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, September 21, 2010

One day, three scenes

Scene 1, morning, at home:
Rimonit is playing on her own in the living room, next to the wooden coffee table. She asks for a bowl, and I give her a plastic one. This isn't so unusual, since the kiddies often play with kitchen utensils. Then I see her coming out of the kitchen with another plastic bowl.
Me (suspicious): What are you doing with those bowls?
RP: Ely! Barak!
Me: You're eating with Ely (pron. Ee-lie) and Barak? (Needless to say, neither of these gan-mates is physically present.)
RP confirms this to be the case and requests another bowl. I get it for her (after all, it wouldn't be polite to leave one of her guests without a dish) but tell her no more bowls, which she repeats and seems to accept.
Logically enough, she subsequently requires three spoons. I give her regular spoons from the cutlery drawer and she sets three places at the table.

Scene 2, afternoon, at home:
We've come home from gan and sukkah decoration shopping and I happen to pass by as RP is unzipping her new fuzzy pink backpack with 3-D white fuzzy doggie head (ie it sticks out of the bag, isn't just a picture - and she love love loves it! thank you dani and savta june!). And what do I see? She pinched three very familiar-looking spoons and brought them to gan this morning while I wasn't looking! Keeping my laughter inside, I told her that spoons stay in the house and don't go in the backpack or to gan. She eventually agreed to bring them back to the kitchen. Oh well, she may have walked off with the silverware but at least she brought it back at the end of the day!

Scene 3, 6:50 p.m., at home:
The girls have eaten (or at least played with their food sufficiently) and I have just given Kinneret her nighttime bottle and done her inhalation (both have mild asthma, which I'm told is quite common in kids and which I hope will go away when they get a bit older - actually, now that I think about it, R hasn't needed to be inhaled in several months, ptu ptu ptu). I say to Kinneret: Okay, it's time to go bed! To my utter shock, she gets up immediately - and LEADS THE WAY STRAIGHT TO HER BEDROOM DOOR! She stops in front of the door, sees that it's closed and starts slapping at it. I have no way of knowing whether she was reacting to/understanding my words or the pre-bed ritual + maybe intonation of my sentence, but either way, what can I say but Wow!

Monday, September 20, 2010

Things Rimonit has been saying

* tni li hand (holding Kinneret's hand down the path in front of our building in very big sisterly fashion)
* lo l'bite! (to Ki)
* lo l'break, lo l'take (seeing any trends here?)
* Nit lo want THAT 'tainer (because that's not the container Ki was playing with first. the 'that' is a recent upgrade from 'ze.' she also occasionally remembers to say 'yes' instead of 'ken.' the occasional 'thank you' comes out something like 'manku.')
* eifo rosh hashana? (when 'hagei tishrei' cd starts playing:) hinei rosh hashana!
* yalla, yalla roshana!
* ima metuka! (not so true, but i like it anyway)
* i lovOO!

* over the last few weeks, she has started really absorbing my repeated explanation that the reason we can't open this bag of pasta/can of corn/etc etc right now is because there's already one open and first we finish what's open and then open a new one. now every time she sees any container, it's all: lo open. finish open! and she's not satisfied until i repeat the rule. (that's right, first we finish what's open and THEN we open a new one...)

* she very much excels at the metanarrative. she'll often be running around the house 'singing,' and regularly interrupt herself to inform me 'Nit singing!' another time, she had a whole 'shabbat shalom' back and forth with warren; i was sitting right there but she stopped in the middle, looked at me and said, 'Nit Abba shabbat shalom!' she also narrates what other ppl are doing, like when warren took another helping of something: 'Abba want more.' About a month or two (three?) ago we were at ppl with a dog and she said 'Nit dress for Shabbat. Doggie lo dress for Shabbat.' Have i mentioned she loves shabbat? all week long she sits in her bathtub cooking for shabbat (hot! oven. Nit cooking shabbat)

* she love love loves playing with her quasi-imaginary friends: her buddies from gan who do exist but just aren't actually there while she's opening the front door to let them in to the house.