Thursday, August 2, 2012

superhero meta

BET: Abba can we play Star Wars? You be Darth Vader and I'll be Luke.

LANCE: Okay.

BET: Darth Vader! You must leave the dark side and be good. Or I will have to fight you.

LANCE: No. YOU must come to the DARK side.

BET: No! You have to be good. That's the right thing.

LANCE: Maybe being bad is the right thing.

BET: No! Being good is the right thing.

LANCE: How do you know?

BET: My teacher told me. Master Yoda.

LANCE: Well, my teacher told ME being BAD is the right thing.


BET: Hold on Abba let's stop playing for a second. Being good IS the right thing, right?


BET: Hi! I'm Batman! 

[goes out; comes back in without cape] 

BET: Hi! I'm Bruce Wayne!

PERSEPHONE: Hey, did you see Batman? He was just here a minute ago.

BET: Nope! Didn't see him.

PPHONE: Huh. It's so strange the way I never see you two in the same room at the same time. 

BET: Oh, that's because I uh...go away on a trip with Abba when he's here.

PPHONE: Ohhhh. So it's just a coincidence?

BET: A what?

PPHONE: That's when two things happen at the same time, but they have nothing to do with each other.


BET: Eema hold on let's stop playing a minute. [stage whispers] I'M TRICKING YOU.

PPHONE: [stage whispers back] I KNOW.



BET: Okay! Let's keep playing.

Thursday, May 31, 2012

the year in quotes: now we are six!!!*

*i've only been waiting six years to say that

ALEPH: eema, you can't sit on the sofa anymore. i made it something that explodes. 

BET [completely serious, with mask on top of head]: oh NO! i can't find my spiderman mask. 

ALEPH: ♪ i throw luke skywalker in the air sometimes / saying aaaay-o ♪

[overheard from kids' room]
ALEPH: [bellowing] I AM NOT 'OLD CHUM'! 

BET: [peeks head around bathroom door] can you pretend to be catwoman? 
PPHONE: i...okay.
BET: [closes door again] 

[overheard from kids' room] 

ALEPH: see bet, you broke mine. now, i'm not gonna punish you; i just want you to know that it wasn't good. 

[I Do Not Think That Means What You Think It Means]
ALEPH [crying]: i got hurt. but i don't want to tell you how. 
US: we kind of need to know. 
ALEPH: fine. i accidentally stood on a rocking chair.

ALEPH: if superman didn't have a weakness, i would be him so much more often.

BET: [after bath] ♪naked naked naked, banana-fana-fak-ed♪

ALEPH: when [hop] you [hop] finish [hop] the dishes [hop] i [hop] want [hop] to do [hop] an [hop] activiteeeeeeee

ALEPH: [falsetto] ♪i like cows / yes i do / i like cows / how about yoooooou♪ 

ALEPH: [crying] bet, you can't pick that up! i wanted to pick it up! 
BET: well, sometimes you get to pick it up; sometimes you don't. 
ALEPH: [still crying] but i wanted to! 
BET: *sigh* okay. i will put it back down on the floor, and this time you can pick it up. 

LANCE: everyone remember the rules about throwing water at the park? 
ALEPH: i...remember you have rules, i just don't remember what they are.

PPHONE: [very late and lost my directions] 
BET: eema? eema? eema? 
PPHONE: i'm busy right now, bet. i'm busy. I'M BUSY! DO YOU HEAR ME TELLING YOU? 
[finally find my directions.]
PPHONE: okay. hi, bet. what's going on? 

BET: where do we live? 
LANCE: where do you think we live? 

ALEPH: see bet, the thing is, i'm starting to get more into star wars and science than superfriends.

BET: i need something to eat. 
PPHONE: raisins? 
BET: there is none. 
PPHONE: no, there are! i'll give you some. 
BET: oh RAISINS! i thought you said reasons

BET: [follows me into bathroom; shuts door] i'm just closing that to make sure aleph gives you privacy. 

