Posts Tagged "dreidel"

The Unknown Origin of the Game of Dreidel DearKidLoveMom Style

Dear Kid,

Many people (and by “many people” I mean absolutely no one) have been asking about the origins of the game of dreidel. DearKidLoveMom.comMany people (and by “many people” I mean absolutely no one) have been asking about the origins of the game of dreidel.

Interestingly, the explanations provided by My Friend the Internet are astoundingly boring.

Therefore, I have done my own unique and independent scientific research (by which I mean I made it up out of thin air and a desire to have something to publish) as to the origins of the game.

It turns out that dreidel was invented by a very nice lady by the name of Leah Zimmerman. (You thought I was going to say Mrs. Joe Neanderthal? Don’t be silly.)

Leah was a very nice lady who regularly cooked latkes for her family during Hanukkah. But Leah had a problem. Leah lived in Once Upon a Time time. And everyone knows that Way Back Then there weren’t freezers. Which meant that you couldn’t cook latkes ahead of time and freeze them. You had to cook them right before you wanted to eat them.

The thing about cooking latkes is that they take A Long Time To Cook. No matter how you fry them, it takes a while to convince potatoes not to be raw. Potatoes are stubborn; that’s just the way it is.

And the thing about the people waiting to eat the latkes is that they are hungry. Not just your average, ordinary hungry, but starving-to-death-and-I-can-smell-latkes-cooking hungry. Which of course means hungry and whiny.

You think “Are we there yet?” can get annoying? It’s nothing compared to “Are they ready yet? How about now? Now? Ok, How about now?”

Leah Zimmerman was a very good cook, and she was a woman who knew perfectly well that latkes simply can’t be rushed. They will be ready when they are ready and not a moment sooner.

She was also a smart lady who prepared for the long wait by have a list of Things for her children To Do while they waited for dinner.

But Leah Zimmerman made a mistake.

She did not account for her children becoming more efficient at task completion as they got older. And unfortunately, while they got faster at completing chores, they did not become correspondingly more patient about waiting to be fed.

So Leah’s children ran out of Things To Do While Waiting. They decided to bother their mother. She decided she had no interest in being bothered. “Go play,” said Leah to her children.

For a brief moment there was silence as the children considered and then rejected this invitation. “What are we supposed to play?” they asked.

For a brief moment there was silence as Leah considered this question and her children stared expectantly at her. “Go play Dreidel,” said Leah.

“What is Dreidel?” the children asked since dreidel hadn’t been invented yet.

“Come, I will show you,” said Leah, giving the latkes a meaningful look (the meaning was “you’d best keep cooking nicely without burning while I attend to these children”).

The first game of dreidel involved lots of complicated rules that Leah made up as she went along. But a tradition was born.

And the latkes were smart enough not to burn.

Now you know.

Love, Mom

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Getting Back in the Game (Part I) | Super Bowl, College, and Life

Getting back in the game after a big mistake Part I DearKidLoveMom.comDear Kid,

On Facebook Sunday evening there was a photo of Peyton Manning with the caption, “Mom, can you please come get me?”

During the third quarter it really looked like the Broncos just wanted the game to be over. It was easy to imagine them praying for a snow catastrophe, hoping the field would open and swallow them all up, wishing for the electricity to go out—permanently. (There was a prop bet available on whether the electric would go out—not a smart bet to take since there was so much focus on it.)

Pi and I spent part of the weekend watching reruns of ANTM (America’s Next Top Model). Our favorite part is commenting on pretty much everything. What struck us, time and again, was how the mistakes and failures were more about what was between the model’s ears than anything else.

It seems that much of what happened to the Broncos was between their collective ears as well.

(One could comment that many models don’t have much between the ears. One could similarly speculate about the majority of football players. However, one would also need to acknowledge that professionals are generally pretty good at their game even if they can’t figure out how to turn on the kitchen light.)

It is so easy to lose focus. Whether you’re competing in the Super Bowl, vying for a spot in the finals as a model, barreling down a snowy slope at 6 zillion miles an hour (yes, the Olympics are almost here!), or trying to study for a biology quiz, it is easy to get distracted. And that distraction, even for a mere fraction of a second can have a cascading effect.

In some ways it’s hard to believe that the safety at the beginning of the game (oh, dreidel, dreidel, dreidel) threw the Broncos so completely that they checked out of the game a mere 15 seconds into the first quarter. They’ve come back from behind plenty of times. They’re professionals. It was the Super Bowl after all! You don’t just zone out.

But if you were watching the game it certainly seemed like that’s what happened. Either that, or they got sprinkled with a big dose of Can’t Do It Dust during the coin toss.

Whatever it was, they couldn’t escape the force field that was dragging them down.

Perhaps, as my friend Cheryl said when she suggested this post, they didn’t have a good enough recovery plan.

I leave it to the football experts, sports psychologists, and Monday morning quarterbacks to solve the problem of how to rope up the Broncos and fix whatever was wrong.

But what about the rest of us? How do we get back in the game after a disappointing result on an exam? How do we recover if we’ve gotten behind on studying? How do we get it back together when it feels like there is a really big hole to climb out of (and it would be so much easier to turn on reruns of How I Met Your Mother)?

I’ll have some thoughts tomorrow on 5 Ideas for Getting Back in the Game, but what are your ideas for getting back in the game?

