Noah, our 4 year old grandson was here visiting.  He got up every morning early - about 6 a.m.  He was very excited.   But he only woke his sister on one day.   That night his father was very tired.

He went to synagogue with us and wanted to wear a skirt and tights like his sister.  His mother explained that it would not be a good thing to wear.

“Why not?”  Noah asked.  Even though his mother explained several times, he still said, “Why can’t I wear what I want to wear?”

Finally, he made a deal with his mother.  He would wear his pants and shirt to synagogue but could change when he came home.

That is what he did.  But after wearing his skirt and tights for a few hours, he said, “OK, mom, I wore the skirt enough,” and changed into his pants.

Last month, an older relative of his bubie died.  She was sad and Noah wanted to know why.  “Because bubie’s cousin got sick and died,” his mother said.

This seemed to make sense for a while.   Then when his parents visited the Shiva house, he came along.

“Where is the guy who threw up?” he asked.

“He didn’t throw up.  He got sick and died.”

“So where is he?  Maybe I can make him laugh.”

“He died.  He had to go away.  That is why everybody at the Shiva house is sad.   Because they miss him.”

“Where did he go?  When is he coming back?”

“He is in a cemetery.”

“Oh.”

That seemed to be OK for awhile.

Then, a week later, when they were driving by a cemetery, he asked if that was where the man who threw up was.

“He didn’t throw up, he died.  And yes, he’s in a place like this one.”

“Can we go and see him?”

“Well, he is buried.  He’s underground.”

“Underground?  How does he walk around?”

Pause.  “He does not walk around.  He’s not really there, just his body.”

Now Noah started to get exasperated.  “His body is there?  He doesn’t walk around?   Well is he a human or a robot or what!”

This time, there was no answer and Noah had to think about this himself.  It was hard to understand.

Noah has had a friend in his daycare for a few years.  She is a few years older than him and her name is Criscilla.

When Noah turned three, at his birthday, Criscilla who was already over 4, exclaimed, “You mean I’ve spent all this time hanging around with a two year old!”

Noah plays with Criscilla who always tells him what to do.

The other day, when his mother picked him up and asked him how he was, he looked worried.  “I think I did something wrong,” he said.

His mother asked what it was and Noah said, looking at Criscilla, “I don’t know.”

Criscilla put her hands on her hips and said to Noah’s mother, “he never listens!”

“Oh yeah,” said Noah, relieved, “I never listen.”

But when he came to our house, Noah told us he really liked his junior kindergarten class and showed us how he could stand as tall and skinny as a pencil when it was time to be still.

So he is listening to somebody, just not Criscilla.