Wednesday, December 16, 2009

nobody expects the spanish inquisition

BET: Who made you, Eema?

EEMA: My eema and abba made me.

ALEPH: No, Hashem made you!

EEMA: [oops.] Yes, Hashem too. There are 3 partners to make a baby: the eema, the abba, and Hashem.

BET: Who made me, Eema?

EEMA: Eema, Abba, and Hashem! [oops.] ...andafewdoctors.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

too long for twitter

Scene: Aleph is trying to tell me something, but I can't understand him no matter how I try. The train needs to go fash? ...flash? ...fashed? ...frashed??? Aleph is in tears by the time I finally get it. FAST. Duh. Of course. I hug him, and talk about how frustrated he must be. Then Aleph pulls himself together.

ALEPH: Now you say something and I won't understand you.

[Note: We've never done this before.]

EEMA: Hey, that's a good idea. Okay. Um... oogalie boogalie.

ALEPH: [smiling] Snoogalie boogalie?

EEMA: [cracking up, but trying to wail] Nooooooooooo! Oogalie boogalie!

ALEPH: Floogalie boogalie?


Seriously, how did this kid get so awesome?

Friday, September 18, 2009

i'll be wrapped around your finger

Scene: one of the many disordered naps around here lately. Aleph woke up crying, lay down on the futon with me for a while, then crawled back in bed to sleep again. Bet was sleeping soundly, but couldn't go back to sleep once Aleph woke him up. He's still on the futon with me.

BET: Where did Aleph go?

EEMA: He went back to sleep.

BET: [whispering] Ohhh. Maybe this can be special Eema-and-Bet time.

EEMA: [Awwww!] Okay.

BET: [still whispering] Let's go in the other room.

EEMA: Okay.

[now in living room]

BET: [still whispering] Can I watch a video.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

oh. THIS is a nice statement. it's... LOTS of fun.

ALEPH: [stopping mid-tantrum] Can I see if you have some uh, jewelry to put on?

EEMA: Hee. Okay. What kind of jewelry do you think I should put on?

ALEPH: I think some uh earrings, and maybe a necklace. I'll go see what you have.

EEMA: Oh, good choice. [puts them on]

ALEPH: [with look of mild horror] Uhhhh... I'll just go see if I can find you some different ones.

EEMA: Why, what's wrong with these ones?

ALEPH: I just wanted you to look PRETTY.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

spin me another story, bet

on nail biting:

My finger got shorter. I ate part of it.

on (completely innocuous) painting of daffodils:
Why is that flower yelling? [how do you know it's yelling?] Its mouth is open. And it doesn't look happy.

on sleep regression (this is pretty much how it seemed to me, too):
I CAN'T stay in my room. All I do is come out and come out and then I never go to sleep EVER again.

more tales of the davkanik*

*also known as: Opposite Boy

ALEPH: Can I have some cheese on my challah roll?

EEMA: No, we're having cheese for lunch.

ALEPH: But I need something to cover my butter.

EEMA: You could have honey, or jam...

ALEPH: [starting to smile] Just say one of them.

EEMA: ... Jam.

ALEPH: [grinning, and nearly instantaneous] No, honey.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

is there anything you boys want to tell me?

part 1

Scene: Bet takes a book to bed for naptime, flips through a few pages, and realizes he can't tell this story to himself. He starts to cry.

BET: Eema, I need a different book!

EEMA: I'm sorry Bet, you can't come out for another one. It's naptime, you need to stay in your bed.

BET: But I don't knoooooow this story!

EEMA: I know, honey. It's okay. You can look at the pictures.

BET: But Eeeeeeeeeema! I can't read the WOOOOOORDS!

part 2

Scene: Aleph is playing with his new Playmobil fireman.

ALEPH: Eema, I think you're wrong. It's not a fireman, it's a firewoman.

EEMA: [looks more closely] Hey, I think you're right. How did you know that?

ALEPH: Because it says so on the box!

EEMA: Uh... what!?!

ALEPH: See? [points to picture on box]

EEMA: Oh. [phew!] But how did you know from the picture?

ALEPH: [points to chin-length bob] Because it's a hair of the woman.

EEMA: Ah. Because it's a hair of the woman. I see.

[and then, just when I relax]

ALEPH: But I think the box needs a W for woman.

Friday, August 21, 2009

necessity is the toddler of invention

We've had quite a time getting the boys to stay in bed at nap & bedtime, since they figured out our weak spot: toilet training. I am tired. Lance is tired. The boys MUST be tired, because they're sure doing a whole lot less sleeping.

