Tag Archive | Babies and Toddlers

Bubbles in Your Milk

Tell me, is it really so bad?  Shlomo has reached the bubble-blowing stage, and I have to say, I think it’s hilarious.  The sound of it, the happiness of the kid, the way the bubbles get higher and higher – it’s all win, no lose.  And really really funny.

Granted, I no longer blow bubbles in my drinks.  But that’s because, well, I’m an adult.

And seriously?  Did any of you stop blowing bubbles because your parents screamed at you about it?  Because your parents told you that it’s not socially acceptable?  I’m guessing not.  It’s a childish behavior, and a behavior that every child knows and has practiced several times over.  It’s also fascinating.  And guess what?  It’s also something of a phase that we all grow out of.

Will Shlomo blow bubbles in his milk in grade one, whether or not I tell him not to do it now?  Probably.  Will he blow bubbles in his water on a date?  Probably not.  Will he blow bubbles in his milk with his own kids?  Probably yes, and I really couldn’t care less.  He won’t do it in high school, he won’t do it in college, and he won’t do it while he’s at work.  If he does do such a thing as an adult, it will probably be either alone or with his wife when they are both blowing bubbles in their milk together.  Unless, of course, he is doing it with his kids.

So I am not planning on saying anything.  I said one sentence – “You should know it’s not socially acceptable.”  When the bubbles got high enough I made Shlomo choose between sitting on my lap beside the computer and blowing bubbles in his milk; he gladly got off my lap, and it’s not the first time he’s made that choice.  He knows that any mess he makes he has to clean up.  And when too much milk started ending up on the floor I told him that we don’t waste milk and if he spills any more I will take it away.  Guess what – he is now keeping the milk in the cup and not letting it overflow.

In addition to the bubble-blowing, he also stuck an index finger in the milk to mix it, he said his hand was in the milk and it got wet.  He also told me he was blowing bubbles and then said that they looked like balloons.  Of course, balloons need to be popped, so stick your entire fist in the milk cup to pop the balloons, and say, “boom, trach (guttural “ch” again).”

These are not behaviors that will last until adulthood and so I think – we think – that life will be more peaceful if we let them be.  Some behaviors, if left alone, will just get worse if they are not stopped.  Somehow, we don’t think bubble-blowing is one of them.

Happy blowing.

blowing bubbles, milk bubbles, bubbles in milk, bubbles in drink, milk, bubbles, straw

Flying Cake

On Shabbat morning, Shlomo gets cake for breakfast (long story).  Obviously, I don’t make the cake just for him.  But it’s usually the only cake we make each week.

This week Yitzchak bought me a present – ingredients for cheesecake.  I made a cheesecake Thursday night and a chocolate cake on Friday afternoon.  The cheesecake, obviously, was almost gone by the time Shabbat morning came along.  But we saved a bit for Shlomo.

Except . . .

When Yitzchak gave Shlomo a piece of chocolate cake and a piece of cheesecake last Shabbat morning, Shlomo picked up the cheesecake, said, “Cold,” and refused to touch it.  Yitzchak said that if he doesn’t eat it, Ima will be very happy to.  Well, Shlomo didn’t want it, and that was final.

So YItzchak cut the cheesecake into bite-size pieces, speared one with a fork and brought it to me, while I was still in bed.  Yummy.  Then he did the same with bite-size pieces 2 and 3.  And then . . .

Shlomo decided that flyiing cake into Ima’s mouth (he could see it from his seat at the table, because the bedroom door was open) sounded like a lot of fun.  So I got about five or six pieces of chocolate cake flown into my mouth, except that these weren’t cut into bite-size pieces and I more than once found my mouth overstuffed.  One of the times, Shlomo had to wait [im]patiently by the bed, because I just hadn’t finished chewing.

And then finally, after I asked for no more cake (please!) Yitzchak put the cake on top of the fridge, and the game of flying oversized pieces of cake into my mouth ended, much to Shlomo’s dismay.

It certainly was cute while it lasted, but my mouth was too tired and I had eaten more pieces of chocolate cake in one sitting (laying?) than I had wanted.

