Friday, March 31, 2006

Thursday, March 30, 2006

What an Honor!

There is somewhat of a custom in my brother OD's yeshiva to give something called a "kibud" in honor of the birth of a daughter. (Kibud means honor.) As there is no bris, but to have a full-blown kiddush would be a little much (and expensive!), this is done instead: Basically, set up a few tables in one of the larger rooms downstairs, serve some doughnuts, cookies, and the like, and everyone wishes the proud father a hearty mazel tov.

My brother usually is the one in charge of the kibud, which entails buying everything, setting it all up, and cleaning up after it's all over. A couple of days ago, this caused the following conversation between his son Ben (3!) and his wife SIL.
Ben: Where's Daddy?

SIL: He's doing a "kibud".

Ben: Oh.


Tell him I like doughnuts.

Sunday, March 26, 2006

Lucky to be a girl

So the baby was wandering around the house the other day. She was holding a bag of cashews. Suddenly, we hear a thunk, then a cry. Dr. Bean went to see what was wrong.
"What happened baby?"
"I fall down on my nuts!"


That was our new daughter Elianna's response to Cruisin' Mom. ;)

[Sorry, just a little excited - thanks CM!]

Saturday, March 25, 2006

Sibling worship

I came into the living room this afternoon and was met with sight of Mordechai(6) and Sari(3 1/2) bent over a world map spread out on the floor.

Mordechai: Savta's in Israel now. I'll show you where it is, k?

Sari: Yeah, yeah! Where is it?

Mordechai: It's this little one, right here. See it?

Sari (sighs and gazes at him in wonder): Mordechai, do you know everything?

Science Wonders for Kids

My 6 yr old daughter is very curious about science and is always asking me questions, which I can't ever answer. I suggested that she create her own blog and post her questions and thoughts on it and perhaps she will get feedback. She came up with the name of the website herself.

It's Science Wonders for Kids at

We still need to fine tune the site, but she still wanted to post some of her recent questions.

Please check it out and if you or your kids know any of the answers, she would love to hear from you.

Tiny and New

I don't know about anyone else, but I'm anxiously waiting to hear what Ezzie's little girl has to say!

Friday, March 24, 2006

How to Return a Compliment

Abba: I like your jeans.

The PT: your pants. They're beautiful. Also your shirt is beautiful.

tortured artist

Chana (6), on the way to school this morning:

"Dad, you know how I like to draw a lot? Well, I drew everything. I don't know what else to draw."

Thursday, March 23, 2006


Child tasting a piece of candy at Mordechai's siddur party, with look of extreme distaste punctuating his visage: Eeew! It tastes like salad!


Some kids, by the time they're four, can talk almost as well as adults. Not Sweetie. Some things she says, it takes all my synapses to figure out what she means. The worst was 'tanahat' which turned out to be "Cat in the Hat". I think that took a few days. The funniest is "Holy-you-ya!" Fortunately, she's very patient. I repeat what I thought I heard, and she says it again with slightly different emphasis until I get it right. But now, sometimes she takes advantage of this arrangement, by saying gibberish on purpose, but changing it slightly everytime so that I never win. This is a very funny joke to her, and she tries to keep me going even after I protest that she's pulling my leg.

Tiny has the same problem, but zero patience for my confusion. I usually only have two tries before Tiny starts screaming the phrase, which makes her even harder to understand. (We're still working on the commandment, "Thou shalt not scream") But when I'm lucky, Sweetie is there to translate. Somehow she understands everything Tiny says, even though their pronunciation habits are completely different.

Another game Sweetie likes to play on me is asking the same question repeatedly until I accidentally give a different answer, or asking several questions in rapid succession so I get confused. When in my distraction I give the answer she wants, she tries to hold me to it.