BET: [aims cardboard tube at me] i'm switching out your brain!

BET [from bathroom] uh oh. 
PPHONE: what? 
BET: uh oh. 
PPHONE: what?? 
BET: nothing! i was just pretending something was wrong. 

BET: i'm batman! this is my bat-pooper! 

BOYS [both out of bed]: eema? you didn't give us hugs & kisses goodnight. 
PPHONE: yes i did. 
BOYS: well we don't remember you giving them!
PPHONE: [heartless] sorry.

BET: cut! cut! cut! i'm cutting off your fingers! 
BET: let's lie down and snuggle. 

ALEPH: can i tell you something, han solo?

BET: i'm very upset with darth vader. 
PPHONE: why? 
BET: he sent me a birthday card. it said bad things. 
PPHONE: wait, who are you?? 
BET: batman! 

[Road Tripping]
LANCE: deer crossing sign! 
PPHONE: deer crossing sign! 
ALEPH: deer crossing sign! 
[everyone waits] 
BET: yup! 

[...Road Tripping Too Long]
ALEPH: i met a man and he said, i haven't had a jump all day! so i jumped on him! HAHAHAHA! 

BET: [being tickled] HAHAHAHAHAstop that's too funny 

ALEPH: eema, i know the problem isn't your fault, but it is something you're doing.

BET: i don't think you can buy luke skywalker at the store. 
ALEPH: iiiiiii believe you're wrong.

BET: [glaring at me] why do we have to go pick blueberries, if we already HAVE BLUEBERRIES. 

BET: [glaring, in green lantern mask] 
PPHONE: why do you look so angry? 
BET: [gritting teeth] green lanterns are ALWAYS ANGRY.  
ALEPH: [also in green lantern mask] eema, can i sit on your lap? 
BET: green lanterns NEVER say sit on your LAP!

[mid-chess game]
ALEPH: abba, i think what i have you is called 'on the run.' 

BET: eema, guess what! we saw spiderman in times square! and i asked him if he was real! and he said yes! but i don't know if that was true. 
PPHONE: wow. i think maybe he was a real person, but maybe not the real spiderman.
BET: yeah. i think maybe he was peter parker. 

BET: aleph, i thought you said you were going to watch over the toaster.
ALEPH: no! i'm combining human DNA with dinosaurs. 

[looking at pictures of jewelry] 
BET: ooh, those are fancy. wish you could buy ME something fancy. wait! my knight-hat is fancy!

[overheard from kids' room] "you can't trust your computer! you can only trust me!" 

[overheard from kids' room] "if you let me be your master, it will WORK!" 

BET [yelling]: you're not the boss of me! 
ALEPH [yelling back]: yes i -! [pause.] i KNOW that, but -! 

[overheard from kids' room]
ALEPH: excuse me bet, are you sure you know what you're doing? 
BET: of coooourse i do

ALEPH: eema! i kind of did a stand-head! 

ALEPH: eema, how did super grover get his powers?

ALEPH: i met a man walking down the street and he said, i haven't had a bite all day. so i bit him. IN THE EYE. 

BET: i'm getting a little bit into star wars. 
ALEPH: well, you gotta get a lot into star wars if you want to BE star wars. 

[still not adjusted to summer. what. it's only…august.]
BET: [stamping foot] eema, when are we gonna wear PANTS again already!
PHONE: what do you like better about pants than shorts? 
BET: they're LONGER!

ALEPH: [patiently] see eema, i like to keep busy with something. but...sometimes i don't like your ideas. 

ALEPH: why do they call it a peapod if you're not supposed to pee in it? 

ALEPH: bet, i need to go to the bathroom. you want to come do water experiments while i'm in there? 
BET: sure! 

BET: [points at tampons] eema, do you have any idea what those things are? 

