Thursday, August 22, 2013

Next Safety

Are you tired of answering endless variations of the eternal summer question: "What are we going to do now?" (Also known as, "What are we eating for dinner?" and "Where are we going?")

Fellow parents, suffer no more! With "Next Safety," you are protected from ever answering this question again!

Next safety is easy to use. If you've ever played Dodgeball, or its Israeli equivalent, the inexplicably named "Chayei Sara," then you're halfway there! Just like head safety protects your head, next safety protects your sanity.

Here's how it works:

Kid: What are we dooooooooing todaaaaaay?

Parent: Next safety! [This gives you automatic immunity from having to answer the question.]

Kid: Grumble, grumble [Which is what they've been saying all summer, and, let's face it, probably would have replied to anything you would have said in response to their question.]

The reason it works, at least in our family, is because the parents really don't know! Eventually, when we are doing the activity - it could be hiking, swimming, or "Yes you can watch another Curious George," depending on what point of the summer we are in - everyone will have, at long last, the answer!

What the children can ask, as often and freely as they want, is "What are we doing right at this very moment?"


Kid: What are we doing right at this very moment?

Parent: We are eating breakfast. OR
We are hiking. OR
We are driving. OR
We are threatening to turn this car around right now.

Because I love you all, I am sharing this fine piece of parenting advice with you, my Loyal Readers. I encourage you to implement it early and often.

A good day to you, and god luck in whatever it is that you are doing. (Don't worry, I won't ask you what it is.)

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

More #MomFails

While we are on the subject of #momfails, here are some more parenting things I truly suck at:

1. Pretty girly things
When Ariella was little, God and His minions were looking down at me--it was a slow day--and lo, they said to each other, aghast, "Behold, but this mother knoweth not how to tie a bow so that it doth hang flatteth. Nor does she bear knowledge of French braids, nor has she divined the secrets to making pigtails eveneth on both sides. It is hereby ordained that her next children be male, for though they may set their pee to wander freely all over the bathroom, lo, at leasteth their hair may be kept short and their clothing free of boweth, flat or otherwise."

2. Teaching by example
To the kids: "No, you can't watch another Power Rangers."
To Donny: "More 'Community?' Why not?"

To the kids: "Have an apple."
To myself: "Time for a Snickers!"

To the kids: "Get off the computer!"
To myself: " I can get back on."

3. Watching homemade kid-performed plays
"Mommy Mommy watch our show!" has got to be one of the most dreaded 5 words in the Momiverse. (After "Mommy? I don't feel - BLARGHGHGHG!" and "Promise you won't be mad?") Omigod. The shows. I can't stand them. They are bad! Just bad! I don't care that they are using their imagination, being creative, blah blah blah. These shows SUCK! And you have to sit there the whole time and look interested and don't you DARE clap before it's over, which is exactly what you did, hoping that if you clapped, it would be over. The plots of these "shows" make "Keeping up with the Kardashians" look like highbrow drama. In our house, they always involve Yaakov in one of my old hats, mid-show shouting of stage directions, many, many fight sequences and shooty noises and Ariella stomping around as both star and type-A director.

Also, there is yelling at inattentive parents (if, as the show net is rapidly closing in on you, you should be so lucky as to get caught in the trap with a friend, don't think you can spend time talking to him/her. You will incur the wrath of the temperamental starlets. Try discreetly texting instead. Unless it's Shabbat, as it often is. Then, you can only suffer in silence, dreaming of a peaceful land filled with "Community" and Snickers bars.)

And these shows are Always. So. Long. (You: "Great jo-" [attempted standing ovation] Kids: "NOOOOO! WE AREN'T DONE YET!")

As afternoon activities go, this one may tie with Chutes and Ladders for Parenting Things That Make Me Contemplate Grabbing the Wrench from the Conservatory and Whacking Myself Senseless.

However, in case you think I am bad at all things parenting, here are some things I excel at:

1. Macaroni and cheese. It's really good.

2. Puzzles. I love puzzles. And I have passed that on to my children. And when I do puzzles with them I reach deep into a well of patience I didn't even know I had and it allows me to say "Try turning the piece around" for the millionth time and not even think about grabbing the piece out of their hand and putting it in myself. Well, maybe I think about it a little, but I never do it and I love watching them figure it out for themselves.

Which is why, on a long Shabbat afternoon, when I see their gazes wandering to the dress-up box and little director's chairs light up in Ariella's eyes, I shout enthusiastically, "Who wants to do a puzzle?????" And if I don't get a response, I can bribe with candy.

There is always candy.