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?"
"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.