Tag Archive | Sleep

“Shoshanim Ward”

I mentioned that the lights in his room, which he calls “shoshanim” are a story for another post, and here it is.

[At first he called them “shalshulim”, and sometimes “shilshulim” (the Hebrew word for diahrrea).  Ugh.  Then we realized he meant “shoshanim”, which is a type of flower.  Apparently, because the lights look like a flower.  And now he calls them “shoshanim”.]

lights, office lights, ceiling lights

The “shoshanim” in his room.

At any rate, these lights have been a source of fear for Shlomo.  He has the ones in his room, and our room also has them – but obviously, the ones in your parents’ room are much less scary than those in your own.  Plus, it’s an excuse to sleep in a parent’s bed – definitely better than your own bed.

We suffered from this fear for a while.  Leaving the light on in the next room didn’t help too much.  Letting him fall asleep in one of our beds (we have two twins, and I don’t mind discussing why, but it’s a different post – if you want, just ask) is not a good solution.  Sitting with him until he falls asleep – ditto.  Fighting every night – ugh.  “Punishing” the shoshanim – not working and not a nice solution in any case.  The shoshanim didn’t do anything wrong.  And we don’t punish unnecessarily.  Plus, we don’t punish in a way that someone gets a kick out of.

Well, Yitzchak’s mother, aka “Mom” came for a visit (yet another post) and she brought with her a few packages of glow sticks.  I think she brought a total of three, each containing a glow stick, two thingies to connect it to a string, and a string.  Shlomo thought these glow sticks were super cool, which they are.  Yitzchak explained that we have to be careful, because the inner tube is glass and there are nasty chemicals in the sticks.

And then – brilliance.  I’m telling you, Yitzchak is briliant.

He told Shlomo that the sticks punish the shoshaniim automatically, when you tap the stick lightly.  The sticks are a shoshanim ward and make sure that the shoshanim can’t hurt anyone.


Yitzchak hung the glow-stick-turned-shoshanim-ward from the mezuza, and reminded Shlomo that it protects him.  Shlomo walked around a bit with the stick hanging from his neck, because it was cool.  Now, whenever he deems it necessary, he passes by his doorway, taps the stick, and says the shoshanim won’t hurt him.

glow stick, mezuza, hangers, kids room,

The glow stick hanging from the mezuza in Shlomo’s doorway.

The last time I heard about the subject was a few days ago.  The time before – a few days prior to that, when he was explaining to Ducky that he’ll protect him and the shoshanim won’t hurt him [and that Ducky should dry].

A few days ago, one of the bulbs, which we thought was burned out, started working.  Turns out, it hadn’t been screwed in all the way.  Shlomo was very interested in the fact that it started working, and made sure that we all knew that the “second shoshanim” was working (you mean, the third?).  Not a word about his old fear.

Such a simple item; such a brilliant solution.

As Yitzchak says, “An imaginary solution for an imaginary problem works perfectly.”  Yes, but that doesn’t mean that the solution isn’t hilarious.  And that watching it work doesn’t make me laugh.




I wrote this post a few weeks ago.  Just now, while I was reviewing it (and happened to mention the word), Shlomo informed me that the shoshanim did not have a good Rosh Hashana (New Year), so they can’t hurt him anymore.  I guess G-d didn’t judge them favorably; hopefully He judged us much better.


It’s the middle of the night.  Shlomo woke up, came to join us, and got back into bed.  I’m nearly asleep again.  Suddenly I hear a familiar, unmistakable sound – wooo-wooo, starting off low, getting higher, then dropping back to the low.  Oh, great.  In the middle of the night.  Do I have to get up?  What happens if I just ignore it?  And what do we do now?

No, the risks are too great.  Yes, I have to get up.  Yitzchak will get Shlomo, find his shoes, and head to the door.  I will find where my hat fell (to cover my hair), find my slippers, and go.  This whole conversation in my head lasts about five seconds.

