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Sunday, December 2nd, 2012
12:53 am - A shopping note from the DS
Maiyan's shopping note 11-2012
Learned that from his Abba. Very sweet. Of course, considering that the shopping list is for the nearly life-sized Noah's Ark that I'm helping him build for school.....

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Thursday, November 15th, 2012
9:29 pm - Hi again
It's been along time since I posted, but not for lack of interesting DS related items. I just wish I could remember more of them. 3rd grade is proving to be a lot of work; for me as well as for him. The amount of homework he gets is nuts. Pray God they won't be giving him so much more each year.
One nice thing: the other day, he announced that I was the coolest Ima ever. Why? I asked him? Well, he said, no one else's mother was a spy and a rabbi. I suppose this is very likely true, even if the kind of spy I was didn't really have anything to do with the kind of spy he's thinking of, and I did try to explain that. Still, I'm not likely to remain cool long, so I'm enjoying it while I can.
Also, I get to be the world's most excellent Ima when I make black beans and rice for dinner. Which is nice.

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Thursday, July 7th, 2011
6:49 pm - growing up
DS just returned from his first overnight experience at camp: first night away from his father and me ever. Since he is the Most Secretive Child On Earth (TM), I have no idea about anything he did or whether he liked it (and one can't ask, because that triggers, "I hated it" and then he remembers it that he did -forever- but, he did ask on the way home if he could sleep outside tonight.

Did you sleep outside last night?

No, we slept in the bunks.

Oh, how was that?


Really? Why?

Well, everyone was making noise and I couldn't fall asleep. And they kept telling me to be quiet!

Hmmm, that doesn't sound fair. Why were they telling you to be quiet?

Well, maybe I made some noise... but not as much as them. Only between one and six words! And they kept telling me to be quiet....

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Thursday, May 19th, 2011
11:38 pm - Riddle of the day
Courtesy of the now seven-year-old DS:

How many seven-year-olds does it take to screw in a light bulb?
Two: One to screw the light bulb in, the other to talk about poop, pee and farts.

Shows a certain sophisticated level of self-awareness, I guess....

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Tuesday, April 26th, 2011
10:38 pm - yay, me!
Super flattered to be noted by one of my favorite authors - a couple of ways: http://coffeeem.livejournal.com/180170.html

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Sunday, April 24th, 2011
5:01 pm - Passover joke from the DS
He claims he actually invented this one himself; I believe him, just because I can't imagine this coming from Ranger Rick magazine, which is where the rest of the barrage of chicken jokes came from:

Why are there fewer chickens on Pesach? Because they went into exile (eggs-ile, get it?)

Actually, in retrospect, I'm surprised there were no guillotine or zamboni of death jokes, as he spent Friday with Goofgirl....

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Wednesday, February 16th, 2011
9:07 am - cool head, too
My parents were coming to visit my DS last Sunday. After a little playing they were planning to go out to lunch, but unfortunately, my 81 year old father tripped on uneven brick and fell. My mother and DS were with him (I was at work). It was apparently my DS who was the one who was cool-headed enough to say, "Let's go get Abba ("father"), he'll know what to do."
And so they went to get my DH, who drove my Dad to the hospital.
Impressed by my son's cool head in an emergency.
(For those interested, baruch HaShem, my father did not break anything. He's on kumadin, so the bleeding took a long time to stop and he spent a couple of days in the hospital. He's in pain, and had to have a couple stitches, but recovery should be quick).

current mood: thankful

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8:56 am - Day school dollars at work
My DS, was recently having a visit with my parents, who were attempting to coax him to go outside and play. He did not want to go outside (it was cold. Sheesh, when I was a kid, you just got tossed out and tough to you, unless it was hailing) and told my mother "I'm like Jacob, a man of the tents"
(Genesis 25 for the less versed)
Glad to see it's paying off....

current mood: amused

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Sunday, December 19th, 2010
5:16 pm - Parental nonsense
My DS is learning to write, and he wants to have some journal entries with me, so we're going to type in a poem, that I thought of and he thought was funny, while we were reading a story today about a stray dog and the people who adopt him.

Happy dog dance
Faling down panttss

current mood: Proud, of course

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Monday, October 25th, 2010
7:45 am - many sharp objects....
An excellent summation of Mr. Adorable's last playdate with Goofgirl (with excellent illustrative photo).....
Oddly, this is not actually a game that he plays with any other child, male or female. No,this is reserved exclusively for Goofgirl.

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Tuesday, October 5th, 2010
10:10 pm - What is at the top of the stairs, anyway?
What could be better than a visit for a playdate with Goofgirl (and getting to hangout with FatherGoof)? A playdate in which the words, "Don't forget the sword!" (utered by Goofgirl to my DS, who was dragging it up the stairs) feature prominently.

