My kinder (Big and Little) and me, we went for a nice walk in the ‘hood with our boychik (little boy), Gatsby. It was a gorgeous autumn day, not too cold and filled bright with sunshine. They were hesitant. A bit groggy from the previous nights’ festivities. Yes, I did the dreaded mom-fail move: I bribed them.
“Come with me to walk Gatsby and I’ll get you both vanilla steamers at High Point!”
Before I could say supercalifragilisticexpialidocious, shoes, socks, coats and a, “We’re ready to go, Mommy! Aren’t you coming?” Here are a few snaps for our jaunt. What a lucky momma I am!
Never promise something to a child and not give it to them, because in that way they learn to lie.
Keynmol onzog epes tsu a kind aun nisht gebn es tsu zey, vayl in dem veg zey lernen tsu lign.
To say my kinder (kids) like to nosh (snack) is like saying the Pope, he is Catholic. Who doesn’t like a nice nosh (little something to eat….).My Little, she will even quote ‘Winnie the Pooh,’ and ask, “Can I just have a little smattering of something.” Now, no Jewish momma even this atheist Jewish momma is going to want to hear the geshrei (cry, moan scream) of hunger from their babes. Essen, bubbelah (Eat Sweetheart). It’s what we grew up hearing. You’re tired? Eat. You’re sad? Eat. You’re angry? Eat. You’re __________ (insert any feeling, emotion, TV show, a brand of car, celebrity, a sign of the zodiac, etc. and the answer in a Jewish home is always, EAT!) Eat. Stuff those emotions down your throat with a nice shmear (a robust portion of cream cheese) andlox (smoked salmon)on a bagel. Mind you, before dinner, Little, she had a nice plate of lox.
Noshers and fressers(those you can eat freely and copiously, no reserve!). That is what happens on movie night in our apartment. And last night, was no different. Vey iz mir (OMG), it’s a non-stop fridge free-for-all, where they stare like a deer in the headlights with the refrigerator door wide open — as if a spell has been cast upon them. Let me share with you a bissel of the essen (little of the eating) that transpired.
First, a nice meal. All of us sitting down together almost civil. Gatsby, he is circling, waiting for the crumbs to fall. We had a healthy, organic, vegan meal of Nona’s homemade lentil soup, bean burrito’s, roasted cauliflower, carrots, hummus — a nice spread albeit a little windy for all. We decide to rent Cinderella, the new-ish one. Dim the lights, roll the show, and…
I’m hungry (in unison)! Can I have something to eat?
Mind you, we barely finished the dishes. And so, being Saturday night and all, we live big! The girls, they each have an ice cream sandwich (the very best of sandwiches in my book). Cue the film. Take 2!
I’m hungry (in unison)! Can I have something to eat?
Something healthy, I cry…
My little, she brings the bowl of carrots over to the sofa and they crunch, munch and chew. Once the bowl was empty:
I’m hungry (in unison)! Can I have something to eat? Can we have another Ice Cream sandwich?
Can you make these bisquits?
No sweetheart. I’m not going to potchke (to fuss, and/or cook) in the kitchen now, after already making a nice dinner. Are you f**king kidding me?
Can I have that cake from Thanksgiving?
Not bloody likely!How about a squeezy-yogurt, honey? Breathe they’re just kids and they are growing
The squeezy-yogurts are from the freezer, so this should buy us at least ten minutes of movie time. Tick-Tock. Tick-Tock.
My Little, she then shouts, “Can I have a pickle?”
Bigchimes in, “Me too?”
I gotta let you know, they killed that entire jar of pickles. Gone. Gornisht. Bubkas left.
Little, she is still whimpering and is about to ask Alexa for the phone number to the department of childhood injustices, when she opts for a bowl of roasted cauliflower. I warn her that her belly is going to really start to make tsuris (trouble) for her and us. This is just too much. And this combination, oy, her kishkas (intestines) will be in an uproar. Now, you must remember, She’s got pipes. One bowl of cauliflower. Two bowls of cauliflower. At least this is some healthy sh*t she is eating!