- Can I play in snow when we get home?
- No, you need a nap before church.
- Can I have a snack?
- We have crackers right here.
- I want different kind.
- <checking blind spot> This is what we have.
- When we get home.
- When we get home you're taking a nap.
- I don' wan' take a nap.
- Do you wanna go to church?
- Yes...
- Then you need a nap.
- Can I play outside when we get home?
- <waving pedestrian to cross> No, you need a nap.
- Can I sleep with my baby?
- Sure.
- Can I have crackers?
- Right here.
- Can I have a drink?
- Wait till we get home.
- Can I play in snow?
- <looking for space in traffic> Yeah.
- Yay!
- <confused> No, wait a second, you can't play outside...
- But you said I could.
- That's cuz you were confusing me!
- <grins, giggles>

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

A Mill by Any Other Name

I was talking to my middle child yesterday about the health club I used to belong to.

She asked about what I used to do there, if I used to swim, use a step machine...if they had a windmill.

A WINDMILL? I tried to think about what kind of machine resembled a windmill, what she might be referring to?

Again she asked if they had a windmill there.

Then it hit me: a treadmill.

And so I told her: "It's not called a windmill, it's called a treadmill." She convinced me that she knew that, but her older brother calls it a windmill, and therefore she does too!

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

What am I?

The PT (age 4) was in one of her whiney moods last night:

The PT: Abaaaaaa....I need a snack.

Abba: Ok, let's go in the kitchen.

The PT: Abaaaaa....what am I?

Abba: Uh...what do you mean?

The PT: What am I?

Abba: ...a little girl.

The PT: Nooooo....what AM I??

Abba: A kid.

The PT: NOOOO...What AM I???

Abba: A little bird?

The PT: NOOOO!!!

Abba: An elephant?


Abba: A monster?

Abba: A nudnick??

Abba: A pest??

Abba: A dog???

Abba: A human???

Abba: A maniac???


Abba: ....

Abba: I don't know what you want me to say.

The PT: Ugh....

The PT: Am I milchig or fleishig????

Abba: ....

Abba: I'm going to eat you now. I'll let you know.

The PT: (maniacal laughter)

Monday, March 20, 2006

Barber shop banter

Mordechai's (6) having his siddur party tomorrow. For the occasion (and because his hair was starting to resemble that of the Beatles), I gave him a haircut tonight. It is my custom to play the part of "barber" when I cut his hair because it distracts him enough to give me another few moments of wriggle-free trimming. As any good barber does, I engaged the customer in conversation...

Me: So what's the occasion for this haircut, sir?

Mordechai: Oh, I'm having a party tomorrow.

Me: Oh! What kind of party?

Mordechai (apparently assuming I was either a gentile barber or a non-observant Jew): It's a book party.

Me: A book party? Why would you make a party for a book?

Mordechai: It's a holy book.

Yes, you're strong

Sweetie(6) is a very strong little kid, as strong as I am with the fibromyalgia. I tried to arm-wrestle her once, but she didn't get it. I'm sure by the time her arm is long enough, she'll beat me easily. One day we were at Kmart and I was looking for some particular electronics item in a display of many choices, and as usual she wandered:

- Look, I can lift this. I'm so strong!
- Yep, you're stronger than I am.
- Come look!
- I'm busy, hang on...wait a minute, I wonder what she's lifting. It might be breakable... I better go check.
- OH MY GOODNESS, PUT THAT DOWN RIGHT NOW BEFORE YOU DROP IT! Yes, you're very strong, I'm so impressed, but you can't lift something that might break, from now on you better ask before you lift something heavy at a store.
- But I didn't drop it...

I wish she'd show off when it's time to carry groceries. I have occasionally had to refuse to let her in the house until she brings the assigned bags. She claims they're "too heavy", but if a grocery bag was too heavy for this child the handles would certainly break.

Time To Move

My brother and sister-in-law's apartment is getting a bit cramped, now that they have two kids - Ben, 3, and Henna Bayla, 1. While most kids try to avoid going to bed in ingenious fashion, I thought Ben's latest was pretty good...

