where was I born” or “Are babies born in hospitals”), we’ve been reading How Are Babies Made, which I think is both informative and age appropriate. Just enough details, but not overly specific (“The baby squeezes out of the opening between the mother’s legs”). So I guess no one reading this will be surprised when I tell you that he looked at me with a puzzled expression and asked, “But how does the sperm get from the daddy to inside the mommy?” After I stopped laughing hysterically, I went back to the old tried and true “special naked hug” and for the moment, it appeased him.

Then there are the religion questions. I wish I could remember how this topic came up–I think it started with one of his pronouncements that when he grows up he wants to be a daddy and also various discussions about who is and who isn’t Jewish–but somehow, we ended up here:
Doodles: What if I marry a Santa person [Doodles’s own term for a gentile].
Me: What if you do?
Doodles: Will my children be Jewish?
Me: If you and your wife want to raise your children as Santa children, then you will. If you and your wife want your children to be Jewish, they can be converted and become Jewish. [Note: Judaism is a matrilineal religion.]
Doodles: They can be Jewish?
Me: If you and your wife both decide on it.
Doodles: How do they get converted?
Me: Well, a rabbi would perform a ceremony and they’d become Jewish?
Doodles: How will I find a rabbi?
Me: I’m sure you’ll know some rabbi who you can ask.
Doodles [slight panic in his voice]: But what if I don’t?
Me: Well, you can always the rabbis you have now, Rabbi L. or Rabbi J.
Doodles: Oh. Okay.

So there you have it. Doodles will get married. He will have a special naked hug. And he will find a rabbi. And all is well in the world. Until his next question….

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    I read, I write, I occasionally look to make sure my kids aren't playing with matches.

    My novel, MODERN GIRLS will be coming out from NAL in the spring of 2016.

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