Humor

The Hot Dog Rebellion
“Just because you needed to lose weight, why are you taking it out on us? What did we do?” another son repined. They continued their assault by reminding me that this was Thursday, and Thursday used to be hot dog night . . .
These Shoes Are Made for Walking
Now that I’ve released my angst, and shared the trauma of countless hours pressing down on toes and humbly praying for help in choosing shoes that fit and last and that can be found tomorrow morning while the carpool is waiting in the driveway and beeping the horn, I can let my mind wander and wonder. There must be a lesson in all this...
I’ve Bin Recycling
Being as I don’t want to be assigned to the loony bin, my shout is carefully manufactured—existing in dimensions no greater than two feet long and two feet wide. The Carefully Manufactured Shout is tied with twine—and, by most metaphysical classifications, would qualify for the blue bin . . .
Bigger Brain is Bogus;
Having a real life in my hands only generated more loss of life in my head. Sure, I was smart enough to feed, bathe and care for my child. I kept a very organized diaper bag and was on my toes with everything baby-related. But when it came to life in general, there was no brain left...
The Curse of the Rolling Backpacks and Other Back-to-School Dilemmas
I had been looking forward to lolling around during the waning days of summer, eating runny sugar-free ice cream while my kids savored the premium scoops. But I was forced into aerobic action: running around like a woman possessed, surrendering my credit card to every retailer in town so that my kids could be smartly attired and equipped to return to a place they usually cannot stand...
Memo To My Kids At Camp:
Don't Call! Love, Mom
In most ways I'm a classic Jewish mother. If I'm cold, I tell my kids to put on sweaters. But I depart from the stereotypes in one significant way: I really am not interested in hearing from my kids every day when they are away at camp...
Jewish Mother Cyber-stalks Her Daughters
While other Jewish mothers may kvetch when their grown children don't keep in touch or share more of their lives, I peek into my daughters' pursuits whenever I please...
The Case of the Pathetic Pre-Passover Dinner
At a certain point, I will run out of food. And then we, along with about 4,000 of our neighbors, start hitting the kosher pizza joints...
Operation Confabulation:
Talking to My Teenage Son
How can a mom who isn't fluent in Dodger talk have a conversation with a teen that will last longer than it takes to even utter the word "con-ver-sa-tion"? One night, as I watched one son laboring over a book of Talmud, I had an idea...
Ten Tips to Save Money
Both my grandmothers came from "the old country," and trust me, there is no word for "disposable" in Yiddish. In fact, through her judicious use, rinsing, and re-use of aluminum foil, one of my Bubbies only used two rolls of foil during her entire life! With this kind of training, who better to offer money-saving tips than moi?
Campaign Trail, Part II
Last month, columnist Judy Gruen announced her candidacy for President of the United States. This month, she reports from the campaign trail...
Time for a Jewish Mother President
This election will not truly look like America, will not transcend the petty partisan politics of the past, without a Jewish mother candidate. Yes, running for president will complicate my schedule for the next many months, but who better to make sacrifices than a Jewish mother?
Why Am I Not Smarter Than a Fifth Grader?
My agility with first and second-grade schoolwork preserved my young children's belief (so sadly short-lived) that my husband and I knew just about everything in the world. Ah, those were the days...
Field Guide to Training Teens in Housework
"Mom? We're at the store, and you wrote down 'eggs.' But did you want regular, extra large, jumbo, organic, fertile, or free-range?"
Stop Me Before I Try to Parent Again
The “personality,” as we have experienced it, is guaranteed to be in mortal conflict with nearly every other personality in the family...
Sleep
I suppose the only way to truly survive this time is by denial. Sleep is overrated, you tell people...
This Could Be You!
The next evening, my husband came home a changed man. At the airport, he hugged his fellow rafters goodbye as if they had raised the flags at Iwo Jima together...
My Rabbi Puts Me to Sleep
I have tried all the recommended sleep rituals the professionals suggest. Low lights, don't hang around in your bedroom until it's bedtime, take a bath, listen to soft music or nature sounds. Nope. Nada. None of that works. I am up...
Mommy in Time Out
"Hello," she said in that barely even tone that mothers resort to when their children are reveling in the beginning of summer vacation...
It's a New Year
As we age, what was bad in earlier years doesn’t seem so terrible now. So, if another year comes and goes, and I can’t remember everything I did, that’s okay. As long as I didn't say or do anything to hurt someone...
Child Entertainment
Inwardly I cringe as I slip the video in and smile and nod along with my kids when they look to me for sharing in their obvious excitement that yet again he’s doing exactly what he did before...
The Shabbat Dog
It came as something of a surprise to discover that there are two words that provoke Pavlovian obedience from Frosty, and a dog right by our side: Shabbat Shalom...
I'm Not Messy, I'm Just Creative
Our family has a sacred, time-honored tradition: before company arrives, we quickly scoop up piles of mail, catalogs, library books, sunglasses, keys, the dog's leash and anything else that has been peacefully parked on the dining room table, and shove it as neatly as we can over into the kitchen...
Post-Bar Mitzvah Stress Disorder
I’ve got to leave for synagogue in three minutes or I’ll miss son’s big moment, but have no plan B for another outfit...
The Gift of Humor
I never cease to marvel how, along with the terror and the misery, we have produced a multitude of comics who set the groundwork for courage through humor...
The Toddler Upgrade
Who in their right mind would opt for the toddler upgrade? I wonder aloud. To which the travel agent smugly replies: Do you have a child under the age of two and a half? I answer affirmatively. Then (aha!) you already have opted for the Toddler Upgrade . . .