Category Archives: Passover

And then we lost power. Dayenu. (Notes from a Quarantine.)

We were muddling along here. We made it through the Passover cleaning and Passover prep, two seders and four of the eight days of Passover and I was feeling pretty smug about things, which is usually when it all goes to shit around here. (In hindsight, the smugness was probably matza constipation — I was just all bloat.)

And then we woke up to what felt like a hurricane this morning. Ok, so we’d spend the day inside. No walks, no kicking a ball around outside, whatever. It wasn’t like the girls were fighting. It wasn’t like they were tearing each other’s hair out. It wasn’t like they’d been fighting for about six weeks straight. It wasn’t like rain was lashing against the house and there was nowhere I could go to escape the sounds of high pitch shrieking. It wasn’t like someone had started biting. Again.

You see where I’m going here.

And then the power went out. I was cleaning up from breakfast, which feels a lot like cleaning up from lunch, which is almost identical to cleaning up from dinner because it involves me alone in the kitchen after everyone has scampered off like a guilty rodent. I stuck my head outside, looked up the downpour and said, DAYENU. Take away all our friends and family. Terrify us. Cancel school. Cancel basketball. Cancel everything except for laundry. (I mean, really – you couldn’t just cancel the effing laundry?) Make us dependent on grocery delivery which is intermittent, unreliable, and no, I do not want your shitty toilet paper substitution or 200 turnips. Have us start dressing like bank robbers if we need to leave the house. Keep terrifying us. But really, you’re going to ask me to shelter in place with my kids in a blackout? It’s pouring outside and nobody is allowed to take us in, and really, who would have us anyway at this point because I’m pretty sure we’re like those pet rabbits that have been ignored, whose teeth grow over their mouths and who turn wild and feral and suddenly they’re not cute bunnies anymore. It’s been six weeks. I think. We are no longer cute bunnies. We are de-socialized and feral and now I have to drag out the candles and go all Laura Ingalls, and not in the good way — because do I love me a prairie dress.

I tried not to think about the meat in the freezer. I tried even harder not to think about the hospitals in the Bronx which had people on machines and hoped that this was not widespread and that generators were working for people who needed them.

But what I was really thinking was — dayenu. Enough already. We obviously are suffering nowhere near as much as so many around us, but that is cold comfort when you are pulling children off of each other, icing bite wounds and making a meal in the dark and suddenly everyone wants to open the fridge even though you keep screaming DO NOT OPEN THE FRIDGE.

My 18 year old, came down, looked at the candle-lit lunch offerings and I momentarily worried he’d eat my 9 year old because he was never going to be full on quinoa and what was left of the fish. The floor is filthy. My feet are cold. It is still raining.

(The one perk of no power is no Zoom b/c we are preserving battery life and all of that and apparently I’m unable to use my inside voice on Zoom. M has taken to following me around the house shushing me. “You sound like my grandmother,” he said. “You don’t need to yell.”

Really? You’re going to invoke your grandmother while I’m on Zoom, already traumatized by the sight of my face plus ten years?

“Listen, buddy,” I said to him. “I’m not gonna lie. I have no idea how this Zoom thing actually works, but I do know this. If I don’t yell the loudest, my zoom square will never light up.”

At this point M opened his mouth to speak but no words came out. I’m assuming this was because I had trumped him with my knowledge of the inner workings of Zoom.)

But at some point Zoom will be up and running again — and the lights have just flickered which means we will also soon have heat and maybe all the meat has not gone off. During a brief light flicker, I walked past a mirror and I caught a glimpse of myself. I’d allowed one of the girls to do my makeup in the first hour of the blackout and I look like a cross between RuPaul and Baby jane

Maybe the lights need to go out again.



Filed under Coronavirus, Passover, Quarantine, Uncategorized

Summertime and the living is BLOODY EXHAUSTING

Here are a few things I have learned in the three days of summer vacation we have had thus far:

1. If you let your kids do all the work at the Apple Store, you will be less hassled. To them, the people behind the bar really ARE geniuses.


2. No matter what a child says while you are all piled into the effing minivan listening to craptastic Top Forty music (why the caps?), a song that was popular last summer is NOT an oldie.

3. It’s ok to fall asleep in all your clothes, and a dirty apron. Believe me.

4. Taking selfies of yourself with your seven year old daughter will not make you feel good about your skin.

5. Planning a six hour (plus?) road trip to Montreal may have seemed like a really good idea at the time, but 48 hours before the trip, it will seem like the absolute worst idea you have ever had.

