Wednesday, April 9, 2014

A Cheating Post

As some of you may know, I also blog over at Jewish Values Online. Normally, the posts are a mix of semi-serious and snark. However, this week's blog post was something that I think my snark-only ABA readers would enjoy. So, here is the link, if you haven't read it yet.

If you have, I apologize for posting a new post here that's really just an old post from somewhere else.

Is it naptime yet?


Sunday, March 30, 2014

I've Done So Much for Pesach Already!

Read it and weep, ladies. And then save those buckets of tears cuz I'm coming over with celery. (That was trash-talk, Pesach style).

What I've Done So Far:

Thought: Hmmm, Pesach is coming.

Confirmed our Seder guests. (Two of Ariella's favorite aunts - Aunt Gitte and Aunt Talia, plus Uncle Jonathan, who Ariella will begrudgingly allow to come because Aunt Talia doesn't like leaving him alone for the holidays).

Imagined Pesach preparations. In my mind's eye, I saw myself cleaning the kitchen, vacuuming the toy boxes and buying the food. Perfect.

Opened my old Pesach lists. Note: This was not as easy as it sounds! My files were still on my old cmputer, necessitating me to:
1. Find the old computer
2. Find the power cord that matches the old computer
3. Turn on the old computer
4. Realize this is actually the old old computer which does not have my files on it
5. Find the newer old computer (NOC)
6. Find the power cord that matches NOC
7. Turn on NOC
8. Panic because NOC immediately switches to a blank, black screen, with only a non-blinking white cursor line in the upper lefthand corner.
9. Immediately text and then follow up with an urgent call to Donny to solve my problem.
10. Harumph that his only advice is "I dunno, wait a little bit, maybe it needs to charge first for a while."
11. Feel grumbly and enter DPM (deep panic mode) when I envision to make a Pesach sans list.
12. Feel sheepish when it turns out Donny was right. After about a half hour of being plugged it, NOC opened smoothly.
13. Found the files and uploaded them to SkyDrive.
14. Returned to regular "new" computer and printed Shopping List.
15. Perused my master Pesach list of our "haves and have-notes" and breathed a sigh of relief that after 14 years of making Pesach and spending thousands of dollars/shekel, the biggest thing we need this year is another milk bag container.

Pictured cooking the food. The mind's eye is an efficient and productive place.

Tomorrow: We (Read: I) actually buy some food. Mainly to satisfy Nadav's Four Questions: When will you buy things for Pesach, Ima? (Repeat three more times).

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

A Funny Thing(s) Happened on the Way To Doing Homework

Almost every day, my children have homework. So you'd think it would come as no surprise when they return home from school with, you know, homework. You'd think they would be used to it. And yet. Every single time, homework is accompanied by severe bouts of moaning and kvetching, as if they walked into school completely unsuspecting, innocent children, and out of nowhere, HOMEWORK was hurled at them. So each day Doing Homework requires dramatics reminiscent of a prisoner on death row. Or of bath night.

Here's how the homework routine goes:

1. Complain
2. Negotiate for pre-homework TV time
3. Cry
4. Check email on way to getting pencil
5. Pencil is dull. Sharpen pencil.
6. Notice cows have returned to the hills across from our house
7. Go outside to moo at cows
8. Lie on floor
9. Use the bathroom
10. Check Webtop (class website)
11. Complain, louder
12. Cry, with tears
13. Lie in bed
14. Lie on couch
15. Ask for a pre-homework treat
16. Eat treat
17. Ask for a during-homework treat
18. Wash hands because treat made hands sticky/crumby/chocolatey
19. Whine
20. Moan, dramatically
21. Ask what's for dinner
22. Ask when we are having [insert favorite food] for dinner
23. Take out more pencils
24. Drop pencils on floor, breaking tips
25. Sharpen new pencil
26. Notice scratch on the wall
27. Become engrossed in toy/lint/piece of dirt
28. Wail about the unfairness of life in general, and homework assignments in particular
29. Sigh that Nadav is SO LUCKY that he doesn't have homework; ignore Mommy's repeated reminders that when you were 3.5, you also didn't have homework, and when Nadav is in school, he will
30. Sigh and finally take out books
31. Do homework

Note: The time it takes to do #1-30 is about 40,000x the amount of time it takes to do #31.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

A Thing is a-Coming

Fellow moms (and yes, I am addressing this post to the moms, because this is my blog and I'll stereotype if I want to), next Shabbat is one of Those weeks. You know the ones I'm talking about. It's one of the Get Your Kids to Shul on Time Definitely Not Too Late But Also Not Too Early for [a Thing.]

