Here’s what’s been on my mind since our Passover seder experience over the weekend:
1. Opinionated Kids. Children parented with gentle discipline will give their adorable little opinions all the time, since they know their voice matters and that even if the universe doesn’t change for them, they have a right to state their preferences and be heard. And since we can’t threaten time-outs, no dessert, or them being sent to bed as a punishment, small people will kind of give their sweet little opinions throughout the seder. Granted, he used a polite and gentle voice most of the time, but hearing a 6-year-old repeatedly ask to “get to the fun stuff already” from urchatz (ritual hand washing) on got a bit old by yachatz (middle matzah is broken).
2. Gluten-Free. Quinoa matzoh for our gluten-free guests does not need a hamozti brocha (blessing over bread) said over it (since it’s not one of the 5 “motzi-worthy” grains) but having a gluten-free option of hard brittle tasteless bread of affliction for our guests who are gluten-free was something I was very proud of. “Let all who are hungry come and eat” also includes the gluten-free Jews!
3. Dessert surprise. The chocolate torte I posted about last week was, no big surpise, almost completely hollow beneath the delicious chocolate orange torte crust since most of it had overflowed when I baked it. Solution: I melted it down and made little truffles out of it and it’s sort of the best orange Oreo-tasting things ever. Seriously orgasmic.
4. Napping. A child who is used to sleeping and napping everywhere is pretty content to sleep and nap everywhere (thank you, babywearing!). At 8:30 p.m. on the first night, my 3-1/2-year-old declared he was tired so he asked for nummies which I said was off the table at that juncture in front of all the guests, as it were. So I rocked him on the couch not two feet from the dining room table and he fell asleep in five minutes flat. I laid him down and he stayed asleep the rest of the night.
5. Non-Electronic Memories. I don’t use electronics on Shabbat or Yontif (holidays), so I will have to forever burn the image of my 6-year-old and his friend Joshua singing Dayenu and clapping and laughing into my brain. There’s not much sweeter than that.
6. Kids Get Religion. 6-year-olds remember stuff you tell them about religion. Like my sweet boy remembered that the “11” in “Echad Mi Yodeah” stands for the 11 stars that bowed down to Joseph in his dream. We review that song every year leading up to Pesach and I was very touched how proud he was to remember almost all of the significance for each number.
7. Easy Soup Recipe. You can make a fantastic soup from the remnants of the vegetables of the holidays even if you think you never want to cook another thing and people can just eat leftovers until they pass out. Two cans of tomato sauce, a diced bell pepper, a diced potato, a diced yam, 1/2 an onion, some water, some soup powder, and some fresh dill and parsley. Plop in some surprisingly good kosher for Pesach matzah couscous and–BAM–you have a dinner even your children will eat. Nice change from gassy matzah.
On to film the penultimate episode of “The Big Bang Theory” and then head into the intermediate days of this holiday! Chag Sameach!