6. Six hours is a really long time.


Filed under children, parenting, Passover, shopping, Summer

File: things I could eat all year

Hebrews: I am not exaggerating, nor am I suffering from advanced Stockholm Syndrome, when I say that this stuff is awesome:



Filed under food, parenting, Passover

Act One

Passover. Eight days for us to compensate for not being allowed to eat bread by eating remarkable amounts of just about anything else. Each year I promise myself that this will not be the year in which I eat my weight in chocolate covered cashews (I do not even like cashews) or marshmallows made from a slime only found at the bottom of a nuclear reactor (I wish I I could say that I don’t love marshmallows. They will be my downfall. I especially like them covered in shitty chocolate.) Each year I fail miserably. Only four days in (gasp! can this be true?), and I’ve woefully missed the healthy mark. (You can eat as much quinoa as you like and it doesn’t undo all the chocolate covered jelly squares.)

It’s also a remarkable amount of family togetherness, and that’s a mostly good thing. I generally assume that unless I get up with the rooster and run, the only time I will get to be free of a child appendage is … crap, I can’t even say in the shower because this morning someone just needed to sit and watch me, or on the toilet, because 30 minutes ago I just adjudicated a dispute over a pink paintbrush all while sitting on the loo.

But my mother in law snapped up the LAST three tickets to the opening of Act One last night at Lincoln Center. Even though the memoir on which it was based (by Moss Hart) has long been hailed as the theater nerd’s bible, I hadn’t read it until I moved to NYC in the fall. I loved it, and the play was just as moving, inspiring and beautifully reminiscent of the Broadway of 100 years ago as the book itself.

We got to celeb spot in the theater, which always adds to the fun: Victor Garber, Christine Baranski, and Nathan Lane.

In short, complete and total theater nerd heaven.

And the whole things almost didn’t happen.

I had been up since well before six. I had also been out all day with the kids, one of whom had to be physically touching me at all times. Someone threw up all over me, someone melted down all over me, and I had 15 minutes to figure out dinner and get them ready for bed before the sitter arrived. And then I remembered that the sitter wasn’t arriving — I had to get her. I was pooped and at several points I almost looked at my MIL and said: “Go without me. Give my ticket to a lucky, unsuspecting hobo.” (I get a tad overrdramatic when tired.) But the thought of overseeing bedtime coupled with the idea of missing this show I’d been dying to see… it was all I needed to pull myself together and get the hell out of dodge.

Sometimes I’m too much of a wimp, and I pass on evenings that I know I’d enjoy because the idea of organizing my escape is too much. It’s like I always seem to block out how fantastic it is to be out of the house.

And more than anything else, a night of theater is always worth the pact I have to make with the devil just to get out the door. For me, it’s a wonderful feeling that I’m still basking in today… and it’s not something that post-200-marshmallow-and-300-macaroon nausea can take away.


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Filed under Broadway, children, food, New York City, parenting, Passover

The Passover Horcrux

If I read another Facebook post about someone else’s completion of all her Passover tasks, hours, if not days ahead of schedule… I’ll scream.

Please don’t tell me you’ve just set your Seder table for tomorrow night, because my living room looks like this:


And if I read another post about a spotless kitchen, I’ll choke myself on matzo. Because my cleaning efforts ended in this:


You see, it isn’t just that I lack organization and drive.

I also fear the Passover Horcrux.

For each day that I spend doing nothing but Passover prep (or any sort of home related chore, really), I am sure that a small piece of my soul dies.

Voldemort has nothing on me.

Which is why I procrastinate. Which is why I dodge chores.

Which is why I am woefully behind.


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Filed under children, Harry potter, Harry Potter, Passover, Passover

Passover Irony

I had to write a short article about Passover, for which I needed a picture of food in my minivan.

So I opened a box of crackers, took one out, put it on the floor of the car and snapped the photo.

Here’s the irony: you could feed the Bronx with the once edible detritus that lines the floor of my car. There are two thousand crumbling potato chips shoved under the seats in the way back, four pounds of half eaten granola bars wedged in between the arm rests, three hundred cheese crackers between the seats and five liters of yogurt caked on the leather, not to mention many pieces of gum fossilizing here and there….

But I went and staged the photo anyway.

Was I afraid to show the true underbelly of minivan life?



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Filed under children, driving, Minivans, New York City, parenting, Passover, Uncategorized