Sunday, February 25, 2007

I Hate Socks

I have yet to do a load of laundry where each sock is paired with a matching sock. I keep the loners in a special singles' bag hoping that they'll one day find their zivug hagun (proper match). The crowd grows and grows and the singles problem is getting out of hand. These socks need shidduchim desperately. And I am losing my mind!

That's all. Just had to get that off my chest.

Monday, February 19, 2007

Ever since she discovered how to use the camera phone...

Several weeks ago, Mordechai celebrated with his class and rebbe upon getting his first chumash. A proud day, to be sure.

More recently, Mordechai didn't suck his thumb at night for a whole week and so he was due for a prize. His first request was for a guitar. I suggested that, since he has only recently started learning how to play the keyboard, he might want to spend more time mastering that before moving on to another instrument. Besides, it was out of my price range. His next idea was much more reasonable moneywise. He wanted ten dollars to take to school to buy a chumash just like the one he has in school! I gave him the money and he ran to the closet, got an envelope to put the money into, and sealed it shut. The next day, he came home with two dollars change and a brand new chumash to call his own. He couldn't have been more thrilled! (I don't think I could have been, either:))
The girls were wearing matching dresses the other day (my babysitter gets such a kick out of doing that), so I thought it would be great if I could get a good shot of them together. Clearly, Hashem had other plans, because I could not manage a single moment with both of them smiling and sitting normally. I've gotta' hand it to them, though. They tried. Especially Ada!

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

More fingerprints

Ada tripped outside today and scraped her knee a bit. Really just a graze. She totally flipped out and flew into a fit of hysteria that lasted much too long for anyone's taste. She wouldn't take a single step. When we got upstairs, she continues to scream as I treated the scrape with neosporin and a bandage. That usually does the trick, but, this time, even that didn't cut it. She insisted on being carried around all evening and talked in this pathetic little voice as if to say, "Can't you see that I'm wounded and need extra attention?" (For those of you ready to call ACS and report me for child neglect, I did trick her into taking some steps and putting weight on her legs. She was fine.) Seriously, if ever I saw such a drama queen...!

When I recounted my tale to my mom she had no sympathy for me. She said that I had been just like that. She distinctly remembers a time when I cried and carried on for over an hour in the car on the way home from some trip because I said my knee was hurting so badly from a fall. When we finally got home and I pulled off my tights, I stopped crying and started giggling in relief. "Look, Mommy! There's no blood!" My pain had miraculously dissipated.
Mordechai's rebbe met up with Dovid today in yeshiva and told over the following conversation he had had today with Mordechai:

Mordechai: Is it okay to ask a rebbe when his birthday is?

Rebbe: The Torah doesn't say you can't but it's not so nice to ask older people because it's considered a private question.

Rebbe: Why? Does it make a difference?

Mordechai: Not really. I just wanted to know your birthday so I could tell my mother to bake a cake.

Monday, February 05, 2007

Genetic fingerprints

When my younger brother, Mordechai the Elder, was in fifth grade, his rebbe offered the class a challenge. Any boy who memorized all the mishnayot in masechet Yuma would get a set of Mishnayot to own. This was announced on Friday. Mordechai decided that he wanted that set of Mishnayot. I can still see him in my mind's eye, sitting at the top of the stairs all Shabbat afternoon with sefer in hand, memorizing away. He earned his beautiful big set of Mishnayot in school that very Sunday.

I could not say that I was that way. Not that I wasn't determined to do things, I just tended to do things at the last minute rather than doing them early and getting things out of the way. My idea of being a conscientious student was waking up the day of the final at 7:00, meeting my good buddy Malky at Dunkin Donuts, enjoying a chocolate cream-filled donut, and reading through the notes at warp speed so we'd at least have read it once before our 9:00 exam. Hey, it worked for us.

Fast forward to 2007. Six Flags offers a free ticket to students who read 6 hours for pleasure independently. They require each student to submit a form that includes the dates, books read, time spent, and signature of parent or teacher. Back in December, when Mordechai first brought home the form, he calculated the days until the date the form was due and how long he would have to read each day to fulfill the requirements and earn a free ticket. He got to work enthusiastically that night reading a pile of books. Somehow, that initial enthusiasm had faded by the next day and the whole program was forgotten.

Until last week.

The form was due February 2nd. Mordechai came home on February 1st and announced that he planned to read for 3 hours and 30 minutes that night. I was a bit skeptical that he would manage that. He insisted that it was no problem. I pointed out that even if he did get the ticket, the chances that anyone would actually take hime to Six Flags were rather remote. He said that he already worked it out with a kid in school whose mom had said she would pay the fifty dollars for her own ticket and take them to the park.

As soon as his homework, keyboard lesson, and dinner were out of the way, he buckled down with a book. He chose a book I had bought him (at his request) about the United States' presidents. He did not understand a word he was reading and mispronounced a good deal of them, but he was reading. After an hour(!) or so of that, I suggested he read something that he might understand so that it would be a bit more interesting. I compiled a collection of books for him that were more age-appropriate. He did not spend a moment that night without a book in his hands. Every so often he would ask me how many minutes he was up to. He went to bed with a book and was still up reading when Dovid came home at around 9:15. Finally, with twenty minutes to go, I made him go to sleep with the promise that I'd wake him early so he could finish in the morning. He was up an hour earlier than usual to make sure he'd have enough time and then he woke me (*!@#$%) to sign the paper.

Mission accomplished.

Anyone wanna' take a really cute and determined 7-year-old kid to Six Flags this summer? (Some restrictions apply.)

Sunday, February 04, 2007

Hee, hee. (for geeks only)

“God’s omniscient justice is, to our limited understanding, almost indistinguishable from randomness.”

I just found this quote at a blog I discovered tonight. Really hits the nail on the head, doesn't it? The blog is a collection of divrei Torah. The blogger tells his readers:
The Internet is treif, but you might as well see a good Dvar Torah while you're here. Heh.

I actually found that one through another blog upon which I stumbled tonight.

Speaking of blogs that have newly come to my attention, this one has become a regular read for me. I think the blogosphere is at its best when it's used as a medium for giving support and advice. I think it's wonderful when you're given the opportunity to have meaningful conversations that can't or won't take place in your real life for whatever reason.