Big, she starts stirring are they even watching the movie? and opens some almond butter granola bars before anyone notices. So of course, Little,she now wants some jalapeno blue corn chips.
ENOUGH! THE KITCHEN IS CLOSED! Itisafter10pmatnightandyouhavenotstoppednishingWearegoingtowatchtheendofthismoviebrushandflossourteethandgotobedTherewillbenocryingoutformorefoodYouareeatingoutofboredomorhabitormaybeagiantmomfailonmypartDoyouevenknowwhatishappeninginthismovieNexttimewewatchamovieitisonesnackOnesnackandthatisitOneDoweallunderstandJesusChristYesAtheistJewssaythistoo
And then, not ten minutes later, in bed, our Little, she says: MommyEma (an endearing term for us both), my belly hurts. No smoking gun here…
My Little (bottom left of the picture), she’s got herself some pipes, alright. Girlfriend can scream. She can shriek so much better than like Jamie Lee Curtis (nicknamed, the Queen of Scream) in any of the Halloween movies… It’s as if she is channeling some kind inner demon, that can reverberate at only the loudest volume. It starts from the tip of her toes and amplifies at the top of her lungs, barking, bellowing, clamoring … And yes, there are biting bouts of bonelessness, punching, and kicking that add to the happening that is a Little tantrum. Dear neighbors on all sides, above, and below, please accept my apologies for the ongoing mellifluous Mayday moments that travel freely through our thin walls. It’s no doubt, meshuggeneh (crazy) in here at times.
But there is a bigger problem that rocks me to my very core. Me and my Mrs., we do not know why our caged bird sings… Sure, there is a mishmash of anger, sadness, drama, fear, stress, exhaustion, hunger, and irrationality that we all experience every day since mr t took office from time to time. But she’s seven. How bad is life when you are seven? What kind of tsuris (trouble), plagues and misfortunes are stirring in the mind of my shana maideleh (sweet little girl)?Do I seek an exorcist so that Mrs., Big and I don’t get evicted completely bleed out from our eardrums? We are shreknt(frightened, terrorized).
There is no question that when my kinder (children) hurt, I hurt. You see, as I am certain you wise caregivers already know, this special performance nearby residents aside is saved only for us, her mishpocheh (family). Yes, we are safe enough to go all batsh*t cray-cray on to let your hair down. But it is a real shondah (shame) that we can’t crack this nut code and offer solace to my maidel (cutie-pie).
What is wrong? What happened? Are you angry honey? I don’t know. What happened honey? I don’t know. Little, can you stop screaming? I don’t know.Sweetie, please listen to mommy. No response. Did somebody hurt you? No. Did somebody hurt your feelings? I dunno? Are you sick, wounded, have we somehow scarred you for life tired, shaken, scared, hungry?
Okay, sweetie. Come with me so I can leave the room and not lose my sht all over this place we can talk more privately. You are right. We are not having Chinese food tonight. I am sorry that makes you mad and sad. And, this behavior is not okay actually it is quite impressive. If you think that acting this way will get you an Oscar or an Emmy a trip to the Chinese Restaurant, you are indeed batsht cray-cray incorrect. Now, are you really throwing a fit over Chinese food? Please know you can tell mommy or Ema absolutely anything in the world about anything and everything, and we will always love you. Always! If I could crawl inside you and see what it feels like to be myLittle right now, I would. I want to help you. And you cannot act this way. Okay? Okay, mommy. I’m sorry.
Take some deep elevator breaths and calm down. ( I do them too.) Good. Now Little, is this behavior you are sharing a good choice? No mommy. Is this behavior showing kindness to your family or community? No mommy. Whatis the one rule we have in our family? Be kind, mommy. Can we leave the bathroom where I am doing everything humanly possible to not go all meshuggeneh and scream louder than you and Jamie Lee Curtis combined go into the living room with everyone else and be kind now? Yes, mommy.