Potty Training, Round 2: Failed

Remember when we tried the 3-day method?  Then, we gave up after two days, since it was obvious that Shlomo understood what he was supposed to do, but didn’t seem interested in doing it.  We gave up after a discussion with Yitzchak’s mother, who didn’t hold too much hope, since she’d trained two like this herself (one, of course, was Yitzchak).

no potty, potty training, refusal to potty train, potty, toilet, training, pee on the potty, poop on the pottyThe ganenet (preschool teacher) trains the kids in twos, the older ones and more ready ones first.  Shlomo is one of the oldest kids in the gan, and I knew that she was planning to start right after the holidays.  In other words, when she told us last Wednesday that we should bring Shlomo in underwear, I was already expecting it.  She told us to put him on the potty every ten minutes, and not to ask if he had to go, since he’ll just say no, just put him on the potty every ten minutes and make a big deal of it when he goes.  I saw no reason not to go with her method, since ours hadn’t worked, and figured that maybe this time, because it’s both at gan (which he loves, and has a potty-training partner) and at home, maybe it would work.

Thursday morning I brought him in a diaper and she changed him into underwear at the gan, in front of all the kids, while praising him.  He let her put underwear on him, but as I walked out I saw his face.  It said, “Uh-oh.  I don’t think I like this idea.”  Mind you, on Wednesday afternoon, when I came to pick Shlomo up and got the details of the plan from the ganenet, I had said, “You want to go on the potty like a big boy?  And wear underwear?  You’re going to be so big!”  And Shlomo said, “Uh (his version of uh-uh).”  I tried again, “Right there are other kids who also go on the potty?  And you’re going to make pee-pee in the toilet just like Abba?  What a big boy you’ll be!”  And he said, “Uh.”  The ganenet and I just looked at each other and she said, “He’s already big, just bring him in underwear and he’ll learn.”  I told her that he knew, but refused, and she just said we’ll train him and he’ll be fine.

Well, I’m not going to argue with an experienced ganenet who’s been doing this for thirty years, and has grandkids herself, right?  After all, even if I helped potty-train my siblings, I’m still a young parent who’s trying to train her first kid.  And hey, if this works it’ll be worth it, right?

Thursday: One in the potty and one in his pants.  He woke up from the afternoon nap dry, and the ganenet is in shock that he can hold his pee that long.  At home he went once in his pants and twice (big pees, too) in the potty.

Friday: In the morning before we left he made a big pee in the potty.  These big pee-pees give me hope, because last time we did this, we only got little drops.  Now, it actually looks like he peed everything into the potty; maybe he’s willing to work with us, after all.  At gan he doesn’t go at all – not in his pants and not in the potty.  I pick him up at 12:00, because it’s Friday.  The ganenet says, “He just holds it in, he doesn’t want to go.  He definitely has his own opinions.”  Yep, he does.  We sit him on the toilet, and he goes again.  He wakes up dry after his nap (which was pretty long).  Then three pee-pees in his pants, one of them with poop, too (obviously, right after Yitzchak left for shul (synagogue).

Shabbat: Twice he made teeny drops of pee in the potty, probably just to get us off his back.  Three poops and two pees in his underwear.

Sunday: Two pee-pees in his pants at gan.  At home, once a little pee in the potty that continued even after he got dressed again, and one pee-pee just in his pants.  He ran away from the door to gan in the morning and ran away from the door to the house in the afternoon.  Both, presumably, because he knew he’d be put on the potty when he came in.  Big temper tantrum when we tried to put him on the potty.  Eventually he calmed down when we gave him his awful butterfly.  When I drop Shlomo off in the morning I speak to the ganenet.  I tell her what happened on Friday and Shabbat, and she just says, “Oy yoy yoy,” and sighs.  Then she says it’s easier to train them at age two, and now it’s a little later so it’s harder.  I remind her that we’ve tried to train him already and tell her that we did that at two years and a month or so.  She asks if I want to give up.  I say no, he’s big enough, he needs to be trained.  On the way back from dropping Shlomo off at gan, I remember that my youngest brother also refused to train, until he was almost three and my mother forced him.  Great.  He gets it from both sides.  Is this like teething, where late gene + late gene = super-late gene?  I hope not.

