Sprite's been on a name kick for the past few months. She's extremely interested in everyone's names, nicknames, middle names, last names, name games, you name it. (Ha!)
(Before I go further, let me apologize for being largely absent for the last week or so. My blog needs some dusting now, but so did my lungs so they decided to rent out to a bronchial tenant who thought the penthouse view, or my head, needed some renovation as well. Due to that, and the codiene laced cough syrup, I've been mostly banned by John (and my friend Cynthia who reads this blog) from the computer since drug induced thoughts, while funny to me, may come off in a different perspective to the sober folks out there. So, there's my excuse. What's yours?) (Um, I've only been off the syrup for 24 hours. Snark may still be influenced.)
She's known for a long time that she is "Sprite". Yes, we use her real name at school and around people we really don't know, since, let's face it, trying to explain "Sprite" is harder than it would seem in the age of "in your face" marketing. I STILL get the soft drink question from people I would hope are smarter than to deduce that I base my child's personality on carbonated corn syrup, but her nickname is used quite a bit.
Thanks to her fascination with names, she tries out other names on John and me as well. Lately, she's taken to calling me "Mama". While I don't mind the name "Mama", I am "Mommy", have always been, no interest in the other.
"Are you talking to me?"
"Yes, you're my mother."
"No, you're Mama."
Thanks for the memo, kid.
John has been exposed to the possible name change of "Papi" and "Papa". She quickly abandoned the latter, and seems to only use "Papi" when she wants him to speak Spanish to her. (Which, coincidentally, only happens when she's playing with her Dora the Explorer computer game.)
The defaults are still the well worn Mommy and Daddy brands though.
Wanting to throw her for a loop, I told her what her Hebew name was, Sarat Chandel. She immediately clung to it, something which can be difficult for most Jewish American children since the pronunciation of the Hebrew alphabet is different from the ole standard English one they teach at school, lots of phlegm involved at times, kind of like coughing up a spork. But not Sprite. After one request to repeat her name so she could learn where the long "a" and short "a" was, she nailed it and has been offering it to everyone since.
And asking everyone else for their Hebrew name, even the Gentiles.
"What's your Hebrew name, Mommy?"
"What's Daddy's Hebrew name?"
"Daddy doesn't have a Hebrew name. He's not Jewish."
"Yes he does. It's John Cohen."
Okay, okay, let's not agree with her on the Cohen technicality. Jeez. Sometimes, you give this kid too much credit.
"What's Blue's Hebrew name?"
"Blue doesn't have a Hebrew name. She's a dog."
"Yes she does. It's Blue-see Blue. And Harry is Harry Hee."
Mazel tov, mutts. Here's a milkbone.
I had the chance on Monday to take her to an actual Passover Seder, hosted by my Orthodox leaning aunt and uncle in Aventura. (Anyone who doesn't know Aventura, it's a section of Miami with a LARGE Jewish population. The Joy of Oy is as plentiful as the guilt.) Since John couldn't get out of work, he didn't join us for the trip East to see my family, just an overnighter, but filled with tradition.
I tried to explain to Sprite exactly what Passover was, since this is the first year she can actually retain the information she's given for longer than an hour, but also since my own seders are typically just meals with a toast given before the food is consumed. Oh yeah, and my seders aren't Kosher.
She was fascinated with the name itself, Passover, unfortunately, she was convinced it was actually two words. "When is the Pass Over party?" Trying to explain it was not successful since four year old logic is concrete and OVER is its own word, "Mommyyou'resosillyturnonmymovieit'smyturn".
Once we got there though, I was forgotten as she absorbed the real Jewish side of her gene pool. Sprite, being the youngest in the room, was immediately ignored by her older cousins Bryan and Elijah as 1. she didn't have a DS and 2. she didn't know what a DS was. Dejected and near tears, she quickly found another cousin Gabriel who started to play with her, becoming her partner in crime for pretty much the entire evening. Keep in mind, Gabe is not that much younger than me, pushing thirty, so her skepticism to him actually qualifying as a "cousin" when the rest of her cousins were all born in the late nineties or later was understandable, but since he was willing to roll around on the floor and play hide and seek behind the couch, he got the job.
I packed a ton of snacks just in case since Kosher food can tend toward the bland side, with the exception of bitter herbs and horse radish which every kid must be tricked into tasting at least once in their lifetime, but once she got past the matzoh and a taste of charoset, a mixture of apples and other ingredients which is supposed to be sweet, but my child decided looked better coming out then going in, and of course once I experienced her "no thank you" bite being offered into my hand to keep her from giving everyone a show, I wasn't interested in it either so we were both pretty much done before the meal actually began.(Which, if made well, is delicious on matzoh. Especially if you need to wash out the taste of raw horse radish that one of your cousins SWORE was something else, the jerks..)
So yes, her first real "Pass Over" meal was a success, the cutest point of the evening being when the children run to the front door to throw it open and look for Elijah, whom you learn has already been by by the telltale empty wine glass an adult filled for him earlier. (Tradition, folks.) Trying to keep up with the older kids, she rushed the door with them only to come back to the table and whisper to me, "Why did they think Elijah was outside? He's RIGHT THERE," pointing to another Elijah.
Again, four year olds. Logic. They blend.
Of course, after trying to explain the whole "Elijah" thing fell through when the guests began to sing happy birthday to the real one, leading Sprite to believe Passover was just a way of celebrating a kid's birthday, just without the presents. As I tucked her in beside me on the air mattress that night, she whispered, "That was a fun party. But my birthday was better."
It's always a competition, isn't it?