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Sunday, October 3rd, 2010
8:15 pm - Spirit Day
Originally posted by neo_prodigy at Spirit Day

It’s been decided. On October 20th, 2010, we will wear purple in honor of the 6 gay boys who committed suicide in recent weeks/months due to homophobic abuse in their homes at at their schools. Purple represents Spirit on the LGBTQ flag and that’s exactly what we’d like all of you to have with you: spirit. Please know that times will get better and that you will meet people who will love you and respect you for who you are, no matter your sexuality. Please wear purple on October 20th. Tell your friends, family, co-workers, neighbors and schools.

RIP Tyler Clementi, Seth Walsh (top)
RIP Justin Aaberg, Raymond Chase (middle)
RIP Asher Brown and Billy Lucas. (bottom)

REBLOG to spread a message of love, unity and peace.

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Monday, September 13th, 2010
7:34 pm - Tooth Fairy addendum
So, in discussing this matter of my being the tooth fairy according to several parents in my congregation with some friends (see yesterday's post), two people with whom I talked about it, sort of snorted and pointed out that I'd been running away from being a chasid for far too long, and this was just proof that I needed to give in to my true chasidische soul: as we know, many of the great rabbis of the talmud, as well as many chasidic rebbes were known as miracle workers: Some could dispel dybbuks, some could tell where your soul came from, some could cause rain to fall, some could create golems. But my great power is to collect teeth.

I do believe I'll be spending Purim dressed up with wings and a wand this year. And if anyone asks, it's a talmudic power, not a chasidic one.

current mood: talmudically miraculous

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Sunday, September 12th, 2010
9:00 pm - A New Character
I forgot to mention, the stories of Mustang Fiderlo and his sidekick Minkie the Ferret, now have a new character: the mad scientist: Preposterous Eccemoogi. He's a friend of Mustang's.
He has featured most recently in a series of stores spurred by a fragment of overheard conversation. As we were leaving someplace (I can't quite remember where) we over heard something, which DS interpreted as "No Coyotes on Thursday."

So, many of our recent stories (except of course for the holiday stories, DS has a rule that if it's a holiday, stories must be about the holiday, and since it was Rosh HaShanah...) have been somehow related to the idea of, or titled, "No Coyotes on Thursday."
In one of them Mustang Fiderlo and Minkie go out west and rescue the Coyotes from being buried underground by irate small animals who are tired of hearing them howl all the time.

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8:53 pm - A sweet Rosh Hashanah
As we were eating the other day, DS and I were talking about being satisfied with what one has (it started out in terms of the food on our plates - he had offered me some of his food, as he is wont to do, and I had declined, explaining that I had what I wanted); as our conversation continued, he thoughtfully noted (while eating his madras lentils) that he was satisfied with what he had, because he really only needed three things, Ima, Abba and Minkie (his blankie).

I'm sure that will only last until he sees a lego he wants, but still, its nice to think that somewhere in there, it's all sinking in.

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8:43 pm - Murder, betrayal, and the tooth fairy
Every year, as part of my rabbinic responsibilities during the Days of Awe (Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur), I give one of the sermons at the synagogue at which I work. These sermons tend to be a rather big deal, because these days are the ones at which even Jews who have pretty much lost any other attachment to Jewish community life come out. This year, I gave the sermon on the second day of Rosh Hashanah (Which makes it somewhat less of a big deal - hard to predict weekday crowds of second day of the holiday. Technically, one is supposed to not work, but most people would rather skip a day off than spend the day at shul; who can fathom?).

Anyhow, the topic of the sermon was based on the day's torah portion: the Akedah, or "The binding of Isaac" - you know that story where Abraham drags his son up a mountain and almost murders him? Isaac is saved in the nick of time by God, who is the one who put him in the position in the first place, which makes the whole story rather difficult to do anything sensible with.

But I gave it a go. Instead of focusing on the story itself, I focused on the aftermath: what happened when Abraham and Isaac went down the mountain. That is, in fact, more interesting than one might think. From a close reading of the text, one sees that in fact, Abraham goes down by himself, and there's no evidence that he and Isaac ever speak again. The midrash says that Sarah dies of horror at Abraham's actions (there are several variations, one in which Isaac tells her himself what his father did), but even in the plain text it's clear that Abraham and Sarah are living apart at the time of her death.

My point (I may post the sermon elsewhere later, but for now just go with the summary) was about what the reason for the Akedah - for betrayal by a loved one, and maybe even the necessity for "betrayal" by God- might be. To do so, I mentioned a study that came out last year. The study was about the lies that parents tell their children. I used as my example the one about the existence of a tooth fairy, pointing out that my own son knows that I am the tooth fairy, and is pretty blunt about telling others so.

After I finished the sermon, the other rabbi got up and said that he had noticed people looking concerned about the tooth fairy thing, that it was okay if people told their children that there was a tooth fairy, that people had been looking worried at that point, and that in his house, he himself told his children that there was a tooth fairy and it was fine for different families to do things differently.
I totally trust my colleague, and if he felt he had to mention it, it meant that people really were looking very worried.