(From an e-mail from SIL)
All little kids try to avoid going to bed - there are so many excuses - thirsty, etc. Here is Ben's from last night:

He had decided to drive his car from the kitchen to his room. I was already sitting on his bed, waiting to read him a book but he kept telling me he couldn't come yet... becuse he "couldn't find a spot"!
Ah, New York... :)

Sunday, March 19, 2006

Kindergarten politics

Mordechai was talking to Dovid and giving him the rundown of how things stand at school (names were changed to protect classmates' anonymity):

Reuven is leader of the bad guys. He gets in trouble all the time. I'm the leader of the good guys. Shimon thinks he's the leader of the good guys but he's not. He walks around and shows off about how many stars he has and the other boys don't like that because he's trying to make them jealous. And Levi thinks he's so cool because he has gedolah* [sic] cards.

* Gedolim cards are collectible cards featuring Jewish religious leaders, past and present.

Saturday, March 18, 2006

reptilian delicacies

Chana, 6, who is getting pretty good at reading, as we pass a gas station that features a "Snack Shop":

"That place has a snake shop!"

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Sweetie speaks

(Sweetie is six)

- My leg hurts!
<I ignore this because she isn't screaming.>
- I feel like I need go hostapul and break it and get a new one.
- I'm gonna write that down.
- Can you call 911?
- No.
- Are you gonna write that down too?


- Daddy's home! <looking out the window> He has a paper!
- Why is that so exciting?
- It's not 'citing!


I was looking for Disney Princess coloring pages on a German website, but finding only pictures from the individual movies.

- What, don't they have Disney Princess in Germany?
- Nope.
- How do you know?
- 'Cause I went there.
- You went to Germany?
- Yeah.
- <skeptical>
- I'm serious, I went there!

(She has no idea what Wisconsin is, much less Germany.)

A bald statement

Cousin Alex, whose hair is rather "thin", to put it kindly, was engaged in conversation with Mordechai (6):

M: Where's you hair?

A: (pulling at hair over ears) I have hair. Right here!

M: Did you get, like, a hundred haircuts?

Monday, March 13, 2006

missing the point

Rivka, 4, runs into our bed when she wakes up. Every morning. No matter what time it is. So we had to explain to her that she's not allowed to come in before 6. She has a digital clock in her room, and we told her that if she wakes up before the "6" appears to the left of the "two dots," she has to wait in her bed. So yesterday morning, around 5:45, we are awakened by her shouts: "Where are you, six? Turn to six!!!"

Tooth extortion

Found under The Diva’s (7) pillow

if you want the tooth read this or else!

Dear Dad/Mom/Tothfary,
Can I hav a prize too. Sum pepul at my school get toys instead of mony, But I want bouth. Like a trip to Bild-A-Bare workshop. Okey, maby something smoler. But I still want to go. Well can you at lest give me a toy and like $2.00 or 3 or 4 or 5. I want it all!

Love, The Diva

Sunday, March 12, 2006

Ad infinitum

Mordechai's friend introduced him to the number 'googol'. He was fascinated by the enormity of this number (which I'm sure he can't even fathom because I sure as heck can't!). A snippet from today's conversation:

Mordechai: What number comes after a googol?

Me: A googol and one.

Mordechai: No. I mean, like, after a googol and ninety-nine.



The Ralphie family is enjoying a nice dinner of Chinese take-out. Chana (6) is using her chopsticks expertly to eat her broccoli beef.

CHANA (to Mrs. Ralphie)
Mom, why won't you let me teach you how to use chopsticks?

I prefer a knife and fork, thanks.

But it's easy! I even taught Rivka how to use them!

Rivka, 4, is shoving rice into her mouth with her hands.

Saturday, March 11, 2006

I don't get it

The PT: Knock knock.

Abba: Who's there?

The PT: Orange.

Abba: Orange who?

The PT: Knock knock.

Abba: Who's there?

The PT: Banana.

Abba: Banana who?

The PT: Banana you glad I didn't say orange? (maniacal laughter)

Thursday, March 09, 2006

Dispatches From The Home Front - Adar Edition

In the midst of a crowded room, my three year-old daughter started singing, "Haman wanted to hurt the Jew, hurt the Jews, hurt the Jews..."


