Tag Archives: kids

Of Bedtime, Death, and Elephants

Reading bedtime stories usually involves an average of 4-6 interruptions per page. Before bed tonight, Aryeh picked his animal encyclopedia. We were reading about elephants when I read “if an elephant’s trunk is damaged or broken, it will die.” I tried to continue but Aryeh wasn’t going to let this pass.

“And people can get dead if a robber comes,” he stated.

I explained that robbers take people’s things and money without permission, which is very bad, but they aren’t after making people dead. Simplified version of reality, but I figured age appropriate.

“Well then how do people get dead?” he wanted to know.

spring summer 12 615I should’ve had this one at the ready. Caught on the spot, I told him people get dead when they get very old or if they get sick with a very bad sickness.

He ignored the sickness thing thank G-d but wanted to understand the other option.

“Do grown ups get old even though they’re already grown up?” he wanted to know.

I told him yes, but not for a long, long time.

He looked apprehensive and then like he’d had an epiphany.

“Then all the kids will be grown up then?” he asked.

Yes I told him, when the grown ups get old, the kids will be grown ups.

“Oh,” he said, visibly appeased. “Well then they won’t need their Mommy and Daddy anymore.”

Hmmmmm….Not sure of a response, I just let that one go.

He sat there with that wise look on his face that he’s had since the nurses first spring summer 12 631handed him to me four long years ago.


I figured he might be wondering what dead actually means, seeing as his only contact with the concepts is through the bugs he sometimes stamps on.

“When people are dead they get to go and stay with Hashem,” I told him.

Silence. He looked thoughtful.

I figured I should let him clear his mind of the subject before he lay in bed letting his imagination run wild.

“Do you have any other questions?” I asked him.

“Yes,” he answered.

Uh oh.

He pointed to the book.

“What is that elephant doing with his trunk?”



For Sale

IMAG0199I can’t seem to decide what’s cuter, the surprising epiphanies and questions of a precocious almost- four-year-old or the hysterical pronunciations and crazy hypothesis of a learning-to-speak two year old.

We often wonder what (if anything) is going on in the mind of little kids and when they first start to talk and give us a glimpse into their world, it’s not always what we expect.

Yaakov has been cracking me up at around 30 minute intervals with his language arts this weekend. When I mentioned on the phone to my husband that I had gone to yoga this morning, he kept pulling on something behind the couch and saying oya map oya map until I figured out he wanted the yoga mat.


Understanding him can be difficult since most words start with a v or y and it’s left to you to decipher the true first syllable. Read and walk are vead and valk; throw is yo, aryeh is yayay, powder is yowda. Shanis is yanni, crib is yib. Snow is no. Yes is yo. You get the drift. And he keeps repeating words, smiling shyly at your attempts at comprehension, not giving up or getting frustrated until you correctly repeat it back to him.

There are a couple words even a stranger can understand, but not too many. 

IMAG0233Two of his clearer ones are, strangely enough, buy and money. This from the child who at eight months would start panting when I opened my wallet. Now, he points to everything and anything in the store and insists Buy Buy.

A few weeks ago he was home sick during a conference call I was having and kept repeating loudly for all my coworkers to hear Money Money. No distraction helped, he kept repeating the mantra, maybe reminding them what I was doing my work for. Money, money.



Like a true businessman, my money-obsessed two year old does not think there is anything that can not (or should not) be bought. A few weeks ago his brother got a new hat (one he actually agreed to wear after around a dozen previous attempts) and Yaakov was greatly distressed that he was stuck with his “old” (as in two months old) one.

In an effort to illustrate his desire for a new one, he left the kitchen, coming back several moments later followed by a dragging noise. Behind him was the garbage pail from his room with his hat (and a half dozen diapers) inside. He pointed to it and said gaja (garbage) buy, buy. He figured if he threw the old one out I’d surely buy him a new one.

Last week he found my credit card on the table and walked around with it proudly, announcing Buy Buy. I’ve never seen him prouder.

But his buying obsession reached a new low high this afternoon when my friend Chana was leaving us after spending the weekend here.

Yana stay, Yaakov told me.

No Chana has to go, I explained.

IMAG0186No Yana stay, he insisted.

But she has to go back to her house, I said.

This did not stump my little entrepeneur.

Buy Yanna, he insisted triumphantly, Buy Yanna.

I guess it’ll be a while until he figures out what is and isn’t for sale.