Thursday, November 20, 2008

My Day in Court

This morning, had to take Infant to Court with me, due to babysitter's last-minute Cancellation. Infant screamed upon attempt to enter courtroom, and was forced to beat hasty Retreat and produce bag of Pretzels (Infant is almost Two, and thanks to Siblings, perfectly adept at the consumption of pretzels and other, even less desirable Food-Like Substances).

Upon re-entry find that all seats are Taken; Court Officer loudly says, Everybody, Please Find a Seat! Sympathetic female clerk produces office chair from behind filing cabinet and we are Seated. Infant promptly drops pretzels on the Floor and slides down to recover them. Calendar call begins - my case is number 44. Infant picks crushed pretzels off floor and throws them in the Clerk's garbage can, then climbs back on my lap and joyfully says, Mama! Sssh, I say. Court Officer interrupts calendar call to say, Anyone whose Phone rings will Leave the Courtroom and Not Come Back.

Clerk calls number 12. Infant indignantly points out dropped pretzels and goes to pick them up; the attorneys on number 12 forced to mince around him to get to judge. Infant gathered back into lap and proceeds to behave quite well, by his standards.

Clerk calls number 30. Infant has dropped remaining pretzels, deposited a layer of crumbs on my black suit jacket, and tries to flip a switch on the wall, whereupon Court Officer approaches and sternly says, She Can't Be Touching That.

Clerk asks, Which Number Are You? and calls number 44, out of order. Deposit Infant on Chair and approach judge; Motion ends up Postponed for Other Reasons. Scoop up Infant and other sundry accoutrements and Flee courtroom. Proceed upstairs to file various papers; Infant tries to close the double doors, then runs around barking and growling.

On the way home, Infant screams on the subway train, prompting dirty looks and a few inaudible (to me) but clearly unappreciative comments. Eventually, convince Infant to spend rest of trip admiring his reflection in the window, which induces a Meditative state.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Yes, I Am Quite Happy, Thank You Very Much

This past Shabbos, finally got myself to Shul (Infant was with my parents) and every single person who ever had a black person be rude to them, came up to tell me about it, with the rider that It Is People Like Me That Ruin This Fine Country, and They Hope I Am Happy; to which my reply was, Quite.

To add insult to injury, Daughter said today that she had wanted "the Pretty Lady" to win, which devolved into exhausting discussion of What Makes A Good President. Qualities proposed included Smart, Does Chesed, and Tznius - Does Not Wear Shorts. This last was proposed by Son, while clad exclusively in pair of pajama pants, which he had stopped halfway through pulling up so as to participate in discussion (is going through very Irritating stage of being completely unable to to anything else while Talking).

Am reading Barbarossa by Alan Clarke, concerning the war on the Eastern Front during WWII. Am inexorably reminded of military descriptions in War and Peace, complete with poor communication, competing interests, lack of competence, and entirely misapplied competence. Detailed accounts and explanations of strategy turn out oddly mesmerizing, to the point where I felt actual suspense, though know quite well what happens next and how it all Ends.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

A Small Matter of Education

Was amazed to discover today that Daughter is being taught by Nevi'im. Daughter reassures me that Even if Obama wins, Something Bad will happen to him and Moshiach will come. Rejoin, somewhat starchily, that should quite like Obama to win, and that Moshiach will come Anyway; to which Daughter replies that Morah knows better, because she is Older. Am confident that the Latter, at least, is not the case. Daughter further alleges that McCain Loves the Jews, and Obama Hates them; is naturally unable to cite any Facts adduced by Morah to support these propositions. Am further dubious concerning the Wisdom of attempting to discuss Politics with seven-year-olds. Upstairs Neighbor, whose daughters attend the same School, says that her eleven-year-old's class was told the exact Opposite (which bodes well for Pluralism, but makes no Sense otherwise) and that Political Discussions with eleven-year-olds are similarly Unedifying. Recall own reading, at age eleven, mostly consisting of The Gulag Archipelago and The Cancer Ward, but surmise, and, indeed, Hope, that this is Atypical. Cannot help feeling School may have done better to stick to simple explanation of electoral process and Issues involved.