EEMA: Okay, does everyone remember the new rule? Your potty is next to your bed. Don't come out to get me unless you pooped and you need help wiping. If you need to pee, you can do that by yourself.

ALEPH: [opens door first time] I need help wiping.

EEMA: Did you poop?

ALEPH: No, just peed, but I need help wiping my pee. [NOTE: It would never otherwise occur to him to do this.]

EEMA: Here's a tissue; you can do it yourself.

ALEPH: [opens door ten seconds later] I peed again, so I need another tissue.

EEMA: [Why didn't I see this coming?] Okay. Here's another one, and I'm giving you the box to take with you.

ALEPH: [opens door ten seconds after that] I need a garbage can to put my tissues in.

Monday, August 10, 2009

shhhhhhhhh, fool. you're giving away the PLAN

Scene: Après standoff with small fry.

ALEPH: How do I break you?

EEMA: What?!

ALEPH: I want to know how to break you.

EEMA: Why do you want to know that?

ALEPH: I need to know how you're made. So I know how to break you.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

insert joke here*

LANCE: Aleph, you're not cooperating.

ALEPH: Well, cooperating is not my best thing.

*...self-knowledge: check

...but i AM very good at bossing!

...and you're not really lighting my profile right, either


Scene: New game across the breakfast table.

BET: [shoots fist out toward Aleph] HIT YOU pretend!

ALEPH: [shoots fist out toward Bet] HIT YOU pretend!


Might need to get these children karate lessons. Or at least a punching bag.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

am srsly reconsidering this toilet training hype

after being wakened at 4 AM by a small frantic apparition at bedside saying "I need to pee! I need to PEE!" with the monitor simultaneously shrieking, "wait! where did you GO??"

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

thank goodness shanna sent peanut-free chocolate

What's more fun than finding one of your boys beating the other one on the head with a metal* Thomas when you're not looking?

Having him stare you in the face while he beats the other one on the head the next time.

Runner up: having the other boy pee on the fabric** seat of a city bus. ...Twice. Ten minutes after you finished cleaning up the first time. In front of mostly the same people.

I'm kind of wishing for the days when all he peed on was the contents of the refrigerator.

*Really, who thought was this a good idea??
**Really, who???

Sunday, July 26, 2009

file under: unsubscribe. PLEASE.

In an effort to refrain from saying all the things I'm THINKING about the latest ad pitch in my mailbox, I'm going to take One Tired Ema's advice. "You gotta blog about breasts more. You don't see anyone asking me to advertise for 40 days davening at the kotel."

All right, all right, that's totally not what she said. Hope this works anyway:


ALEPH: [eyeing my tank top] Mine are like yours, except... yours are ...thicker, and mine are thinner.


BET: [looking down at his bare chest] Eema, what are these?

EEMA: Nipples.

BET: But what are they?

EEMA: They're part of your body! Everyone has them.

BET: Can I see yours?

EEMA: No, sweetie. They're a private part of my body.

BET: Well, can you put a shirt on me? I don't have to worry about them?


Ah, how quickly they forget. (And these are children who nursed till they were almost two!)

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

you know, if that's working for you, it works for me

Scene: On our way to the basement to get the laundry. The boys are allowed to run ahead of me down the hall, as long as they stop when they get to the elevator.

BET: [skids to a halt] IIIIIIIIIIIIII'm first!

ALEPH: [right behind him] IIIIIIIIIIIIII'm pretend first!

Monday, July 20, 2009

Thursday, July 16, 2009

abba, deer tamer

The following is an amalgam of fact, legend, and the wild imagination of Bet. Bet wasn't even there when this happened. (Can you tell?)

"Once upon a time, Aleph and Abba kissed the Torah [in shul], and then they went out to the parking lot, and there was a no good, very bad, scary deer."

[Eema: How did you know it was a very bad deer?]

"It had a lot of sharp teeth. And then Abba went right up to the deer and gave him nose-to-nose. And it jumped SO HIGH in the air! And then it ran away."

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

the secret

Broke the news to my children today. Well, I think deep down they already knew, but they didn't want to face it.

Here it is:






After an initial period of shock, disillusionment, life will never be the same, etc., they allowed as how this did explain a few things:

1. why Eema is always saying "Hold on, I'm talking to/getting something for/carrying your brother. Hold on. YES, I HEARD YOU. HOLD ON",

2. why their every desire is not instantly fulfilled,


Whew. A heavy scene, to be sure, but good to get it out in the open. I'm hoping for at least a couple days' relief before someone spills the other secret:

"Everyone else's Eema can do three things at once, why can't you??"

