Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Things My Grandfather Hated . . . But Let Me Do Anyway

  1. He hated the "penny arcade" and complained it was a waste of money . . . but he nontheless drove me to the one on Bay Parkway whenever I wanted to go and he even gave me money (of course quarters, not pennies). I originally thought of this post a few months ago when David was begging me for quarters to play those darn games. My grandfather let me, how could I not let him.

  2. He hated that I demanded something more expensive than "a pack of gum" in exchange for returning the afikoman . . . but he always relented after much negotiation. (That's how I got my first ten-speed and the Meam Loez.)

  3. He hated that I looked like a "hobo" (dress and grooming) . . . but I was always welcome this way in his home or when I tagged along with him on social outings with his friends. Not even a peep when I would show up that way in his shul on shabbos.

  4. He really hated the "noise" (i.e., music) I listened to . . . but after much cajoling he would always let me choose the radio station in the car (but not too loud).

  5. He hated professional (WWF) wrestling because it was "phony" . . . but when he walked in on me watching it in his bedroom one afternoon he didn't make me change the channel.

  6. He really, really hated when I sat on my knees, which I often did, even at the table. With this, however, he never ever exhibited any weakness. It was never tolerated. I finally decided to publish this post because I was reminded of it last week when I told David the story of how Dovid Hamelech chose his soldiers. (They lay flat on their bellies when drinking from the stream rather than kneel beside it on their knees.) Then I told David about how my grandfather would always yell at me to get off my knees.

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Sunday, January 29, 2012

Nightly Repertoire

It started with the first two sentences of keri'as shema. One night Ora said it as she was getting ready for bed. We weren't 0even aware she knew it. (She had learned it in daycare.) It was so cute how she tried to cover her eyes with her tiny hand and then waved a finger in front of her mouth as she said baruch shem kevod. One night I spontaneously added Hamalach Hagoel Osi. I didn't intend to make it kavu'a, but the next night, as I turned to leave, she whispered, "Hamalach." And so it happened every night. Except at one point as I turned to leave she whispered, "ABC." And then "Dreidel." And then "Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star." And then "Torah, Torah." It got to the point where I was afraid for her to learn new songs lest she add it to the nightly repertoire.

At some point I started speeding up the singing and eventually not repeating the lines that should be repeated. Last week I was sick and I just didn't have any ko'ach so I put her into bed and made a dash for the door. Luckily she was so tired she fell asleep and didn't complain.

At 2 am she started crying, which is very unusual for her. I can't even remember the last time she woke up in the middle of the night. I offered her anything and everything to cajole her back to sleep. More dolls, cookies, orange juice. I thought she nodded yes to the OJ, but when I returned with a cup she demurred. Finally she looked at me and whispered "Hamalach."

So I gave her the Hamalach she really deserved earlier in the night. With full (fake) chazonish gusto and repeating everything that needs to be repeated and more so. Thankfully she fell right back asleep and I didn't have to continue in such fashion with the rest of the of the repertoire.

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Click here to register as a bone marrow donor. It's the easiest way to save a child's life.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Christmas Decorations

Ora learned the word "decorations" at Christmas time and every time we passed a house with lights or other Christmas paraphernalia she would point and call out "decorations." One time David told her not to look a nativity scene and explained to her that she will die if she looks at idols.