Today friends, let me paint you some pictures with my words. Imagine summer as kinderlech (children): bathing suits, swimming pools, hopping through creeks, jumping in puddles. Sleep-overs, scooter rides, hiking, and biking. Ice creamy treats, baking and make your own pizzas. Slides, swings, and sunshine (the scorn that is sunscreen). Dirt, mud, and coils of chlorine tangled pony-tails. Board games, LOL doll surprises, and dance routines. Hula hoops, watermelon, movie nights and popcorn all at the sofa, vey iz mir (woe is me). Being a kid in the summer is magical.
Now, let’s look at this very same season as Muters (Moms): The kinder, they are joyful and giddy from playtime with friends, family, each other. They get hungry, hangry and eat every edible morsel in the pantry and fridge didn’t I just food shop?. They are oysgematert (drop-dead tired) from days packed with fun and frolic and yes, some fighting and varfing (tantrums). Some nights, they even ask to go to bed! Pools, beaches, showers, hair… Towels, oy, they are everywhere. And, they have so many wardrobe changes each and every effing day daily, they would give Cherin concert a run for her money… The grob vesh (dirty laundry) piles high daily. This, not so magical.
Enter the brand new, very expensive, broken, cockamamie (ridiculous)washing machine. Broken not once, not twice, but three times since its inaugural installation in January yes, of this same year, and yes, if you would like to, please see the irony of that other inaugural installation event. It broke again on the 3rd of this month. Today, if you’re counting and you better believe I am counting marks day 15. Customer service mishaps, lost parts orders, summer vacations, and dirty laundry from floor to ceiling.
Now, in the big scheme of things, nisht geferlich (not really so terrible, we are alive, poo-poo). Worse things can do and will happen. The Mrs., she has already taken some 80+ pounds of laundry to the laundromat I chose food shopping.
So now, I offer you this picture: I am fully clothed, save for a belt and sneakers. I walk into our shower. There is a small lump of laundry littering the floor near the bench. I turn on cool water and grab the bar of Fels-Naptha Laundry Soap. I wash my jeans while wearing them. This is the emmes truth (I swear its true). I peel them off for some interior suds-ing, give a good rinse, then squeeze, spin cycle style. Next, my T-shirt. Suds on and scrub. Take it off, rinse, and scrunch. Undergarments follow – you get the idea. I am finally in my birthday suit (no need to picture that — this is not on of those stories). I tend to the lump of things already on the floor… then finally, I can clean me. Please know, this dramatically increases my hygienic routine. I used to sing in the shower, now I feel like Ma, from Little House on thePrairie. As I load the dryer with my freshly cleaned items, I give the evil eye to the washer. Feh! (expression of physical and emotional disgust).
Allegedly, the fix-it-people are coming tomorrow – between 8:54 am and 11:54 am who gives times like these? — emmes truth. I think I will do another load in the morning, again…
If you have nothing to lose, you can try everything. Aoyb ir hot gornisht tsu farlirn ir kenen prubirn alts.
So, how’s by you?
Laundry, shmaundry… A bei gezunt (As long as you’re healthy).
Sandy beaches, sunshine, and just a bissel (a little) rain each day. Turtles, alligators, dolphins, fish, frogs, deer, baby gators, seagulls, ibis, lizards, and sandpipers. Spiders the size of my hand, definitely not for the weak hearted. Family, cousins, and even a baby! Five kinder (sweet children), four magnificent mommas, and ice cream beer, wine too! All, in our happy place, Bald Head Island, just off the coast of North Carolina. Together never felt so good!
“No matter what happens, travel gives you a story to tell.” Keyn enin vos khapanz, arumforn git ir a dertseylung.”
My Big, she talks about when she was in the ocean with baby C and his momma. The baby, he fell from the force of the wave riptide and was whisked up in the air, hanging by his hand his arm remarkably stayed in its socket lovingly held firmly in his mom’s grip. Baby C, clearly farshluggeneh (shaken, mixed up), then declared, “It is ag-gwa!”
My Little, she liked it when they all dressed up in the big blue bubbles and ran out on the golf course for pictures and videos. G, a kleineh kinder (small, little sweetie) clad in his blown-up blueberry, and almost lost inside its great girth big, he is not, literally rolled down the steps from the porch to the patio. He got up, blueberry suit as savior, fartootst (confused and bewildered), he looked at my Little and said, “That was so awesome!”