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

in funnier news

Scene: Walking out of the subway.

BET: Look, somebody dropped a cheerio!

EEMA: Yeah, I guess they did.

BET: Somebody's like, hey, where's my cheerio!

Friday, June 19, 2009

smart. aleck.

ALEPH: Eema, can you can you can you-

EEMA: I can't do anything right now. I am changing Bet's diaper.

ALEPH: Well if you can't do anything, how can you change Bet's diaper? That's doing something.

Seriously, how can these children not be toilet trained yet??? Aren't they in preschool law school by now?

Thursday, June 18, 2009

the world according to aleph

I let the kids watch Bob the Builder today. Afterward, I heard Aleph singing the theme song.

Of course, in Aleph's version, it goes like this:

Can we fix it?

Nobody who knows him would be the slightest bit surprised.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

toilet training twins: take three

OMG. Am running away to join circus.

Pls have this taken care of by time I get back. Ok?thxbye.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

another bagel summit talks breakdown

ALEPH: I want two halfs of bagel. I'll save one of them for you, Bet.

BET: I don't want a half of bagel.

ALEPH: Then I'm gonna eat two of them.

BET: I want one! I want one!

ALEPH: Then I will save one for you.

[pause for smiling / munching]

ALEPH: Why do you keep switching, Bet?

BET: [still smiling] I don't know. Just because.

ALEPH: But you have to say yes or no.

BET: Nononononono! Aleph don't talk to me! That is not okay!

Sunday, May 31, 2009

run for your lives!

My mother always loved when one of her kids turned 3, because when anyone asked how old we were, we always said "I'm FREE!"

My kids go one better. "Hey Bet and Aleph, how old are you today?"


And now, because I love you so much (and for a limited time only) I bring you a blast from Year One, or as Aleph and Bet like to call it, "Laughing Babies." Note: that's Mary Poppins talking, not me. My line doesn't come up till the middle of this video:

"Best. movie. ever."

[sorry. all gone!]

Sunday, May 24, 2009

the cliffs of insanity

Tell me it's normal to veer between joy and despair when parenting the almost-threes.

Their developmental leaps are so amazing: suddenly they can catch a ball from several feet away, fix each other's train tracks, or sing a spontaneous (and on-key) duet of ma nishtana. And yet every time I turned around for the last two days somebody was hitting, somebody was crying, and somebody was yelling NONONO IWILLNEVER NOTATALL.

Yes, I know that's three kids. It seemed like it too. Oh, also somebody was caught with the pump of the liquid soap in his mouth, and somebody else was caught climbing a bookcase. I'm feeling the urgent need for a disciplinary tool other than time-outs, because by the 4th one today, I could swear I heard thumb-twiddling rather than crying.

In between the madness, they managed to come out with the following:


BET: [waving animal figures in the air while I change him] Lion and tiger ate you up!

EEMA: They ate me all up?

BET: They ate all of your parts!

EEMA: Oh my goodness.

BET: Your face and body crumbs fell out of their mouth!


EEMA: [helpless with laughter]


ALEPH: [referring to the doll we saw on top of an air conditioner last week] Why isn't the doll outside anymore?

EEMA: They probably took it inside. I mean, that would be a silly place to keep a doll, right? Dolls can't live outside.

ALEPH: Why not?

EEMA: Well, what if it rained?

ALEPH: I would change her clothes.

EEMA: What if the wind blew her away?

ALEPH: I would catch her.

EEMA: What if it snowed right on top of her?

ALEPH: I would warm her up in the microwave.

EEMA: [barely hanging onto straight face] Um. Well, what if she fell off? That air conditioner is pretty high up.

ALEPH: I would give her a kiss!

Good night boys, good work, sleep well. I'll most likely kill you in the morning.

Friday, May 22, 2009

calvin, meet hobbes. hobbes, calvin.

ALEPH: Bet, is there any trouble on your tracks?

BET: Nope.

ALEPH: [hopeful grin] Are you going to MAKE any trouble?

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

random things i felt you should know:

Hello, my name is Persephone, and I would dearly love to own a frying pan which does not tilt down to one side, such that half the pan gets overdone while the other half is still raw.

Also, a way to fry 3 batches of anything containing raw eggs, such that I do not end up washing my hands 15 times. Thank you.

When putting a stuffed animal to sleep in the cradle, the stuffed animal will then need a still smaller animal to sleep with. DUH, Eema.