Consequences for such a performance? No TV. No iPad. No allowance. No play date. Obviously, no Chinese food. No solutions. Nothing works or phases my Little. Oh, she is a strong woman in the making! Somebody, help me?
Enter bathroom scene. Repeat. Oh, how I love this kid of mine!
If you have nothing to lose, you can try everything. Aoyb ir hot gornisht tsu farlim, ir kenen prubirn alts.
Today’s post has been literally hijacked by yet another deadly mass shooting, here in the good ole U.S. of A. I was going to write a lovely piece about our trip to LEGO Land with my kinder (children), and fill you in on how Nutcracker practice is going — but that will come at another time. I am seething and crying all at once — and I refuse to go numb. We need action. Notorious RBG would demand it, and so would Edie Windsor!
Congress, you are inept I am beyond mad and I have had enough. The chain of green is a stranglehold that must end. Held by the very prosperous purse strings of the National Rifle Association (NRA), you now have lined your pockets, profits, and proceeds with payola: and it is nothing less than blood money. Your ‘trump card’ use of the Constitution and our ‘right to bear arms’ has shifted quite precariously from guns for a trained and able military to guns for killing the sport, crime, suicide, and the obstruction of passing laws to protect us, the people, from fair and just gun legislation.
THIS MUST STOP
Guess what? Prayers, thoughts, and joining of hands in unity don’t do jack-sh*t do not work. The deadly mass shooting in at the First Baptist Church of Sutherland Springs was the worst deadly gun massacre since the last one, in Las Vegas, just a few short weeks ago. In fact, take a look at what is now becoming the shameful and violent legacy of American gun culture:
Sutherland Springs, Texas: 26 killed November 2017
Las Vegas Nevada: 59 killed October 2017
San Francisco, California: 3 killed June 2017
Orlando, Florida: 5 killed June 2017
Ft. Lauderdale, Florida: 5 killed January 2017
Burlington, Washington: 5 killed September 2016
Orlando, Florida: 49 killed June 2016
San Bernardino, California: 14 killed December 2015
Colorado Springs, Colorado: 3 killed November 2015
Roseburg, Oregon: 9 killed October 2015
Chattanooga, Tennessee: 5 killed July 2015
Charleston, South Carolina: 9 killed June 2015
Isla Vista, California: 6 killed May 2014
Ft. Hood, Texas: 3 killed April 2014
Washington, DC: 12 killed September 2013
Santa Monica, California: 5 Killed June 2013
Newtown, Connecticut: 27 killed December 2012
Brookfield, Wisconsin: 3 killed October 2012
Minneapolis, Minnesota: 6 killed September 2012
Oak Creek, Wisconsin: 6 killed August 2012
Aurora, Colorado: 12 killed July 2012
Oakland, California: 7 killed April 2012
Seal Beach, California: 8 killed October 2011
Tucson, Arizona: 6 killed January 2011
Manchester, Connecticut: 8 killed August 2010
Huntsville, Alabama: 3 killed February 2010
Ft. Hood, Texas: 13 killed November 2009
Binghamton, NY: 13 killed April 2009
Dekalb, Illinois: 5 killed February 2008
Omaha, Nebraska: December 2007
Blacksburg, Virginia: 32 killed April 2007
Salt Lake City, Utah: 5 killed February 2007
Nickel Mines, Pennsylvania: 5 killed October 2006
Goleta, California: 6 killed January 2006
Red Lake Indian Reservation, Minnesota: 9 killed March 2005
Wakefield, Massachusetts: 7 killed December 2000
Honolulu, Hawaii: 7 killed November 1999
Fort Worth, Texas: 7 killed September 1999
Atlanta, GA: 9 killed July 1999
Columbine, Colorado: 13 killed April 1999
Did you know that after every one of this horrible massacres, gun sales go up?