At the end of the services that day, no fewer than five parents came up to me, leant over and said that it was a great sermon, but that they had told their child who had been in the room and listening, that *I* (Rabbi Alana) was the tooth fairy.

So, let me get this straight, you brought your young children in to hear a sermon about near murder for no obvious reason, betrayal of a child by his father, and about betrayal of people by other people they love, and what you're worried about is that your child might not believe in the tooth fairy anymore?

And your solution is to pick up on the mention that my child knows that I'm the tooth fairy, so you tell them that I'm the tooth fairy?

Need I mention that I went into my office and laughed myself nearly ill?

current mood: Incredulous

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Tuesday, August 31st, 2010
6:07 pm - Makes it worthwhile
Listening to the radio in the car on the way back from peach picking (and a long day of many many tiresome errands -to an adult, let alone a six-year-old), some song floats the phrase, "I don't know who my friends are..."
and a little voice pipes up from the back seat, "I know who they are, they're you and Abba and also [followed by a short list of friends from school] How could they not know who their friends are?"

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Sunday, August 15th, 2010
11:47 pm - Tonight's discussions
Since we have recently been living in the all-fart channel, there hasn't really been much funny to report, but even the most monotonous topic sometimes er, propels forth a few gems, sunh as tonight's:

"When you fart, brain cells fly out of your butt!"
But there's more, as we shared a ride home from a visit to friends', Goofgirl and the DS engaged each other in the inevitable round of fart discussion, which ended up something like this:
DS: I've got your nose, I've got your nose!
Goofgirl (menacingly): Fabric! Fabric! Fabric!

Luckily, before we wandered off into an entirely Daliesque conversation, they began discussing how Goofgirl was going to vomit at camp the next day, and DS would have to come and clean it up. Well, variety is the spice of life, they say.

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Thursday, July 15th, 2010
9:59 pm - Assault and Pepper
The other day, DS and I were laying in bed, him getting ready to go to sleep, reading a book, in which one character called another "Sugar."
DS asks, "Why does she call her 'Sugar?'"
I explained that it was an endearment, the same way I sometimes call him "Sweet potato."
I also noted that later in the story, the mom asks the child to give her some sugar, which really means to give her a kiss or be nice to her. To demonstrate, I said to DS, "Now you can give me some sugar."
DS said, "Okay, then you give me some salt."
"What's that?" I asked (he's in a no-kissing phase as you might have guessed).
"You know," he said, "Like an assault!" and hit me lightly to demonstrate.....

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Tuesday, May 4th, 2010
8:49 am - The Strangeness of modern childhood
I suppose every generation had some version of this. Still, it's peculiar to me when my son begins a game, he often does so by explaining the "rules" (which change to his benefit as we go along. That much he has in common with children of all ages and generations) then saying press this (this might be any sort of object) to begin the game. Then (for example): When you see the white letters showing, the game is finished installing and we are ready to play (holding a baseball bat with writing on the sides, and turning it slowly until I can see the letters).

Okay, I get the message: Abba lets him play way too much on the computer - yeah, I knew *that* already.

But he also knows the theme songs to all sorts of television shows. Shows, which to my knowledge, he has never seen, since for all intents and purposes, we don't watch tv at home - we do watch movies and sometimes Abba downloads a show (usually shows about things like how x is made or the like) but never cartoons, as far as I know. So he must begetting all of this stuff from other kids at school. I guess it goes to prove what I've always said, you can't really keep your kids from learning all sorts of rotten things once they go to school with other kids. This is pretty minor stuff (actually, I couldn't really care less about most of it) but I always laugh when I hear people talking about how their kid was gendered from the very beginning because they don't push gender roles in their family, so it MUST be that it's from birth, and I'm like, "Sure, your son loves cars genetically (I"d love to see the inheritance mechanism for that), not because he sees boys on television who play with trucks, and he hates pink because it's inherent, not because television tells him directly - or tells his friends who tell him- that pink is a girly color and boys are supposed to hate girly things.

The chuckle of course is that pink used to (prior to WWI) be considered the boys' color, because it was related to red, which is "active" and blue the girls' color because it was "calm." Yes, I'm sure that turnaround was somehow evolutionary, too.
All this other stuff is exactly the same. When DS was little, he used to have longish hair, and without exception, people used to think he was a girl. They also responded to him as a girl, and interpreted everything he did as girly, if not corrected (which I never did, not seeing anything wrong with people thinking he was a girl - what's wrong with being a girl? - although his grandparents did correct people, but I couldn't get them to stop). So, at first, he used to do a lot more (girly" things. But when he got to school, and the other kids started setting him "right" about about gender, he began to hate pink and the like. He also used to play pretty much equally with girls and boys, and not care much about it, now he still plays with girls that he knew in preschool just fine, but is not interested in making friends with girls. I find that rather interesting, if sad. Of course, he's not all that outgoing in general, so it may just be an expression of that, too.

Anyhow, I've digressed quite a bit from the beginning, which was actually just a humorous observation about the way he plays.I have to go now, the game has finished installing....

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