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:

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

January 2011

Rimonit showing off some of the new clothes Savta Lea brought.

Saba Nissim with K and R.

Their father's daughters (+ bonus book rant)

1. Warren has trained his girls well. He has found a Web site where he can watch cricket, and it's now often on in the mornings before he takes the girls to gan. It's no big surprise that Rimonit knows how to say "cricket," but the word is also now part of Kinneret's small but rapidly growing vocabulary. Now when she sees it on the computer, she chirps "CI-ket" in her little high voice. Very amusing.

As for Rimonit, sometimes her father's tendencies can go heading in unexpected directions. Warren is a major advance planner, to the point of insanity. But unlike Rimonit, he probably never planned his outfit about eight months in advance. RP caught sight of the box of sukkah decorations in storage the other day and began asking about Sukkot (Sukkot sleeping? Where sukkah? I can't see sukkah. Sukkot come back?) I told her Sukkot would come back after Rosh Hashana, which she already knows will come when she's four. Her response? She announced that she wants to wear tights on Rosh Hashana.

On a note that Warren can relate to just a wee bit better, she also looks forward to having a beer l'chaim with him during Shabbat lunch (he puts a drop in her kiddush cup), and they have even been known to have a beer dance, which involves Rimonit shouting BEE-YA (as per the requisite non-pronunciation of the letter "r" at the end of a word, as per the way W says it).

South Africa, here we come...

2. In anticipation of our impending journey, I have repeatedly been having pretty much the same conversation with Rimonit. We had it twice just this morning:

Rimonit: My [that would be "I'm" in actual English] going with Abba to see Grampa tomorrow.
Me: Yes, we're all going to Cape Town. But not tomorrow.
Rimonit: Going on airplane to fly in the sky?

The second time was as W was about to take them to gan, except she replaced Grampa with Gaga. She seems to kind of know we're not really going "tomorrow," and doesn't get upset about it, but all the same she keeps repeating it.

[UPDATE: Later in the day, RP asked yet again about flying to Cape Town. This time she told me she's planning to wear a skirt on the plane. (!)]

Soon enough it really will be "tomorrow"... sooooooooooo not looking forward to the flight, especially with the Runaway Bunny, who has been a squirmer since she was in utero and needs to be captured about 16 times just so I can get her dressed in the morning.

3. Which reminds me - the other day I put on a short-sleeve onesie under K's shirt, and the onesie had a rabbit on it. Knowing what we sometimes call K, Rimonit saw the rabbit and announced that it was the Runaway Bunny...

4. Speaking of which, I really really hate that book (here's the text, posted by some woman who loves the book for Jesus analogy reasons). But I found an alternate way of reading it that works with the pictures, for those times when Rimonit insists that I read it (I always plan to hide it or give it away or something, but I haven't actually done anything about it).

The actual book "The Runaway Bunny" (by Margeret Wise Brown, the author of R's former favorite going-to-sleep book, "Goodnight Moon") is a horrible story - published in 1942 but still a popular (why??) children's book today - about a mother (okay, a mother rabbit) who won't give her son any of the independence he craves and follows him around mercilessly every time he tries to get out of her clutches. For instance, he says he'll run away and be a fish in a stream; she says that if he becomes a fish, she'll become a fisherman and fish for him (meaning she'll gouge him with a hook and eat him!?).

I find some of the illustrations (by Clement Hurd) quite disturbing as well. In the part when he says he'll become a bird and fly away from his suffocatingly omnipresent mother and she says she'll become a tree that he comes home to, the picture is of a very freakishly rabbit-shaped huge imposing tree. But no less freaky is the rabbit-shaped huge imposing cloud blowing the wind when he becomes a sailboat. Oh, and she's not blowing the wind to keep him safe or anything - she wants to become the wind so she can "blow you where I want you to go." Uh, hello, let him make his own decisions in life, scary rabbit mommy!

Anyway, when coerced into reading this, I now turn it into an adventure game that mother and son play together. In my version, son says something like: "Let's play a game! I'll pretend to be a fish in the stream!" Mommy says something along the lines of: "That's a great idea! I'll be a fisherman!" And so on. It doesn't exactly make for the best plotline, but it does keep me from throwing She Who Just Won't Let Go across the room.

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