A kosher bandana makes what must be the cutest toddler headcovering you've ever seen. Especially when it's rainbow tiedye. My boys wore them to preschool this week. At their request.

Come to think of it, they're also extremely fond of their rainbow tiedye rainboots. I once came home and found them working with playdough while Mary Poppins prepped dinner. Aleph was dressed in his very best pajamas... and boots. Bet was wearing his plushest striped bathrobe, a diaper... and boots. The effect somehow escaped toddler pimp.

Despite the name, you should not in fact eat a kosher bandana. 'Kosher' in this case is a shameless marketing gimmick, being apparently a euphemism for 'with elastic', aka, a bandana for dummies. Aka, the first one Persephone has ever been able to wear without (a) looking like a babushka (b) it slipping off my head whenever I'm not busy wanting to tear it off.

The rainbow one, though, looks much better on the kids than on me.

Bet is starting to seriously remind me of Calvin. He's taken to pulling one segment of train track out of alignment, then saying "Uh ohhhhhhh! Some trouble up aheaaaad!" while he chugs Thomas toward disaster.

Aleph has required me to fashion a strap for his mini guitar. He needed it so he could march while playing, then let go of the guitar to clap and spin around. Laurie Berkner style.

That is all.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

irony: a play in two parts

Scene: Bet is lying down while I change him. He presses one eyelid half closed with his thumb, then the other, and looks through them at me. I've never seen him do this before.

EEMA: What are you doing?

BET: [with a tiny smile] Now there's two of you.

EEMA: [Ha! You wish.]

EEMA: [Or wait. Is that I wish?]


Scene: Aleph has put two stuffed animals in an upturned hat and is sitting on the couch, cradling the hat on his lap.

ALEPH: [happily] I'm holding my babies.

[one minute later]

ALEPH: I got tired of holding my babies. You hold them.

EEMA: [Heh. Tell me about it.]

EEMA: Why don't you just put them down?

ALEPH: Nooooooooooooooo, YOU have to hold them.

EEMA: [Wait. Something about this seems... strangely familiar.]

Sunday, May 10, 2009

hahahahaha psych.

Scene: Bet is not thrilled with his old doggie pajamas, seeing as how Aleph has brand new lion ones.

EEMA: Hey Bet, do you know what it says on your shirt? 'My best buddy.'

BET: [starting to smile] Yeah.

EEMA: Is the doggie your best buddy?

BET: No.

EEMA: Who's your best buddy?

BET: [matter-of-factly] Aleph.

EEMA: [omg. they like each other! they really like each other!]

ALEPH: [in background] I am NOT his buddy at ALL!

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

breakfast with prince charming

ALEPH: Eema, I want another waffle.

EEMA: I think you had enough waffle. It's time to eat something else. How about... blueberry yogurt?


EEMA: Toast? Cheerios?


EEMA: Ooh, I know. [winning smile] Milk?

ALEPH: [winning smile PLUS raised eyebrows] Um, um, chocolate milk did you say?

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

criblog: anyone? anyone? bueller?

Scene: Sometime after 7 AM.

ALEPH: Bet, are you interested in waking up right now?


Thursday, April 30, 2009

criblog: the song of the count

Scene: I have no idea what Aleph is telling Bet he can't do - I hear the beginning of each sentence, but then he drops off to a mumble - but he sure has a long list of reasons why not.

ALEPH: ...Third of all, blahblahblah. Fourth of all, blahblahblah. Fiveth of all, blahblahblah. Fourth of all...

[short pause]

ALEPH: onetwothreefourfive Sixth of all,

Sunday, April 19, 2009

file under: narrowly unsaid

BET: Eema, why don't we have a sister?


EEMA: [um, what birds and bees?]

EEMA: [I'm guessing "because day 5 blasts are more likely to be boys" is not what you're looking for?]

EEMA: [oh, sweetie. you have no idea.]

Friday, April 17, 2009

riding in cars with aleph

Scene: On the way to Bubby & Zayde for Pesach. The direct approach sometimes backfires in the car, so I haven't declared it naptime, but I'm about to put on a naptime CD.

ALEPH: No Eema, no songs. It's better to sit quietly for a few minutes.

EEMA: Oh good, is it Quiet Time? [Quiet TimeTM: the half-hour before bedtime, which generally consists of soft lighting, low voices, and Rockabye Baby U2 or the Cure (thank you, Emma.)]

ALEPH: No, we don't need Quiet Time. Just a few minutes of quiet. ...With sitting. Just some quiet sitting.

Note: Aleph is out cold within 5 minutes.


