Thursday, April 28, 2011


Ladies and gentlemen, Max can now ride a bike.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Best non-jews ever

Ah, Passover. That time when I observe the holiday in all of it's scheduling glory without actually observing the holiday. As I have said many times, every time they change an Ansari boy's diaper at the JCC they can tell we aren't in the tribe.

So, Leo has been home much of the week with me. I had to try to find kosher everything at the Super Target for the days he did go to school. But here is a little twist I didn't expect.

The big brothers, the ones now in secular school, were completely STOKED to have matzah in the house. The box, that used to be only half empty by the time I could finally send a delicious piece of leavened anything back to daycare, is now an item of great desire. They have emptied the one, and are now bummed that there is none to snack on.

With great sadness, they are now chewing on Cheez-its and Nutrigrain bars. Man, it is tough to be a kid around here.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Mr. Attention

We have been known to say that Spencer really would do better if he was an only child. He is the one most likely to crave love/hugs/attention/time/games/reading, etc. He is a very hands-on little dude. But, of all bitter ironies, not only is he one of 4 children, he is a twin. It's like the anti-matter to being an only child.

If the parents aren't available for this attention, the brothers are next in line. If they are happily doing something that holds very little interest for Spence, he will pester them just so he will be "included."

We have been trying to stress, for some time now, that there is a big difference between POSITIVE attention and NEGATIVE attention. Yes, having your brothers yell at you does count as getting their attention. But the long term consequences of this type of "inclusion" is not something we are really looking to explore.

But, he has found a great new buddy! His 2-year-old brother! looks up to his big brother, wants to play with Spence, wants to chase him around. But you know what gives you a 2-year-old's undivided attention? Take his stuff!

Take the toy he wants, and run the other way! You will have an unremitting (and unwitting) "playmate" for hours! He might even scream and yell, which is an added bonus.

Apparently, we need to keep working on this...

Monday, April 18, 2011

The biker

I am so very proud of Calvin. But I can't really show it.

Yesterday, after spending last year on training wheels and the last two weeks putzing around on a strider bike (a short two-wheeler without any peddles), Calvin declared he was ready for a real two wheeler. And wouldn't you know the child took about 10 minutes on a real 2 wheeler before he was completely whipping around the driveway. Done deal.

So, with that, one of my 5 1/2 year olds can now ride a bike. I barely touched him at all. No running behind the bike, hand on the seat, back hunched over to one side. One of our biker neighbors happened to be at our house when this inspiration hit, and gave Cal a few pointers to get him completely up and running, but that was it.

But here's the rub. Max, his 8 1/2 yr old brother, still hasn't conquered this beast. He still can't balance his bike. He is tall, lanky and much more likely to injure himself if he goes down - which he has done several times, adding to the trepidation. He has shed many a tear over this frustration, and has walked away from his downed bike countless times.

So, while I want to jump up and down for what Cal has accomplished, how do I give him the kudos without making big brother feel like garbage? That, my friends, is pesky.

Or maybe it is the motivation that will finally get this monkey off his back....

Sunday, April 17, 2011

The solution

The solution to yesterday's troubles?

Well clearly, one just needs MORE children!

No, I'm not pregnant.

We survived last night by going to a neighbor's house and pooling our collective 7 children. (Having the adults watch Caddy Shack over thai food and beers didn't hurt either...). Then today, Cal is riding around on the driveway with his friend Maya, and Spence and Max are happily playing hide and seek with Dag, a friend from down the street. Everyone is happy! No one is whining! No one is hanging on my body!


Saturday, April 16, 2011


I am sitting alone in a coffee house because my children love me too much.

They hug me, touch me, climb on me, cling to my legs, want to read with me, want to follow me into the bathroom, swarm around me while I am in front of a dangerously hot stove making breakfast, interrupt me, ask me to play UNO, CandyLand, Sorry. They physically grapple for better position on or near me, teetering cup of hot coffee be damned.

I can't take all the love!

And Omar stands by, helpless to stem the mama onslaught. Try as he might, it comes to a point that I simply have to leave. I have to remove myself so they can find a harmonic balance of playing with each other, all whining and crying halted. The house, as I sit here in my temporary escapism, is, without a doubt, calmer and more peaceful than it has been all day.

It just seems so messed up sometimes...