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Wednesday, March 28, 2007

How to totally charm me (Pre-Passover Edition)

Like most kids, our 3-year-old (Yonah) occasionally (OK, more than occasionally) 'resists' going to bed.

Here's a partial list of some of his favorite delaying tactics:

"I want to get a toy to sleep with"   

This is a basement-to-attic hard-target search that can take hours.

"I need to brush my teeth again" 

He hates brushing teeth, but after doing a cost-benefit analysis he seems to have realized that he hates bedtime more.

"I have to make in the water" 

This is his unique way of saying he has to pee.  He is careful to make this important distinction because he has a big problem with constipation [I know... TMI] and would, if he knew about such things, demand general anesthesia before defecating.  However, he has an uncanny ability to make himself pee on demand, and can make 16 or 17 productive trips to tinkle before I finally have to tie him into bed with his bedsheets.

"I didn't give [fill in the blank to include anyone/everyone in the house including our dog, Jordan] a kiss good-night." 

Yonah is a very affectionate little boy, and good-night kisses are an essential part of his bedtime ritual.  If there is a living organism in the house that has not been properly kissed, the boy simply can't/won't go to bed.  We've had unsuspecting shabbat guests giggle in amazement when Yonah grabs them by the ears and plants a big smooch square on their lips. 

"I want to snuggle you." 

If Zahava or I are in bed, Yonah will invariably use this line.  It basically means he wants to start out in our bed and then be carried into his own room after he has fallen asleep.  But in practice it means we're in for an hour or two of him bouncing around our bed, handling everything on both of our bedside tables, and finally sticking his wet fingers into the ears, nose and eyes of whoever is unlucky enough to be the 'snuggle-ee'.  Good times.

But last night while I was stretched out in bed checking my email, Yonah introduced a new wrinkle to his list of tried and tested delaying tactics.  He poked his head out of his room (which is off of our bedroom) and said, "Abba, I want [to] sing you a song."

Now normally this would have been a nonstarter since I'm familiar with his entire repertoire of three or four songs, and they have long-since worn thin on my patience.  But this was the first time he had used this particular dodge to delay going to sleep... so I gave in.

Once he got the nod, he ducked back into his room to grab his favorite blanket and then flew into bed beside me.  But rather than starting up with his usual round of fidgeting and exploring, he immediately launched into an adorable rendition of 'The four questions' from the seder.

I probably should have realized that they would teach the kids in his 'gan' this song, but it caught me so completely by surprise that I simply had to smother the kid in kisses when he was done.  He was so pleased with my reaction that he reprised his performance several more times before voluntarily going back to his own bed.

The last I saw of him was his little 'tushie' disappearing around the door to his room as the words, " Ma Nishtana haLila haZeh..." drifted out of the darkness.

Boy, did he squander an opportunity!  With that kind of a performance he could have gotten at least another hour out of me before I would have finally given him the boot.  :-)


Posted by David Bogner on March 28, 2007 | Permalink


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Yonah sounds just like the kind of petchatchele that any bubbe would delight in taking a bite out of his tucches.

I think children, in general, absolutely rock, but it sounds like you scored yourself a good one when he came along.

Posted by: Erica | Mar 28, 2007 2:41:06 PM

Aww...so cute! I miss my little buddy.

Posted by: tnspr569 | Mar 28, 2007 2:44:52 PM

Wow, what a coincidence, because yesterday, I was thinking of writing the same type of post. I was in my children's school and echoing throughout the hallways, were these little tiny voices, singing Ma Nishtana ... they are all so precious.

But darn it, it's such a catchy tune, I had it in my head for the rest of day.

Posted by: jaime & talia | Mar 28, 2007 4:00:03 PM

Awwwwww... My 3 year old keeps asking me all kinds of questions to keep me from heading out of her room. Nice to know I'm not the only one who's kid tries to con him/her. Is Gilad ready to give up the task of asking the 4 questions, or do you split it between the kids?

Posted by: JDMDad | Mar 28, 2007 4:01:39 PM

I love it ... children can be so inventive at negotiations. Our three year old delights in telling us he's hungry just as we get him to bed ... he know's I loathe the idea of him going to bed needing food.

He has also had me cutting labels out of bed clothes in the middle of the night because he said they were too scratchy!

Posted by: ploop | Mar 28, 2007 4:32:27 PM

And here I was, boning up on my four questions in preparation for my debut; I know when I'm beat. (Just so you'll know - come Monday night, don't be expecting an unexpected visit from me.)

Posted by: Bob | Mar 28, 2007 4:41:26 PM

I think Yonah and Barak would get along very well. (Barak turns three the week after Pesach.) Barak's thing is sitting on the potty for hours, reading Commander Toad and the Space Pirates, singing Uncle Moishy songs, and insisting that he cannot possibly go down because he needs to poop. What mother is going to pull a child who needs to poop off the potty and put him in bed?

Does Yonah know that he just earned himself a ticket to staying up really, really late on the seder nights?

Posted by: uberimma | Mar 28, 2007 4:58:52 PM

My favorite is after Shema when I turn to leave the room I hear a 'But Daaaaady' so I turn around and get a pause. Meaning they didn't have an issue, but didn't want me to leave. So I say to "Come on - you can think of something to keep me here!" I get a goofy grin, and they are down for the night.

Posted by: Aharon Fischman | Mar 28, 2007 6:09:16 PM

Precious, just precious :)

Posted by: SaraK | Mar 28, 2007 6:19:12 PM

One day I am going to miss these moments.

Posted by: Jack | Mar 28, 2007 6:35:38 PM

Aww. Now that is cute.

Posted by: matlabfreak | Mar 28, 2007 7:05:23 PM

Mazel Tov!

May we ALL be so blessed!


Posted by: Maksim-Smelchak | Mar 28, 2007 8:06:00 PM

That is the loveliest thing I've read all day! Gorgeous!!!! Bless his heart :)

Posted by: Alice Bachini-Smith | Mar 28, 2007 8:25:14 PM

That's so sweet! PS - our 15-month-old has the most effective bedtime-delaying tactic of all. She just hollers.

Posted by: psachya | Mar 28, 2007 9:18:55 PM

Adorable! Give that nephew of mine a big kiss from his Auntie Val!

Posted by: val | Mar 28, 2007 9:20:47 PM

Cute overload... must..sit..down..

Posted by: Ed Z | Mar 29, 2007 8:21:42 PM

I usually read quietly, but this one got to me. Reminded me very much of my kiddies when they were young. Plus, I just went over the Four Questions with my Sunday school kids this past weekend, and though they are big 4th graders, the ones who were responsible for doing them at their seder this year were adorably serious about reviewing.

Great story. Thanks.

Posted by: Gail | Mar 30, 2007 3:31:39 PM

Too cute. I was just telling a friend how much I love hearing the kids sing this song during this time of the year.

Posted by: orieyenta | Mar 30, 2007 5:34:16 PM

Hehe, so cute. I'm still the youngest at our family seders, so I've been singing mah nishtanah for over 20 years now... ^^;;; about time a kid like Yonah took over!

Posted by: Chantyshira | Apr 2, 2007 7:50:22 AM

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