Friday, March 28, 2008

time out for poetry

My son had a temper tantrum this week. A kicking, screaming tantrum, the likes of which I haven't seen in more than a year and the likes of which is not becoming in any kid, much less a kindergartner. I took him to his room and as part of his time out, or recovery time, or whatever you want to call it, I had him work on some poems about the way he was feeling. My object wasn't to instill poetry as punishment (egads, I hope that won't be a side effect!) but to get him to focus on words and feelings and communicating those feelings in a way that did NOT involve kicking and screaming.

It was a fascinating process. He dictated three poems and they got better and more eloquent as he regained control. He gave them titles after they were finished. Here's the first one:


I hate you
I don't like you
I do not like you at all
Because you were not nice to me.

Here's the last one:

When I Am Angry

When I am angry, I feel mean
I feel sort of like a volcano inside
Or a big, bubbly mud pit
But that's not all
I feel like I want mommy.

Monday, March 24, 2008

akron family

I didn't review these guys when I saw them, but in the hopes of keeping a sorta-kinda record of the bands I see, I wanted to add Megafaun and Akron Family to the list. I went into this show blind. With exception of a late start (something I could handle when I was younger but something that now, in the post-40 years, really pisses me off) I dug them both. You can follow these links to their myspace pages.
Akron Family

It's Alive

My daughter recently purchased a Baby Alive with her holiday money. Following is a brief survival guide should your child do the same.

1. Take little packet of juice mix which will later become pee mix. Hide.
2. Suggest that Baby Alive go commando during feedings.
3. Adopt refrain, "But sweetheart, all babies eat in the sink."
4. If Baby Alive insists upon wearing diaper during feedings, dry said diaper between feedings. A warm, sunny window works best. Note: This will only work if you follow Step 1.
5. Adopt refrain, "But sweetheart, all babies wear wipes and rubber bands to bed." Because seriously, if you've just gotten your kid out of diapers, do you really want to buy diapers for her doll?

Saturday, March 22, 2008

church signs

Growing up in the south, I've always had a fascination with church signs -- those changing marquees outside of churches that try to snag passers by in two lines or less. Things like "God is here. Where are you?" or "Think you're special? Try walking on water."

Never mind that I'm Jewish and a hefty percentage of those signs don't have me as the target audience. They still make for interesting scenery, a couplet of religion mixed in with the redbud along the highway. Some signs feature jokes or puns (mostly bad), some try to comfort. Some are mean-spirited and horrifying -- the kind of signs you figure must be written by men with white hoods instead of white collars. But the little white church near our house in Arlington, Va., has had a few signs lately that I've remembered for the right reasons. The first came in January:

For peace, look for the better you within you.

The second is the one that's up now:

Fall down seven times; stand up eight.

It's a spiritual fortune cookie; bumper-sticker theology, to be sure. But if I saw a car with that sort of bumper sticker, I'd let it pull out in front of me. I wouldn't even swear at it if it stayed in the left lane with its blinker on.