Scene: Aleph discovers a new friend at Bubby & Zayde's, and invites her to his crib.

ALEPH: Hiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii, Minnie Mouse. I would like to sleeeeeeeeeep with you.


Scene: Aleph finds me stretched out on Bubby & Zayde's couch, feet crossed, reading a novel.

ALEPH: Ooh, Eema, can I read you a story?

EEMA: Sure.

[Aleph picks up another random novel and lies down exactly like me.]

ALEPH: A man grabs a toy from a child.

EEMA: Oh no. Then what happened?

ALEPH: Another man grabs a toy from another child.

EEMA: Oh my goodness. How will they get their toys back?

ALEPH: When the man is finished using them.


EEMA: That's quite a story, Aleph. What's it called?

ALEPH: Men Grabbing Toys from Children.

[Double duh.]

Saturday, April 11, 2009

now i'm going to have nightmares

From behind me in the car: *click*

is that noise what I think it is?

ALEPH: [brightly] Zayde presses this button to open my buckle!

yes. yes it is.

My still-2-year-old now knows how to unbuckle his own car seat.

And I thought the time he unlocked and swung open the front door was scary.

Friday, April 3, 2009

make that an awwwwwwww

Scene: Trying to cook for shabbat without children underfoot. NotMary Poppins is here for expressly that reason, but is not... shall we say... all that effective. Aleph has been in and out of the kitchen every 5 minutes.

ALEPH: [running in again] Eema, Bet says he's not gonna be done with the guitar at all!

EEMA: [poking head into playroom] Bet, do you remember what happens if you say you're not going to be done at all?

BET: Yeah.

EEMA: A grownup has to decide when you're done.

BET: I'm gonna be done in three minutes.

EEMA: OK, Aleph, it will be your turn in three minutes.

ALEPH: But Eema, I need help waiting!

EEMA: OK, sweetheart. Ask NotMary Poppins to help you.

ALEPH: [looking down and toeing the floor] But... I need my best grownup.

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

noted, your majesty

Scene: Bet wakes up crying from his nap. Snuggles on my shoulder, rubbing snot all over me in the process. When he pulls away he notices puzzling wet spots on my shirt.

BET: This doesn't look too good. [swiping ineffectually] Eema, clean it.


Scene: College pizza joint. Rock has been blaring nonstop since we arrived. Bet is oblivious to everything but his mac & cheese... until White Wedding comes on.

BET: I don't like this one.

[White Wedding shifts tempo.]

BET: I don't like this one, either.


Scene: Last two times I served tortellini / ravioli.

BET: This is goooood.

BET: [finishes first bowl] I want more.

BET: [finishes second bowl] I want more.

EEMA: There is no more, honey. We ate it all up.

BET: [scolding] Next time, Eema, make sure to buy more!


Scene: Any time I talk to another grownup.

BET: Don't talk, Eema! Don'ttalk don'ttalk don'ttalk!

EEMA: You can't tell me not to talk, honey.

BET: Talk to ME!

Saturday, March 28, 2009

send. help.

Things you don't want to hear behind your back, part 2:

"I peed in the refrigerator!"

Thursday, March 19, 2009

a poem in the afternoon

The boys are jumping on our bed, their (and my) favorite way of shaking off the post-nap cranky. Luckily one of the beds is king-size, so it's a plenty large enough trampoline for two small boys. (Un?)luckily it's also ready to be thrown out, so a little more abuse makes no difference.

The walls of our bedroom are painted a deep, almost french blue. The bed linens are various shades of violet. The boys in their brightly colored tees and leggings make me want to film them, flying up in the air in technicolor and floating back down.

Aleph is jumping with his arms over his head. Suddenly he stretches as high as he can and says, "I can reach the sun!"

He stops jumping and comes over to me, looking at his hands. "I'm holding the sun!" He brings his cupped hands up to my face.

"Where are you putting it? On my cheeks?" I ask, charmed.

He brings them up higher and smiles a tiny smile. "In your eyes," he says, and spills them out.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

remedial twin parenting

Next on the list of basic things that terrified me, but most twin moms probably mastered years ago: I took the kids out for pizza tonight. Just me. By myself. We all seem to have survived, unless letting Bet eat a bowl of macaroni & cheese larger than his head ends up killing him. The boys were pretty near angelic. Even the cashier guy, a single twentysomething I would have thought immune, told me they were cute kids after this exchange:

PERSEPHONE: [scanning menu at register] OK, we need one mac & cheese.

BET: [earnestly to cashier] We need some pasta!


