Friday, April 28, 2006

Does It Come Gift-Wrapped, Too?

My husband and the children ran into someone we know, and my husband told her that I was no longer working for my company. She asked if I'd received "a package" -- if I was happy with it, if the terms were decent, etc. (she's a lawyer and asked the right questions.) My oldest son overheard some of the conversation and had comments and questions for his dad.

He asked my huband how much I'd been offered. He didn't want to tell him and my son asked again, so my husband told him some rounded-off number, close to what the package was. Of course my son doesn't know from severence packages and settlements, but he does know numbers!

When my husband told him the amount, my son asked, "Did it come in a box?"

(you get it? package-box)

Scenes from a Villa

Yesterday we paid a visit to the recently re-opened Getty Villa, which houses Roman antiquities on fabulously landscaped grounds.

Chana, 6.5, studied a statue of Herakles , which has lost, um, a key bit of male anatomy. After a while, she said, "I think he might be missing something."

Rivka, 4.5, took one look at an ancient calendar that was a perfectly aligned grid of greek characters and exclaimed, "A word find!"

Wednesday, April 26, 2006


Driving in the car with Iguana (age 9):

Iguana: So....what can we listen to? Do you have anything that's sfirafied?

Me: ...sphere-o-fied?

Iguana: Yeah, sfirafied. You know. What's it called when you have singing but no music?

Me: You mean a capella?

Iguana: Huh?

Me: Sfirafied...did you make up that word?

Iguana: (laughing) Yeah!

Me: Good one.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Venn Master

Rivka, 4 1/2, is running towards me holding a piece of paper.

"Daddy, I made you a Venn diagram."

That's weird. Sounds like she said "Venn diagram," of all things.

"A what, Honey?"

"A Venn diagram. It's matzah and challah."

And indeed it is:

Matzah and Challah

The exclusive Matzah section (left "circle") is passover, obviously. The shared area is "all other nights." I don't know what the exclusive Challah section (right), unless it's just our default mode. She can't quite explain it.

Cross-posted at Kerckhoff Coffeehouse

Sunday, April 23, 2006

I am in TROUBLE when she is a teenager!

We just returned from a trip to Detroit to meet my newborn nephew, Abraham. My 4-yr. old daughter Olivia went to play at her best friend's house today and I just got this email from her best friend's mother:


We enjoyed having Olivia over today. So she was telling my daughter about baby Abraham and she said that he's a boy and he has a penis. And my daughter was like, "Oh, Olivia said penis."

So I told the girls, "Okay, we've established that Abraham has a penis. He's a boy. That's a fact of life. So let's not talk about it anymore."

And so Olivia leans over to my daughter and says, "And it's cute, too."

I had to leave the room. I was losing it.



At Shabbat lunch yesterday, I raised my glass of orange juice and said, "L'Chaim!" My wife raised her cup of water and responded in kind. My 6-yea old then thrust her cup into the air and yelled, "A chaim! To the life!"

I almost sprayed OJ all over the table.

Saturday, April 22, 2006

The 4 questions - abridged

Not that he wasn't able to recite the unabridged version. He was even able to manage a reasonably credible yiddish translation despite the fact that it was pure nonsense to him because he doesn't speak yiddish, like, at all (such a pet peeve, but that's a whole separate issue). He just seemed to feel that the traditional text was overly wordy. So, Mordechai's version, lasting all of 6 seconds, went like this:

Why do we eat matza? Why do we eat marror? Why do we dip? Why do we lean?

Friday, April 21, 2006

Pesach With The PT

Searching for Chametz:

Moe: Uh...The PT...could you aim the flashlight more towards the floor and less towards the ceiling...
Larry: Yeah, we can't find the bread if you keep pointing it up...
The PT: Look! A bread!

On Vacations:

Fudge: So, do you want to go to New York this summer?
The PT: No!
Fudge: Why not?
The PT: I'm not ready for College yet.

On the nature of things:

The PT: Nobody has a brain like mine.
Fudge: Why do you say that?
The PT: Because nobody knows what I'm thinking.

Monday, April 17, 2006

My little tzaddik

Mordechai and Sari had no school and were home the week before Pesach. I gave my (non-Jewish) babysitter, Namie, "prizes" to use as ammo to keep the civilians in order. During the afternoon, I called to check in and Mordechai picked up.

Mordechai: Hi, Mom. I got a prize because I was behaving very well and did good listening. But, Sari - oh, wait. I can't say 'cuz it's lashon ha'ra.

Me (trying to stifle laughter): That's terrific, Mordechai. I'm so glad to hear that you've been behaving so nicely. Good for you.

Mordechai: Yeah, but Mommy I really want to tell you something and I can't because it's lashon ha'ra.

Me: Well, then maybe you shouldn't even though it's hard not to.

Mordechai: Well, acually, maybe it's not lashon ha'ra.

Me: Oh?

