April 19, 2011
The Seder From...Well, Actually It Wasn't So Bad
Last night we went to a Seder at a friend's house. I wanted to go for a lot of reasons, but mostly to keep the traditions of my childhood going as much as possible, and find some continuity in a very disrupted life. But I was also stressed about it. Anytime we go to another house with Moe, even one he's been to many times, one of us has to be on him constantly. Moe won't just sit and play or hang out with the other kids. He just runs around getting into trouble. At this particular house, he knows where all the bathrooms are, and seeks out every opportunity to find one and splash in the toilet. So we have to hold his hand or follow him around, greatly reducing our opportunities to kibitz. That's Yiddish for chit-chat, something we Jews do very well.
This time, we planned things well, sitting down at the table just a few minutes after arriving. I brought booster seats for the kids and that allowed us to strap him in. I brought 2 Passover books (thanks PJ Library!) and our 10 Plagues finger puppets, 5 per kid. Jelly kissed them all and Moe chewed on them. Regardless, they were occupied. We did a brief Seder so the kids had to wait to eat, but I doled out strawberries and juice to keep them from getting too hungry.
The kids did remarkably well, and sat through dinner. Both kids found enough to eat, though I couldn't convince them to try the most delicious items, including charoset (a concoction of apples, cinnamon, walnuts and wine) or some amazing sweet potatoes. They wouldn't try matzoh balls but ate hard boiled eggs. These are clearly not my children.
The highlight for me was getting Jelly to say "mah nishtana" during the four questions, traditionally said by the youngest person at the seder. The other kids joked about Jelly being too little to say them. She showed them. Next year, she'll probably be reading them herself.
I made 3 desserts: espresso meringues, chocolate toffee matzoh, and a sponge cake with strawberries and orange curd. We left around 8, and the kids both fell asleep quickly, surely another Passover miracle.
Photo found at http://basiceating.blogspot.com/2010_03_01_archive.html. Unable to locate original photo, although reference given as http://www.flickr.com/photos/idovermani/.