PPHONE: you didn't eat your banana. 
BET: it's brown. 
PPHONE: no, it isn't. see? no brown. 
BET: it tastes cold! 
PPHONE:'s room temp. 
BET: this banana doesn't feel normal! 
PPHONE: [gives up]
BET: [shrugs. eats banana] 

ALEPH: R2-D2 needs to go to the droid hospital. i'm gonna go with him.'s his 1st time, and i've been to the hospital before. 
ALEPH [moments later]: his ambulance blew up. i'm gonna have to carry him the rest of the way. 

BET: [screaming] EEMA!!! remember you said we could only scream if we were bleeding broken or on fire? I'M BLEEDING. [points to chapped lip]

ALEPH: i can't have that juice. it's not safe for me. 
PPHONE: no, aleph, it's pina colada! not peanut.

[1:30 AM] 
aleph comes out crying "bet won't let me put up a star wars shelf!" 
aleph tucked back in muttering, "this really isn't FAIR mumble mumble"

BET: [whispers in my ear] 
PPHONE: what? that was so soft i couldn't hear it. 
BET: i know. it's a secret secret. 

ALEPH: ♪ jingle bells, jingle bells, jingle ingle belllllls ♪ 
PPHONE: um...where did you learn that song? 
ALEPH: i didn't! i made it up. 

BET: are you sure castles were made before rocket ships? i don't believe you. 

PPHONE: you're a funny boy sometimes. 
BET: what do you mean? i'm a funny boy all the time. 

[Good Morning To You Too]
ALEPH: why is your face like that? 
PPHONE: like what? 
ALEPH: like how it is right now! 
PPHONE: how is it??
ALEPH:...i don't know.

GREAT AUNT: bet, do you love me? 
BET: i'm not sure i should answer that. because i might hurt your feelings. very badly.

[somehow i thought we had a lot longer before this conversation]
ALEPH: can you turn from an orthodox person into a not-orthodox person?
ALEPH: ...but Hashem isn't angry at either one of them, right?

[post 'But I Can't Put On My Own Socks' tantrum] 
PPHONE: thanks for your hard work, aleph. 
ALEPH: [still crying] none of this is hard, eema.  
PPHONE: [iiiii know.] thanks for your...frustrating work? 
ALEPH: [frustrated] it's not even frustrating! it's just DUMB, is what it is!

BET: can i teach you a lesson? 
ALEPH: no. i know all my lessons already. 

BET [on jennifer of the jungle]: she has this gorilla, and she says 'you always say the sweetest things!'  [sighs dreamily] 

[Cartoon Vocabulary]
ALEPH: i won't give in to your evil orchestrations! 
GROWNUP: [laughs] do you know what orchestrations are? 
ALEPH: plans! 

[...Possibly Too Many Cartoons]
ALEPH: the king...of the UNIVERSE! MWAHAHAHA! 

BET: maybe if i see a video, my stomach will stop having hiccups! 
EEMA: i...don't think that's how it works. 
BET: never know till you try! 
BET: that's not funny! stop laughing!


ALEPH: eema, i'm good at beating people in my class when i play checkers, but you are tricky.

ALEPH: ♪ if you don't i'll punch youuu / if you don't i'll pinch you in the baaack / if you don't i'll throw a bomb at youuu ♪

[You Might Have A Sensory Seeker If]
ALEPH: eema, can we snuggle? 
PPHONE: [hugs] 
ALEPH: [braces his hands on my chest and pushes]
PPHONE: that's...the opposite of snuggling. 
ALEPH: oh! 

[erev Yom Kippur] 
PPHONE: bet, if i hurt your feelings this year, i'm sorry. 
BET: well, you did. lots of times. but I FORGIVE YOU. 

[on running into an erstwhile babysitter]
BET: can i tell you something? i think it's pretty sad that you don't come visit us anymore. 
SITTER: i'm sorry. i've just been so busy. 
BET: you don't need to be sorry! it's not your fault. 