There are generally 4 categories of "a Thing":

1. Shofar blowing on Rosh Hashana

2. Listening to Parshat Zachor 

3. Kol Hanearim. While you've got wiggle room if you want to make it for hakafot (there are seven of the dang things, after all), you've got to time your shul-going just right to make it for all-the-kids-under-the-tallit-sniff-sniff kol hanearim. Which is after ... hakafah #7? (Why do I never remember?????) And woe unto you if you get to shul and hear, "Ad kan hakafah gimmel! Gimmel!" You've got a long way to go, baby. (And Daddy's shoulders can only handle about half a hakafah these days.)

3. Miscellaneous - including but not limited to: Hearing your son do A'anim Zemirot, (especially when the shul does it in the middle of davening and not at the end, very tricky) and candy throwing for bar mitzvah/Shabbat Chatan (especially when you are the ones BRINGING the candy and you start walking down the train tracks on Emek Refaim to get to Uncle Jonathan's shul and you realize 10 minutes in that you are walking the WRONG WAY down the tracks, and when you announce that fact in a shrieky sort of way, your daughter says, mildly, "Yeah, I thought we were, but I figured you knew what you were doing." I mean, sheesh, after 10.5 years of parenting, shouldn't she know by now that Mommy never knows what she's doing? Especially if it involves hairdos, conjugating numbers and directions?)

Anyway, the point is, you have to get to shul, and you certainly don't want to miss the Thing, but if you get there too early, you run the risk of blowing through all of your candy/toy cars/crackers/arm muscles during the Boring Pre-Thing Things (aka "prayer") and then during the actual Thing you have a kvetchy, bored, suddenly very LOUD child on your hands. And you wonder, once again, why no one has invented Shabbat-friendly Mind-Texting so your husband can alert you from shul. (You've got Mind Mail! "Almost at end of layning. Come now.") Or maybe a shul crier. (No, not my 3 year old). You know, someone who stands on the rooftop announcing loudly what they're up to inside.

Just this past week, Nadav and I tried to go to shul for his favorite part: the end. My heart sank as I walked in and through the looking glass saw everyone inside seated. Because you know what seated means. Seated means speech, which means it is a good - I mean bad - chunk of time before shul is over.

Anyway. So as for me, well, I'm just gearing up for this week's Thing. My bags are packed, my arms are ripped. Wish me luck and the magic of perfect timing. And if you are working on Mind Mail - hurry the heck up!!!




Wednesday, February 19, 2014

It's Award Time!

The blog that brought you "Lowering Your Standards Every Day" now brings you ...

A Parenting Award!

Qualifications: You must have a child.

To win: Is your child alive? Fed? (Clean is optional but definitely not required).

CONGRATULATIONS! YOU DESERVE A PARENTING AWARD!

The award is chocolate or candy (for you), directly from my Secret Candy Hiding Stash. (Where is that hiding place? I can't tell you but let's just say Mommy isn't reaching for the cleaning spray five times a day.) Come by any time to claim your prize.

No need to bring alive, non-hungry (despite what they claim) child for proof. I believe you.



Tuesday, January 28, 2014

The Trouble With Tongues

With thanks to Rachel, who reminded me that this insane little episode in our lives would make a great blog post.

So you know how preschoolers are generally an easygoing, laid back crowd? With their "Sure, Mom, no problem. Whatever makes it easier for you" attitude?

Some things you may hear from the 3 or 4-year-old set:

"Oh we are out of my favorite cereal? No worries. I'll eat something else."
"I'll wear that. Of course."
"He can go first this time."
"You're right. It IS too dark and too cold to go to the park now. Perhaps another time?"
"Please."
"Thank you."
"You're right I DO have to pee."
"I understand. I can't have that toy right now/eat cake for dinner/fly to America tonight/will a persimmon to appear in the fridge, using the formidable powers of my mind."
"Here - have some time with my toy. Sharing is awesome."
"Let me give you some privacy in there. I can wait."

