Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Parenting: A Confession

Here it is, folks: I have no parenting philosophy.

Before we had kids, I never really stopped to consider what "parenting" meant. We had some vague notions about not getting much sleep, telling little people to "Brush your teeth!" and going on family vacations. Mostly the immediate pre-baby time was spent on stuff; namely, staring in a bewildered manner at the aisles and aisles of stuff at Buy Buy Baby, which ended with me running out of the store in tears and Donny standing there helplessly, holding the list of Stuff You Must Have Lest Your Child End Up a Tattooed Juvenile Delinquent Who Never Brushes His Teeth, wondering, for the love of all that is covered in spit up, what the hell are "oh-nay-sies." (Onesies, is the answer. Have I blogged about this story before? It seems vaguely familiar, but I couldn't remember and anyway, you've gotten this far, might as well finish.)

And then our children came, one by one, like the ants, and we began the whole process of child-rearing, sticking close to our non-philosophy philosophy. Which meant that we basically fumbled through, hoping for the best and keeping a sharp eye out for tattoos. I never even read a real parenting book, except for the "What to Expect" variety, which tells you things like, "This month your child will learn to clap!" and if your child learned to clap last month, you feel smug, and if the month passes, clap-free, you panic and break into hysterics, envisioning heartbreaking scenes of your child sitting at their child's Siddur Party, banging pathetically on a tambourine while all the other parents are madly applauding.

Oh, also, I've read the chapters of my own book on parenting, "Leave me Alone So I Can Read the People Magazines from Three Months Ago. Or the Back of a Cereal Box. Please." (My expectations have gotten lower.) 

Anyway, I just figured this was how all parents raised their children. But as I have met more and more parents, it seems that I am in the minority. Lots of parents have parenting philosophies, which include very definite ideas of how they do or do not want to raise their children. They even read books about it. And have discussions. And post things on forums. And sound generally intelligent and non-fumbly.

So my point here is: Am I alone? Do you have a Philosophy or are you a Wing-It-er? Should I put more thought into this whole parenting thing other than idly wondering how much longer it is till bedtime? Tell me your thoughts. Just to try to keep them to cereal-box-length. 

Friday, November 16, 2012

War Stuff


Here we are again, at war. Though it's not a war. It's an "operation." But we are "at operation" does not have the same ring.

My Tired friend was lamenting how exhausting it is to constantly explain the situation (via, FB, Twitter, etc) to the masses. Especially the masses that think like this lovely CNN newscaster. See her at her objective journalistic finest during an interview with Mark Regev, the spokesman for the Prime Minister! (PS: I am employing the use of sarcasm when I say "lovely," "objective," "journalistic" and "finest.")

But Yaakov has it all figured out, Tired. So you can turn to him as your expert commentator during these troubled times.

Me: Rocket attacks from Gaza, Israel fighting back, etc etc.

Ariella: Isn't Gaza part of Israel??


Ariella, continued: Why are they doing that?

Yaakov, in his most exasperated, I-can't-BELIEVE-I-have-to-explain-this-to-you way: It's like in Power Rangers! They are the BAD GUYS. And since [Yaakov-speak for "except"] they are people, not monsters.


May God give strength to the Good Guys and protect us from the Bad Guys. Shabbat shalom.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Actual Thing That Happened To Me

So we've discussed my memory problems before. At least, I think we have.

Here's a new story for the annals:

Scene: I am in the kitchen, slicing apples for Yaakov's lunch.

[Open drawer.] Hmmm, no plastic sandwich bags left. Lemme go to the cabinet in the laundry room to get another box.

[Walk to laundry room. As I open cabinet, I see the stuff sitting in the washer.]

Oh, whoops, I never switched this laundry before. I'll put it in the dryer now.

[Switch laundry. Turn to leave laundry room.]

[Annoyed.] Geeze, who left this cabinet door open! I could have hurt myself!

[Back in kitchen, faced with Yaakov's apples.]

Hmmm, no plastic sandwich bags left. Lemme go to the cabinet in the laundry - OHHH!!! [Plastic bags. Door left open. It allll comes together. Is it too late for another cup of coffee?]

Monday, November 5, 2012

Ariella, Meet Email

But first, a Language lesson:

Ariella: Did you ever play wallball?

Me: Sure. 

Ariella: We play it during hafsakah.

Me: [curious] How do you say "wallball" in Hebrew?

Ariella: Woohl-boohl


So I got Ariella her own email address. She was bugging me to, and because it didn't involve candy or me getting into a car, I said yes. 

This has led to some interesting and surprising conversation. Interesting, 'cuz you know, I don't really understand the Internets myself, so it makes it hard to explain to someone else. Me, I'm still trying to figure out magnets. And surprising, because she is so tech-savvy in other ways. (See her Powerpoint presentation for Zaidy's birthday. 30 slides, transitions, pictures, sounds, you name it.)

We had previously discussed the difference between closing the browser vs. closing a tab. (OMG! You got rid of everything I was working on!!!!) We also discussed the importance of using different browsers for email, so we won't be constantly logging each other out.

Other questions about the mythical, wondrous Land of the 'Net:

1. "Now that I have email, will I also have tabs?" (Email is on a tab. It does not come with them.)

2. "I went to Webtop [her class website] and my email disappeared!" (You need to open up a new tab if you want to be on two websites at once.)

3. [I taught her how to ar-chive - as she calls it - her emails. For example, she could archive her introductory emails from Google, and then if she wants to find them later, just type in "google" in the search box.]
"Mommy, I typed in 'google' but I can't find that email from Bubby!" (Cue discussion about search terms.)

4. And my favorite: "When will I get spohm?" (Rhymes with bomb)

(Fret not, my dear, the Hon. Mr. Thembelani T. Nxes, from the South African Ministry of Works and Housing, is hurtling through cyberspace to an inbox near you.)