It is most definitely a GUN ISSUE
mr t said, “a very deranged individual” hello pot, meet kettle did this. He went on to say, this shooting “is not a guns situation” and that “it is a little too soon” to be talking about gun violence. TOO SOON!
Another lone, white gunman took his own life after killing and injuring droves of innocent people. He walked into a church, dressed in black and armed with a Ruger AR-556 semi-automatic assault rifle. He sprayed the crowd as they prayed, with bullets. His background included violence and domestic abuse, a dishonorable military discharge. He should have never had that gun in his hands.
We need to expand background checks for every gun purchase. We need to talk about mental health while stripping us all from the Affordable Care Act and we need to put away the party rhetoric and start saving innocent lives. We must condemn the violence that happens all too often. Oh, and btw, two-thirds of all the gun deaths in the US are suicide. Yes, suicide.
We must remind Congress, that they work for us.
Congress, We the people, we need you. We need to stop the NRA, who is currently spending ridiculous sums of money, lobbying, on a new bill to make mass shootings even easier. You see, the NRA, they are worried about our hearing. WHATTHEFCK There is a new legislative plan they are forcing down our throats, and it is called, get this, the SHARE ACT (Sportsman Heritage and Recreational Enhancement Act, H.R. 3668) Bundled in this bollux of bullsht is the Hearing Protection Act. What’s that? I can’t hear you. I just came from the shooting range. To protect your ears from the sound of bullets killing, felons, domestic abusers, criminals, gangs, and anyone else, can get silencers. Imagine Las Vegas, Sutherland County, or any of these acts of horror if, in addition to magazines and semi-, or automatic rifles, they had no sound. None.
Please, do what you can to turn this awful tide of violence and terror and move it in the other direction. Today, go out and VOTE. Here are two trusted organizations that are trying to help, and I have joined.
Tell me a story about a young girl, born in 1933 during the height of the depression, growing up facing antisemitism, blatant sexism, and inequality, and I’ll know you are talking about Ruth Bader Ginsburg, my hero. Oh, Ruth, you are one powerful Yiddisheh momma that dares to live every day #livingfearlesslyauthentic. Let me tell you about her.
Nothing ever did or will stop her. If she disagreed, you knew about it. If she ever wanted something to change, she stood up and fought for it — and that is still true today. She lives and breathes strength, integrity, and elegance. She stands up for equality when others don’t even recognize the discrimination. She is a graceful heavyweight, a leader among all leaders, and at five feet tall, 84 years old, she heads up the liberal wing of the Supremes. She makes me proud to be a woman, a Jew, a feminist, an activist, a mom, and a human being.
Fight for the things that you care about. But do it in a way that will lead others to join you.
— Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Supreme Court Justice
Joan Ruth Bader was born to Jewish immigrants and grew up in Brooklyn, NY. Her sister died when she was just a toddler. Her mother, Celia, always stressed the importance of education (Celia was a very good student, graduating High School at 15, yet her family chose to send her brother to college. It was a time when sons were valued and daughters were meant to find husbands.). As a mom, she wanted more for her daughter. What momma doesn’t? Celia noticed that many girls in her class were named Joan, so to quickly avoid any tsuris (trouble), she asked her teachers to call her Ruth. She brought her to the public library often, where Ruth consumed Nancy Drew books, realizing that Nancy was a young girl in charge, who thought for herself (perhaps we add this series of books to our collective daughters’ gift lists?Nu?) both in her mystery solving and in her relationships. Ruth’s dream of becoming a lawyer was underway and early signs of Notorious R.B.G had begun.
Ruth was an excellent student (she listened to her momma, like a glikt shana maideleh (good girl)). Sadly, her mom died the day before her high school graduation
She went on to attend Cornell University, where she studied in the bathroom stalls, hiding from parties and social activities — she graduated as the top-ranking female student in her class
At Cornell, she met Marty Ginsburg, whom she would later marry. Ruth was demoted from her job for being pregnant. Marty and Ruth gave birth to a bouncing baby girl. Everyone said she belonged in the kitchen, and at home with her daughter. Marty and Ruth knew better.
