Monday, April 30, 2012

Complaints

Llama complaint, tonight at bedtime:
"It's not fair that you and Abba and Srochel had so much time together without me!!!!!!!! (wail)"
Yes, gentle reader, she means before she was born.

So I explain to them both how I too am a youngest and why I think it's great to be the youngest even though I had less time with my parents, and how there are good and bad sides to everything in life.

Sroch, whispered to me, as she patted her stomach where apparently she stores her feelings:
"Mommy, you hurt my feelings by saying you like being the youngest, because I don't want to have a little sister, I want to be the littlest!"

More bedtime complaints:
"You cuddled with her for so long and you didn't cuddle me as long!"
and
"She put her hand / foot / head / doll / sippy cup on my bed!"
and
(from Sroch) "I need my own room because she's always breathing and then I don't get enough sleep!"
and
(four minutes into a five minute story) "I don't like that story, so you need to tell me a different one."
or
(after a song they asked me to sing) "I didn't mean THAT one! Sing a DIFFERENT one, one I like!"
and my favorite, clearly from Sroch:
"I can't be quiet because it hurts my throat when I'm quiet!"

This is one of the reasons that, secretly, in my deepest of duodenums, I don't want to give up Llama's pacifier: because, you see, it prevents (most) speech at bedtime. 

Llama on the move

Sroch on the move

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Daffffffff KESHER!

There's been a lot of talk in one of the Jewish magazines lately about the 'daf kesher' (literally 'connection page') kids bring home from school full of what they learned that week and what's going on.

I've read absolutely none of the talk.

BUT we love ours. We read through them with the kids, and it's an awesome gauge of what the kids are being taught and what they absorb.

What Llama learned last week
That there was a man Akiva who was a tzadik but didn't know alef bais who went to learn with the little kinderlach in the cheder and then he became a big rabbi and lived in a little house. Now during sfira we are sad and don't cut hair or have weddings. We like to sing the Rabbi Akiva happy song.

She also learned counting.

What Sroch learned last week
Akiva was a tzadik who was a shepherd and saw water flowing from a wellspring into a rock that had made a hole, and said that the water of Torah can surely pierce the stone of my heart. He was married to Rachel daughter of Kalba Savua and they lived in a tiny house with only straw, no furniture, and she sent him to learn and he learned with the children who made fun of him and he told his wife they made fun of him and so she decorated a donkey with flowers and brought it to the market every day and everyone made fun but every day a little less a little less until they didn't even notice it at all so she sent him back to school with the little kids and he moved up and up and up until he was the head of the whole yeshiva. Then he came back to Rachel and she kissed his feet and he said all my Torah and my students Torah is because of you and then he gave her a fancy piece of Yerushalaim shel zahav jewelry ("Abba, if they were so poor and all he did was learn Torah, how did he have money to buy her jewelry?").

She also learned the letter פ and ף and more agricultural laws of Israel (including peah, leket and more) than I knew at 16.



BLI AYIN HARA!

Friday, April 27, 2012

Erev shabbos




I will try not to continue with the last post's theme and talk about how getting them to help is more work than doing the jobs ourselves would be... BUT truth is, they do a great, great job, and (this is how I know I'm old) ONE DAY THEY'LL THANK ME FOR IT.

Maybe.

Good shabbos all!

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Sweetness

One of the unexpected benefits of children growing up is that they actually... grow up.

We put a lot of emphasis on feelings in our house, as our parenting is heavily Faber and Mazlish inspired. Lots of "tell me how you feel," lots of "use words!!!" and lots of expressing ourselves to communicate ("If that gets spilled on the carpet I'm going to be a very angry mommy!"). What's deliciously fun is when the kids get it, and not only learn to express themselves, but learn to respect others' feelings.

Two cases in point just from today, but thank God, there are tons of examples:

Expression example: Llama was quite upset, because SHE wanted to push the 1 in the elevator (yes, sometimes we take the elevator up to the first floor where we live. Don't judge), and I said she could - and then by reflex I pushed it myself (yes I have a reflect to push the 1 in the elevator to go up to the first floor where we live. Keep not judging). So I apologized, but she still was quite upset.