I bolt upright, planning to find my slippers and hat.

“Chana, what happened?” Yitzchak turns over, startled.

And I realize –

there’s no siren.

It was just a dream.

I was half asleep.  Only half asleep.  And it sounded so clearly that I had no doubt that it was real.

“Nothing, I thought there was an azaka (air-raid siren).”  I lay back down; my heart is still beating fast.  In my stomach, I feel the effects of the adrenalin rush.  It’s a good thing.  I take a deep breath, remind myself that it was just a dream, and try to relax.

I guess this is how Shlomo feels when he dreams of woo-woos.

 Just so that you can hear what I heard (or what I thought I heard).  Ours are slightly louder – or maybe not, it could just be less traffic.  Notice that the cars are stopping.  When there is an azaka, people who are driving are instructed to stop their vehicles, get out, and lay prone on the ground, to minimize the chance of injury.  Because not everyone follows these instructions (and just in general), it is safer to go to the side of the road, which is why everyone is going over to the shoulder. 

Reading in Bed

reading in bed, reading, child in bed, kid in bed, reading in the dark, bedtime reading, book, books

Here’s how naptime and bedtime work for us:

  1. Parent(s) realize(s) that Shlomo is tired.
  2. One of us checks his diaper (and changes it if it needs changing).
  3. If both parents are present, the parent not checking Shlomo’s diaper finds his pacifier and duck.  If only one parent is present, this step is performed after the diaper check (and change, if necessary).
  4. One of us (the Parent in Charge, or PIC) heads off, with duck, pacifier, and Shlomo, to the bedroom.
  5. PIC holds Shlomo on their lap for a few minutes, singing the dorky songs that I made up when he was born, softly.  If it is bedtime, PIC gives Shlomo to the other parent* for a hug.
  6. PIC then puts Shlomo into his crib, covers him up, and gives him two (usually) of his stuffed snuggle items (one is usually a duck, sometimes both) and a book.  If there is no book already in his crib, PIC asks if he wants one.  The answer is usually yes.  In fact, I can’t remember the last time it wasn’t.  We hand the book to him, give him a kiss, and walk out of the room.  Usually, Shlomo goes to sleep without issue, and even when he doesn’t fall asleep right away, he stays quietly in his crib until he’s tired enough.  Thank G-d.

Sometimes, though, I wonder if I we am are doing the right thing by giving Shlomo a book in bed.  It started out innocently – he didn’t want to be going to bed, and kept asking for another story.  So, we told Shlomo that he could read to himself, and we gave him a book . . . and he was happy.  Then we turned out the lights (it was nighttime), walked out, and closed the door.   We thought he wouldn’t be able to read in the dark, and whether or not he can remains to be seen.  What’s certain, though, is that reading a book in his bed (and yes, we read a story before bed, and often before naps, as well) has become part of the going-to-sleep routine.

I read under the covers when I was supposed to be asleep, for many years.  So did Yitzchak.  Even when I started college, I often had a book under my pillow.  (At some point after we got married, this habit faded.  I don’t remember when or why, but I do remember Yitzchak finding books under my pillow and laughing about it.)  We both freely admit to reading after lights out, and know that our children probably will do the same.  It bothers us somewhat, because kids really do need to sleep, as do adults.  On the other hand, in a world where books are not read enough, falling asleep while reading seems like a pretty good deal.  It ensures that the child in question enjoys reading, immensely.  It ensures that they look forward to reading.  And, as long as you are getting a decent amount of sleep, who cares?  But maybe we should care?  And if so, then we should not be encouraging the habit, especially from such a young age.  Right?

What do you think about reading in bed: Yay or nay?

*For the record: PIC for naptime is almost always me, just because of logistics.  Sometimes, if naptime got pushed off, or a second nap is needed, Yitzchak is PIC.  PIC for bedtime is split, pretty much evenly, between us.  Just for the record.