Thursday, September 13, 2012

Happy New Year!

Well. I was going to blog about a traumatic school books experience, but that seems so two weeks ago. The trauma is still continuing, due to the unfortunate combination of me needing books + book stores not having books + publishers unsure if they will even print the books. But it's a less intense trauma, since now I've simply accepted that there won't be books, and that's that.

Then I was going to write a post about how to make the perfect round challah, except that I don't ever bake challah.

Then I thought about writing something inspiring and spiritual, but then I remembered this isn't that kind of blog.


Before this Eat, Pray, Eat fest begins (and yes, let's be honest, it starts tomorrow), I will take my head out of my freezer (I spend a lot of time there, trying to rearrange Existing Things so New Things will fit, and ohmigod why is there so much damn frozen pita in here) and wish all my Readers a shana tova, filled with health and happiness, of course, but also quality ice cream, minimal doctor visits, plenty of coffee, friends you can dump your kids with last minute when something Unexpected comes up (Momz--I see the joke coming a mile away), days that your spouse comes home early, speedy Internet, very many "Awww, my kids are so cute!" moments and very few "AHHHHH my kids are insane monsters!" moments, paired-up socks, warm chocolate chip cookies, naps, at least a few times when you think you're going to die laughing, merrily humming appliances ... and people you love (or very much like) to enjoy it all with.

Did I miss anything? Shana tova!

Thursday, September 6, 2012

In Which We Fail

How the smugly have fallen.

I used to be a Tipat Chalav snob. Everyone had horror stories from their well-baby checkups at Tipat Chalav. The baby's too fat, too skinny, too tall, too short, can't hear, hears too well, eats both too much AND not enough. Oh, and may the Lord protect you if your child fails to stack the blocks correctly. 

But I had a great nurse. So I felt very smug, listening to all my poor friends complain, thinking how lucky I was to be placed under Nurse Simcha's care.

And then. We got switched to Nurse Debbie. Nurse Debbie is a dour little woman, who called Nadav "chamud" but without any real feeling. I mean, what kind of person is that?

Look at that face!


So she sees in her notes that Nadav had a speech delay. She asks me some questions about that. I explain: "Surgery....tubes...hearing tests...improvement..." expecting that this is the end of the conversation.

But no. Alas, for the days of Nurse Simcha. Nurse Debbie gets an evil glint in her eyes and pulls out a colorful, laminated card. On it is a picture of a little boy in bed, hugging a teddy bear.

Aha! She's going to ask him "Where's the bear? Where's the boy?" He can totally do this. (Whether he is willing to is a whole nother story, of course.)

But no. It's not a pointing activity. She asks, "Tell me what you see here, Nadav," waving her hand vaguely around the picture.

Nadav and I were thinking the same thing, "For the love of Ben Gurion! Are you hafuching crazy????" Well, Nadav actually smiled serenely, clearly believing this to be some sort of hilarious joke. But I'm sure he was thinking it, on the inside.

She kept asking, changing the words around. "Describe what's here. What do you see? Can you tell me what you see?" Yes, because that's the problem. He just didn't understand you the first time.

Anyway, I started to panic. Was he supposed to be able to answer this open-ended question in full sentences, with a capital and a period? You see, once I have left a child-rearing stage, I have absolutely no recollection of what is supposed to happen at that age. I have to start again with each kid. So I had no idea if Ariella and Yaakov frequently offered elaborate, detailed explanations of colorful laminated cards when they were two.

But as for Nadav, he clearly Failed, which I think makes Nurse Debbie quiver with an excitement normally only felt during SuperPharm's 1 Ploose 1 sale. She made us an appointment for the beginning of November, to assess his speech again. She then asked me what words he does have.

"Does he put two words together? Three?"

"Yes," I responded happily, "he says, 'lo rotzeh et zeh."

"That's only 2 words," she snapped.

Oh boy. None of my other 2-3 word combos counted either, apparently. Even his "DIE!" which he can draw out to as long as four or five words.

I have been humbled. I now join the ranks of all of you inferior parents, raising your inferior children. Let's get together and practice stacking blocks.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

On Hold; In the Meantime, Homework

Well, I started some blogs and finished none. Stay tuned for some rants about schoolbooks and Tipat Chalav. Two things near and dear to my heart. (Not!*)

*Note to youngsters: "Not!" was how we cleverly and wittily--at least, we felt clever and witty when we said it--denoted sarcasm, back in the late '80s.

In the meantime, check out some kitah aleph homework, brought to you by Yaakov. And see for yourselves why Yaakov is awesome, and also why I worry about his school career.