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Order at the Seder

Tonight was our second ever Passover seder with Simon. I had hoped he’d behave well so I could spend my time and attention directing the Passover seder and so he could play baby Moses to my Yocheved* in our first-ever family Passover play. Given that Simon was coming off a busy weekend that already featured brunch with friends, a trip to their house afterwards, and a family birthday dinner for my nephew last night, continued peace was probably too much to ask.

But Stink-Pot delivered in a huge way! He sat at the table for ages, he tried all sorts of new foods, and he genuinely seemed to have a good time. During our play, he climbed out of the Moses basket, but that was spontaneous comic relief. And when it came time to “cast” plagues in act two of our play, he really got into it. Watching the big kids throw bugs, lice, hail, and frogs entertained him, but his absolute favorite was picking up afterward.

The little guy, bless his heart, was mesmerized by the pom-poms we used to represent hail. He sat in my mom’s family room and picked them out from among the fake lice, frogs, and bugs lying about and put them into a basket. Then he sat in the dining room, took them out again one by one, and replaced them in the basket. Had I not felt the need to take him home and put him to bed, I half-way think he’d still be there playing with the hail.

Tonight’s pom-pom obsession was part and parcel of a new behavior I’ve spotted lately: Simon is beginning to understand cleaning up, and he wants to help me do it. The two of us were sitting in the living room Friday afternoon when I noticed he was playing with his nesting boxes in a new way. Instead of stacking them, he nested them inside one another. He displayed quite a bit of patience, too. If one box was too big to sit inside the other, he’d take it out and look for the right fit. Once he had about five blocks nestled, he tried to put the entire stack in their carrying case and close the lid. I could hardly believe my eyes, and I’m still not sure if this was an example of simple container play or if he was imitating me. Regardless, I thought it super-adorable.

Which kind of sums Simon up for the past week. He’s been super social, super sweet, and super lovable. I know the era of tantrums has arrived and isn’t going away, but I’m beginning to suspect that the biggest trigger for last week’s fits was jet-lag and general fatigue.

* We had a bit of stunt-casting in our play. Yocheved was Moses’ mother. It also happens to be my Hebrew name, one I’ve complained about ever since I was about 9 and realized that it lacked the lilt of my friends’ names Leah, Renah, Hanna, Chava, Peninah, etc. Tonight, at long last, it seemed quite appropriate.

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