Mordechai: Okay. Let's say Sari got a prize for good listening and I didn't. And let's say she was telling you she got a prize, right? Would it be lashon ha'ra for her to say that I didn't get a prize?

Me: Well, sort of, because then I could figure out that you weren't really doing good listening because you didn't get a prize.

Mordechai (sounding awfully dejected): Oh.

Me (continuing to try to stifle laughter): Mmmm.

Mordechai (brightening considerably): I know what I'll do! I'll tell Namie to tell you.

Mordechai (holding phone away from mouth, talking to Namie): Namie, tell Mom that Sari's not listening.

Mordechai (to me): Okay, Mom. Hold on. Namie wants to tell you something.

Now, how would the Chafetz Chaim have felt about amirah l'akum?

cross-posted at May Cuties.

the truth hurts

Me (after consuming yet another matzah-laden meal): Ooh, I think there's a baby in my tummy, just like mommy's.

Rivka (4): No, Daddy, you're just getting fat.

Sunday, April 16, 2006

That's Not Matzah!

Elianna may be too young to be asking the Mah Nishtana [aka "The 4 Questions"] quite yet at the Passover Seder, but apparently my brother and sister-in-law had a nice time by my parents...

My brother OD was explaining to my nephew Ben (3) that the Jews had to bake their dough quickly before they left Egypt in their rush to get out...
OD: Did it turn into challah or something else?
Ben: Something else.
OD: So what did it turn into?
Ben: French Toast.

Good Moed!!

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Singer Songwriter

Chana: How do you spell "Kooch"?
Me: Say what?
Chana: Kooch.
Me: I have no idea what that means.
Chana: I made up a song about ketchup for Rivka and I want to write it down.
Me: How does it go?
Chana: Ketchup Ketchup Ketchup Ketchup Ketchup Kooch.
Me: Catchy.
Chana: So how do you spell it?
Me: I have no idea.

(She spelled it "Kooch")

Friday, April 07, 2006

Married with Children

Daughter ( 8 1/2) to younger brother (6): "Look at this guy on the computer... Remember the Pink Panther [we're talking original--my kids adore Peter Sellers in his infamous role] movie we saw? Doesn't this guy on the computer look like Inspector Trousseau?"

The Ransom of Red Chief

Our 6 1/2 year old daughter pulled something the other day (and I don't mean a muscle) that only strengthened our worries even more for what to expect when she becomes a teenager. This got me thinking about how many other people have stories to share, of anxieties they are foreseeing.

Natalie has homework every night, both for her secular and Judaic studies. Upon finishing, the parents are responsible for initialing the homework. I was looking over some of her worksheets and spotted my familiar initials BUT I didn't do it. This girl has learn to copy, in cursive, my exact initials, which by the way, is very sloppy.

Man, I didn't even do this until I was 10 yrs old and in 5th grade. And even then, I only did it because I needed something signed and I forgot to asked my dad, or he would allow me to do it (he was a very laid back father.)

We had a serious conversation with her about this and I hope for now, she will be scared enough to know that forging someone's name is against the law. {She is at the age in which she is always talking about what is and isn't against the rules/laws - such as mommy not always putting on her signal, or rolling through a stop sign : ) }

So, I am curious, what type of mischievous activities are your children up to?


From SIL...

Last night Ben (3) told me that his stuffed doggy was only his baby... then he generously said that it was also Henna Bayla's (1) baby. Then he extended it to my baby too... "but not Daddy's baby because he never had a baby in his tummy yet."

Thursday, April 06, 2006

Daddies go to Jupiter...

Dad: So do most kids in your class talk about their Moms more or their Dads?

(Mordechai -6- shrugs)

Dad: Well, who do you think most kids like more?

Mordechai: Well... Daddies give more treats.

Dad: Why do you think that is?

Mordechai: Because Mommies are smarter and they know it's not really good for you.

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Larryism #32

Moe and Larry were 7 and 6 at the time, or thereabouts. We were at one of these fancy-shmancy Children's Museums, I think in Chicago (so this is about 8 or 9 years ago).

They had one of these rooms full of Duplo-style Legos. I don't know why that was such an attraction to my boys, since if they wanted to play in a room full of Duplo-style Legos, all they had to do was go into our basement. But this is where they wanted to be, so I let them play in there.

A little while later, Moe comes to get me, to show me his latest architectural masterpiece. Moe has always been good with Lego. He made this Lego AT AT from Star Wars that probably could have been turned into a real Lego model and sold to parents like me for $99.95. So I go in and see this model of an elaborate pyramid and Sphinx.

"It's the Sphinx," I say.

Larry doesn't miss a beat: "No, actually, it's pretty good."

Monday, April 03, 2006

Morashaka Heelasyaakov

My three year-old daughter was outside playing with a non-Jewish neighbor this past weekend. She called over to the older girl and said, "Let's play school. I will be the teacher. Repeat after me, 'Morashaka Heelasyaakov' "