Thursday, August 31, 2006

The Whole World's Jewish

Driving in the car today down Toronto's "Jewish" street -- Bathurst Street -- I was with my two younger children. My youngest, who'll be entering grade 1 next week, G-d willing, is actively reading anything and everything, including signs.

Out of the blue, he announces to his sister and me, "The whole world's Jewish."

Both his sister and I say no. She explains nicely that not everyone is Jewish; people go to church and not just synagogues.

The little guy was adamant but gave in after a while. "Okay, maybe not the whole world. But all of Toronto is Jewish."

I said, "I don't think so... Yes, there are a lot of Jews here, but neither the whole world or all of Toronto is Jewish."

And his sister also tried to convince him of the fact.

He relented. "Okay, but some of the people are Jewish."

And with his next announcement, I understood from where this entire dialogue had materialized.

"But I saw the sign that said:"


The PT (age 5): I can't wait for Sukkos!

Curly (12): Really? Why?

The PT: Because I LOVE eating Matzah!

Curly: Uh...I think you mean Pesach.

The PT: I'm confused.

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Are there any nice rattlesnakes?

As anyone who has seen my blog over the summer will know, this year we had the excitement of seeing a timber rattlesnake at camp. So shortly thereafter, my 16-yr-old brother, Izzy, was giving a lecture to my 2-yr-old brother, Squirt, on snakes, hoping to discourage him from approaching the rattlesnake if he saw it again. As he reports, it went something like this:
Izzy: Squirt, if you see a snake, don't touch it. It is dangerous.
Squirt: Can dey hurt me?
Izzy: Yes, they can hurt you. Well, not all of them. Rattlesnakes can hurt you. They are very dangeorous. Don't go near them.
Squirt: Can I pick dem up?
Izzy: No, they will hurt you. Rattlesnakes are very dangerous.
Squirt: Are dere any nice rattlesnakes?

Thankfully, Squirt never saw the rattlesnake...but if he had, I think it would have been very interesting!

Monday, August 28, 2006

More Teenspeak:

Moe: Did you notice something different about Grampa's hair? I think he got a haircut or something.

Larry: I didn't think that was even possible.

Friday, August 25, 2006

Stop laughing!

<Sweetie does something funny, and I start laughing.>
- Stop laughing!
- <chortling> Oh, but you're so funny!
- <fighting a smile> No I'm not!
- <still smiling>
- <hiding face> Stop laughing at me!
- <starting all over>
- <laughing harder>
- <trying to stop> I can't stop laughing until you stop telling me to stop.
- <angry face> STOP LAUGHING!!!
- <losing control> How can I stop laughing when you keep acting so funny?
- <pretending to cry> STOP LAUGHING!!!
- I told you, I'll stop laughing when you stop telling me to stop.
<exchange continues ad infinitum>

(Can you tell she really enjoys me laughing at her?)

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

"Hey, Rabbi..."

Overheard in the van this morning:

Oldest Son (5): Abba [Hebrew for Dad], why did G-d choose the best rabbi for us?

Abba: G-d may have helped him decide to become a rabbi, but the congregation decided they wanted him to become our rabbi.

Oldest Son: Oh. So G-d didn't say, "Hey, do you want to be a rabbi?"

Hmm... how to explain the concept of free will and career choices to a 5-year-old...

Teenagers Can Be Funny, Too...

Over the summer I've been practicing driving with Moe, my 16 year-old son. Part of this involves teaching him to fill up the car with gas.

After watching him fumble around trying to open up the gas cap while already holding the fuel nozzle the previous time, I thought I would remind him this time what to do.

Moe: (Gets out of the car and moves to the pump)

Me: (Gets out on the other side of the car): OK, what did we learn last time?

Moe: (Blank stare)

Me: Take off the cap first.

Moe: (Confused, blank stare)

Moe: (Takes off his hat and lays it on the roof of the car)


Once I was a little girl, and I shared a room with my sister, and we used to get scolded for talking too long instead of going to sleep. I think now I'm getting punished. I've tried a whole variety of methods to make the gigglers drop off, but haven't found anything that really works besides separating them, which has its own problems. So here, for your reading pleasure, is a typical bedtime dialogue between myself, my stepdaughter (6), and the girl I babysit (4).

<everybody uses toilet, brushes teeth, gets drink>
<each of us prays, I sing bedtime song chosen by each child>

- I hot.
- Take the blanket off you, then.
- I'm hot too.
- Take the blanket off.
- I go schoo' tomorrow?
- No, you don't have school tomorrow.
- Do I hafta go to school tomorrow?
- Yes.
- But I don't want to.
- But Mrs. Jones will miss you.
- But I'm gonna be sick tomorrow morning.
- If you're sick you'll have to stay home.
- I'm gonna be sick.
- We'll see.

