the 90th minute

Until September 2007, when my oldest daughter was born, this blog covered daily life and politics in Israel, as well as Hebrew-English linguistic issues, from the perspective of an American-raised journalist and translator living in Israel. Now it mostly serves as the SmunchMonk&Bear news agency, a portal into the bizarre universe of the little people. Read more at:

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

I sense a full-bodied berry bouquet...

(It's Hamper Time! Ahhhh!)

The kid seems to be doing a lot of imitation lately. I recently noticed that I had the unconscious habit of tapping the front of her diaper when I closed it up - as if to say, "All done here," I guess - only when I saw her tapping the front of her own diaper and realized she must have picked it up from me.

Then last week I was taking a long, thirsty drink of water and let out a little "ahhh!" that I would scarcely have noticed had I not suddenly heard an echo of the sound from the high chair next to me. But I don't even need to provide that syllable of thirst-quenching satisfaction anymore - though sips from her own cup ar relatively unaccompanied, she has now been primed to provide the sound effects when I take a drink.

I had described her newest trick to Warren, but he didn't hear it himself until Friday night, when he drank the kiddush wine with the kid on his lap - and was rather startled to hear her say "ahhh!" in evident appreciation of dry red.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Who's a stinker now?

Two things Rimonit really likes came together in an unexpected context the other day.

She loves holding my (closed) deodorant (one in each hand, preferably), and she really enjoys walking around with a bag on her arm - she's recently adopted a Zara paper shopping bag and an orange cloth bag I frequently put in her stroller to transport crackers and other tantrum-allaying devices - and placing her little treasures inside. I have found a diaper (clean, of course!), her socks, one of Warren's slippers, cornflakes - and of course, my deodorant - among her most favorite things.

The other day I put the food bag I was planning to take to work (I would say lunch bag, but it's more of a dinner bag, which just sounds funny) on the end of the table near the door so I could grab it as I headed out. But someone else grabbed it before me, needless to say, and I had to distract the kid with something else so I could get it back from her clutches.

I didn't think much of it... until I got to work and discovered a familiar-looking container of deodorant snuggled against my food! I guess she's gotten tired of me calling her stinky (but only when she is!) and decided to return the compliment...

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Chairman Rao

RP's newest acquisition is an orange plastic chair, just her size. She already has her very own couch, but she seemed to want a chair. She was sitting anywhere she could find - the low (slightly above the floor) windowsill in the living room, the bottom rung of her high chair, on top of her truck - so we decided to take pity on her and get her a piece of furniture intended for the Smunch-sized to place their little tushies upon.

When she first saw it, though, the last thing she had in mind was sitting: She picked it up and wandered around the house with it, stopping every 30 seconds or so to see how her chair looked in the new location, shifting her grip on it and starting again. She did find a good spot eventually (about a foot away from where her journey first began), where she sat nicely (okay, for about a minute) and read a book! (I guess she is our kid after all...)

She also has recently started getting into hand puppets (like her blue hippopotamus that's also supposed to be a kind of bath sponge). But she's not so interested in being washed, or entertained, by a puppet - she's much more into wearing them herself. In fact, she's already created her own puppet: On Shabbat she stole my slipper right off my foot and put it on her hand. I tried to (gently) steal it back, but she was having none of it, and reclaimed it every time.