We heard from the Tanta’s (aunts)that ourLittle, she shared bragged, well she boasted, hell, she was kvelling (bursting with pride) her talent of being able to burp on command. She proved it, right then and there, too. The boys all broke into bursts of giggling. Me, and my Mrs., we were just grateful that she didn’t share the curse word she knows that rhymes with ‘truck.’ Oy vey iz mir. (Woe is me.) Our miniature komish (comic) in the making. Big, she read books to them all and tended to all of us the kinder like the mommelah (little mother) she is.
K, nearly 7, doesn’t understand why, if we have Baldhead, and we all can be there together, why is he now waking up in California? And us in Philadelphia? Smart, he is!
G, he told us stories about each animal, fish, insect, bird or reptile we encountered. Between books, school and the Kratt brothers (from the Wild Kratts TV show), this boychik (little boy) absorbs it all!
Baby C, he exudes cuteness. My Mrs., she has plans to kidnap him. But please, do not tell his mommas.
Now the Tanta’s, they are both shitterayn (able to cook delicious food without a recipe)no, I am not calling them bad things! I am complimenting them. Not a bad word at all! Each day, they would potchki (poke around) adding a little bit of this and a little bit of that in the kitchen. Gourmet snacks, meals, and picnics would appear before us, ready to be devoured. I did the laundry to make up for my lack of kitchen capabilities, however, please know that I am inspired!
Kvetching (Complaining): across the board. All five kinder had been varfing (throwing, as in throwing a tantrum) each and every time we slathered their skin with sunscreen. Enter curse word that rhymes with ‘truck’ here, now, as often as you like. Honestly, the geshries (screams) and moans that would come from these kinder, one might have thought we were coating them with alligator food and letting them out to stroll by the lake, alone! It was a painstakingly tough production for us all and anyone in earshot. And don’t you know, their gentle, smooth skin, like a babies tuchas (tushy, bum, butt), has been saved, despite the struggles.
Genug is genug! (Enough is enough!) You HAVE TO WEAR your sun shirt, your hat, your sunglasses, and we MUST re-apply sunscreen every 80 minutes!
“It’s time kids.” They got all broygis (pissed off, angry a real shit-fit).
We heard: “Putting sunscreen on is so boring. What if ___insert cousin name here_________ gets to the pool first? Why is it so thick we did apply it with a putty knife? You just put it on one minute ago! Yes, I did put it on my face already. You did that leg. The sun isn’t even out. Maybe we should only swim at night? Is there moonscreen too? Is it dry yet? Can I PLEASE go back in the pool now?” Imagine me explaining the depleted ozone layer, our dangerous proximity to the sun and its harmful effects to our derma, the largest organ in our entire bodies. Scott Pruitt, climate change…Oh, I went off.Oy!
My Mrs., she loved the shoals and tide pools over by Cape Fear yes, like in the movies. The small, waveless swimming holes were so much fun. It was calm and soothing sitting and swimming in nature-made pools, free from the pull of the full moon, fish swimming around our ankles. We all walked on the beach and collected shells. Big, she made drippy sand castles. Little and K stood atop boogie boards. G, he did too — even though he is slight enough to walk on water. I was bound and determined to find a sand dollar in its entirety – Bubkas (no such luck). Next time…
One of my most cherished times was biking with Big and K to the ice cream shop. The rain had stopped and we wanted to ride bikes. The others took the golf cart. We were rain free and riding through puddles on the way there. I led the way, K was to stay in the middle and on the right side of the path, Big, she rode caboose to help keep K in line. To K’s surprise, we beat the cart-full-o-family through Middle island and to the docks. To our surprise, he arrived in one piece. We all had the most delicious homemade ice cream beer when the clouds burst open. The amount of clean water pouring from the sky was stunning. The three of us rode back to the house, happily drenched in the deluge. We joked about needing soap and shampoo, and not needing any sunscreen. K, electrified by the sugar high, puddles and heavy rains, rode his bike as if he were drunk, swerving right and left. Just as our cart-full-o-family drove up, K pedaled himself straight into a tree on the side of the road. Remarkably, not a scratch on him. No head injury. No flesh wounds. (Knocking wood)
And I think we all enjoyed the pure, carefree, childlike fun and love as the kinder played, frolicked, fought (well they are real kids you know), laughed, and made collective memories. This was priceless.