Marty ( a successful tax attorney in his own right) was supportive, unlike many men of their generation. He understood Ruth was no balaboosta (organized and efficient home-maker). He handled all of the traditional ‘mommy’ roles. Middle-of-the-night feedings, cooking, cleaning, baking, and tending to the kids… he was proud to do these things so that Ruth can later become the Notorious R.B.G. that we know and love.
She attended Harvard Law school and was often ridiculed by the dean for being a woman, taking up a man’s spot.
Marty took a job in NYC and Ruth transferred to Columbia University, where she graduated tied for top honors in her class.
She had a law degree and top honors, but being a woman, wife, mom, and a Jew made her dreams of becoming a lawyer very difficult. To say she became passionate about women’s rights and gender equality would be an understatement. After co-founding the Women’s Rights Project for the ACLU (American Civil Liberties Union), Ruth went on to fight six landmark cases on gender equality before the US Supreme court.
President Jimmy Carter appointed RBG to the US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia. She served there for thirteen years. President Bill Clinton, looking to increase the diversity on the highest bench in the land, appointed her to the US Supreme Court. She joined the Supremes as only the second female Supreme Court Justice (Sandra Day O’Connor was the first). She refers to the former justice as her “big sister.”
RBG battled colon cancer in 1999. She fought off pancreatic cancer in 2009. In 2014, she had a stent placed in her right coronary artery after feeling uncomfortable while working out with her personal trainer. Yes, she can probably kick a*s and take names in any gym she enters.
As for the name, Notorious R.B.G., that comes for her feisty and fiery dissents. A meme virally toured the social media realm, comparing her rap star Notorious B.I.G.
On retirement, at 84, she is a self-proclaimed flaming feminist litigator and is showing no signs of losing her efficacy or her memory. Take a look at this recent tweet from our own twit-in-chief, and you know she still is a powerful force.
Ruth, I admire you and hold you in the very highest regard. You influence my life and my decisions, and I know this world is a better place because of you. Thank you for all you do.
What a gutte neshumah, she is. What a good person with a big heart, she is.
the sciencebranch of knowledgeprojection of feartsuris (troubles) concerned with the production, distribution, and consumption of goods and services buying the stuff you need today, tomorrow and the next day for your family.
Meshuggah (crazy) behaviors or actions, that oftentimes arise with heart palpitationscreatively as the direct result of the scarcity of means, in order to achieve certain common and normal ends. Huh? ex.: We need to brush our teeth, we still, really!!!have no toothpaste… Achh!
Take a look at this photo. I walked into our bathroom the other day, and this is what I saw, no joke! From our loo to your eyes. I ran for my magical iPhone to snap this baby. And with this, comes a tale. After all, you that is why you are here …
Did you know, that when you run out of toothpaste, you can actually cut the tube in two or three parts, and have enough toothpaste to last a normal family of four at least five more days? Did you also know that when the deodorant thingy-mah-jiggy-holder falls from its container and bounces on the bathroom floor a few times and lands in the corner, a linty, hairy mess, you can remain odor free for about two weeks more, if you pick it up, wipe away the yuck, and rub it under your arms? Two weeks! And, that pump in the shampoo bottle… when that stops pouring out perfect spurts of soapy suds-making, you can lengthen and lusciously lather for days, maybe even a week if you take it off? The little straw itself holds two days worth of ‘do-cleaner! Then, the bottom of the bottle, don’t get me started! It’s robbery! In Yiddish, we call this, aroizgevarfeneh (pronounced ah-royz-geh-varf-ehn-uh). It literally means thrown out, wasted.
Extrapolate this scenario out across your personal purchases: think about the sunscreen, moisturizer, conditioner, make-up (like I would know, Nu?) caulk, paint, glue, … wait, don’t. It’s too upsetting to think of the money we’ve all put in the landfill left at the table. Look at this little Yiddisheh gem:
It is not so good with money, as it is bad without. Es iz nit azoi gut mit gelt es iz schlect on dem.