Love, Mom

Still haven’t Liked DearKidLoveMom on Facebook? Seriously? What are you waiting for?

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Super Bowl Summary and Analysis You Won’t Read Anywhere Else

Super Bowl Commentary You Won't Find Anywhere Else DearKidLoveMom.comDear Kid,

Last night was the Super Bowl.

As I predicted, many potato chips were consumed, many commercials were shown, and the Vince Lombardi Trophy went to Seahawks in a largely uncontested battle blowout.



Queen Latifah sang. A horse ran on the field. There were fireworks.

Renee Fleming sang (fab outfit) with a flyover. (In case you’re curious, it ran 1:53, easily under the 2:25 prop bet line.)

Denver had a lot more captains than Seattle making for very uneven handshakes. Joe Namath tried to mess things up by tossing the coin too early. I’m pretty sure his fur coat got to him. Seattle won the toss with tails (you should have listened to me).

First Quarter

The Seahawks kicked off and there was a big pile up of players short of the fifteen. Less than 15 seconds into the game, there is a SAFETY! I love safeties. Positively my favorite signal. (Makes the referees look like striped dreidels.)

After a bunch of plays, the 26 yard field goal attempt gets a penalty and becomes a 31 yard attempt which is no problem at all for Hauschka.

After a bunch of plays where it wasn’t clear anyone really wanted to play offense, Seattle settled for another field goal, proving that you can do it the hard way.

Best play so far: Hauschka’s kickoff hits the cross bar. Love it.

First quarter thoughts on commercials. Meh. But I did like the cow commercial and the Cheerios commercial. Ellen DeGeneres was ok, but more because she’s adorable than because I liked the commercial.

Second Quarter

The second quarter began with a couple of awesome commercials. There was a cancer survivor one by a car company, and a great GoDaddy one in which Gwen, the puppet maker, quit her job on national TV.

Seattle decided it might be nice to score in a more traditional way, so they scored a TD. PAT np. 15-0.

Did I mention that the Broncos hadn’t even managed a first down? Apparently someone clued Denver in about that so they decided to get one. And then a couple more. Which proved to be of interest to no one except the statisticians since Seattle intercepted the ball and ran it back for a TD. (And the announcers agree with Dad about why it happened was so there was peace in the world for a moment.) PAT no biggie. 22-0.

Love, love, love the Colbert commercial for pistachios. Best dressed eagle ever. And a great Muppet commercial for a car. So far, the animals and the puppets are winning the commercial wars.

Second quarter ends. I’m glad I’m not in the Denver locker room during half time.

Halftime happens.

The rain begins. Or it might be the Bronco fans crying.

A thought: the Broncos should have asked Bruno Mars to come in to give them some footwork lessons.

The commentators didn’t have much football to talk about so they gave a thorough analysis of the halftime show.


Third Quarter

The third quarter didn’t start any better for the Broncos. Harvin takes the kickoff all the way back for a TD. And the dude had hip surgery in August. I am in awe.

I admit, I really like the doberhuahua commercial. Dad likes the Tebow no contract commercials. Social media peeps think it’s cool that Tebow has taken the fact that he doesn’t have a contract and turned it into a big asset. Must agree. We also like the Axe Make Love Not War commercial.

Thinking about leaving early to beat the traffic. Oh, wait. We’re not actually at the game.

Nice Bruce Willis commercial about Hugs being better than blowing things up. Very nice Budweiser commercial about soldiers coming home. Don’t know what it has to do with beer, but nice commercial.

Seattle. Touchdown of the Amazing variety. 36-0.

Dumb commercial line of the night: Is there anything more American than America? Bob Dylan ought to be ashamed of himself. (“Auto” be ashamed?)

Is it me or is this a Very Long Third Quarter?

And with 2 seconds left in the quarter, the Broncos score. Yawn. 36-8

Fourth Quarter

Little dude from Seattle catches ball for TD. 43-8. I’m running out of fingers and toes.

Hauschka takes very interesting steps for a kickoff. Just thought I’d mention it. Don’t have that much else to talk about, y’know?

Love the Jaguar commercial with the British villains. Thumbs down for the Oikos commercial that is only barely saved from true tackiness by the arrival of the rest of the Full House gang.

Extra points if you recognized the music in the fourth quarter TMobile commercial.

It is not a close game when you can play the 12th string in the Super Bowl. And the commentators sound bored. You get the feeling the Broncos just want this to be over.

Best Buds commercial for Budweiser with the puppy and Clydesdales—awesome.

The Gatorade was orange. And a double dunk in case you’re keeping track of these things.


  • Having extra captains doesn’t necessarily help.
  • Having a great outfit for the National Anthem does.
  • Malcolm Smith won the MVP award. Love that no one saw that coming.
  • Denver must have thought all those Xs and Os were hugs and kisses rather than people to tackle. I’d blame it on the Axe Make Love Not War commercial except that didn’t air until the second half.
  • There is no good time for a potty break during the Super Bowl. They should really run dead air for a few minutes somewhere in there.
  • There was a lot of love and kindness in the commercials. Not sure what that means…

Love, Mom

The music in the TMobile commercial was from Disney’s Robin Hood. The animated one. Best Robin Hood Ever. Seriously. Ever.

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