Sunday, August 05, 2007

whine and moan

The morning started off extremely well with both kids sleeping till 7:30--that one was close to a miracle, since Iyyar's usual wakeup time lately is more in the neighborhood of, oh, 5 or 5:30. They got up, MHH went off to do his thing, I settled the boys down to breakfast and started cleaning, getting ready for my SIL and her family who are coming on Tuesday.

It's not like I didn't get anything done. I did. I cleaned the kitchen, and got the boys' room more organized than it was, although it seemed like every time I got something put away some small person would pull out something else. But I made space in the armoire and under the crib, and rearranged furniture to allow for the addition of one adult-sized mattress, one crib mattress, and two pack-and-plays. I got Iyyar down for a nap at about 10:30, and went with Barak into my room to start folding laundry.

And I don't know if it was just that he was tired, or not feeling good, or in a Toddler Mood, but ugh. Everything I asked him to do, he said no, everything was testing testing testing. When Iyyar got up, any time Iyyar touched a toy Barak would rip it out of his hands; any time Iyyar came close to Barak Iyyar would lose it completely, screaming, "Iyyar can't touch it! He can't touch it! Hiss gonna break it!" or worse, he would ask me to put toys away that he wasn't even playing with, just so Iyyar couldn't have them. That I really don't like. I can understand it if he doesn't want Iyyar messing up his Lego structure, and it's fine with me if he wants to take a toy into the living room and play with it by himself. But taking toys away from Iyyar l'shma, no.

I had started a batch of challah dough while Iyyar was napping, even though Barak, bizarrely, refused to help (he did scream for honey, and sugar, of course, though.) When MHH came home for his afternoon break, I handed him the baby and started braiding like mad; the challah I was mafrish I set aside, and then remembered that wait, I just baked pizza in that oven at 500 degrees, so if I want to bake a pareve batch of challah I have to preheat it to 525 before I can bake my challah at 350. On goes the oven, in goes the separated piece of dough to burn on the bottom. At 525 degrees, it burned in spades, setting off all the smoke detectors. At this point Barak had been dispatched to my room with Abba to read a book and, hopefully, fall asleep (ha. ha ha ha. ha.) Challah half-braided, I ran around opening windows and fanning smoke detectors to get them to stop beeping, and found Barak and Iyyar playing in the pack and play while MHH was reading HP7. "I don't think a nap is happening," he said apologetically. No, guess not. So Barak followed me into the kitchen and started making snakes with the challah, which would have been fine except that he kept pulling globs of dough off my dough to add to his concoction, which didn't really help with the baking of the actual challah. Ordinarily, he is really good to bake with, and accepts the "this is my dough, this is your dough" edict with equanimity. Not today.

In about six seconds flat (or so it seemed) MHH was back out the door, and the major meltdown began. I need to nurse! Now! No, I need Imma now all to myself! I need you to hold me! I need you to hold ME! And have I mentioned Iyyar's emerging violent streak? It doesn't matter how short I clip his nails, he manages to gouge me at least once a day, and tonight when I was finger-sweeping his mouth to get rid of the wodge of fresh challah he was actively choking on, he BIT ME.


They are both in bed now. Barak, after screaming pitifully that he didn't want to go night-night, was out in three minutes flat; Iyyar protested a little but seems to be asleep now. (In the middle of typing that sentence, I heard a sad little wail.) I'll pay tomorrow morning for putting them to bed early tonight, but... um, I had had it.

Sorry. After a whole day of asking Barak to PLEASE STOP KVETCHING, what am I doing? Yeah. Well. At least I'm not doing it loudly, and I'm not whacking you over the head with a juggling club while I'm at it.

I'm feeling like my blog hasn't been all that interesting lately--it's been ages since I wrote anything that was actually entertaining. As so often happens, though, the more is going on in my life, the less goes into the blog. Last weekend I took Iyyar a couple states away for a wedding, and that sort of derailed the rest of the week--I didn't get much sleep for two nights running, and since I had so much else to catch up on, catching up on sleep didn't really happen till Shabbos. Work is getting intensely insane, to the point where I open up my Excel log in the morning and, for the first time since I started this job three years ago, seriously doubt whether everybody will have all the speeches they need before they have to actually give them. I told my boss this a couple of weeks ago. "I have great confidence in your ability to churn out copy," she told me serenely. Great. You have great confidence in my ability to.... wait a minute. Don't you mean, pen deathless oratory?