Monday: One pee-pee on the floor when we were getting dressed, right after he insisted on getting off the potty.  To his credit, there is also some pee in the potty.  (I tell Yitzchak that we’re saving the pee till the afternoon because I forgot to make a fuss about it and let him flush the toilet.  Ew, but whatever.)  One more little drop while we were heading out the door (didn’t change him, though).  Three pee-pees in his pants at gan.  One pee-pee in his pants at home.  Again, temper tantrum when we tried to put him on the toilet.  This time, lasting longer and only stopping right before I got home.  Eventually he agreed to sit on the potty and play with his awful butterfly (which is his official potty-training toy).

Tuesday: No pee in the potty this morning,  but none on the floor, either.  The whole walk to gan I tell him, like I did on Sunday and less so yesterday, that he needs to go in the toilet for the ganenet and not in his pants.  That what the ganenet says, goes (just like you can’t ignore her and pretend you don’t know Hebrew).  Yitzchak picks Shlomo up at a quarter to four and calls me: The ganenet said to just give him back his diaper, he’s not interested.  I wonder what she thinks about all this . . .


Until now, when Shlomo’s nose was stuffed, we had to get the snot out for him.  As any parent knows, there are two options for this:

1) Use a snot-sucker.

2) Use your finger.

When the child gets a bit older, a third option becomes available:

3) Put a tissue to his nose and tell him to blow.

You can probably guess that option #1 has been out of use for a while; we usually give Shlomo the option of #2 or #3 (though, if it’s dry snot, we usually use option #2).

Yesterday I noticed that Shlomo had discovered option #2a: Pick your own nose.  He had his finger in his nose (instead of in one of our noses, for a change) and then I saw snot hanging out.  Of course, being a good mother, I pulled the snot off his face.

Then he said, “Yeah?” and held out his hand.  I bent down and kissed the hand.  No, that’s not what he wanted.

“Yeah?” he said again.  He turned his hand slightly and pointed a finger, and then I saw what he was referring to – he had snot on his finger, and he wanted it off.

This scene repeated itself quite a few times today.  Shlomo picks his nose, so there’s snot on his hand.  He doesn’t like having his hands dirty, so he comes to me and asks me to take it off.

Of course, it’s not just snot – it’s anything.  Especially gooey foods like egg salad and chumus (hummus).  Today when we were eating deviled eggs, Shlomo finished his and held out his hand, saying, “Wash.”  I prefer to wash his hands once at the end of the meal, but he was insistent.  So, Yitzchak took the end of Shlomo’s bib and wiped his hands with it.  New skill: Wipe your own hands with a towel.  It’s a skill Shlomo has refused to learn until now (yes, I said refused, it’s not that he couldn’t manage, just that there’s no reason to dry wet hands), but suddenly I saw him wiping his hands very fiercely on the edge of the bib.  I guess Yitzchak didn’t do a satisfactory job.

Does He Know Hebrew?

hebrew, english, translator, hebrew letters, english letters, hebrew speaking kids, english speaking kdis, bilingual

This year, Shlomo is going to preschool.  Why?  Well, because towards the end of this past school year, I started seeing signs that he was ready.  I can’t exactly explain it, but the signs were there, and I knew that I had to find him something for next year.  The question was only what, and how many days/hours per week.  And obviously, if he needs to be in preschool, I’m not going to stay home by myself, right?

In the end, we found a great preschool (gan), except that it’s from 7:30 until 4:00 (except on Friday, when they end at 12:00).  Not my dream; I would have preferred shorter days.  On the other hand, until I had my schedule in hand, knowing where he’s be until 4 was a good thing.  (As it turns out, they take a nap from 1:15 until 3:00, then they wake up, have a snack, and it’s pick-up time.  So I guess there’s no real difference between a gan that ends at one and his gan.)

The gan is great.  The ganenet (preschool teacher) is wonderful.  He loves going, he loves to be there, and he’s not usually in a rush to come home – first he has to finish what he’s playing with.  The ganenet loves him.  He has a slight issue parting from us in the morning, but apparently, the minute we walk out the door, he’s happy again.  All is good, thank G-d.

Yesterday, the ganenet told Yitzchak that he doesn’t understand the word, “ba,” (came).  When Yitzchak told me this, I scoffed at him – Shlomo has told me a few times, “bo’oo,” (come, in plural) and patted the floor.  I wasn’t sure if Shlomo understood that “bo” and “come” were synonyms, but he definitely knew the word.  Of course, Yitzchak was surprised.

