26 March 2009

My Little Feminist

Background: Rafi was born with a full head of hair, and has had four or five full-on haircuts (not cutesy-baby-bang-trims) in his short life. Rita was born virtually bald, and only just now have we started to actually worry whether her hair is getting in her eyes.

We were engaged in the usual bedtime proceedings. Rafi had just finished nursing and scrambled off my lap, and Rita climbed up for her turn. For some reason I can't place, Julian's kipa had fallen off of his head. Rafi spotted it, picked it up, offered it back to Daddy. Julian in turn offered it back to Rafi.

Thirty seconds later, my little boy was running around delightedly, kipa (and clips!) centered on top of his head. "Do you like the kipa?" I asked him. "Soon you will wear one every day."

Rita took a quick break from nursing. "Rita wear it kipa too?"

"No, sweetie. You don't have to wear a kipa."

Rita burst into tears. I tried to console her: "You can wear one, if you want to, I guess. But you don't need to wear a kipa. Just Daddy and Rafi. Mommy doesn't wear one, see?"

She wasn't having it, and the sobbing continued...until I saw a little lightbulb go off over her head. "Rafi wear it kipa? Rafi get a haircut, wear it kipa." [pause] "Rita get a haircut, wear kipa also."

Don't look now, but she's planning her own upsherin.

11 March 2009

Skill Retention

Apparently this was a very, very long winter - long enough to forget certain vital life skills.

This morning (barely), after a decent rain, I decided to toss the kids' rainboots into the stroller for a possible stop at the park. By the time we'd finished at Trader Joe's (where Rafi dozed off, which may explain why he spent the first half-hour of a much-delayed naptime today giggling and talking to himself), it was drizzling again. But, really, just a drizzle, so I figured - why not? Puddle-splashing was a much-loved activity last fall, and they needed to burn off some energy.

Off came the sneakers, on went the boots, up went the hoods, and I pulled the kids out of the stroller and set them on the ground. "Go on! We have some time to play. Go splash!"

Rafi looked up at me mournfully, shook his head, and whimpered: "I don't know how to splash."

08 March 2009

Holiday Food Mash-Up

This weekend, with some assistance from Rafi and Rita, I made five dozen hamentaschen - half of them apricot, half chocolate. On spying the chocolate filling, Julian told me that yesterday, in shul, a friend of ours bit into a chocolate hamentasch and wondered aloud whether it was carob. "Nobody would make carob hamentaschen!" I replied, just as he was getting to that same punchline. "It's Purim - not Tu B'Shevat!"

It got me thinking, though - how many holiday food traditions could one cram into a single, edible (and preferably palatable) item? Carob hamentasch = Tu B'Shevat + Purim. Fry it, and you cover Chanukah. Fried carob hamentasch with a honey-based dough = Chanukah + Tu B'Shevat + Purim + Rosh Hashana. Maybe you can even argue Sukkot, because hamentaschen are stuffed, in a manner of speaking.

Can you come up with a more inclusive delicacy?

04 March 2009

Do you even need me here?

Scene: Rafi and Rita have recently woken from their nap. Rita is playing on the floor; Rafi is still abed (by choice). Rafi drops his blankie.

ME: Rita, could you please up Rafi's blankie for him please?

RITA: Inna bed? [picks up blankie] Here, Rafi! Blankie inna bed!

RAFI: [giggles, drops the blankie again] Rita pickup blankie?

RITA, good sport that she is, does so.

RAFI: [giggles, drops the blankie again] Rita pickup blankie?

RITA, good sport that she is, does so.

RAFI: [giggles, drops the blankie again] Rita pickup blankie?

RITA, good sport that she is, does so.

RAFI: Rita pickup blankie?

RITA: [hands him blankie] Not pick it up again, Rafi!

RAFI considers this, and tosses the blankie over again.

RITA: [sighs, hands him blankie] Not pick it up again, Rafi!