Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Parent rivalry?

It's usually SiM who gives preferential treatment (see here) to Abba. Today it was sort of Eh's turn.

"Mommy, I gave a big kiss to Abba!' she told me. Hmm. Abba is in the office, taking care of some business. Why did he get a kiss and not me who was supervising pre-sleep jumping in bed?

"Can I get a kiss also?" I asked nonchalantly. "Ok, but let me give a kiss to SiM, first," said my firstborn while I patiently waited. SiM was touched by this show of affection from his sister and took out his pacy to blow her a kiss back. Then I was instructed to turn my cheek towards Eh and I finally got my slightly wet kiss.

At that moment I was probably the proudest parent in Brooklyn. And as an after thought I was comforted in the knowledge that even though I wasn't the first (or even 2nd) to get a "big kiss", I'm usually the one and only to whom Eh comes in the middle of the night to ask for 'hot milk, please'.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Aging gracefully

The phrase 'insidious onset' comes to mind. Some things happen suddenly. And some take such a long time to happen that one can't really put a finger on the exact 'before and after'.

Well, since the events mentioned below, I just don't know what to think about my situation.

On Friday, after lighting the candles it was a bit of a nuisance saying the bracha after the candle lighting because it was obstructed by something. I managed. Immediately after lighting, I realized that my shabbat flowers are not on the dining room table. I went to the kitchen. They weren't there, either. I looked all around. Then I asked the babysitter if she knew what happened to the flowers. There was a slight pause after which she tentatively told me that they were on the piano. OH. The obstruction turned out to be a vase with my flowers...

On Sunday, I had a choice of buying The Simpsons calendar or Phrases on Aging. I won't even mention which one I bought because I know I don't have to...

In the morning, during my AM routine, I noticed a white hair on my head and instead of pulling or cutting it, I just thought "thank Gd for my hair" and continued with the routine...

Lastly, a few minutes ago I was about to inform hubby that he used my towel ( and almost walked out of the bathroom with the evidence) only to suddenly realize that it almost happened the other way around.

This prompted me to write this post and a memo to self to remove the 'aging' calendar from the car tomorrow.

Thursday, January 22, 2009


It was an ordinary Thursday. My colleagues and I were driving back to work from lunch. There were two pigeons on the road, doing their bird things. My colleague slowed down. One of the pigeons flew away at the last second. And then we heard a thud. And in the rear view mirror, I saw a bunch of feathers on the road.

'You Killed a pigeon', I told the driver. And though he denied it at first, he saw the evidence, too. And for the next 7 minutes, he kept repeating that he couldn't believe that he killed a pigeon. I tried to comfort him saying that pigeons are lazy and stupid and statistically they become most frequent bird roadkill. My other coworker altogether said that the pigeon was sick, didn't want to live ( hence didn't fly away in time), and it was meant to be.

The dead pigeon was the talk of the gym when we returned. Everyone had a story to tell of how they try not to kill an animal/bird on the road...how they witnessed animal to animal violence...where one can find the most roadkill in the 5 boroughs, etc.

Overall, it was an unpleasant experience and I'm glad it a-didn't happen on the way to lunch, as I'm sure 66% of the party would've lost their appetite; b- there were no kids around who witnessed this event; c-for the reminder that pigeons have a dulled sense of self preservation.

Wishing all the drivers safe and pleasant commute.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Bread and butter AKA payback

For the past few weeks, as soon as I'd turn of the lights or try to say Shma with Eh, she tells me that she's hungry and needs to eat something.

I'm well aware that it's her way of postponing her bedtime. But sometimes I give in and take her downstairs to eat a sandwich or a couple of crackers. To make a long story short, it's becoming a scary routine where as soon as she gets into her bed Eh says that she'd like to eat crackers with cream cheese ( or 2 crackers, or just crackers...).

I'm trying to take this in stride. May be she is really hungry because she isn't a great eater (and there are only so many creative pasta suppers I can make- and anyway she prefers her pasta free of any 'dressing').

Or maybe it's just payback for all those times I made a scene of not going to sleep without getting my 'bread and butter'? I remember having a phase where I'd have to eat bread and butter (after staying in bed for a bit) before going to sleep...

A couple of days ago I told my mom about my 'crackers with cream cheese' issue. I even apologized for driving her crazy. She told me it wasn't a bother at all... And if that's the case, maybe this isn't payback but just an opportunity for Eh and me to have our little girl-chats over some crackers.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

The unpopular kid

The kid had a bit of a mousy appearance- dirty blond hair that didn't stay in the pony, navy-gray clothes, a bit of a cold. He kept trying to touch the snacks before they were giving out and the teacher kept telling him 'don't touch! Don't touch that, Mike". He was sitting right next to the teacher but he got his snack second to last. Ditto for the drink (I actually pointed out to the teacher that he didn't get milk).

The other kids didn't seem to pay much attention to him, either. It appeared that he was the unpopular kid...