Also yesterday, Shlomo told me, “shan, shan.”  It took me a few minutes to figure out what he wanted, and then I understood.  “Lishon,” to sleep.  Or at least, I thought I understood.  I decided to find out if I was right.

“Atah rotzeh lishon (do you want to sleep)?” I asked.

“Yeah?” he answered.

“You want to go to sleep?”


“Az im atah rotzeh lishon telech l’mitah shelcha v’neileich lishon (so if you want to go to sleep, go to your bed and we’ll go to sleep),” I said.

He gets up and starts walking towards his bed; when he gets there, he points in – pick me up and put me in my bed.

Oops, Shlomo, you’re caught red-handed.  You don’t know Hebrew?  Umm, I think you were ignoring the ganenet, who is nice and wants to make sure that if you’re having a hard time, we get you some help right away.  I gave Shlomo a talk about listening to the ganenet.  Then Yitzchak called, I told him the story, and he told me to tell Shlomo that he’d be in trouble if that happened again.  I relayed the message and Shlomo’s face suddenly got really serious.

Today, Yitzchak took Shlomo to gan.  He told the ganenet that Shlomo was ignoring her, and gave Shlomo another speech.  When Yitzchak came to pick Shlomo up in the afternoon, the ganenet told him that she’d spoken to him in Hebrew, all day, with her hands behind her back (so she wouldn’t give him any clues), and that he did everything she told him.  She was pretty surprised that he knew Hebrew this well, and even more surprised to hear that Shlomo has been using the word, “bo,” at home.  Then Yitzchak told Shlomo in Hebrew to come to him, and then to bring his backpack.  Shlomo looked at him, thought for a second, and listened.

People used to tell us that Shlomo doesn’t know Hebrew (and won’t) because we speak English at home.  Honestly, I wonder which language Shlomo understands better – English or Hebrew (and I’ve wondered that for a while).

Poop In The Coupe

On Wednesday morning, I changed a leaky poopy diaper.  Ugh.  Wednesday night, we found a glob of poop on the floor, that I had mistaken for a leaf (and thankfully not stepped on).  Yitzchak, of course, cleaned it up.  Done?  Done.

cozy coupe, cozy coupe, cozy coop, kid car, toy car, poop car, kiddie car, kid in car, little tikes car

Cozy Coupe. Ours is sans eyes, though.

Shabbat was Yom Kippur.  Friday night, Shlomo points to his Cozy Coupe and says, “Yeah?”  I said, “Yeah, it’s your car.  You want to sit in your car?  Sit in it and drive.  Zoom zoom!”  He’s not happy.  He points, turning his hand so his finger is pointing into the car.  I look down, and see something on the edge of the seat.  Something brown.  Oh, no.  I guess that explains where the glob on the floor came from (I thought I had gotten lucky and even though he’d run around before I changed the diaper, he hadn’t sat on anything).

Yes, it’s poop.  Dry, non-smelly poop.  Shlomo is pointing to it, because he wants it cleaned.  His car has poop in it, and that grosses him out.  Little cleanie.  Well, I waited for Yitzchak to get home.  Yitzchak took a wipe to it.  But Shlomo refuses to sit.  He keeps pointing to the seat.  Once poopy, always poopy.

“You got poop in your car?” I ask.  “Pup, pup?  Pup!” Shlomo says, pointing to the car.  I think – wait a second.  He hasn’t sat in his car since Wednesday morning, because there’s poop in it.  It’s Friday night now, and that car is his favorite toy.  Oh.  My.  Gosh.  He has given up on his favorite toy for two and a half days, because it has poop in it.  I can’t believe it.  (Lucky me, huh?)  That’s why he’s gone back to playing with other things.  That’s why he’s pushed the car but not sat in it.

And to think that I just figured it was a phase, because he was sick of the car.  He’s not sick of the car, he’s just grossed out.

It’s now Sunday night, and he still won’t sit in the car, or put dolls in it to drive to dolls around.  Because, of course, the dolls shouldn’t get dirty, either.  Even from cleaned-up poop.

Once poopy, always poopy.

And while we’re on the subject of poop, what’s a poopy headLet’s see . . .

