Monthly Archives: October 2014

Floyd Bennett Field – A Gem Close to Home

For years, our Chol Hamoed motto was “an extra half hour in the car to save two hours on line,” and we traveled far and wide in every direction from NYC.  We did Mystic Seaport and Norwalk, Philadelphia, Lancaster, Scranton, and NJ from North to South and East to West. Then Itty was born.  Itty got nauseas in the carriage when I drove it over pebbly concrete as a newborn.  She threw up in a car ride to my niece’s graduation, and again when I headed out by car to thirteenth avenue to run some errands. Since then, we go where we can  get with a carriage.

Occasionally, we prepare for the inevitable (bags, towels, bibs, wipes, air freshener, change of clothing), and head out for the closest attraction we can get away with, while still satisfying the older children’s craving for excitement.  To our surprise, we’ve found an inordinate number of things to do rather close to home, and they were not nearly as crowded, even on Chol Hamoed, as I had expected.

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Girl in a Boy House/Boy in a Girl House

Here’s a link to the article as it appeared in Hamodia, and the text of the article follows:


Boy in a Girl House/Girl in a Boy House

By Beily Paluch

“I really enjoyed the article in this week’s Inyan magazine about families with only boys or only girls.  An interesting follow up might be interviewing parents who have one boy or one girl among siblings of the opposite gender. Title suggestion: “the lonely onlies.”” – Bassie Friedman.*

Writing for Inyan magazine is rewarding in and of itself, but it is especially gratifying when readers take the time to share their feedback.  In this case, we were happy to accommodate the letter-writer, especially as material for this article was already partially collected in my files!
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Magen Tzitzit – Tzitzis Shield

One of the perks of having written Boy Oh Boy! is that friends are quick to share new boy-related products with me.  So when my husband pulled a small box labeled ‘Magen Tzitzit’ from his suitcase, I knew what it was.  It was the thingamajig a friend had shown me during the summer, and it was meant to keep the tzitzis strings from tangling in the wash. Her endorsement, though, had  been a bit lukewarm…still, I refrained from sighing, “I hope you didn’t spend too much on that!” and instead pretended to be suitably impressed.

And I’m glad I did!  Just a few days later, a neighbor raved to me about the Magen Tzitzit, saying it was amazing and she had just ordered more, so I decided to be a sport and try it.  And what do you know? It worked like a charm!  You wind the tzitzis around a spiral piece, snap on a protective cover, and throw it into the machine.  When you’re done, the strings are neat and tangle-free, a boy mom’s dream come true!

So of course, I need some more…

You Can Fool Some of the Boys Some of the Time

My friend Shana had a baby, one more in a long line of boys.  What could I do to help? I’m usually game to send a supper, or just cake or kugel, but Shana is a WAY bigger balabuste than I am, and I knew her freezer was stacked with everything she needed for Yom  Tov, prepared way in advance.  My nearly-perfect-if-you-only-look-from-this-side bundt would just become a logistical problem for her as she would need to find a place to put it.

So instead, I called to offer to take some of her boys out a bit, as they’re the same ages as my own boys, and we’re the nutty family who goes on trips the day before Yom Tov.  To my surprise, she didn’t jump at the offer.

“They’re way too busy.  All my boys are busy helping.  I promised them that whoever does their jobs will be allowed to wash the floor!”

Really now! You see what I mean…In a house where the kids do chores for the privilege of doing other chores, they don’t need my potato kugel.

So you can fool some of the boys some of the time.

Actually, I’ve been playing the same game in my sukkah for years.  You know how it is in a sukkah, not enough chairs, fitting a crowd miraculously into a small space.  Once, many years ago, to accommodate an overflow crowd, we brought in a small bar stool as an extra seat.  Anticipating frowns from the kids, we ceremoniously plunked the stool near my husband and dubbed it The Ushpizen Chair, reserving it exclusively for the child whose Ushpizen falls on that day.  (With a little creativity, every boy is assigned an Ushpizen…Yisroel works for Yaakov, Pinchas (the Kohein) gets Aharon’s Ushpizen, and Shlomo gets Shemini Atzeres).  Even in our much larger sukkah, it remains the most coveted chair until this very day.

Believe it or not, another friend gets her kids to eat their vegetables by declaring them ‘Mommy’s special diet food’, and no one can have any until they’ve finished their own meal!

I’ve been wondering if I can apply the ‘Ushpizen Chair Effect’ anywhere else in my life…and of course, if you’ve been fooling some of the boys some of the time, I’d love to hear about it!