alma in class

Photo: Osnat Halperin-Barlev


Any space

Will do

If you take time

To teach


Your doll

Or anyone

Who will sit

Long enough

To listen …

But mostly



Because what you


To replicate

Is what you teach


And what


Your tomorrow.




For The Daily Post


alma sees pool

Photo: Osnat Halperin-Barlev


Like fish to water she is drawn.

The sparkling blue calls,

Its promise

An irresistible


She rushes,




Her mother after



To stop

The captivated

Little one

Before she falls.




For The Daily Post

In the Buff


He is an avid little streaker.

The first skills he had learned, a peanut little newborn, was how to shake off hats and kick off socks. These followed soon by talents for wriggling out of diapers, twisting out of bottoms, and shrugging off his tops.

He is a master of no-clothing.

An expert a-la-nude.

He chortles as you chase him.

He protests when he’s clothed.

He’s beaming when his skin meets air.

He’s glowing in the buff.

His mama is exasperated.

His da is not amused.

Grandpa laughs and names the child “Dote gan a stitch”

Grandma, “mo Stoirin (shore-een) Selkie.”




For The Daily Post

Cranky Monkey






He didn’t want to put on shoes. He didn’t want a sweater. He didn’t want to read a book. He didn’t like the weather.

He didn’t want to go outside. He didn’t want to play.

He didn’t want to take a walk. He didn’t want to stay.

He didn’t want to sit on lap. He didn’t want his chair. He didn’t want to play with blocks. He didn’t want his bear.

He never liked this yogurt. He never liked bananas. He never even wore this shirt. He hated these pajamas.

He didn’t want to take a bath. He hated Yellow Ducky. He didn’t want to wash his hands. The shampoo smelled yucky.

He didn’t like his bedroom. He didn’t like this bed.

He didn’t like this towel. The brush bothered his head.

A Cranky Monkey day to be

In Mama’s arms instead.




For The Daily Post

Mini Picasso


“This is a big big big mountain and it have a train and it go ‘choo-CHOOOO!’ round and round and also flowers but you see them fast because it a train and rainbow and my name.” (J.N, age 3:4)


mini picasso



For The Daily Post

I Mean It!


He plopped himself on the rug and pulled his sock on, tugging on the elastic till the fabric stretched to his knees. He gazed down at a bump. Scrunched his forehead, patted the bump down. It flattened but not all the way.

The furrows in his forehead grew. The bumpy bit was connected to the sock … like always … but something still seemed wrong.

He twisted his foot. Examined the sole. No bump there.

He pulled harder on the elastic. Re-examined. No change.

He shrugged.

Somehow when mommy or daddy did this, the sock looked different. No bump on the bottom. No bump on top.

He stood, took a step and stopped. Another step. Stopped.

The bump bunched. It felt funny when he walked.

He sat back down. Stared at his feet. Wiggled his toes.

It felt funny again. He bent his foot. No good.

Maybe the sock was broken.

He pulled it off.

Took a look.

The sock appeared completely normal now. Just like always.

He pursed his lips, pointed his toes into the sock and tried again.

The fabric bunched. A bump.

He moved his foot, paused, narrowed his eyes, and sighed. Tugged the sock off and held it between thumb and finger.

“Be good boy, Sock,” he admonished. “No more no-sense. I mean it!”



Photo by:


For The Daily Post

“I can, but I can!”

“I can, but I can!”

His small face ablaze

Part conviction, part plan.

He can go to the park on his own (in the rain, in the dark).

He can tie his laces (with shoes on wrong feet and socks turned around …).

He can eat three big slices of pizza (before finishing one).

He can drive the car (“the real one, with the key!”).

He can take a bath on his own (“Mommy help me get in …”).

He can dress himself (two legs in one pant, head wedged in a sleeve).

He can use a phone (especially “Delete” …).

And he certainly can, he is sure

Stay awake

All night long.

He’s not sleepy.

He won’t even be tired


Or ever.

Till he is “really big.”

He can stay up.

And not sleep.

Even as eyes flutter closed … and he yawns and he yawns and he ….



For The Daily Prompt

Stressful Situations Simulation: A resource

Below is a good resource and simulation of stressful situations that can be immensely helpful to parents and caregivers. I especially recommend the ones involving “Family Support”: “Calm Parents, Healthy Kids” and “Building Family Bonds.” These scenario simulations inform, teach, and actively guide parents and caregivers through various scenarios of interactions with toddlers in commonly challenging situations.

