Tag Archive | Shlomo

The Search For The Bread

bedikas chametz, bedikas chometz, bedikat chametz, bread crumbs, search for chametz, passover, pesach cleaning

The feather, candle, and spoon traditionally used for the search for chametz. In the bag are ten wrapped pieces of bread.

The night before Pesach (Passover), we do a search for chametz (leavened foods).  By this point, the house should already be clean, which means that we may not find any chametz.  What most people do is hide ten pieces of bread (or pasta, or cake) and then “find” them.

By the time we did the search, we had no bread left in the house.  Yitzchak insisted that we could still say a blessing for the search, because the main thing is the search itself, and not whether you find anything.  I told him to prove it, and he did.  We searched without having hid anything.

Turns out, Shlomo hid more than ten pieces for us.  Not necessarily that day, but in the months prior.  Yitzchak looked in all the little corners – between the closet and the wall, between the bottom drawer and the floor, and a million other places that are nearly impossible to reach without doing heavy-duty furniture moving.  He found more than ten pieces, just by getting into extraordinarily uncomfortable positions, without even moving the furniture.

I guess it doesn’t matter whether or not you hid the bread, as long as there’s a toddler in the house.

Gender Roles

boy with doll, boy playing with doll, dolls, boys, playing, pretend doctor, pretend father

In our androgynous society, where women do men’s work and men do women’s’ work, one would expect that a girl playing with trucks and a boy playing with dolls would be accepted and normal.

It floors me that when I take Shlomo out, he is a boy, dressed like a boy, who looks like a boy.  Everyone assumes, correctly, that he is a male child.

But the moment he is holding his doll, he becomes a girl.  Robot sweatshirt, gray pants, and gray sneakers notwithstanding.  And everyone comments on what a lovely little girl I have.

Sometimes I want to say, “Does your husband never do the dishes or help with the kids?  And if he does, why is it so out of the ordinary for a little boy to practice being a father, just like little girls practice being mothers?”

Maybe our society is more traditional than we think, and less open-minded than we give ourselves credit for.

Haircut Day

Today, as the title implies, was Haircut Day.  Not for Shlomo – we are waiting for his third birthday before we cut his hair.  For us.

We have been cutting each others’ hair since we got married.  The theory is this: Who wants to sit in a barbershop, wait their turn, pay money, go there, make an appointment, etc?  Why bother? haircutting machine, buzzers, buzz cuts, haircut machine, barber, home haircuts

So right after we got married, we bought a buzzer.  Money was tight, so we got a medium-rate one.  A shame, too, because my cousin’s husband offered us his right after we bought ours, since he had just bought a new one.  And I think his was better quality.  Our buzzer did a good job for the first two or three haircuts.  It did a less great job for the next one.  And it took over an hour (maybe even an hour and a half, with a less-than-happy newborn) for the one after that.  By that time (prior to the hour-and-half haircut), we had moved, so we started asking our new neighbor, M. (who was a friend beforehand), if we could borrow his.  So, that’s what we did.

Then M.’s buzzer broke.  So we splurged and bought an expensive one.  It cuts hair, including the being-careful-around-the-peyot (sidelocks) issue, in about ten minutes.  It works beautifully.  M. now borrows our buzzer every time he or his son need a haircut.  And I have learned how to cut around peyot properly, without touching them.  (More about peyot – and Yitzchak’s peyot – later.  Remind me.)

Today, as usual, Yitzchak’s haircut was first.  Then he reminded me that I also needed one.  So, to the bathroom we go.

haircutting scissors, barber scissors, haircuts, home haircuts, hair stylists, hairdosMy hair is thick and curly.  By ‘thick’ I mean that the strands themselves are thick, and that they grow densely.  The first time after we got married that I needed to cut my hair, I am pretty sure I did it myself.  I didn’t like the result, which was too short; it seems I had become too cocky from my pre-marriage self-haircut successes that I had stopped being careful.  The next time, I tied it into a ponytail and ordered Yitzchak to cut it.  He didn’t think I was doing it properly, but listened anyways.  Too bad for me, because I was wrong and he was right.  It was way too short, and uneven to boot.  I evened it out, but there was nothing to be done about the shortness.  It would just have to grow back.  Luckily for me during both of these mis-cuts, I was a) pregnant, which meant my hair grew super-fast, and b) it was summer, which meant that less hair means less heat and sweat, especially if you are wearing a head covering (as many religious married women do).

The next time I told Yitzchak to cut it, and to ignore my instructions if they seemed to be illogical.  He cut it too short again.  But, it was much better than the previous time.

The time after that, he cut it again too short, but not as short.  The lesson, in his words? “I need to leave your hair an inch and a half longer than I think I do.”

And now, even though Yitzchak dreads cutting my hair, lest he make a mistake, he cuts my hair perfectly: It can be gathered easily into a ponytail and does not bunch up under whatever head covering I happen to be wearing.  It does not require five pins to keep it from sticking out of my sheitel (wig).  And, it saves on my shampoo bill.

Watch Your Step

We are trying to teach Shlomo an important lesson: Don’t get into a place that you can’t get out of.

That is, we are trying to teach him this lesson, literally.  I still have a hard time with this lesson in a figurative sense, although, to my credit, I usually manage it (thank G-d, may it continue).

Listen here, Shlomo, and listen well:

DO NOT get into a place that you can’t get out of.

That means don’t lock yourself in the bathroom, if you’ve never tried unlocking that sticky lock before.  And don’t break the doorknob.  (No, he didn’t do this; why would you even think so?)

That means don’t climb into the playpen if you can’t get out of it by yourself.

That means don’t climb onto a chair that you’re afraid to get off of, because it’s too high and too narrow.

That means don’t get onto a couch that you don’t want to get off of.  It means don’t climb up stairs that you don’t want to climb down.  It means don’t get onto a riding toy that you’re scared to get off of.  (All of which, to your credit, you have managed to conquer, albeit after some prodding.)

It means, in four words:  Think (or look) before you leap.  Not before you open your mouth, or commit to something.  Before you leap – or run, or climb – physically.  Especially into playpens, and onto horizontal surfaces.

Although, Shlomo, to your credit, you seem to do a lot of looking and thinking before you do anything – which means fewer bumps, falls, and bruises for you.  And, apparently, it runs in [your father’s] family – your grandmother said that all of her kids were like that.

See, here’s the rule: Whoever got you into that situation, has to get you out.  It’s hard to enforce this rule right now, but we’re trying.

So it goes like this:  I put you in the playpen, I take you out.  Abba (Daddy) puts you in the playpen, Abba takes you out.  You put yourself into the playpen – better get yourself out.  You’re right, I usually give in to this one.  But only after a few minutes, which, at your age, probably feels like fifteen minutes.  I even tried to teach you how to climb out!  (Yes, you read that right.  I tried to teach you how to climb out, knowing full well that this skill would be applied, almost immediately, to your crib.  Luckily for me, the sides of your playpen are higher than those of the crib (or the mattress is lower, whichever), and you are too careful a toddler to try something that doesn’t look safe.  Or maybe you’re too much of a perfectionist to try something that you’re not certain you’ll succeed at.  Either way, I count myself lucky, and pray that you continue to be this way, and that all your siblings are like this, too.)

Sometimes, though, you’re just a bit too curious.  It runs in the family, it’s true.  But not everything that runs in the family is beneficial.  So, try to curb it – at least until you’re sure that what you’re doing is a good idea.