ALEPH: eema? is pluto in neptune's orbit right now? 

PPHONE: i found this at the thrift shop. can you tell me what it is?
LANCE: that's batman.
PPHONE: yes, i know. which batman?
LANCE: that's...scuba...attack batman. obviously.
PPHONE: did you just make that up??

ALEPH: hey, look what i found in my mouth! 
PPHONE: [a choking hazard??...a peanut?

ALEPH: i can never sleep the whole night. but i CAN take short naps. 
BET: i can't ever sleep. 
PPHONE: never? 
BET: never. 
PPHONE: wow! you must be really tired. 

BET: i need to think about whether i'm gonna ruin your plan. 
ALEPH: if you ruin my plan, i'll ruin your plan. 
BET: what's my plan? 
ALEPH: when you have a plan! then i'll ruin it. 

[overheard from kids' room] 
BATMAN: hey robin, you want to take a nap? 
ROBIN: yeah, okay. 

BET: i don't want to go outside. 
LANCE: but you always say that. and you always end up having fun. 
BET: i know, but i'm TIRED of that. 
PPHONE: you're tired of having fun? 
BET: i'm tired of having fun when abba SAYS. 
LANCE: [gives pphone meaningful look] this is all you. 
PPHONE: [laughing too hard to talk] i.know. 

BET: i made this myself! it's called the transweapon-mitter. no, no, the transmitter-weaponer. 

BET: huggeh baybeh! 
PPHONE: ...huggy baby? 
BET: yeah. i'm saying it in a different language. huggehh baybehhhhhh! 

ALEPH: [playing] okay, i've had enough of that. let's do some homework! 

PPHONE: so, aleph types gibberish, and bet just types batmanbatmanbatmanbatmanbatman. 
LANCE: i'm pretty sure that's how faulkner got started.

[Is not child. Is cat.]
BET [suddenly appears at my elbow]: can you stroke my back? 

PPHONE: aleph, you're being a little bit ridiculous. 
ALEPH: well it's [sob] kind of [sob] HARD not to be [sob] 

[It's Probably Inappropriate To Laugh When Your Son Makes Up Words Mid-tantrum] 

BET: if i was an indian and they took my land, i'd hit them in the face, and kick them in the face, a lot of things to them in the face. 

[trying to persuade bet to practice soccer]
ALEPH: bet, can i remind you a lot of things you know how to do, you couldn't do the first time you tried?

ALEPH: [sleepwalks out of bedroom at grandparent's house] [inexplicably wearing maroon satin yarmulka]

[overheard from kids' room] 
"and we'll dress the poop up like ice cream." 

BET [as batman]: i guess we'll have to do this the HARD way! 
PPHONE: what's the hard way? 
BET: i don't know, that's just something i say. 

[i can stop anytime, son. aaaaanytime]
ALEPH: eema, can you stop talking about vegetables for a second?

BET: so on chanuka the greeks lost, right? 
PPHONE: right. 
BET: and the maccabeats won, right?
PPHONE: [ahahaha! whoops.]
BET: it's a good thing all the greeks are dead! 

ALEPH: someone was injured! 
BET: someone was ninja-ed? 

BET [on blue's clues]: i really enjoy this show. but i'm not sure why everybody's dancing.

BET [on the fresh beat band]: i don't like this part. they're kooky. they dance too much. 
BET: aleph and me don't even like dancing. they're not serious! we're SERIOUS! 
BET: [tries to look severe] [can't keep straight face]

ALEPH: this elevator smells a little like throw-up. mostly like french fries. but a little like throw-up. 

[on To Do List: 1. explain expletives 2. explain irony]
aleph now says "oh, NUTS!" when frustrated

PPHONE: are you ready to ask for it nicely? 
BET: *sigh* YES. just give it to me, willya? 

BET: cookies? i love cookies!
LANCE: yeah? which do you love more, me or cookies? 
BET: *sigh* abba. there's different kinds of love. 