When the parents came to pick up their kids, Mike didn't rush to his mom like many other kids did. And I, with a sort of sick fascination, was staring her. When Mike finally got ready and came to his mother, she was very affectionate with him. She kissed Mike, and hugged him, complimented his a&c that he had in his hand.

Mike transformed from the unpopular kid into someone very dear and loved.

For some reason, though I met Mike only once, I remember his quite well. And, when I encounter someone who at best can be described as a 'nebach' I try to remind myself that not only is this someone is a human being but s/he's also someone's Mike, someone's pride and joy. And Mike deserves to be treated fairly.

Monday, January 12, 2009

On cooking

For a while now I've been specializing in frozen-ingredients, well done, and one pot meals.
I still have the good intention of cooking more sophisticated meals and stuff my fridge and pantry with all the right ingredients. But more often than not, many of these ingredients end up slowly dying in the fridge or hiding on top shelves and I keep perfecting my specialization.

Yesterday I realized that the shredded cabbage (could-have-been cole slaw or cabbage soup) and steak (lean and clean, good for grilling, baking, stuffing) should be cooked or else. Meat and cabbage stew came to mind-easy, healthy, reheats well.

I sauteed onions and garlic, added the meat and spices, and lowered the flame to simmer. Then I realized that we no longer have plastic forks and plates. So I decided to go out and buy them. I checked on the meat-the onions and the meat let out lots of water, enough to cook for a good to be palatable and easily chewable for the younger generation.

After I left my house I realized that it was Sunday night. All the local stores were closed and I was too tired (lazy?) to drive for 15 min just to get disposable dishes. I called my sister who said she has some plastic forks to spare. I took the forks but then decided to come up for some tea...

To make the long story short, I came home an hour and 20 minutes later. The house was filled with the scent of cooking meat. Without taking off my coat I rushed to the kitchen, lifted the lid from the meat pot and saw that there was still had plenty of liquid left in the pot. Whew and thank Gd! The meat must be really tender now, cooking with lots of onions for over an hour. I added the cabbage, cooked the whole thing for another 20 minutes and went to bed.

I served the stew for dinner today. Hubby complimented me on the taste and the tenderness of the meat. I told him that I cooked it for a very long time, etc.

"Yea, you left the house with the meat on the stove. When I came to the kitchen, the pot was almost dry and I added a whole cup of water to it."

Thus, my successful simmer-lots-of-onions-with-thin-strips-of-meat stew ended up just another failed well done dish thanks to hubby's keen sense of smell. But in the end, we all (including now-picky Eh) enjoyed it and that's what matters.

Tomorrow's menu includes some Indian chicken which will be cooked right before dinner (and the chicken's will finish defrosting by tomorrow). So there is still hope for the return of gourmet meals...

Saturday, January 3, 2009

I'll be wearing my work clothes

I once went on a date with a lawyer. Since we worked in the same neighborhood, we agreed to meet soon after work. And after we agreed on the day and time of the date he added (quite unnecessarily?) that he'll be wearing his work clothes. I said that I'll be wearing mine and we left it at that though I wondered if I should take my lab coat in my pocketbook ( just in case).
In the end, the guy wasn't even worth me showing up in a robe but that's not what this post is about.

It appears that some work clothes are better than others. Often business people (i.e. those who have to have a 'professional' appearance) quite often find it acceptable to show up at an evening social function wearing their 'work' clothes, regardless of the general appearance of these clothes. A suit is a suit.

A couple of times I've noticed doctors (medical residents) attending a function in scrubs. Granted , doctor is a respectable profession. But a uniform at a social function is neither respectable nor respectful.

Would it be ok for a nursing assistant to show up in scrubs? Would a nursing assistant or a nurse (wearing exact same scrubs) ever allow him/herself this liberty. How about a mechanic in an oily blue one-piece, or a butcher in a blood splatters apron? Can a train conductor or a police officer show up at an engagement party or a brit in their uniform?

Or do I need to get out more?

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Happy Birthday to Eh!!!

It's official today. 3rd anniversary of my new, most challenging and rewarding identity as a mom.

My little Eh is 3 years old. Thanks to her I appreciate so many aspects of life (including my parents) which I saw in a completely different light (and sometimes not at all) until I became a parent. I think I even understand (possibly my perceived) special place my sister (the oldest of us) has in my parents' hearts. I didn't lose my middle child complex but the resentment is gone. Each child is unique and special but only the first one changes your status:)

Two thoughts come to mind. My friend's words (which at that time I heard with scepticism and now think of with appreciation) that you don't really start living until you have kids. And, as retold by my sister, my comment , as I pointed to my very-pregnant-with-Eh stomach: 'Once this comes out, I'll never be alone'.

May Hashem give you health and happiness, my little one; you should continue to grow to be a constant source of pride and joy to us and all of the Jewish people!