We got to our floor, and she gets out of the elevator and collapses in a wave of outrage and tears. I still apologize, but to no avail. Finally I ask if she is this upset (holding hands six inches apart) or THIS upset (holding hands three feet apart). She says THIS upset. And again, with my hands off the ground - she was THIS TALL upset. I start opening the door, go in the house, she's still on the welcome mat.

I ask if she wants to draw me how upset she is - she says yes, but then holds her hand about two inches apart and says - "I'm only this mad now." Then again, a hair above the floor, and says "Now just this mad." And then she bounces up and goes off to play.

Respect example: ONE of my children was being, well, obnoxious (hate to use that word, but ya know, sometimes it really IS the best one) and ran out of the room. I was left sitting there and was tempted to scream for her to come back in, blah blah blah. But I decided to try some Jewish guilt (heh heh heh) and instead said very loudly "I am so SAD!! I am so SAD!!" Immediate pitter patter of six year old feet, and Sroch (who was not the offending child) runs in from the other room saying "Oh no, Mommy's sad!" and she gives me a huge cuddle and hug.

The other kid was still being... well... three.



It's fun how they also storehouse things I've told them (Faber / Mazlish discuss parents being a 'storehouse of positive memories' for their children or something like that - basically you should tell your children good stories about when they excelled or were loved or whatnot, so the child can feel good about themselves or feel cherished). I have told Sroch before how when her neshama (soul) was up in shamayim (heaven), SHE chose Abba and I to be her parents (this is from Jewish sources, not something I made up to make it her problem when I do something she doesn't like! All souls choose their parents, but I digress). So Sroch is sitting on the couch with me, and we're having a conversation, and she says, "When I was still just a neshama in shamayim, right I picked you to be my Mommy? I looked at all the mommies in the world, and all of them had something not quite right about them. But everything was right about you and so I picked you to be my mommy!"

And she wonders why I cry all the time. At any rate, I had to blog that so I could cast it up to her when she's a teenager.

Speaking of having conversations, the most frequent conversation-setting in my house is the toilet. Both my girls like company when they are, um, sitting, although lately Sroch has had a penchant for looking at books... Anyway, so I'm sitting with Llama today, who I've told stories about how when she was learning to use the toilet, I'd hold her hand while she pooped (YES, the blog is back to poop stories!). Llama remembers this, and she starts telling me today, "When I was a little baby, Mommy would hold my hand when I pooped so I wouldn't be scared. But I'm not a baby anymore, I am big, so now she doesn't because I poop by myself!" Well, with me sitting next to her, but I guess technically sometimes I'm not there...




Yesterday being Yom Hazikaron and today being Yom Haatzmaut, the girls have missed a day-and-a-half of normal school schedule, so we've been spending a lot of time together. I found this in America as well, where we ALSO had a lot of time together (although with more distractions): being a parent is hard. It is demanding. It is messy. It is occasionally infuriating, mentally taxing, emotionally draining, and I sometimes am way, way, way too happy to close the door on them after bedtime! And yet I love my girlies with every fiber of my soul. I think that recognizing that this job is HARD, though, makes me do it better. Because it wouldn't be hard if it wasn't important. It wouldn't be hard if I didn't care to get it right. And I wouldn't trade an ounce of their capital-P personalities for any amount of blind obedience.

Okay, maybe one or two ounces. But no more!

Jumping in...

The challenge: blog every day (well, 6 outa 7 days/week) for a month.

Boing! Here goes!


Above picture is Llama at the 'trampoline park' (a.k.a. really nice neighbors in Houston who were away for Pesach). So much to tell about our Pesach, the trip, Sroch being six, my birthday today :)... but I'd hate to ruin the suspense.

That, and I'd like to go to bed before 1 AM for the first time in a week.

Sleep: apparently it will cure everything. Or so I'm told. I wouldn't know because, B"H, Sroch is six, as aforementioned. And clearly it's her fault I am up till 2 AM every night on my computer. (Actually, conveniently, 2 AM is when one of them usually decide to emerge looking for a warm, fuzzy thing to curl up with.)

Until tomorrow! Except, shoot, it is tomorrow. Whatever.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Why...

Are babies delicious and wonderful, but small children pretending to be babies can grate your nerves like whoa?