Category Archives: Cute Bits

The New Opiate for the Masses


My twin girls, age 4, are almost frighteningly clever at times.  I’m not talking garden-variety clever here – I mean potential-world-domination-someday clever.

Recently they have conducted an experiment on me.  They were so subtle about it that at the time, I had no idea I was their lab rat.

Through trial and error, they have learned the quickest and easiest way to calm mommy down from being annoyed with them:

Hugs and kisses.

Yes, I’m sure that every child out there lavishes their parents with hugs and kisses on a daily basis, and my girls do that too.

But these girls also apply them deliberately and aggressively in specific situations.

  • I’ve just discovered that they’ve liberally applied the contents of their meal to their bedroom floor in an aesthetically pleasing pattern. A ground-in pattern that will require the use of an abrasive sponge to get up.
  • They’ve just discovered the fun and wonder of sucking up a straw-ful of liquid and shooting it across the room like pygmys blowing poison darts.
  • The ‘washable’ wall surface wasn’t good enough for them so they peeled that wall paint off so they could have an indelible surface to apply their crayons to.
  • It’s 30 mins past bedtime and they keep escaping from their room and mommy is SO tired!

And so on…

And what have these little girls decided to do when mommy starts bellowing in frustration?  The come up to me and announce very calmly “Mommy, I need to kiss you now.” (or hug me).

Well, what mommy can say no to that?  Not me, I cave every time and dutifully bend over for moist little girl kisses to be plastered on my face.

It takes the bellowing right out of me.

This doesn’t mean to say that I then permit whatever shenanigans they’re up to, but it does help in lowering my decibel level quite a bit.

I’ve tried protesting: “But I don’t want to be kissed right now!” (as if they’ll buy that when they know kiddie kisses are like crack cocaine to parents – we can’t resist), but they insist, and I cave.

I’m just lucky they haven’t learned about Pavlov’s dog.  And no freakin’ way am I ever buying them a bell.

Dandelions: A Study in Ethics & Immorality

My girls, who will be 4 in July, LOVE dandelions!

Except we call them Tampopo (Tahm-POH-poh) which is Japanese for dandelion.  Every time we pass by a field of bright yellow fuzzy dandelions, or white, fluffy geodisic dome-topped ones, Halle and Zanna shout with joy and beg to be allowed to frolic, picking bouquets of yellow ones, or blowing mightily at handfulls of the white ones, sending the seeds wafting on the wind.

Sounds swell, don’t it?

But I have to admit to feeling a little inner wince when I think of where those seeds will end up: most likely in someone’s well-cared for lawn, or a community soccer field.

So how does one practice responsible dandelion blowing?  While there are no laws against it (to my knowledge), it does give me pause about allowing my girls unrestrained access to the things.

Dandelions are one of those plants that have some pretty hefty pros & cons:

Pros: They’re pretty-oh so pretty!,their leaves are edible in season-with lots of minerals and vitamins (high in vitamin C!), they bring minerals to the shallow depths of soil so that other plants have access to them, they’re medicinal – diuretic & “may” be good for Urinary Tract Infections and “may” be anti-inflammatory!  They’re good for the bees, and butterflies, and can be used to make dandelion wine!

Cons: They spread like, well..weeds!  They’re VERY prolific!  They upset the aesthetics of a well-manicured lawn, and would probably be pretty distracting (pun not intended 🙂  ) during a soccer game.  They’re also very hard to remove – you have to get the WHOLE root out, and the taproots go far down into the soil (it’s how they get all those healthy minerals!).

While personally, I think the world could use more dandelions, others are not of the same mind, so  I try to let my girls have their dandelion frolics in areas where there are dandelions aplenty already, my reasoning being that if someone really minded them being there in such great quantities, they’d have done something about it.

In conclusion: While dandelions are pretty, fun, useful and good for you, they can lead to ethical and moral quandries.

And when you practice responsible blowing, please remember: don’t inhale 😉


**Disclaimer:  “My opinion is” The FDA is terrified of non-patentable things being “officially” recognized as having real health benefits – despite some things having clear and scientific proof of such – because it gets their buddies the pharmaceutical companies in a tizzy, so it’s illegal for anything but a drug approved by the FDA to be used to cure a disease, or for anything but a drug approved by the FDA to have health claims made about it, hence the word “may”.

**Note: some people may be allergic to dandelion pollen or have other allergic reactions to it, and for pete’s sake – don’t go eating dandelions that may have been sprayed with weedkillers and other pesticides or herbicides, or growing by the side of the road sucking up exhaust fumes from cars!

Schooled by my kids

Today was supposed to be the first day back at school after the harrowing week of Spring Break.

So I breakfasted, clothed and car-ed my twins and off we went to school.

Imagine my suprise and dismay at finding the parking lot EMPTY!

Seems there was an extra Jewish Holy Day (and I’m too exhausted to look it up and have no problem admitting my shameful ignorance) and school was closed.

And I’ve got a minivan full of eager, anxious and excited twin toddlers in the back wanting to be let out to frolic.

So I drove us to IKEA where the very kind staff let them romp for over an hour in the ballpit while I caught a nap on one of the IKEA couches.

Then after I got them home, it was business as usuall.


At one point there was a frantic search for a dearly beloved Little People (by Fisher Price) person that resulted in our apartment looking like it’d been ravaged by angry peasants with pitchforks.

At last the joyful cry was heard: “MAMMA!! Zanna found my Maggie!”

Whereupon Maggie, the toy in question was waved happily in my face.

“I’m so glad you’ve been found, Maggie!” I greeted the lump of plastic threatening to take out my eye.

“Mamma!  Maggie is a toy, she cannot talk!” Halle patiently explained to me, with just the right amount of condescension to be used when explaining something very simple to someone who ought to know better.

Thankfully Halle then rejoined her sister in the living room, saving me from embarassing myself further in front of a 3 yr old.

Cute bit

As we were driving in the car to Bubbe’s house to take her out for Easter dinner, Zanna announced that she had a nose yucky to give me.

As you might imagine, the prospect of handling a sticky ball of snot excavated from my daughter’s nose didn’t exactly fill me with joy.

“Thank you God for this wonderful treasure,” I intoned somewhat sarcastically as I received the little ball of nostril-y goodness.

“I’m not God!  I’m ZANNA!!!”  was the indignant reply from the backseat peanut gallery.

“Thank you, Zanna!”

“You’re very welcome.”

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