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, November 9, 2010

Warren says

1. W objects to my statement that KL has stopped saying Abba. He says she still does.

2. Apparently the Smunch, being the teenager she is, has (at least for the moment) rejected her childhood nickname, telling Warren when he calls her the Smunch: No, Rimonit!

P.S.: New word for KL = up (as when she stands up). I think she may also be saying 'here' (as when she wants to sit on this here chair). And I forgot to mention that she also understands instructions related to getting dressed (or arrested), like 'hands up.' (Also 'pick up your leg.' Maybe she's learning more about dogs than that they are said to say 'woof woof'...)

P.P.S.: I love that our little frummy chick (that would be RP) was looking in her dresser drawer for her "seatbelt" this morning - dontcha know, the sparkly one that comes with her jean skirt.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Teaching a young dog new tricks

Scene 1:
Last week. Kinneret learns a new trick. She has turned toward the kitchen window, listening as a dog starts barking loudly somewhere outside - and (to Ima's surprise) excitedly repeats what said Ima has just said: "doggie" (her version is sort of more like doooooooooo'iiiii)and "woof woof" (a very cute "fff fff," said with her top teeth over her bottom lip, her eyes even wider than usual, and a look of deliberate intent that makes it clear this is no random sound). She even gives the right response to the question "What does a doggie say?" (Fff, fff, of course!)

I tell Warren, but for the first day she only does it on cue when I'm the only witness. That Friday he reports that she repeatedly trotted out her animal repertoire when he took the girls to buy shoes. We're very proud, in that way that only parents of a 15-month-old can be.

This week. I'm at the playground with R&K when Kinneret spots a cat. She gets very animated, points and shouts: "Doggie! Doggie! Fff! Fff!"

Hmm, looks like we could use a little fine-tuning before she enters the talent contest...

Scene 2:
This morning, somewhere between 6ish and 7ish. Rimonit is not happy to discover that the front door is bolted, because she hasn't figured out yet how to unbolt it and she wants to play in the hallway.

RP, standing at the door: Want to go inside! Want to go inside!
Ima: What do you mean, go inside? You're already inside the house. You want to go outside?
RP: Want to go into outside!

Random other things:
- Kinneret has recently gotten into sitting on grown-up chairs. She's constantly going up to a chair, patting it with her hands, and waiting for me to put her on. (And take her off - though she does that pretty well by herself too. And put her on again.)

- Rimonit's shoe fetish, which she has had since she got her first pair, has yet to diminish. She announces about 12 times a day that she has new shoes, which she wants on from the moment she wakes up. At least she isn't constantly taking them on and off (or worse, getting us to take them on and off), as she did with every pair of shoes she's had until now! It's amazing to see Kinneret not particularly caring about her shoes - I mean, she knows they're new and she definitely understands the word "shoes," and she sometimes signals that she wants them on or off, but that's about it.

- Words Kinneret says: Verbally, just doggie, woof and more. She used to say words that sounded a lot like Ima and Abba, but then she stopped. She also signals eat (which is also drink, unfortunately - I'm working on that) and all done, and loves to wave hello to anyone she sees, and bye-bye. Some words she understands (or seems to): dancing, clapping, bye-bye, bath, shoes, sleep/bed, bottle (plus of course the words she says and signs - since I always use the words with the sign). When I asked Rimonit the other day if she wanted to hold Kinneret's hand as they walked up the path to the building (she often does if they're both out of the stroller - very cute!), Kinneret held out her hand to Rimonit (who of course, didn't want to take it!). She seems to understand a lot - apparently in Hebrew too, since at gan they also tell me she really seems to understand. Though she's had a lot of ear infections, it looks like (ptu ptu!) she doesn't have the (minor, temporary) hearing loss (from fluids in the ear) that Rimonit had, which hopefully means (and it already seems to) her speech won't be as delayed - and no hearing tubes! (did I say ptu ptu?)

- As for Rimonit's speech, she has lately been using possessive words in English a lot. Instead of saying "shoes sheli" or "Rimonit shoes," she'll now be much more likely to say "my shoes" (or "mine shoes"). She's also been using your/yours.

- She has this funny very localized stutter - only when she's saying her own name and usually saying that she wants something. She'll just repeat her name very fast like four or five times in a row - Rimonitrimonitrimonitrimonitrimonit Rimonit want toast. I don't see it as a matter for concern, since the context is so specific, but it's just this kind of funny random temporary speech quirk.

- Rimonit has gotten very into the concept of the supermarket (which she pronounces superMAARket) as THE place to replenish all insufficient supplies (kind of like if Target were to merge with Pathmark and Home Depot - and move to Israel). She's constantly telling me that when something's finished we'll get more in the superMAARket. But while the products she mentions are often food, sometimes they're random other objects. On Shabbat she noticed that I was wearing a necklace and that (at her insistence, of course), she was wearing a necklace too (plastic thing one of w's cousins got). This led to the following exchange:
R: Abba no wear necklace.
Ima: No, Abba doesn't wear necklaces.
R: Abba get necklace in superMAARket.

- I said in a recent post that she seemed to be playing less with her quasi-imaginary friends, but I think it must have just been a pause of a few days. She's now incorporated some of the newer kids in gan into her play, and has started talking about the gananot as well. (Especially on Sundays, which is the main ganenet's day off: Where Esti? Esti home? Esti come back?) Today she informed me that both Esti and the other ganenet, Michal, wear shoes. (Have I mentioned the shoe fetish?)