The resource can be invaluable information for parents and caregivers who are inexperienced and/or may have had less than good enough parenting themselves, and who may not know how to facilitate clear, supportive interaction with their own children, especially under stress. The simulation is presented in a non-shaming, educational way, and provides the participant with an active role in choosing different ways of responding … and being able to see the possible reactions to them … It also allows the participant to ‘re-do’ situations so they can experience how better choices can bring better results …

Practicing is important for any skill, let alone for skills one needs to apply in stressful situations. The very way our brain processes information is affected when we’re stressed, so it helps to already know what to do beforehand. Also, our own stress and how we manage it gets communicated and passed onto children in our care. This makes it doubly important to learn and practice (and then be able to model) new skills when one is calm and in neutral situations–as this simulation allows one to do.

Calm, informed caregivers help raise calm, healthy, competent kids. This can help!

I highly recommend you take a look and see:

bubble happy


What do you do with a melted child?

I could hear them before they even entered the building … his screech, her frustrated murmuring, unclear words with clear intent to hush and stop the fussing.

It did not get better in the vestibule, or the stairway. Screaming, banging on the rails (there’s fantastic echo in the building–apparently it is spectacularly irresistible for maximizing the effect of tantrums).

The mother’s pleas inched up in volume, from “stop this” to “please behave” and “you are making too much noise” to “other people are going to get mad at you” and “if you don’t stop this there’d be no playdates.” The immediate effect was a proportionate rise in the child’s loudness.

I decided to go meet them half-way. It is not something I usually do, so my very appearance in the hallway was enough to generate sufficient surprise to elicit momentary silence. I capitalized. “Sounds like you are having a hard day,” I noted, directing my words to both red-faced figures, one with mortification, one with the exertion of maximizing vocal output on steep stairs.

“I’m melting,” he noted, quite matter of fact, I might add.

“Oh,” I responded.

The mom looked from him to me and back again. “Melting?”

“A meltdown, I suppose,” I smiled, turned to the boy. “It sure sounds like a major meltdown.”

He nodded emphatically, satisfied.

“Do you think you had enough of a meltdown for one time?” I offered my hand to him. “It sounds pretty exhausting.”

He considered, placed his little hand in mine. Turned to his mother with a rather smug expression. “I done melting now.”

“I’m glad,” she managed.

“What was this about?” I wondered aloud.

“He wanted to be the one to press the button for the bus stop …”


“But someone else on the bus already pressed it … so he refused to get off …”

I looked at him with a raised eyebrow. He nodded, approving of the testimony. “It was my turn to push the button,” he accused.

“Hmm, maybe other people on the bus didn’t know that.”

He looked shocked at the very notion. How could anyone not know what he clearly had?

We climbed. He pondered.

“It only got worse from there,” his mother added, still debriefing. “I had to carry him off the bus, screaming. He threw himself on the ground …”

It explained the stage of his clothing … it had rained earlier …

“He got himself all wet …” she sighed, “I’m sorry for bringing him in such a mess.”

He turned to her, his face a mask of indignation. “Of course I wet, Mama! I was melting!”


Find A Song

She never stops singing.

She sings when she’s playing. She sings in the stroller, the high-chair, the booster, on the carpet or floor. She sings in the sandbox. She sings on the swing. She sings in bed every morning. Come evenings she’s singing to sleep. She sings in the bathtub. She sings when she’s walking. She hums with food in her mouth. She’s heard singing while deep in a dream.

She sings top chart melodies. She sings the same line for a week (drives her mama nuts, but it is what it is … all she can do is introduce another song and hope it will be picked up on a whim).

She hums nursery rhymes, sings odd jumbled phrases. She repeats parts of jingles and mangles their lines. She mashes music from a hundred places and switches song to song without missing a beat. She makes up nonsense rhymes unselfconsciously. She fills in random words as she goes.

She does not quite keep time or pitch. She does not really carry a tune.

Not one would expect her to do so. She’s not quite three-years-old, after all.

So who cares if she pauses in imperfect rhythm or raises volume in an off-pitch pipsqueak dramatic flair. She’s adorable. She lives life utterly happy. She finds music flowing in every moment and in every action. She listens, she follows, she sings.

Her humming brings smiles to the lips of strangers. It melts the hearts of loved ones. It has people raise an eyebrow in amusement and meet the eyes of others in a shared moment of delight.

She’s a wonder. In her quiet content singing she’s a teacher, too:

For can you find the music that surrounds you? Do you listen? Can you hear?

It is flying on the molecules of oxygen around us. It is weaving in and out of every atom. It bonds the flow of leaves upon the water, it jingles in the rustling of branches waiting patiently for spring. It hums the breath of every living thing.

May she never lose touch with her singing. May her inner music flow unhindered and her heartbeat always rhyme with joy. And may those who wish to keep on singing, always find their song.

singing, joy, children, naamayehuda