I was taking care of my grandson because he was home from school. He was not sick but he had pink eye. We agreed that he would play on his computer on his breaks from math work, writing, and reading. But he did NOT WANT to do school work. And he is very dramatic. And he is manipulative ( because he is smart). And he wants to be in control (because he is smart). And he LOVES to complain (because he is smart and he knows an adult can only tolerate so much). And once you open the door to expressive freedom, it is hard to stop what everyone knows is coming next. Only I wasn’t in the mood for the dramatic temper tantrum and I was not going to placate it.
Instead, I offered him tea with honey. We used up whatever honey was left in the jar. It was one of those honey bear jars. And I got an idea. I told him we were going to to do something fun. We searched the apartment for baking soda and vinegar.
We washed the honey bear and dried it. We filled it halfway with baking soda. We took the little plastic piece that modulates the flow of the honey and put the lid back on. With the lid open, I poured th vinegar into the little hole. AND SWEET LITTLE, CUTE LITTLE, HONEY BEAR BLEW HIS STACK!
“Now every time you have to do work, we will the honey bear blow his stack, instead of you blowing yours,” I said. And so the honey bear and some simple chemical reaction became our anger management tool!
Thank you – whomever you are – for purchasing and reading my book. If you have had a difficult life, were married, divorced, remarried, if you have now have grandkids, and you are still laughing – you will relate to the story of my life! 18 % of sales goes to Memorial Sloan Kettering for keeping me alive!
Kudos to NYC for really teaching. My grandson just “graduated” from kindergarten. This is a ceramic piece he made after learning about Wayne Thiebaud, his favorite artist. Of course that was a month ago. Now his favorite artist is Jim Dine. I can talk to him about Picasso and Leger and O’Keefe and the list goes on.
For graduation, he told me, his class was going to sing “It’s a Wonderful World,” by Louis Armstrong. Yes, he knew who wrote the song and he knew some history about Armstrong.
His music teacher encouraged him to learn piano and so he is. And he practices 10 minutes everyday.
THANK YOU NYC for doing your job in educating my grandson. THERE ARE NO TEACHERS LIKE NYC PUBLIC SCHOOL TEACHERS once the city makes up its mind to do the job!
From one teacher to all of you, THANK YOU!!!!!
I watch Jim Cramer whenever I can and I listen to him. I do not buy stocks based on his recommendations BUT I listen to his advice. I am a teacher, like him. He tells us to get kids interested in stocks at an early age. And the way to do it is by asking them what products they know and like. Well, after a sloppy explanation of what a stock is, and even I cannot wrap my head around what a stock actually is, I asked my grandson if he would be interested in the Walt Disney Company. He said he did not like Frozen, so he would pass on that hypothetical stock. But then he said he would like Netflix. Now why didn’t I ask him 2 years ago, when Netflix was still affordable? Then he thought: What about a company that makes…you guessed it: CHOCOLATE?
My dollhouse was holy. No one was allowed to touch it. I would know in a heartbeat if something was out of place. I made a braided carpet for the living room. I had a table and chairs for the kitchen. But I never acquired kitchen appliances. And I do not recall having a dollhouse bathroom. I drew pictures and hung them on the walls. I cut out a watch out from a magazine and hung it on the back of the bookcase and it served as a clock. There were no stairs. It didn’t look that much different from our apartment. But no one yelled in my dollhouse. In fact, no one spoke. It was quiet. It was perfect.
I was six years old before I met her. She finally came from Israel to meet her grandchildren. My bubbie came on a Sunday, her head covered. But when she was getting ready for bed, she took her kerchief off and I saw her brush her hair. She did not have one gray strand.
Monday morning came and I had to leave for school. I was reluctant. No one had showered me with love before. No one blew kisses at me and smiled warmly. This grandma, however, was not shy and she squinted her eyes, kissed my forehead, and said:
I thought that geshmackta was the name for the type of kiss she gave me, her lips closing in with a smack and warmth that started at the site of the kiss and penetrated my soul. It was only a little while ago that I came to understand that: “Ai, geshmackta” means “Oh, delicious!” inYiddish and that this grandma, who did not know me, was calling me “Delicious!”
When I came home that Monday late afternoon, my bubbie was gone. She went on to visit her other grandchildren. But when I went to my dollhouse, there was a bright pink and cornflower blue blanket on the big bed. Evidently my grandmother had asked my mother for scrap yarn and she took the time to crochet that blanket for me. I learned another important lesson about love that day. I realized that even though my grandmother could not communicate with me in words, she “got” me. She recognized how important that dollhouse was for me. She chose to make me something to show me that she understood me. And I learned what loved felt like.
Maybe that is why I learned how to knit and instead of making sweaters I focused my efforts on making afghans and throws for all the people who I love. When my daughter went off to college, she went armed with a beautiful wool blanket so she would be warm even if the dorm was drafty. When my daughter got engaged, I asked her to pick a pattern and colors and I made her an afghan as part of her engagement gift. When my grandson was born, I made him a cotton baby blanket and a wool blanket for the carriage. Then I made him a throw when he moved into a real bed. I just finished a blanket for my granddaughter. It is a dusty teal, the perfect color to offset her light complexion, burnt sienna eyes, and strawberry blond curls.
My granddaughter aptly calls blankets “cozies.” So, I am giving her the teal blanket for her third birthday. And I have a date with my granddaughter. On her seventh birthday, I will take her to the knitting store and teach her beginning knitting. On her tenth birthday, I will help her make her first afghan.