BET: We NEED some pasta!

PERSEPHONE: Make that two mac & cheeses.

ALEPH: [equally earnestly to cashier] And we ALSO need some pizza!

I bet they could have just ordered for themselves if I'd let them.

So we got through the walking there, the waiiiiiiiting for our order, the not shouting or running away or tipping over your chair. They played hand games and asked for stories until the food came, and then it was just munch munch munch munch. They walked back in an overtired/carb-loaded daze, and I tried to pretend people we passed on the sidewalk weren't glaring at me for keeping my kids out so late. And then we were finally home, and it was way past bedtime, and I had them thisclose to pajamas and they said...

ALEPH AND BET: I'm still hungry!

Of course.

Monday, March 9, 2009

snapshot: a year ago january

We're at the grandparents'. The boys are still nursing but crazy about their solid food, too. I don't want them to see and beg for the fresh strawberries I'm slicing into my bowl of cereal, so I'm doing it up on the high counter.

I think the boys are busy on the other side of the kitchen but when I turn around, they're clustered around my ankles. Two round faces stare up at me bigeyed, like Toy Story aliens at The Claw.

One of them says, solemnly, "sawbabas."

Friday, March 6, 2009

oedipus bet

It's going to be kind of sad / frightening when Bet decides to turn his loverboy powers on someone other than me.


Scene: at the dinner table.

BET: Eema, I want your hand.

EEMA: I can't hold your hand while we're eating, Bet. But I love you.

BET: [munches for a while. then looks at me from under his lashes]

BET: Wanna... hug me?


Scene: out of nowhere. There's almost no sound, but I suddenly realize Bet is whispering.

BET: Eeeeeemaaaaaa. Eeeeeemaaaaaa.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

i'm sorry, HAL

Scene: I'm trying to send an uncharacteristically important email while Aleph is leaning on my arm / crying in my ear for a video. As usual, it's not clear whether he's upset because I'm not giving him what he wants, or because I'm engaged with the computer anything instead of him. Also as usual, I am losing it just slightly.

EEMA: Aleph, I'm going to let you watch a video in one minute, but I need to finish this first! You just need to let me focus for one minute so I can finish this!

ALEPH: [wailing] I caaaaaan't let you dooooooo that!

Sunday, March 1, 2009

criblog: you are sooo immature

BET: [kicking the side of his crib]

ALEPH: Bet, please don't do that.

BET: I want to.

ALEPH: But I don't like it.

BET: I want to.

ALEPH: All right, you can do it for two more minutes, but then I need you to stop.

BET: [stops kicking for a while]

BET: [starts kicking again]

ALEPH: Bet, Bet, Bet. I said no SO many times.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

it doesn't get better than this

Sitting on my lap, Bet is playing his favorite combination of Eskimo-kissing and Twister, wherein we try to touch corresponding parts of our faces to each other. Both of us are giggling more and more as he goes on.

He starts with the classics:
nose to nose
mouth to mouth
eye to eye
forehead to forehead
hair to hair
ear to ear
cheek to cheek

then adds a new one:
Bet to Eema which point I melt into a puddle of love on the floor.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

also, is your refrigerator running?

Scene: Bet is talking to his grandfather on the phone. I am dying of laughter.

BET: Saba, how are you feeling?

SABA: I'm feeling fine!

BET: Animals.

SABA: [startled] What?

BET: Saba... are you thinking about animals?

SABA. Oh. Okay, sure.

BET: Saba... why are you thinking about animals?

SABA: [laughing] Because I like them a lot. Uh, cows, chickens...

BET: Dogs?

SABA: Yes, dogs too.

BET: What else?

and who taught you the word 'section', anyway?

Scene: The boys are playing their current favorite game, entitled "Hunting for Dimples," which involves running up and down the hallway with flashlights yelling "I found a dimple!" "I found another dimple!" Apparently inspired by the day I tried unsuccessfully to find studs under the drywall.

ALEPH: You have to hunt for dimples in this section.

BET: No, I don't want to.

ALEPH: But you have to!

BET: I'm hunting for dimples in this section.

ALEPH: That's not a section.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

luckily, today was ALREADY bath day

Things you don't want to hear when you're putting the first boy on the potty, with the second boy & potty waiting behind your back:

BET: It's a hat!

They don't make 'em with seatbelts, do they?

Monday, February 9, 2009

let's play "i have food allergies"

Scene: Aleph is poring over a tiny-printed synagogue newsletter.

EEMA: What are you reading, Aleph?