And the photos and videos we all took made Nonna (Italian for Bubbe, which is Yiddish for grandmother) so happy. This trip to BHI was palpably different for us all because of our very tangible lack of Nonna and PopPop (grandfather, Zaideh). PopPop has, well, he has a farshlepteh krenk (literally, a chronic illness) and was recently moved to a nursing home, a much safer place for him and our Nonna. His decline has been so fast, like a lightning strike or the blink of an eye. His placement made it too soon for Nonna to make the trip. Everyone understood and felt her spirit there with us every moment of our days. We will continue to fill her heart with stories of the nachas (joys) we all experienced. These kinder will help to heal her heart and she does not need to apply sunscreen to take them in and ours too.
When children are young; their parents talk about how smart they are; when parents are old, their children talk about how stupid they are. Ven di kinder zaynen yung, dertselyn di eltern zeyere khokhmes; ven di eltern zaynen alt dertselyn di kinder zeyere narishkaytn.
Oy vey iz mir, may they stay young! May we all stay young(ish).
And another one for all:
Time is more precious than money. Di tsayt iz tayerer fun gelt.
Spring break and we have been counting the days to our trip to see my mishpocheh (family). We’ve had four Nor’easters in 3 weeks, snow up to my tuchas (tush, derriere) and all too much tsuris (troubles, stress, woe) filling our minds. The thought of 80-degree weather, sunshine, swimming, and laughing my ass off with my shvester (sister)until we literally wet ourselves was naturally the stuff of dreams… like unicorns, L.O.L surprise dolls, and glitter falling from the sky. And the kinder (my girls), they love seeing their Aunt, Uncle, and Cousins more than anything!
T minus two days, and the fever, she burns through my Little.A temperature of almost 104. She had complained of a tummy ache, and like all good Jewish-atheist momma’s, I told her to sit on the potty. She has had so much junk food of late, a good poo would be a relief like it would for all of us. She tried, my madelah (sweet girl). We watch The Greatest Showman on the telly.
T minus one day, fever sticking around like gum underneath the table in a diner. Lethargy and skin as pale as fine porcelain said porcelain will play a role very soon. We plan, we pack, we share the news of germs and we try to stay positive. We watch The Greatest Showman, then we snuggle off to bed, myLittle wrapped tightly in my arms. A few tired hours pass and we all awaken to a fountain of vomit. Nothing really says love more than getting thrown up on, and only worrying about the helpless, unhappy, scared little patient in your arms. We clean her up. Big, she helps us to change the sheets and blankets. The Mrs. presses the ‘sanitize’ button on the wash cycle.
There is a strange calm in the air, with a scent none too pleasant. Little, she fell fast and hard to sleep, again tucked close by my side. I could hear the soft crying moans from Big, realizing that we wouldn’t be taking that big ol’ jet airliner in a few hours time. Tears roll down my cheeks, silently. At 4 am I text my shvester, our friend who was to stay with Gatsby. We are a no go. Ix-nay on this oliday-hay.
Has the world ended? No. Are we grateful that we only have a petite passing pathogen that will eventually vanish? Of course. Are we all desperately disappointed? Big time.
Day of. I let all three of my girls sleep. I promise my Big that we will find a way to make it fun. That we will take turns taking her out of the sickly house and have some well-earned fun. I speak several times with my mishpocheh.My schvoger (bro-in-law), hepunches frantically in the keyboard to see if we can squeeze out different dates of travel, salvage our trip. We have teary-eyed FaceTime calls. So many plans they had in store for us! Vey iz mir. (oh my effing G).
Little, she cries for my Mrs. to stay with her, so Big and I make our way into the world. We have a nice nosh (little something to eat) at Starbucks. And head to the movies in a gray, teary day. We see A Wrinkle In Time. The woman at the ticket sales booth is 803 years old if she is a minute. In the past, she has given me the senior rate, to my dismay. Today, she again rings us up, 1 senior, 1 child. I feel the dark cloud above, rather than reveling in the 8 dollar savings. f*ck it and enjoy the show with your daughter
We had a lovely afternoon and decided Little, she would have been afraid in this movie. We bring home a vast array of popsicles (they used to call them poppa-sicles) for the sick one, in hopes of getting her to eat/drink. We learn of the day spent in (and close to) the porcelain seat, now the excrement exodus from the southern region. Oy. This reaffirms our tough decision. We watch The Greatest Showman.
Little finally wakes up with no fever and no symptoms. We convince her of just one more day indoors. The 24 hour, fever free rule — to keep the rest of humanity safe.
Her hair has begun to form dreadlocks. We all fear the brushing of that mop. The Mrs., she starts round one, and Big, me and Gatsby head out the door to explore our new ‘hood. We walk for an hour, in hopes of better hair days. We have such a good time! Gatsby is loving the spring and leaving pee-mail messaging around for all his new friends.
