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:

Sunday, May 1, 2011

It's a bear!

I observed recently that while Rimonit's imagination has extended to bringing her friends and various animals into the house (regardless of where they are in body), making birthday parties, etc. for her dolls and, most recently, negotiating with Pharaoh, she hasn't really extended that tendency to reenacting the stories of other characters, like those she knows from books. Anyway, that has changed in the last few weeks, and she now incorporates characters from her books into her play. She has been Angelina (of course!), Donald Duck (we have a bunch of old Disney books that Warren brought back from Cape Town) and a bear hunter (from 'We're Going on a Bear Hunt'). (Rimonit: Tiptoe, tiptoe, tiptoe. It's a bear!) She's also been the bunny from my revised version of 'Runaway Bunny' (in which Little Bunny's idea is to play a game of pretend with his Ima rather than run away and have his mother stalk him). She also likes to assign roles; I have been Miss Lilly (Angelina's ballet teacher), Louie (Donald's nephew, obviously), and the innkeeper from "Donald Duck and the Magic Stick."

It's tempting to see this is a meaningful sign of some development or other in her imaginary play, but I could come up with an argument saying it's a kind of regression (first she was creating her own scenarios from scratch, now she's just reenacting scripted scenes) just as easily as I could that it's progression (she's gotten better at comprehending the narrative arc of a story and that's coming through in her imaginary play). Ultimately I think it's probably most likely that this is just another way for her to channel her imagination and is not necessarily a linear move.

Anyway, here are a few Hebrew words that often find their way into her English sentences:
- "hi/hee" (meaning "she" in Hebrew) instead of "she" (can hardly blame her for that one)
- "mi/mee" instead of "who"
- "ki/kee" instead of "because" (though she will now sometimes correct herself)
- (once or twice) "im/eem" instead of "if"

In English, she says "my" instead of "I" or "I am," and sometimes asks "where" instead of "what." She sometimes says "what you in" instead of "where are/were you," and I've noticed that "yesterday" is the repository of all things in her remembered past.

As for Kinneret, she keeps saying more words every day. One of her recent favorites seems to me to be a classic non-first-child word: "also." eg Rimonit: My want cereal. Kinneret: Also!

And in the Somewhat Unexpected Word for a Not-Quite-2yo to Use category: "deodorant" (she likes to play with mine, and apparently she knows what it's called). Plus she gives quite a cute roar now when she comes upon a lion.

In other news, R&K (they do this both together and separately) have recently introduced something of a reversal of the bedtime story ritual, in which they crawl into bed with me in the morning, armed with loads of books, and demand that I read to them... and read... and read... and read...


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