All The World Are Hypocritical Idiots

So, no one cares if innocent Israelis get hurt or killed by inhuman terrorists.  But if Syrians gas their own children – this we have to stop.  For this, we can start World War Three.  At Israel’s expense, of course.  Our families won’t be wearing gas masks and sitting in bomb shelters, eating food out of cans and rationing water.  We’re too far away.  But Israel, Israel can handle it.  They didn’t ask for this war and they’re not part of it, but so what?  They can take the burden, they can take the fear and the fighting.  Their families are better sacrifices than our own.

Seriously, world?  Take your nose out of our business and mind your own.  Syria will do what Syria will do.  Until you live in the Middle East, you don’t understand how the Middle East works.  Let them fight their own wars; it means that they’re too busy to fight others.

Iran you don’t care about.  Hamas and Hezbollah you don’t care about.  You really don’t care about anything, except saving the world and making a name for yourself.  And that’s really egocentric, selfish, and stupid.

Before you jump into a war that will put someone else in danger, think about whether or not you’d put yourself and your own family in that same situation.  We didn’t ask for this.  We don’t want it.  And we’d really rather stay out of it.  But, of course, because Syria is our northern neighbor, we will have to deal with the consequences, to a greater or lesser degree.  (Of course, we’re all hoping and praying for the lesser degree.)

I knew something was up when Yitzchak called the Home Front Command tonight.  Shlomo’s gas mask box was accidentally smashed under a pile of books.  A plastic strap is sticking out.  We don’t know if the mask is damaged, because we’re not allowed to open the box until we are told to.  So, Yitzchak called the Home Front Command.  At first they said that damages would cost us 500 shekels.  (OMG, really?  Like we have the money for that now.)  Then I heard Yitzchak talking about going to Jerusalem to have it checked.*  And I started thinking – huh?  They don’t have a distribution point in Jerusalem.  Then he spoke about Be’er Sheva.  DO they have a distribution point there?  Why does he still want to go to Jerusalem?  And why would he go to Jerusalem if there’s no distribution point there, anyways?

Well, it turns out there is.  And there will be one opening in Be’er Sheva on Sunday.  Something smells really funny here.

Yitzchak looked upset, so I asked why.  I figured he’d say that it’s late and he’s tired.  Instead, he says that America decided to go to war, with all of Europe, against Syria, and that Syria threatened to attack us, Israel, with chemical weapons, if America actually went through with it.  Yay, America.  Yay, Obama.  Save the world on someone else’s backs, not ours.  You world-class [closet] anti-Semites and idiots.

I guess that explains why Mom (Yitzchak’s mother) called at such a random time.  It explains why they are opening new distribution points, why everyone on the Hebrew-language forum I’m on is freaking out (I freaked out a long time ago), and why Yitzchak is so upset.

It also means that we need to finish stocking our kit.  Dang it.  This is NOT the expense we needed right now.  This is NOT what we want to be doing right now.  At least we are in the South, far away from Syria and pretty much everyone.  The army has started calling up reservists.  Yitzchak wanted to join the army back in June, and he would have done basic training, making him an option if the army was pressed for manpower.  But the basic training would have fallen on what I thought would be the toughest three weeks of the year, and I refused (Yitzchak doesn’t have to serve).  When those three weeks weren’t so hard, I felt like we’d lost out on an opportunity.  Now I know why.  Thank G-d.  But – Jack is in the North, and he’s going into a combat unit.  Oh, dang it.

World, I hate you.  Mind your own business and fight the real bad guys, not the people who are minding their own business in their own country, with their own families.  You can’t save the world.  You’ll only make things worse.







*(End of story: The person asked why we don’t know if the mask is damaged.  Yitzchak told her that we haven’t opened it to check, because we’re not allowed to open it.  Oh, oops, you’re right – you’re not allowed.  So take it in to be checked, chances are that since it was an accident and you still haven’t opened it, you won’t have to pay a fine.  Yitzchak doesn’t want to wait until Sunday, he’ll go in to Jerusalem tomorrow to get it checked.)

Polio – Re-Vaccinate or Not?

You may have heard that there is a polio outbreak in the Muslim world.  Honestly, I don’t care that much – except that all of our neighbors are Arab.  Great news, right?

