Sunday, September 23, 2012

Rosh Hashannah -- It's like Shabbat with apples and honey

So last week was Rosh Hashannah (Jewish New Year), and as is my family's tradition, we had a bunch of people over for dinner.

I tried to teach my two year old about the holiday beforehand. We talked about it. I repeatedly read a great PJ Library book to him called "Happy Birthday to the World" (really a nice book, I definitely recommend it!). We went to a nearby orchard to get apples. I even learned how to blow the shofar to show him! (as a side note, I finally learned to blow a shofar! Cross that off my list!)

Despite all of that, when we went to light the candles at dinner, his first word was "Shabbat!" The second thing he said (like every week on Shabbat) was, "I want challah!"

Don't get me wrong, I'm not really upset. I'm actually proud that he likes Shabbat so much, and I'm amused that anytime he sees candles, he thinks it's Shabbat (and I mean ANY time, including birthday candles).

I just don't really know how best to teach him about his Judaism. There are times when I think maybe he's too young. Other times, I'm just trying to expose him to everything I can think of. And when that's the case, I'm really all over the place, ranging from a whiteboard with random Hebrew phrases to singing Eli Eli, to reading Beni ben Booni.

One thing that I'm kind of glad that I didn't do was bring him with me to services. I had a feeling that it would have been a nightmare, and I'm pretty sure that would have been an understatement. One of his friends at school went with his mother to services and she said to me, "I wasn't in services for more than 45 seconds." So yeah, with my little mover and shaker, it would have been terrible.

Regardless, I never actually figured out a good way to teach my son about Rosh Hashannah. Maybe two is too early to really expect him to figure it out. In the end, I'm just happy that he had a good time at dinner, he made some challah, and liked the apples and honey. Overall, a pretty good new year.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Kid TV

So my son was sick last week (as I mentioned before), and our unofficial policy is that he gets to watch tv while sick. Two reasons for this:

1. Medication is easier to get in while watching tv ("what's going on on the big shiny screen" *squirt the medicine in the mouth* "hey, keep looking over there!")
2. Even when sick, J just wants to run around which makes all of his lung-based diseases worse. Tv at least gets him seated and quiet (for the most part)

I never really wanted to be the type of father that plops his kid in front of the tv, but for those two reasons, it's kind of necessary. But my problem now is the content of children's shows. Most of them fall into one of two categories:

Thomas & Friends/Curious George type -- The first time you watch one of these types, it seems great. Some type of brightly colored animal/vehicle/kid cavorting and smiling on screen. Fun!

But then you start watching them ad nauseum (and nausea is the key term) and they start getting a bit repetitive. And by a bit, I mean excessively. And by repetitive I mean mind-numbingly repetitive. And the underlying message isn't so good either. The main character does something wrong, gets in trouble, and fixes it.

The fixing it piece is good, but, come on Thomas! Learn from your mistakes! Maybe you shouldn't go down the wrong track EVERY TIME you see something new or get an idea?

Caillou type -- This type of show is a lot more benign because there's almost never any kind of real conflict. Some happy animal/vehicle/kid goes about a day, occasionally having a disagreement, but quickly moving on without a care in the world.

We've particularly been watching Caillou, which again is pretty tame, but I'm just waiting for some real emotion from a character. Once, just once I want the mom or dad to lose it and get upset (nothing too extreme) when Caillou and Rosie are both complaining. Or maybe one of the older siblings of one of Caillou's friends should tell Caillou to quit his whining.

No matter what it is, I think all of these shows, from an adult perspective, get very old and monotonous. Fortunately, J often wants a third option:

Truck videos on YouTube -- these are generally good. Not monotonous, not overly exciting, and as long as you stay away from crashes, usually not objectionable at all.

It does get a bit surreal though when you realize your son now has a preference for Kubota tractors instead of John Deere ones after that 12 minute commercial he just watched. He may not actually understand the content, but he likes the red ones over the green ones...

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Sick kid :(

So... in case you were curious, having a sick kid sucks.

I know, major revelation right? But seriously, it really sucks.

J has been sick a lot through his short life. Right now it's pneumonia. Again. For the fourth time.

But I think part of what really sucks about the whole thing is that no matter how well you know your kid, you're never REALLY sure what is wrong or if they are really sick or not. I feel like I know my son pretty well. I've spent the last two summers being home with him full time. I've learned his cues and signs. And I've seen him get sick with pneumonia, coxsackie, pink eye, croup, reflux, ear infections and more. So you'd think that I would have a good sense of when he was sick.

Except I don't.

This time, I knew he had a cold (the gallons of boogers dripping from his nose was a pretty good giveaway on that one). I knew he was also teething again (the two year molars). And that's all I thought it was.

So when he was coughing and sneezing, I thought it was the cold.

When he had a low-grade fever, I thought it was the teething.

When he threw up in the car, I thought it was a combination of the cold mucus and teething saliva.

I didn't really start to get an inkling that it was more than either of those things until I was home with him yesterday. He didn't seem himself and he wasn't getting better. My wife and I both got a feeling that maybe it was pneumonia, and that's what the doctor said, so that was that.

But that's the thing about kids being sick. Everything that I thought that it could be, was totally possible. You never know. I guess that's why you need a good pediatrician.

So, he's getting better now. He's on all the right medication and it seems to be working. And now, maybe, just maybe, I can finally say that sure, I know what pneumonia looks like in my son after the fourth time.

Nah, I'll probably be fooled again. Oh well. At least he's getting better now. :)