Holiday tradition

We have developed an annual tradition of reading The Latke Who Couldn’t Stop Screaming (Lemony Snicket, illustrations by Lisa Brown) aloud at Hanukah, even though it is subtitled “A Christmas Story.” This is the first year that Mookie was solely responsible for the reading. She read with great flair for a crowd, and showed us the pictures and cued us to scream “AAAAAAAAAH!” at the right times. Even The Donald was rapt.

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Photos: Pam Gehrke. Thank you, Pam!

Better watch out

Mookie, with a winning smile: Do you think Santa will bring me presents, because I’ve been a good girl?

Mama: Santa loves you no matter what. He doesn’t care whether you’re good.

She continues with what she’s doing for a few minutes. Then, suddenly:

Mookie: I thought he did care. Isn’t that part of the whole Santa thing?

Ta-da!

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Helping Mookie turn this kit into the actual working model feels like a vindication. She gets the credit for that, since she did all the painting, briskly, without undue agonizing over the correct shades. My slightly nagging feeling of incompleteness about models dates back to the one model I recall making, a Visible Woman I badly wanted when I was about her age and had a hankering to be a doctor. My parents gave it to me for Hanukah, and I did put it together, a model of the female body with transparent skin so that you could see all the organs. I painted most of the organs, but the perfectionism that would haunt my years had already set in, and there were a few complex colors I never did mix. This made me dread the solar system project, but Mookie jumped right in, I had no trouble with my assembly responsibilities, and I feel much better now.

It spins when placed in sunlight–we tested it!

Mookie believes it should include Pluto and the moon, but she’s still able to consider it a completed job.

First dinner

Some time ago Joy proposed that Mookie be responsible for one dinner per week once she turned nine. That is still several months away, but Mookie has been eager to get on it. So tonight, with only minimal help from the assistant chef, she made her first dinner: pasta with “sprinkle cheese,” marinara that Joy had made and frozen some time before, and a side dish of carrots. She also got the drinks and set the table. Everything was delicious.

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She plans to make dinner every Thursday.