ALEPH: I have to make sure there's no nuts in these in-dree-dients.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

it'll be ANARCHY

ALEPH: [yelling] No no no no no Bet! You can't do that!

MARY POPPINS: Aleph, I don't like the way you're talking to your brother. Please don't tell Bet what to do.

ALEPH: [paraphrase; it was kind of jumbled, but I caught the key words] How about if next time I say yes?

MP: No, honey. Please don't tell Bet no or yes.

ALEPH: But... if we don't say no and yes, people will just do anything!!

Tuesday, February 3, 2009


* hmmm. I think I might have stolen this from Uberimma. Though of course she would have called them Barakisms or Iyyarisms.

Man, I'm going to be pretty sad when Bet stops calling the futon the "futime."

Others favorites he's already losing:

Aleph is the one more known for his consonant substitutions. He says /t/ for both t and k, and /d/ for both d and g, so his speech is sometimes a puzzle with way too many permutations to decipher. He can be remarkably patient, not to mention ingenious, in trying to make himself understood.

EEMA: What should we do next for the Name Game?


EEMA: [Gd??]

ALEPH: Dod. Dod. Dod!!! [pause] A puppy!

But Bet has the funniest ones, possibly because they pop up so rarely. He sometimes - not always - uses /k/ for p. Resulting in this awesome slogan, the first time we took him to the pool:

BET: We're in the cool! You're in the cool!

We went around saying that for weeks. But this latest one beats all. Lance's mother, the last time she was visiting, taught Bet the phrase "in the nude" for when he's running around in his diaper avoiding pajamas. And it turns out Bet sometimes substitutes /m/ for n.

So now we occasionally have a half-naked boy racing around the house, yelling "I'm in the mood! I'm in the mood!"

Thanks for that, Mom. :D

Monday, February 2, 2009

i want to be your personal stalker

I think it's fair to say the boys are still recovering from my trip to Israel.

EEMA: I have to get dressed, I'll be right back. Lance, can you hang out with Aleph for a minute?

ALEPH: [bawling] nonononononono

EEMA: Aleph, I'll be right back! Abba is going to play with you.

ALEPH: But Eema. I need to watch you everywhere you go.

Monday, January 26, 2009

criblog: touché, mon frère. touché.

overheard one morning:

BET: [barely beginning to whimper] I want Eema.

ALEPH: Bet, you can't cry because crying is for babies, and you are not a baby you are a big boy.

overheard another morning:

ALEPH: [barely beginning to whimper] I need Eema.

BET: You don't need Eema, you want her.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

criblog: cold season

Scene: 3 AM. Aleph wakes up crying, probably because he can't breathe. I go in and rock him, then Bet too, after Aleph wakes him up. Finally escape at 3:30 AM.

[silence until 4 AM. then the following:]

ALEPH: Bet, are you there?

BET: I am lying down.

ALEPH: [I missed this part because I started laughing]

BET: Eema said goodnightsleeptight, and she will come back in the morning.

[silence resumes]

Friday, January 23, 2009

blast from the past: aleph and bet learn their manners


Bet walks up to Aleph and shoves him out of the way.

Eema: No, Bet! No pushing! If Aleph is in your way, say excuse me.


Bet walks up to Aleph, says "Askoome!" and shoves him out of the way.


Bet walks up to Aleph and grabs his toy.

Eema: No, Bet! No grabbing! Give it back to Aleph. You have to say please.

Aleph voluntarily gives toy to Bet.

Eema: Awwwwwww, that was so nice, Aleph! Good sharing!


Bet walks up to Aleph, says "Awwwwwww!" and grabs his toy.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

the words i've waited 2 years 7 months and 20 days to hear

"We want to play hide and seek with each other."

And they did, too. For a few minutes.

My mouth is still hanging open.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Aleph is the original No! boy. He says no-I-didn't! even if he did have a good time. He says no-I-won't! even while he's doing exactly what you asked. The other day I tried not to laugh, watching him struggle to change no into yes when offered chocolate pudding. "N-... ny-... yo."

So we're walking two of our other lunch guests to the door, and somebody asks Aleph if he wants to say goodbye to Julie and Shai. Naturally he says no.

"That's okay," Shai jovially says. "I'm going to say goodbye to Julie and Shai." He waves. "Goodbye, Julie and Shai!"

Aleph gets a concerned look on his face. "Uh... that might be a little weird if you say it to yourself."

Monday, January 19, 2009

return of the pint-sized critic

Coincidentally, we've been listening to No! too. Bet has taken quite a shine to Clap Your Hands; every few minutes he asks me - intensely - to play it "many, many times." It's been a challenge to get him to even wait out the other songs.