We open the front door to a geshrei (shriek, loud, unearthly Jamie Lee Curtis in Halloween cry). At least another hour goes by, and I amsummoned soBigcan get out’a dodge withthe Mrs. Armed with a brush, conditioner, and really bad TV, I sit with my muse. It will be 4:45pm before I claim victory. Her head, like a BP oil spill, finally combs through. We did it.
Later that night, we watch The Greatest Showman. Who knew our spring break, our circus, would also be our groundhog day. Aud-o, Steve-o, Max, Vic, we love and miss you all so much.
A mensch tracht un Got lacht.Man plans and God laughs.
From The Greatest Showman:
‘Cause we’re dreaming with our eyes wide open.
So come alive!
And of course, a bei gesunt. As long as you’re healthy! Stop by tonight! The Greatest Showman, 8pm.
I remember the time I first saw her. My heart raced a little and my palms, they were even a little sweaty (not a real schvitz (good sweat) this was well before hot flashes. I had no qualms at all. I knew she was right and true and good in oh-so-many ways. Then, I held her. We were meant to be — it was love. Who knew what was to happen over time. To me. To her. To us. It’s a shonda (a real shame), I tell you.
Drink? No. Drugs? No. Sex? No.
No! Please, don’t you worry about me and my Mrs.Kaynohora! (a great, albeit magical word, to ward off the evils of the world) We are just fine. Poo-poo! (more magic) I am talking about that ferkokteh (all effed up)iPhone! Smartphone. Choose your brand poison. That damned diminutive, divisive, device that is constantly causing digital dilemmas and drama, stealing life from right under us. I used to pee and walk the dog without a phone, well, obviously not at the same time.
My pocket-sized pal, she is always at the ready with a brain-strengthening game, a word with friends, a voyeuristic view into the curated world of my Insta-friends, an up-to-the-minute news flash (Vey iz mir (OMG), what has mr t done now…) of the world and it’s tsuris (troubles).
Have you seen this? The next time you are in a restaurant, a coffee shop, grabbing a nice nosh(little smattering of something to eat), look around. People are out, together, and looking only at their ‘phones.’ Tables full of people in self-imposed, solitary confinement. As I type the term ‘phones,’ I notice a smirk on my punim (face). This thing started as a phone. Who even talks anymore? Text, text, text, yadda, yadda, yadda… My car? It has become just an expensive accessory for my iPhone. Oy vey…
Well, so I did a little digging into this overwhelmingly addictive behavior. Turns out, ‘they’, yes the proverbial ‘they,’ designed this mighty machine with the intent to deliver a deluge of dopamine, so we continue to crave! Sound familiar, Marlboro Man? Dopamine, she is like a chemical messenger from your brain, bringing only rewards, joy and good feeling. Nachas in the form of a neurotransmitter. Kum-bah-yah everyone Often, we get a nice dopa-release from food, sex, giving gifts, falling in love, all things pleasurable — and unfortunately, from addictive behaviors like gambling and drugs… WTF Now, this 10-year-old technology, as old (or young) as my Big, has us all entranced and SIA (speaking in acronyms). Remember when you really did LO? And just screamed SHIT instead of a carefully chosen emoji! It was aerobic, cathartic, true.
Addicted? Here’s what to look out for, my friends. Sleep problems. That bedside blue essence and sheen, she is enticing and lures you in like the sirens of the sea… just like Carol Ann in the movie, Poltergeist, I warn you all, “Don’t go near the light!” I learned that heavy-duty smartphone users all of us have grapple with more depression and anxiety than ever before. Nu? Apparently, the more you hang with your digital dynamo, the more lonely and anxious you feel. The more lonely and anxious you feel… the more real life becomes socially awkward –The biggest hurdle? FOMO. FOMO is yet another acronym in our ever growing lexicon we have come to know and love: fear of missing out. We all worry about that. What?
I tell you today, and you read it here, I am putting her down. After what the hoodied-Zuck has done to us, we should all jump out of the new-found country that is FB and re-enter our present lives.
She does offer function. That I give her. I love that I have a camera wherever I go. I get to capture memories when I am present enough to make them. She keeps me safe. Driving alone, parking late at night, traveling for work, her mapping prowess, like prophecy… She lets me know where the kinder (kids)andthe Mrs. are, and I can even see their precious punims (beautiful faces) when we FaceTime. I remember the Jetson’s did this She offers open access to just about every piece of vital information I would need at my fingertips.
