Nov 19 2014
My daughter’s imaginary friend is named “N.O.K.” Since she was very small, she’s been talking about her, as in: “N.O.K. loves cherry ice cream,” “N.O.K. is the only one who will play games that aren’t ‘princess-y,’” “N.O.K’s mom is in Israel this week so she’s staying with us.”
When my daughter had to make a list of her best friends for school, N.O.K. was at the top of the list.
N.O.K has a big heart, a quick wit, and a terrific sense of humor. But until last year, she had no face. And then, one day, it happened. Read the rest of this entry →
Nov 5 2013
When my daughter received a play kitchen for her 2nd birthday, we were not surprised that she immediately took to it and started pretending to make food. She had started pretend play several months earlier, complete with character voices for her animals and worlds that she created with Legos. What we were surprised by was that her kitchen prompted our 5-year-old son, who rarely showed interest in pretend play, to participate, as well. It was only after this that we started noticing that, because my daughter was interested in certain activities or in experiencing things differently, that my son was starting to open himself to them.
Pretend play was a very noticeable one as he is very focused on realism and organized, linear thought and experiences. But he suddenly started leading the way in acting out stories. He still didn’t fully understand when his sister announced that a character from a show they were watching was sitting at the table with them or that she was going to go on a train in the living room. In fact, he argued with her that the trains in the living room were not big enough for her to get on. We’ve had to explain to him that her pretend play can be whatever she wants. But, despite this, we can see his mind opening to the possibility of imagination on another level than he is used to.
Could it be that the younger sibling was actually prompting the older sibling to expand his horizons, rather than the usual other way around? Read the rest of this entry →
Aug 6 2013
In the hallways of my kids’ Jewish camp I’ve seen “Crab Shack” tees and even shirts that say, “Hail Bacon!”
With smugness, I told the preschool director I’d never dream of sending my kids wearing “those kinds” of tees to anyplace attached to a synagogue. We also spoke of the more eyebrow-raising baby clothes we’ve seen recently (“Free Gas Around the Corner,” “Bros Before O’s,” “I Only Cry When Ugly People Hold Me”). Which was worse: cute little crab or outright hostility?
“Ideally,” said Randi, “when it comes to choosing clothes, parents are sensitized to anything that contradicts Jewish values.” A pause. “That includes skull-and-crossbones tees. And Superheroes.” Read the rest of this entry →