[in the middle of my lecture on anger management]
BET: you're rambling, eema.
PPHONE: what?! i am not. 
BET: [smiling] yes, you are. wordgirl says rambling is going onnnn and onnnn and not really having a point. 
PPHONE: i do too have a point!! 

BET: if i met a stranger i wouldn't talk to them. know why? because they might do bad things to me. especially a WOLF stranger.

ALEPH: actually, mostly only - actually, mostly only - actually...mostly...only...abba what was i talking about?? 

BET: eema, maybe when i grow up i can be a monkey actor. i'm practicing my swinging. so i can do that. 

BET: [into my neck] eema. i care for you very much. 

BET: [stamps foot] i'm angry! 
PPHONE: okay. what are you angry about? 
BET: i forgot! [stamp] what i'm angry about! 

[in latest feat of evil, i made kids wear their fleece pajamas to play outside because it's 20 degrees.]
BET: everyone will know!
PPHONE: no they won't. 
BET: but what if someone touches my pants?

ALEPH: eema, this is such a good supper. thank you! 
PPHONE: wow! thank you for thanking me! 
ALEPH: you could just say you're welcome. 

PPHONE: [gives kiss] surprise kiss! 
BET: that wasn't a surprise. 
PPHONE: how'd you know i was going to do that? 
BET: because i'm trickehh, baybehh. 

LANCE: maybe we can play star wars! 
ALEPH: no, because bet is gonna want to be batman. and i'm getting tired of star wars with batman in it. 
BET: ...he's right.

BET: time for another video? 
LANCE: no. it's time for turning off the tv, and hugging, and then getting dressed. 
BET: and mind control?

BET [to pphone]: i just want to tell you something. i love you. more than your favorite...more than your COMPUTER! also more than macaroni and cheese. but that doesn't count 'cause that's a different kind of love. 

hoping aleph never stops calling it "the top bunker" and "the bottom bunker"

[4 am] 
ALEPH: [crying in our doorway] where is bet?
PPHONE: he's in bed.
ALEPH: but he didn't answer when i called him. 
PPHONE: that's because he's SLEEPING.
ALEPH: [tucked back in bed, still crying] but it's very dark in here.

BET: eema. i love you. can i please please please hold your hand.

ALEPH [building lego]: and this is his magical water chair of DESTINY.

BET [to lego man]: here you are, you magnificent knight!

[Emerging Readers]
BET [reading computer screen over my shoulder]: i...don't...give...a... 
PPHONE: [scrolls down RAPIDLY]

[The Pesach Story: A Retelling] 
"and then the Torah shot LASER beams at him!" 

[watching wonder pets rescue another cute baby animal]
BET: i wish every video we watch, we could just jump in and KILL them! 

[Emerging Readers, Part 2]
ALEPH: you know, eema? many things are made in china.

ALEPH: oh! i LIKE mouth kissing. 

BET [one finger pressed to forehead, whispering to self]: thinkthinkthink!

ALEPH: ohhhh. this is a real cooked chicken? 
PPHONE: um. yes? 
ALEPH: no WONDER it's so tasty!

[1 AM] 
PPHONE: do you 
LANCE: you don't think aleph is sleep-cooking, do you?

ALEPH: eema, when you say good things to me when i'm sad, it makes me even sadder
PPHONE: *sigh* fine. no more good things. 
ALEPH: but no bad things either.  
ALEPH: eema, i REALLY don't like when my homework takes this long. 
ALEPH: [stares at me] why aren't you saying anything.

ALEPH: [in bath] ♪ that man in special suit, against the water-gun-of-destinyyyyy ♪

BET: do babies understand what we say? 
PPHONE: no, they have to learn that. 
BET: do we understand what babies say? 
PPHONE: we have to learn that, too. 
BET: wait. do babies understand OTHER babies?

[playing chess against himself]
ALEPH: [singsong] iiiiii wouldn't do that if i were youuuuuu! 