For the sake of my children, and the love of my life, iPhone, we are through. Finito. Kaput. Tsebrekhn. My mishpocheh (family, my peeps), I will now, try my absolute human best, to be forever or at least a real lot of the time present and mindful in our moments. And like all proper addictions, I must gain my strength with you still by my side.
It may not be easy. But hey, nothing in life ever really is…
A curse is not a telegram; it doesn’t arrive so fast. A klole iz nit keyn telegram; zi kumt nit on azoy gikh.
How about you? I’d love to know your thoughts on this telephonic topic. Leave me a note, or stop by, and we’ll nosh.
Vey iz mir. (OMG.)I am in the midst of what can only be a true epic mom-fail. I need your help. You see, I believe, no matter what you are doing, how big or how small the act, you must always set up the next person for success? Nu?Is this so hard?
Let me get to the point. No matter which bathroom, loo, water closet I enter, I am often always left high and dry. You know, you rush in for a tinkle, hope that maybe, just maybe, you can pass water in peace. Alone. The door won’t fly open with a concern, a to-do needing arbitration, a question like, “What are you doing, mommy?” Just trying to pee alone, just this once. And you reach across to the toilet paper holder, usually placed convenient to the action at hand, only to find…
Am I the only one capable, culpable, hell-bent hung up on hanging up a new roll of toilet paper when I reach the cardboard holder which is effing recyclable people? The other day, in the course of just a few hours (I have the bladder of a flea) I was left as dry as the Sierra Desert at high noon in all three technically 2.5 of our bathrooms.
Some facts for you: We are four women. Two moms, two shana maideleh’s (sweet little girls). That’s a lot of estrogens well, it used to be more… coursing through this home. No one leaves the seats up. No one can technically, er, um, drip dry (Gatsby, our man of the house, uses the outdoors mostly).
Not two weeks ago, I had that alone moment every parent craves and snuck into the kinder’s (kids) bathroom. I went, I turned, I reached… NO! I stayed seated. I took a deep breath. I called for my kinder. They came joyfully running. The entered without abandon. “Hi mommy, what’ryou doing?” I asked, “What is wrong with this picture, my kinder?”They both cocked their heads, like when I ask Gatsby if he wants to go in the car or have a treat.“What do you mean, Mommy?”
I pointed to the sad scrap of paper attached to the TP holder. I said, “Have you girls ever changed the toilet paper roll before? Let me show you how, so this can stop happening to Mommy? Nu?” Since I was, well, indisposed, I asked Little to reach for a new roll. She handed it to me with her playful, almost spritely smile. I said to them both, “Watch this.” I held the new, plush roll in my lap still seated on the throne as I lifted the cardboard insert and the metal bar that holds it in place. I showed them how to emancipate remove the empty roll and did a shtick (shpiel, speech) about recycling. Then I gently placed the lovely, fresh roll onto the metal bar and lowered it into place. Thus securing the new roll, with a clean top-over pull, ready for those in need me.
Still sitting atop said porcelain, I explained a bit about setting each other up for success in big ways, in small ways, in all ways. They nodded as if they understood. Giggling at my vulnerable state, I’m sure. Then, they scurried off to play. I completed my transaction and went about my day, thinking, “I made a difference today.”
… Later that same day, the commode conundrum reared its ugly head yet again. This time, upstairs, in the bathroom I share with my Mrs.(and kinder too) I didn’t even try to shut the door. I went, I reached, NO! Gatsby was curled on the mat near the shower. I looked at him and his tail wagged, making a lovely noise as it smacked the floor. He knew nothing of the tsuris (trouble) I was facing. I looked up, and across the room which felt a million miles away, atop the sink, sat a brand-new scroll. I laughed cried. I waited for eons. I stood and walked over like Elvis, with my pants around my ankles and seized my prize. Oy!
So my friends, If as a human being, living and sharing space on this precious planet we call home, you are looking to bring solace to your fellow dwellers, simply follow these easy steps.
You will need some basics.
1 new roll of (whatever ply suits your system) TP
A free hand put down the smartphone
Recycling bin (YES! It’s recyclable should not be sent to the landfill)
It’s simple really.
Remove empty roll.
Replace with new roll, paper coming over top.
Place empty roll in the recycling bin, or save for reuse as beautiful junk in a craft project with your kinder.
Beautiful. Now watch Helen Hunt do it… you won’t be sorry for these 25 seconds, I promise.
Anyone having these same issues? Do tell!
If the Student is successful, the teacher gets the praise. Az der talmid iz a voiler, iz der rebbi oich a voiler.