At supper, though, he asked for In the Middle, listened for a while, then said what sounded like "I dislike it."

Did you really just say that? "You don't like it?"

"I duslike it."

"You... do like it?"

"I don't love it. I dus like it."

Ohhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh. You just like it.

Good grief.

Thursday, January 15, 2009


Scene: Bet decides - too late - that he didn't finish saying goodbye to someone. Bawling ensues.

BET: Nooooooo! Don't go awaaaaaaay!

EEMA: Aw, Bet. That was pretty sad, huh?

BET: [voice breaking] I just want to be happy!

[drops face onto my shoulder, then rubs tears and goes off to play]

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

criblog: first day home

This morning on the monitor:

ALEPH: mumble mumble mumble mumble



           mumble mumble mumble.

It is sweeter than I can even explain to be home.

The phone calls got worse before they got better (EEMA: I love you. ALEPH: I can't answer right now. EEMA: You don't have to answer, sweetheart, I'm just going to talk to you. ALEPH: I don't want you to talk to me right now.) but the reunion was amazing. Aleph launched himself at me and gave me more forward-facing hugs* than I've ever received from him in his life; I guess it was essentially one long hug, since he'd pull away for a moment and then just relaunch himself into my arms. Bet was too excited to even hug me, and stood quivering like an arrow and talking nonstop. Then they spent an hour snuggling and crawling all over me like puppies.

They're still shaky, and there's some crying every time I'm out of their sight unless I explain I'm not going to Israel, I'm just going down the hall.

And it was hard on me, too. I had a tough time on the plane ride there, thinking intentionally putting an ocean between myself and my babies? what am I DOING? But I knew it had to be done. And as one of my sisters told me, it might not be their favorite way to learn it, but it's still worth learning:

Eema has to go away sometimes. BUT! she comes back.

* More on that another time.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

phone call day 3: the guilting

EEMA: Hi Aleph! I love you!

ALEPH: I can't answer.

MARY POPPINS: Aleph, do you want to say anything to Eema?

ALEPH: [crying] No! No! [runs away]


BET: Eema, are you still there?

EEMA: Yes, sweetheart! I'm still here.

BET: Eema, I want to tell you something.

EEMA: Ok, sweetie! What do you want to tell me?

BET: I - um - I want - um... are you still there?


MARY POPPINS: Ok Bet, we have to say bye bye now. Can you give me the phone?

BET: I'm just going to hold it.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

phone call day 2

EEMA: Hi boys! I love you!

ALEPH: I can't answer.

BET: Eema, I think you should come home in half a hour.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

phone call day 1

BET: Eema, will you come back?

EEMA: Yes, sweetheart! I'm coming back on Monday.

BET: I'm just going to wait for you.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

six before breakfast

One Tired Ema asked me the other day if I spend a lot of time mediating Aleph-Bet conflicts. All $#%^* day, I think I replied. But where I draw the line - I should say, where I'm trying vainly to draw the line - is mediating the imaginary ones.

Today's example:

BET: [apropos of nothing whatsoever] It's okay.

ALEPH: It's not okay.

BET: It is okay!

ALEPH: [starting to cry] No! No it's not okay!

EEMA: [losing cool slightly] OKAY OKAY OKAY! We are not having this conversation!!


So apropos of nothing, I'm leaving the country and my husband and my TWO SMALL CHILDREN (sob) tomorrow for a much-needed visit to my sisters in beautiful war-torn Israel. I've never left the boys for as much as 24 hours before.

I'm trying to make a sticker chart so the boys can cross off the 8 days I'll be gone, but it's reminding me very unfortunately of the felt menorah hangings we made for them to count 8 days of Chanuka. This is like the anti-Chanuka, I'm thinking of explaining to them. Woo-hoo.

I hope it's not too self-centered to use worrying about the political situation as a way to distract myself from worrying about the kids. They will be okay. I will be okay. It's going to be okay.

But if you have any good thoughts to spare in our general direction, they'd sure be appreciated.

Friday, January 2, 2009

my other son the lawyer

SCENE: Aleph is completely tranced out munching a cookie. I'm trying to get the kids dressed and out the door.

EEMA: Aleph, come here please. I need to change your diaper.

ALEPH: I want to finish my cookie.

EEMA: I know, but I need to change you first. Why don't you put the cookie down, and you can come back and finish it when we're done.

ALEPH: I'm just gonna put it down in my tummy.