Monday, November 02, 2009


36 weeks tomorrow. Nothing seems to be moving at all--which is just how I want it right now, of course.

With daylight savings time over, the kids conked out earlier last night but then of course woke up earlier this morning. At around 6:30, I heard suspicious sounds of garbage-can-dragging in the hall. "Iyyar, what are you doing?" "I can't turn onna light inna hall! I can't reach it!" Oh dear. "Iyyar, do you want to come cuddle with Abba and Imma? Go get your blankie and you can come in bed with us. " This suggestion was from Abba, not Imma--I would have just gotten up, but fine.

Iyyar was quite delighted with this suggestion ("Yeah!"), ran to get his blankie and climbed, naturally, into my side of the bed, arranging himself cozily with his knee perilously close to my stomach. He did not, of course, have any interest in sleeping. "Where Abba go?" he asked me. (Abba has this totally inexplicable habit of sleeping completely under the blanket, head and all. How he breathes is beyond me.) "Abba's under the blanket. He's in there." "Dass his house?" "I guess--is he in there like a turtle? Is he hiding?" Iyyar liked this idea and we talked for a while about turtles and their houses, whether they had furniture and toys and yarn in there (probably not, no room), whether they could make bagels (no, they don't have hands, just four feet) and whether it was cozy in there (yes, probably). Abba had gone right back to sleep and for a while Iyyar and I just hung out under the blankets and schmoozed. We talked about turning lights on and off, who can do this, who can't (Avtalyon can't reach but he can do it if I hold him), various things he'd be able to do when he was bigger, especially if he ate lots of vegetables and got VERY big, etc. When Abba's alarm went off, and Abba's head emerged, Iyyar thought this was the funniest. thing. ever. "Dere's Abba! He came out! Like a turtle!"

Shabbos was nice--I never actually got dressed and nobody but Abba left the house, but sometimes that's kind of a good thing. For a few days last week I was having what felt like really terrible contractions that started every time I moved, but that's all completely stopped now--we're back to the occasional Braxton-Hicks and the occasional real one but nothing that gives any indication of imminency. Good in itself, plus I'm feeling much better now. It makes such a huge difference not only in my mood but in my mothering--if I can get up easily, I don't resent the five thousand times a day someone needs something RIGHT THIS SECOND.

Getting up is one thing; clambering under furniture, however, is another. So when, on Shabbos, Avtalyon dropped his very last pacifier behind his crib at the beginning of naptime, I was not entirely thrilled. No way could I go down on my stomach and crawl underneath the crib, of course, so I started trying to push it away from the wall, which was complicated by the presence of diaper-filled Rubbermaid drawers under the crib and two more drawers (one for blankies and spare wipes, the other one a holding tank for ironing) right next to it. It really wasn't working. And then inspiration hit. "Barak? Barak, can you come here and help me?" Barak, to his immense credit, dropped whatever he was doing and came running. "Barak, can you go under Avtalyon's crib and find his pluggies? They all fell down there." And he did, cheerfully scooting under the crib and retrieving not one, not two, but THREE pluggies for Avtalyon. Avtalyon grinned, I cheered, and I gave Barak a big kiss. "Barak, I wish you still had mitzvah notes in school! I'd write you such a mitzvah note."



Between the tears I heard something about rebbe and stickers and his name and mitzvah notes and the end of the year and a prize and OH NO I suddenly realized that even though I had never heard a word to this effect, clearly I was still supposed to be writing him mitzvah notes every day. And it sounded like there was an actual MITZVAH NOTE CHART at school. And that he, Barak, had not a single sticker on his chart and would get no prize because he had NEVER had a single mitzvah note.

Worst. Mother. Ever.

I felt awful, apologized profusely, and last night wrote Barak a veritable mitzva letter--one entire side of a sheet of printer paper, written on fairly small--wherein I fulsomely described the many mitzvos of the weekend, beginning with the pacifier episode and finishing up with his lovely sh'ma Sunday night. Underneath, I wrote a note to his rebbe explaining that I hadn't realized that Barak was supposed to have mitzva notes and please could he draw any other acts of maternal negligence to my attention. Thank you. Barak seemed quite happy about this this morning--we'll see what he says after school. I'm not sure where it's coming from but Barak has developed a couple of facial tics lately--eyebrow-wiggling mostly but also some funny throat noises. Google reassures me that this is nothing but I'm wondering if he's stressed about something. My feeling is that he's tired--the school day is long and he doesn't get enough time to play by himself. I could be wrong, though, and it's hard to extract that kind of information from him directly.

Oh, and funny Avtalyon story of the week: in our front hall we have doorbell chimes which the kids are not supposed to touch (they're only attached by a hook and can come off). Yesterday, Avtalyon realized he was tall enough to just tap them, just enough to make them chime. He was delighted by this, and immediately realized that he was, in fact, ringing the doorbell! After a few rings, some pieces clicked together in his head. Doorbell! Ringing! Means Asnat is here! So he rang the doorbell, gasped in mock surprise and opened his mouth into a round theatrical O, ran to the front door, and crowed, "Anee!" I honestly don't think he could make her appear by the magic trick of ringing the doorbell--I think he was being deliberately funny. And succeeding.


Yasmin said...

I'm glad the mitzvah note business can be sorted out, and that you're not finding out about it much later. Poor boy! What did he say after school?

The doorbell chimes story is cute. Funny kid ;) Our ASL teacher was telling us about a deaf boy she knew (stop me if I've told you this already; I may have) who noticed that every time his mom seemed to want a friend, she'd open the door and there would be someone. So one day, feeling a bit lonesome, he did the same, and was surprised and disappointed that it didn't work for him. Of course, being deaf, he completely missed the auditory cue of the doorbell ringing before a friend was there...

BTW, I like the ASL sign for SOCK. Makes me think of you & Cecilia!

LC said...

It is amazing how young they "get" being funny - with nary a grin.

My almost 2.5 YO announces all the house #s on the way to playgroup, from 55 to 67. Accurately. Including distinguishing 6s from 9s.

Except for 57. That one he insists is 'nine nine'. Please note that 55 is not 'five five', but 'two fives'.

Best poker face I've ever seen, except this morning, and it's been a daily (M-Th) routine for 2 weeks.

miriamp said...

You'd think they'd make a point of asking for mitzvah notes if they wanted them! this is Kindergarten, right?

And I'm the worst mitzvah note mother -- I know I'm supposed to send them every day, and I, umm, usually forget.

And I think it took me until the fourth child attending K at this particular school before I figured out that it's not (just) about lighting candles or going to shul, but about any helpful/useful behavior that you want to encourage. Not that making a nice brocha or behaving at shul isn't mitzvah-note worthy, but I hadn't realized I could use them to encourage getting into pajamas and going to bed in her bed, on time! (Random example, of course.)