She knows I will do it because even though mine is ostensibly a part-time job, I have a track record of staying up all night (and Toto, I am definitely NOT in grad school anymore) to finish speeches that are needed for oh, you know, peace summits between war-torn countries and that sort of thing, that I get told about 30 hours in advance. But doing that once in a blue moon because of last-minute schedule changes or other people's mistakes is one thing; doing it as a matter of course because my workload is so out of hand is another.

My DSIL and her husband and kids are coming on Tuesday, for a couple of weeks while their worldly possessions are loaded on a truck and shipped far, far away. We are all looking forward to this and fully cognizant of the level of chaos that will reign around here. As Barak says, "Iss gonna be a big party!"

Okay, here endeth the whining. To reward you for your patience (anyone? anyone?) here is a Small List:

1. Today, my friends, today was a red-letter (yellow-letter?) day. For today, while Iyyar was napping and I was cleaning the kitchen, Barak silently disappeared down the hall. And I heard no noise from the living room or our bedroom, which instantly made me suspicious. A minute or two later I followed him, only to find him... emerging from the bathroom, pulling up his underwear.

Yes!! The first-ever totally unprompted-by-any-adult trip to the bathroom to pish! Woohoo! Break out the simcha band...

2. Iyyar continues to be the master of the dirty look. His favorite is putting his chin down and glaring up at you through his furrowed eyebrows. Then I do it back, and then he giggles, and then I giggle, which spoils the threatening effect somewhat but is very entertaining for both of us.

3. I went to college somewhere with a Jewish student population that was [barely] large enough to support a kosher dining hall. At the time, it was completely student-run, and the food quality was, well, let's just say it varied. There were, however, a few items that were fairly reliably tasty, and one of them was the challah. It was doughy, it was chewy, it was squishy, it was everything challah is supposed to be, and if you went into the dining hall with three dollars on a Friday afternoon you could make off with a whole loaf of it, warm, all for yourself and your friends. It is probably the single food item from that dining hall that anyone who went there remembers with any nostalgia.

I have the recipe, but nobody in my house eats white bread and it doesn't get used much. However, I am pleased to report that after a year or two of recipe-twiddling, I now have a version of this recipe down that uses all whole wheat flour and tastes, if whole-wheaty, every bit as heavenly and, well, squishy. Four loaves and fourteen rolls are now in the freezer, awaiting next Shabbos. By which point I will, I fervently hope, be in a much better mood.


whsamet said...

Oh, I remember those toddle/baby days! I remember my ususally happy, funny kid having melt downs whenever I had to be out the door. One day it was as I was trying to get a nursery school parent/teacher conference. I didn't totally loose it my son, as in I did not beat him (though the thought did cross my mind, I swear) or scream loud enough for the neighbors to hear (if you had been there you would have given me an award for this self-control.) In fact, I remember remaining firm and pretty well controlled. But when I did get to the conference, I burst into tears. I was just soooo frustrated and I felt so inadequate. This too shall pass --and then you'll have teenagers.

Any chance of sharing the whole wheat challah recipe? My daughter and I love to make challah together, but its pretty much the only white bread we eat. I'd love a good whole wheat option.

Israel Mom said...

Please please please post the whole wheat challah recipe!

shanna said...

We should swap recipes...I also tweaked the same recipe (wait - didn't I give you that recipe?) but mine now has a 50/50 ratio of whole wheat and white flours, with some wheat germ and flaxseed thrown in for fun.

Meghan said...

Wheat germ and flaxseed? Wow. Okay, this is punishment, pure and simple - interesting, yummy-sounding challahs talked about and no recipes.... *sigh*

Deborah said...

Reading about days that are not so interesting for you is quite my cup of tea and gives me hope that reading about my not so interesting days is OK on your end as well.

And I perfectly understand about life being so busy it doesn't get written about. Welcome to the club. It is OK. Making notes in the margin is extra. Life is the primary goal.

Maybe Barak is teething? Or maybe the heat is just getting to him. I sure felt like him a couple days ago.

LeahChaya said...

Having a 9, 7, 5 (all past the half-mark, just for the record), we still have days like that. Didn't want to get your hopes up, sorry.

On the other hand, reading about yours reminds me that it's not only normal, it happens in EVERYONE's house. Useful for trying to maintain *my* sanity some days. And I totally hear you on the p/t thing, although mine isn't nearly as glamorous sounding :)

Alisha said...

No,no. Your uninteresting is definitely interesting to those not living it...especially because you tell everything with such flavor. Keep up whatever you have the inclination to write!