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Monthly Archives: February 2011

Breaking the Mold

There’s the old metaphor of cookie cutters to describe a group of people that are all the same. It always made sense to me – the metaphor, I mean, not that all people should be the same.

I always wondered then, why shidduchim wasn’t easier, and why was there a shidduch crisis. If most people are from cookie cutter molds, why not just line the girls up in one row, boys in another, and viola, a match made in heaven! (or more like taken straight from the Queen of Sheba’s playbook) And then take the other people left and match them off to each other, they may take a little longer, but it would be a smaller pool do delve into and therefore easier to find the right match.

This conundrum bothered me tremendously, why couldn’t they just marry each other, why did things not always match up? I couldn’t understand, until two nights ago, when for the first time in my life, I used a cookie cutter.

Did you know that getting a perfect exact match from a cookie cutter mold is something best left to professionals, or people who really like to bake.

First you have to make sure the dough is evenly spread, so you don’t get some thin and some thick, then when picking up the cookie, there has to be enough flour underneath it so it doesn’t stick to the counter and get misshapen when you start tugging at it. And then when you try to remove the dough in between each cut out, make sure you do it neatly, and don’t take off some poor cookie’s tip, or accidently brush up against a cookie leaving a dent. Never mind that you have to have a good dough in the first place, so it doesn’t bubble get yuchy, and actually works well being rolled out and cut out, like chocolate chip cookie doughs don’t fare so well with the molds. And then when you’re transferring the cookie onto the sheet, make sure handle delicately so as not to leave and marks. Space it evenly so they don’t over crowd and get up on top of each other, they need their own space, and then make sure to bake them properly. Not too long, or they’ll be burned to a crisp, take care that cookies of the same thickness go together so they’ll bake evenly, or you’ll get some crispy some raw…and on and on this metaphor goes…make each stage apply to whatever variances in personality and child rearing there is…

And that’s why even a cookie cutter doesn’t guarantee drones, there are just way too many variables to account for in between.

Btw, despite all the issues I faced baking my linzer tarts, for a first attempt they came out pretty decent. Let’s hope I can say more for my first child.

 
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Posted by on February 23, 2011 in Jewish, Parenting, Shidduchim

 

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With My Back Turned

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I’m at the point where I can put my son down, walk away, and he’ll be content to play by himself for at least a half an hour. He doesn’t crawl yet, but he’s making progress.

Every time I leave him, I’m amazed when I come back. Be it two minutes five minutes or ten, somehow he’s always quite a distance from where I put him down.

He can’t crawl, he doesn’t have the technique yet. He shouldn’t be doing this. But he is. With my back turned, my baby’s going far.

I tried a few times to watch the progression, how does get from the couch to the dining room table, or from the crib to the changing table. It doesn’t work. When I’m there, he’s watching me, watching him, and he’s distracted. And he whines for attention, and for Mommy to entertain him.

With my back turned, my baby can grow up.

 
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Posted by on February 15, 2011 in Parenting

 

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Almost Parenting

Shiny and colored objects usually attract Infa...

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I’m fascinated watching my son. He’s on his stomach, supported by his hands, and reaching for a toy. He can’t crawl yet, but he’s well on his way there; he picks up his knees, scrunches his body, reaches forward, rocks. But he can’t do it yet.

So he’s reaching for the toy, and his fingertips keep grazing it, but not enough to get a grasp of it. I stand there, watching, fascinated, for about 5 minutes until he manipulates himself enough to reach it. I was so proud, and I knew then what it meant to shep nachas.

But seriously, the whole time I was watching I was sorely tempted to just give it to him. He wanted it, he couldn’t reach it, why watch him struggle when I can just make it easier and give it to him. It was very easy to counter that logic; he needs to learn, and try, and struggle, or he’ll never learn, or reach any developmental milestones if I just hand everything to him. I’m sure most mother’s would agree that I did the right thing by letting my kid do it all by himself, even if there was a kvetch or two along the way.

So why is parenting so clear and straightforward when our children are infants, but when they get older we just lose our way?

 
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Posted by on February 8, 2011 in Parenting

 

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The New Face of Plagerism

It’s no wonder she looked so awkward and uncomfortable with the attention, compliments, and adulations; they weren’t to her credit.

When collecting journals the girls told me to look out for hers. And that the teacher always read hers aloud the next day because it was a serial. I was quite curious to read hers. High school girls are notoriously self conscious and to have a girl who writes a story and shares it…well, I wanted to see what she had to say. 

Disappointed, not the word, horrified, not either, annoyed, don’t think so, I think it was just pathetic…maybe sad.

It was the War with Mr. Wizzle, just badly written. Seriously she took all his dialogue, but left off the interim action. And she purported like it was her work. And everyone thought she was talented genius, with creative original ideas, with a fresh voice.

So I didn’t give her a mark…let her read her own work (I wasn’t gonna read that c___p) and spoke to her afterward. She claims she told the teacher that it wasn’t an original idea, but between you and me, she was so uncomfortable when she said that, that I know she didn’t. Am I supposed to call her out more than I already did?

 
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Posted by on February 5, 2011 in Teaching

 
 
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