Living in the frugal lane, we’ve learned some very good money-saving tips and ideas. We’ve all worked to change our anti-penny-pinching ways many years ago. It’s all good. And we’ve argued and cried learned and grown. Vey iz mir (OMG!), it is madness if any of you let the above actions go unnoticed! Think conservation! Teaching the kinder (children) about resources and savings, everyday environmentalism and, well spartanomics!
My glass is always half-full. Now, I think it may be even more full than I ever imagined! What I do know:
To make promises and to love don’t cost any money. Tsuzogn un lib hoben kostn kain gelt nisht.
So try these tips. See if you save. If you have tips for us, please! Do tell! My Mrs. and me, we are trying desperately to save our money for a home. Alevai! (It should only happen!) These small humans we are raising, Little and Big, they cost a fortune! And, yes, these shanah maidels (sweet little girls), they are indeed priceless.
This is one tough world we live in… but who am I to tell you that? I wake up each morning and cautiously look at my smartphone, one eye opens at a time, and already, I get discouraged.
Stuff yourself with hope and you can go crazy. Fun loiter hofenung ver ich noch meshuggah.
Grateful? Mindful? Of course! Every day I remind myself of the good. And yet still, there is so much bad in the news, in the world, in our lives, in the lives of our friends. So what to do? I must find the laughter. Share the laughter, and add to the contagion in the chaos of the smile theory.
Laughter is heard farther than weeping. A gelechter hert men veiter vi a gevain.
So here’s a little story to share:
Right before school started, the Mrs. and me, we needed to get the kinder (kids) leggings and jeans. We went to Old Navy, you know, the cheap version of Gap? We found quite the sale, which better fits our frugal finances of $0 per month on frocks and finery. We found about 8 -10 pair, a shirt or two, and we were only lighter by $30-some dollars (That’s a -$30-some on the master budget spreadsheet). Not bad. Don’t you know, when we got home, the first pair my Big wants to wear has a dime sized hole mittendrinnen (smack dab in the middle of) her tuchas (tushy, butt, derriere)? I dry the tears and promise to sew this slit and salvage the day. After all, I am of the age that literally had to take Home Economics in school (feminism, oy vey). What part of baking brownies and crocheting toilet paper roll covers made that class economics? Oy, a whole other blog post right there. Needless to say, I made a promise.
A needle and thread were tough to find in our little flat, so two weeks later, I finally remember to make a trip to the local pharmacy. For $4.95, I buy a small kit to fix the leggings that were $1.99. Little, not caring a bit about the rip on the rump, had already worn them to school. Big, she has been hock mier chinik (banging on my tea kettle, yammering on and on) for me to make the fix.
It doesn’t cost anything to promise and to love. Tsuzogen un lib hoben kost nit kain gelt.
This morning, it was the first thing I set out to do. These pants, shmata (rags) no more! I make a nice hot coffee and place the new sewing kit, and the lacerated leggings all in arms reach. Gatsby, he is securely settled in my lap in support. Children nestled all snug in their beds our bed. I begin.
Threading a needle is a tad bit more difficult than I recall. Glasses on. Glasses off. Like Karate Kid, I repeat this mantra. At 654 months old, home ec or not, it took me over 25 minutes to put the blue f***ing thread through the teeny, tiny needle. Less than three minutes of sewing said slit, and I’m done. My Big, she is still sleeping. I almost want to wake her to see the joy on her shanah punim (beautiful, radiant face). I know she will wear them immediately.
I get up and proudly look in the mirror who the h*ll is that wrinkly old lady with gray hair?(Glasses on. Glasses off) as I brush my coffee tinted breath. I laugh. Maybe this gray coif is the silver lining of optimism I need.
I hope you all laugh today, and continue to find the laughter. We need it.