Or, as we used to say back in the '90s: NOT!

But as crazy as your preschooler is, your bilingual preschooler is EVEN crazier! And I'm not talking about mangled sentences like, "Ani rotzeh show you mashehu cool." Or confusing "rhymes" with "translations." (No, "blue" and "kachol" do NOT rhyme.)

So last night, we had hot dogs for dinner. Nadav excitedly ran to the table when I announced "hot dogs are ready!" but then glanced disgustedly down at this plate. He was not, he announced, going to eat this plebian "naknikiah." He was promised HOT DOGS. I tried, in many various forms, to explain that a "naknikiah" is a "hot dog" in Hebrew. They mean THE SAME. They are THE SAME THING. No, he insisted. Mommy is holding out on delectable hot dogs -- how fun do they sound???? It is probably the most delicious thing ever! -- and trying to appease me with this sad, limp little "naknikiah."

Well, he did the only reasonable thing left to do: Ate the hot dog, realized how much he loved it and sent his compliments to the chef.

No, fool! As if! Are you even paying attention? He OF COURSE threw himself down on the floor with such force I was afraid there was going to be a Nadav-shaped hole in our floor and wailed. WAILED I tell you. Tears, streaming. The kind we save for "Mommy and Daddy are going out for a little here is an unsuspecting teenager to take care of you" or someone washing netilat yadayim before him. I offered him different dinner options (cereal, natch)  but he was not to be swayed. He was going to have HOT DOGS or die trying.

Finally, Ariella was able to calm him, using the age-old trick of offering him something completely random and irrelevant ("Do you want to rest in Ariella's bed?"). This shocked him, mid-wail, effectively taking the "outing" of his "shouting," leaving us only with the "sh."

He then agreed to eat cereal for dinner.

I was never more grateful than I was at that moment that "cornflakes," in Hebrew, is "cornflakes."

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

A New Blog (Donny's) and a New Downward Spiral (Mine)

First, I would like to wish us all a mazel tov on expanding the By Accident family. You will notice on the blogroll a brand new blog: Donny's "Investing by Accident." Come for the snark, stay for the sound financial advice!

In other news, I am catching up on my parenting magazines (aka "You're Doing It Wrong.") My mother-in-law is here from America and she always very kindly brings me a bundle of magazines. Yay! That's the good news. The bad news is that it turns out I am even a more terrible parent than I originally thought. Apparently my motto of "Lowering your standards, one day at a time" does not put you on the fast track for winning parenting accolades.

For example, this nugget of wisdom: "Instead of sticking the stuffed animals in the washing machine, we let Kaytleen take them into the bath with her. The toys get clean and Kaytleen has fun!" 
Wait a minute. I'm supposed to be washing them? On a regular basis? And the stuffed animals too? Craaaaaaap.

Also, I am so, so losing at the Food Art contest. To encourage my children to eat a wide variety of nutritious, healthy, colorful foods (and no, Fruity Pebbles do NOT meet the criteria, I'm told), I am supposed to craft cucumbers into lilypads and cauliflower into fluffy clouds and fish into, I don't know, fish? and spaghetti squash into a wholesome, nourishing noose so I can slowly hang myself.

Would the parenting powers that be, do you think, approve of "Hot dog is a protein and ketchup is a vegetable" night(s)?

Sigh. I didn't think so, either.

Anyway, as I bravely continue my downward spiral, parenting-wise, neither making cozy homemade felt animals nor helping my children develop creative zeal nor creating a Gratitude Garland nor being nicer to myself by "freshening up my surroundings" nor sculpting my salad nor doing anything with the scandalous-sounding "decoupage" (me, I try to stay covered up) nor Being Loving but Also at the Same Time Firm (oh so that's the trick???) nor -- oooh what's this item? "Cuddle up in New Pajamas?" That I can get on board with. Parenting magazines, I knew I always liked you. Let me change and I'll be right back.