Daughter: "Daddy, its not a cookie! Its a Hamantaschen!"


Flattery sure works. My daughter recently told my wife, "Mommy, I missed you sooo much. ...Can I have those colored Cheerios?" [Froot Loops]


Walking down the stairs into the toy room, my wife noticed a pungent odor indicating that I had not yet changed our son's diapers. She looked at my daughter and said, "Your Daddy is going to have to go to the nose doctor if he can't smell that." Now, every time I leave the house, my daughter asks me if I am going to see the nose doctor.


Daughter: "Fooah Shawayma" [Refuah Shleima]


Daughter: "She [three year-old friend] said that the man - Hashem, is in the shul."

Mother: What does he look like?

Daughter: "He wears a yarmulke."


Daughter: "My picture here says that I am a little shy..."

(Cross Posted on A Simple Jew)

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Family Watchdog Organization

Sorry, this isn't a cheery post, but one that I think is very important. A parent in my daughter's brownie troop forwarded this to us. It's quite scary, but it's necessary to be informed.

This Family Watchdog site is linked to the National Sex Offenders Registry – put in your address and see the names, faces, addresses and crimes of your neighbors who are registered sex offenders.

The Great Debate

How'd You Do That?

On Saturday morning we woke up to start the day, Kaiser (three years old) went to sit on the potty, I went to the kitchen to make coffee. I heard the cat meowing at the door so I let him in. Kaiser went to his bedroom for a toy when he saw the cat. Then he said, "Hey, Guy's in." (the cat is named Guy) Then he walked to the front door, saw it was closed then looked at the cat and asked, "How did you do that?" meaning how did the cat open the front door to let himself in.

Purim thoughts

Me: Can you tell me the story of Purim?
Rivka (4): I forgot it.
Me: There was a land called...
Rivka: Shushan!
Me: Right. And it was ruled by a king named...
Rivka: Ahashveiros!
Me: Right.
Rivka: He was not a very responsible king.
Me: Oh, really?
Rivka: He wasn't forward-thinking.
Me: Who told you that?
Rivka: Morah Ilana. (her preschool teacher)

Monday, March 06, 2006

Nature's Best

Walking to shul yesterday, Chana (6) says out of nowhere:

Chana: Dad, why do we have to kill the snails? It's not nice. They're part of nature.

Me: Huh? Oh, well, the snails are trying to eat our plants. They're part of nature, too. I'm just trying to protect the plants.

Chana: And I'm just trying to protect the bugs.

Saturday, March 04, 2006

I Just Wanted To Tell You

I was on my computer tonight typing, and my youngest son, who's turning 6 tomorrow, was in the next room on the computer, playing some defense game. Out of the blue he called out to me, "If people don't get brises, they're not Jewish."

I asked, "What made you say that suddenly?"

"I just knew; I wanted to tell you."

Okay, thanks, little guy.

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Future rabbi?

Last year, Mordechai (age 5) had a difficult halachic question. He wanted to know if he could play with a little handheld electronic game on Shabbat if he doesn't turn it on or was it still forbidden because the item is normally muktza. I directed him to Dovid (30). Dovid said that he wasn't sure and that he would have to check with the rabbis in yeshivah. Mordechai responded with the suggestion: "Or you could just look in one of the books!"

Perfect Purim costume

Last year, Mordechai (5) said to me, after a period of thoughtful silence as I was tucking him in the night after Purim, "You weren't a clown on Purim because you didn't put on your clown wig and clown makeup, but... Queen Esther was beautiful and you looked very beautiful today, so we'll just say you were Queen Esther."

My all-time favorite compliment to date.


Cleaning out Stretch’s (10) room today, I stumbled across a notebook from the GATE (gifted) field trip on creative writing that he went to last week. In the notebook are some story ideas and diagrams also, these haikus.

A dangerous kid
He looks mentaly (sic) deformed
Holding a grenade

And, this gem

Girl playing guitar
She is being laser tracked
Or she’s being filmed

Degenerate or genius? You decide.