I’m not sure how long it’s been going on, but the Ministry of Health has told all residents of the south to vaccinate children 0-9 years of age with the oral polio vaccine (live but weakened virus).  This is because, starting from 2004, they replaced OPV with IPV in the standard immunization routine.  Which means that anyone born after 2004 received the inactiviated (i.e., dead) polio vaccine, instead of the live one.  On the whole, it’s a much safer vaccine now.  After all, a dead virus can’t hurt you, right?

On Friday afternoon, the Ministry of Health extended the order to re-vaccinate children 0-9 years old to all of Israel, because polio was found in the sewage in the area of Ramla and Lod.

[Backtrack: Polio was found in the sewage a few months ago, but most of the samples taken were from the south.  Word of mouth has it that polio has been in the sewage for years, but because we are mostly vaccinated, we never noticed it.  The outbreak in the Arab countries started because someone decided that the polio vaccine was a trick of the Western world in order to render Arabs infertile.  Therefore, the best thing to do was to order everyone not to vaccinate.  (Let’s say that this was true.  If the vaccine makes you infertile, the disease won’t?  Okay, no one ever said these radicals use their brains . . .)

Yitzchak adds:  Nigeria has polio, and as well all know, everyone goes to Mecca.  Then someone who came back from Mecca and lived in Judea and Samaria had caught the virus and somehow passed it on enough that there is stuff in the sewage.  I don’t know where Yitzchak got that, or if it even makes sense.  Take it or leave it.  Honestly, I think he has something there, but I’m not quite sure what it is.]

Okay, so now everyone should re-vaccinate.  And the fact that we are moving to the south (that’s for another post) makes me more nervous.  The vaccine is definitely better than the virus.  On the other hand, Shlomo is already vaccinated.  What are the chances of him catching it if he’s already had all his vaccinations?  They say the IPV prevents you from getting sick (but you can still transmit); the OPV prevents you from passing the virus on.  Do I really want to give my kid a dose of OPV so that someone who chose not to vaccinate their kid (and presumably won’t vaccinate now, either) won’t suffer?

I definitely need to go over what the Ministry of Health is saying and sort through it all.  I also have to check and make sure that Yitzchak and I are both vaccinated properly.  But if it’s an issue of transmitting the virus, not of actually getting sick – I think I’ll pass . . .

As I said, though, I need to do a bit more reading before making a final decision.

Oh, the stupid Arabs.  Oh, the stupid people who choose not to vaccinate, not only causing potential harm to themselves but also to others.  I assume said people won’t vaccinate now – in which case, I don’t see why I should do it for them.  But why can’t everyone get the regular vaccines, on schedule, and peace on Israel (shalom al Yisrael; a phrase that is used to mean, “and just be done with it”)?

The Wandering Pacifier

Three Thursdays ago, I took Shlomo with me to see an apartment in a different city.  By the time I got back, I had a migraine.  I met Yitzchak at the Central Bus Station, and he offered to take Shlomo back with him, to get the stroller.  (I had left the stroller with Yitzchak, so I wouldn’t have to drag it with me on the intercity bus.)

Shlomo and Yitzchak walked off, and I caught a bus home.  I had about 45 minutes of quiet, and then I heard the two of them coming back.  As soon as the door opened, Yitzchak said, “Did you give me his pacifier?”

“Yep,” I said.  “It was in his mouth.”

“Well, it’s gone now,” said Yitzchak.

Oh, well.  The clip was starting to break anyways, and the pacifier, even though it was still good, was a few weeks away from needing to be replaced.  So be it.  Pacifiers come in packages of two, so we took the second one and gave it to Shlomo.

pacifier, tree, lost pacifier, wandering pacifier, baby, toddler,

For illustrative purposes only. Courtesy of Google Images.

Fast forward a week and a half.  The phone rings.  It’s Yitzchak.

“Chana, guess what?”


“Guess what I found?”

Nu, stop keeping me in suspense already.  “What did you find?”

“I was walking outside, talking on the phone, and suddenly I looked up, and there was Shlomo’s pacifier and clip, hanging from a tree.”


He brought it home.  We washed the clip and the pacifier.  The clip is in use, but we still have to sterilize the pacifier – it was kind of gross . . .