- My arm hurt.
- As soon as you fall asleep, it'll stop hurting.
- My arm hurts too.
- As soon as you fall asleep, it'll stop hurting.

- I can't sleep.
- You don't have to sleep, you just have to lie still and be quiet.
- I can't be quiet.
- Yes you can.
- I can't coze my eyes.
- Then don't, I don't care.
- I need my puppy.
- You have your baby.
- But I need my puppy too.
- No, you get your toys before you lie down.

- My legs are cold.
- Then put the blanket over them.
- My yegs code too.
- Put them under the blanket.

- My head hurt.
- Well, don't spin on the chair and you won't get hurt next time.
- NO! You 'pos say, "You fah seep--"
- Okay, as soon as you fall asleep, it'll stop hurting.

- I need go potty.
- You already went potty.
- I need go potty too.
- You both went potty ten minutes ago.
- But I need go again.
- No you don't.
- But I gonna wet a bed!
- Me too!
- Go for it.
- <whining, grumping>

(Observation: the bed stays dry.)

Monday, August 21, 2006


Chana (7): Look! A falling star*! Make a wish.

Rivka (5): OK.

Chana: What did you wish for?

Rivka: I can't tell you or it won't come true.

Chana: No, I can help it come true.

Rivka: How?

Chana: I just can.

Rivka: I wished that Daddy and Mommy would let me do whatever I want, that I could get a new teddy bear, and a Polly Pocket.

Chana: OK, that's never gonna happen.

*it was just an airplane, but who's counting?

Karate Kid

Rivka (5): I wanna take Karate

Me: Why?

Rivka: Because I'm good at hurting people.

Me: What?

Rivka: You know, like kicking (she kicks the air a couple of times for good measure)

Me: You don't learn karate to hurt people. You do it to exercise.

Rivka: No, you learn it in case someone doesn't do something you want them to do.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Animal and/or Mineral

A trip to the Zoo's Nocturnal Mammals House:

Moe (age 16): Look, The PT, a bat!

The PT (age 5): Look, Moe, a......rock!!

Moe: A rock?

The PT: It's a nocturnal rock.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Makeup tests

When Chana was in kindergarten, I used to walk her the three blocks to school. Grades 1 - 5 had their state exams and for the past few days there had been announcements about make-up tests. On the way to school one day, Chana asked why kindergarten didn't have the make-up tests.

Me: Well, kindergarten didn't have the tests in the first place so there's no reason to have make-up tests.

Chana: But why don't we get to?

Me: Um, like I just said, you didn't have the test in the first place.

Chana: But why can't we have the makeup test?

Me (after a brief pause): Do you know what a make-up test is?

Chana: I think it's a test where you get to wear makeup.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Just a little funny

So I'm giving Honey (5) a banana today. "Wait," I said "don't take this one, it has a bad spot." I peel and hand her a different one.
"Does this one have a good spot?" she asks.

Monday, August 14, 2006


Chana (7): Guess what my favorite number is?

Rivka (5): 8.

Chana: That's one of them. My favorites are 6 through 18.

Sunday, August 13, 2006


Friday night at the Shabbos dinner table, my eldest offered something to the conversation that was so brilliant and amusing at the time. My facial expression must've changed and been noticeable to my son. I was now grinning and my eyes must've lit up 'cause he said, looking straight into my eyes, "Don't write that down!" meaning, "Don't blog about what I just said."

I said, "Okay, I won't. But I'll probably blog about you saying, "Don't blog about what I just said."

[My kids now know that I take notice of what they say or do, realizing that I might or might not write it down for the public eye. Perhaps this is not a good thing, after all...]

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

More evidence my son isn't normal

Letter from Stretch (now 11) from camp.
"Today it is Tisha Ba'av. There was a holocost simulation. it was fun." Either the "holocost" simulation was poorly done, or my kid needs serious help.

Sunday, August 06, 2006

I'm in trouble

Me: What are you doing?

Rivka (5): Shaking my butt.

Me: Why are you doing that?

Rivka: I like getting some wiggles out. It feels good.

Saturday, August 05, 2006

It's A...Whatchamacallit

This a.m., my 6 1/2 y.o. son complained of an itchy foot -- inside his Crocs. We pulled off his shoes and socks, indeed saw a red foot and no doubt a bug bite, put a cold compress on it and forgot about it.

Later in the day, he was resting beside me, barefoot. I looked at his foot again, saw the raised skin and said, "Oh. So do you think it's a mosquito bite?"


"Do you think it's a rash?"


"Do you think it's a blister?"



"No. It's a...whatchamacallit? It's a...BOO-BOO!"