[Yeshiva Education: So Worth It]
ALEPH: see, Hashem is basically like an alien that can do whatever it wants. 

PPHONE: i think your pants are inside out. 
ALEPH: that's okay. i don't mind. 
PPHONE: you...won't be able to get into the pockets. 
ALEPH: i don't need pockets.

LANCE: there's a song about driving, wanna hear it? 
ALEPH: what's it called. 
LANCE: Born to Be Wild. 
ALEPH [firm]: no. 
LANCE: [laughing] oh no no, i mean, uh, Barney the Dinosaur Likes to Drive.
ALEPH: really?
LANCE: yes! 
ALEPH: no.

[Pesach Day 7] 
BET [despairingly]: i've forgotten what everything i like tastes like! 

[Hard To Argue With This]
BET: abba, why are you sad? it would be worser if i killed you. 

BET [re: my library book]: what's that about? 
PPHONE: um. werewolves? 
BET: who's that woman? 
PPHONE: she's married to one of them. 
BET: does he kill her? 
PPHONE [laughing]: what? no! he loves her. 
BET: well what happens?
PPHONE: i don't know! i haven't read it yet. all i know is she's having a baby. 
BET: well when you finish it, can you just tell me: does he EAT the baby?

[bet composes superman-style tagline for wonder woman] 
"look, up in the sky! it's an american flag! it' almost-naked woman! it's..." 

ALEPH: you know what i hate most in the world? 
BET: aveiros? 
ALEPH: no, eating poop & pee. 
BET: and also aveiros?

[follow-up question]
BET: eema, which is more important? not doing aveiros or not eating poop? 
PPHONE: not eating poop. 
BET: what?! 
PPHONE: [heretic] sorry. 

ALEPH: ♪ if he kills me, right-before-he-does, i'll order someone to kill him, after-he-kills-me ♪

ALEPH: what happens on yom ha'atzmaut? 
PPHONE: [lectures on state of israel's birth] 
ALEPH: see, i thought what happens is i go to a party at yeshiva university.

BET: does your soul ever go back in your body after you die? 
PPHONE: no. i mean, Hashem could make it, but He doesn't. that's a really big miracle called t'chiyat hameitim, bringing dead people back to life, and Hashem doesn't do miracles like that nowadays. 
BET: oh right! like zombies?

ALEPH: is 20 x 50 a thousand? i thought so. because 10 times 100 is a thousand, and 50 is half of 100, so...all i have to do is double the 10s.

[bet has to draw his math homework, but he gets to decide what to depict it with:] 
"that's 2 people who do ballet + 5 people who do ballet. i gave them extra arms because they're twirling so fast." 
"that's 2 aliens in a spaceship." 
"you might think that's a door, but it's really a house with a forcefield around it."  

BET: are you making macaroni & cheese? 
PPHONE: yes! how did you know? 
BET: i smelled it. 
[note: only thing in pot so far = water]

ALEPH: [wakes me up way too early] can you tell me where bet went? he's not in the bedroom or bathroom or living room.
PPHONE: [blearily] wha?
ALEPH: [comes back] oh sorry he's in bed actually i didn't see him there sorry

ALEPH: eema, i want to ask you. have you ever been in space before?


Wednesday, March 14, 2012

loss: one year

Adapted from my "just in case this is my last chance to tell you" letter to A, March 15th, last year. (It was.)

Someone asked me today if the reason you and I got so close, even though we were 7 years apart, was all the interests we had in common. I said I don't think that was it. I don't think it would have mattered what I was into. I think the reason you're so easy for me to be with is that you accept me for whoever I am.
I think you do that for everyone. I think that's one of your gifts. But you were the first person in our family to do that for me; and I don't even know how to tell you what that meant to me back then, or what it still means.  
With all of the dread hanging over us these days, I still feel lighter every time I walk into a room and see you.
I love you so much.