Nettles update: twenty months

We’re welcoming winter, Nettles, and because it involves warm frothed milk, it’s officially your favorite season.

It’s also your first conscious dinovember. While your brother ponders the universe and your sister cheers them on, you have one reaction, every day, finger pointing:

“Whoa. Whoooa. Whoa! Whoa.”

You’re growing closer to your brother and sister, and they’re becoming more attached to you. Ok, I’ll admit, we’ve been asked “why did you guys make her?!” but all in all, they really do love and adore you. And they’ll drop what they’re doing to help you out. Most of the time.

One thing that hasn’t changed – you’re a messy, if very good, eater.

On rocks, Arabs, talking it out, conflict, and more rocks.

This, an hour after listening to the recent This American Life podcast on the way home from work; the one titled, #570: The Night in Question, the one about the Rabin assassination and associated conspiracy theories.

“Listen, I want to talk to you about some stuff. Do your friends talk about Arabs in school?”

“[My teacher] does.”

“Really? When?”

“When we do [prayers] for the soldiers or people that are sick.”

“What does she say?”

“They throw rocks on us.”

“Do your friends ever call each other Arabs when playing, or say anything?”

“No, but today [friend] asked his ima if he is Arab.”

“He is not Arab… do you know that where I work sometimes Arabs come in to help fix things? And Abba used to work with an Arab guy. And lots of Arabs work around us. And they don’t throw rocks. Most Arabs don’t throw rocks.”

“More throw rocks or less throw rocks?”

“Way less throw rocks.”

“But why do some throw rocks?”

“Because they are angry.”

“But why are they angry?”

“Because sometimes Israelis or Jews make mistakes and do not-nice things to them, and sometimes they do mistakes or not-nice things to Israelis. But you know how we always say that when someone hits you, you should first try talking to them and not hit back? So here people aren’t talking, they are just hitting back.”

“Why aren’t they talking?”

“Sometimes it’s hard to know who to talk to.”

“How do they throw it? The rocks?”

“I guess regular…”

“Like this?” (pitches)

“Sure. I guess.”

“…what kind of rocks?”

“Uh, regular rocks I guess.”

“From the ground?”


“Where does it happen?”

“Where Arabs and Jews live close to each other.”

“Are the rocks big or small?”

“I dunno. Honestly, I’ve never seen it happen. I haven’t ever been there when it happens… yet…”

He looked at me, kind of surprised. It was too late to take it back but it registered I could have been anywhere near involved with an Arab throwing a rock.

“…but that’s a good thing.”

He turned six and a half today.

So I knew it was time for bed when he next asked,

“…but so Ima, why is your shirt inside-out?”



Nettles update: nineteen months

A couple months in maon daycare, and you’re becoming a tiny version of a kid.

Making ‘friends’ (well, maybe ‘petting’ potential friends/younger babies in your vicinity? Whether they like it or not?).

Adding new words to your vocabulary (as well as using a million words for the same thing, like tzetzi and geegee for pacifier? Or the same words for everything else – eemee is Ima? Me? Give me? Give me Ima?! Or what about mai, which is both water and milk, which is very inconvenient?).

Being Shabbat Ima, after plenty of practice swaying to shalom aleichem at home on Friday nights.


Who’s on first?!

“it’s very exciting! it means they won all the games they had to win so they get to the World Series.”

“what’s world series?”

“when they play the last seven games against the other team and the team that wins the most, which is four, wins the whole thing.”

“why seven?”

“I dunno. it’s best out of seven. the most games out of seven, which is four games.”

“why four?”

“because four is more than three which make seven.”

“but why don’t they just play all seven?”

“because they don’t need to once they’ve won four.”

“but why not just play seven?”

“because they don’t HAVE to, they know they’ve won…”

“but I don’t understand, why just four?”

“because four is more than half of seven!!”

“but why not play all of them?”


Bebe update: four and a half years

Six months and you seem way more than four and a half. well, most of the time.

On our trip in Australia, you faced some fears head on and opened yourself to learning more.

For example, after a few years of being freaked out by the beach, and a summer of going (on two different continents), you’ve embraced it.

This isn’t new, but still wonderful to watch: the way you care about your friends.

You’re sense of pretending and role play has gone up a few notches. Your play indicates all kinds of roles and your hand motions indicate, always, ‘ganenet’.

You’re willing to get in there. For the joke.

What I said about beaches…

And your desire to be a ganenet…

You’re always thinking, always coming up with something, always have some emotion to express, even if you don’t always say it. I know it.

Just don’t forget to let it out. However you want. The world wants to know.

Nettles update: eighteen months.

“Do.” “Doy.” “Doos.” “Douche.”

Your vocabulary is brought to you by the letter D. It’s also nearly correct – ‘poo’, ‘bird’, ‘shoes’, and really on target with that last one, since you meant ‘wash’ and actually kinda said it in French. Or you’re cussing the shower, which wouldn’t surprise me either.

Also nice try with the flat-on-the-floor tantrums. You make a good effort. But I’ve been down this road. And you’re way too smart to the point I know you know when it’s not working and try a different route. And you do. Good life plan.

Since Yom Kippur is tonight, I want to apologize for something. Well, for everything you’ll be in therapy for already, but also for what I’ve given you without realizing it until this month:

Resting bitch face.

See Nettles, for the last couple months you were doing this hilarious face. You’d look up at me, cross your eyebrows, pinch your mouth, and scour. I’d laugh, you’d laugh, I’d copy your exaggerated face, and ask you what you’re so angry about.

Then one day while we played this game in the mirror, it hit me: you’re actually just copying my  resting face. My infamous resting face, where everyone thinks I’m angry when I’m just pondering what kind of puppy I want.

And then I laughed, and you laughed, and now I’m forever self-conscious of what face I’m making around you.

On that note, it’s ok that you look like me – for once, I have a kid who does – but I hope it means something that you’re way more excited about being around other kids. You’ve been having fun at your new gan with 394728946 kids around, mostly older ones.

One piece of life advice: when you think you’re being friendly to them, you’re actually hitting them. We are practicing the ‘make nice’ bit actively, but in the meantime, maybe try not to actively laugh while you slap kids. It could give your potential friends the impression that you’re, well, doing this on purpose.

Same goes for all the hair-pulling.

Here’s to a good year Nettles.

Ballad of the backpack begins.

It’s the night before first grade starts. I guess I’ve lived through multiple (somewhere around 30+) of these nights, but this one is different.

By my front door there’s a Spiderman backpack filled with lined notebooks… clear plastic book covers… pencils…

Everything is still innocent. Everything is still fresh-faced and calm. Bracing for the change.

And 12 hours before school starts, we got our first panicked –

“But I don’t wanna go…”