Tuesday, April 20

today was art class in elephant school. here's the picture i made for daddy on the compooter:



i will make a picture for pop next week in art class.

love,
daal
the baby elephant

Monday, April 19

my pop seems rather depressed today. he came home early today, complaining about pain in his mouth. i asked him if he had a toothache, but he said that he had been to the dentist this morning, and had a lot of work done there, which is why his mouth hurt.

"don't worry, daal," he said, gobbling down a handful of ibuprofen tablets. "it doesn't hurt too bad, and i'll be all better soon."

"then why are you so sad today?" i asked.

"i need a new bridge," he said. "it's going to cost a lot of money."

pop wasn't making any sense. he doesn't need a bridge. he and dad know that there are already lots of bridges near us: the frank & lynn bridge, the campbell soup causeway, the gandhi bridge. i think pop needs elephant kisses, not to spend money on a bridge.

love,
daal
the baby elephant

Sunday, April 18

pop told me yesterday that he's keeping notes about all our adventures so that he can write a book one day.

"it would be so much fun to write -- and so much fun for people to read," pop said, using his most excited tone of voice. "plus, i think a lot of people can learn a lot of important lessons from a story about a baby elephant and his two daddies."

dad agreed, and mumbled something about bushes under his breath.

i was very excited about pop's book idea yesterday, but today we took a trip to the bookstore, and now i'm a little worried. what if pop decides to write about everything i do? i hope pop doesn't get any ideas from some of the books we saw today.

Sunday, April 11

we are back from jacksonville! my pop and dad said the wedding last night was wonderful, and the brunch this morning was also very nice.

i'll have to take their word for it. i stayed in the car for all the festivities. a wedding and a brunch is no place for a baby elephant, or so i'm told.

we stopped for lunch at walt disney world. it was fun! i saw other elephants there.

love,
daal
the baby elephant

Saturday, April 10

hello from jacksonville beach!

dad, pop and i drove here thursday night because my uncle lee is getting married this weekend. pop and dad rushed home from work, threw a whole bunch of clothes into their suitcases, packed everything in the back of dad's car, and then we were off! during the whole trip, dad and pop kept remembering things they forgot to bring.

"razor," my pop said.

"deodorant," my dad said.

that's when i realized that i left my backpack at home! my pop bought me a little blue backpack before we went to hamsterdam. in it, i have a little bag of peanuts (for emergency snacks), two quarters in case i need to call someone, and four drink tickets from the united red carpet lounge at o'hair airport in chicago.

i don't know how the drink tickets got there. i think my dad stuffed them in my backpack when i wasn't looking.

i was very upset about leaving my backpack behind. my pop made me feel better, though.

"it's ok, daal," he said. "we all forgot things. we'll get more peanuts for you when we get to jacksonville beach."

yesterday night, dad and pop went to a big rehearsal dinner. i stayed in the hotel room. i told my pop and my dad that i was too tired to go, but, actually, i wanted to stay behind because everywhere i go, people always make a fuss about me being such a cute baby elephant, and i didn't want to steal any attention from uncle lee and soon-to-be-aunt michon.

this morning, i told dad and pop the real reason why i stayed in the hotel room.

"you're a very selfless baby elephant calf," dad said, "but you're also part of our family, and we love you and we're proud of you. you shouldn't have to feel like you have to stay behind, ever."

yesterday, grandma bought me a little present: a little stuffed blue elephant. it's just a toy, not a real elephant like me. i played with it yesterday.

last night, when pop and dad got back from the rehearsal dinner, i heard them talking about antelopes.

"are we getting a pet antelope?" i asked.

dad laughed, and pop explained that they were talking about eloping -- running off to get married, without any fuss or big parties.

pop must have seen me frown, because he then said quickly, "of course, you would come with us. we couldn't get married without our baby elephant there!"

i asked pop when he and dad would elope, and he said he didn't know. he said that in lots of places, he and dad couldn't get married.

"why not?" i asked.

"well, because some people think that only men and women should be allowed to get married," pop said. "but a few cities and states have realized that the current laws are discriminatory, and those places are starting to allow two men or two women to get married. so we'd have to go to one of those places."

i thought that it's silly that some places won't let my two fathers marry.

"pop, why won't some places let you and dad get married?" i asked.

"well, there are lots of reasons," my dad started to explain, then he thought about his answer a little bit.

"i guess it's because some people don't like things to change," he said finally. "they think that the way things have always been in the past are the way things should always be, even if those things aren't fair for everyone."

"that's silly," i said. "you love dad. you should be allowed to get married, just like uncle lee and michon, and grandma and grandpa, and cousin rich and april, and cousin phil and kirsten, and cousin randi and eric."

"that's what we think too," pop said, looking at dad. "i love your dad very much."

dad then came over and gave pop a big hug.

"hey!" i shouted. "what about me?"

pop and dad then lifted me up and hugged me too.

i think i have the best family in the world!

love from jacksonville beach,
daal
the baby elephant

Monday, April 5

tonight is my first passover!

i knew tonight was a very special night because my dad got home early and set the kitchen table. then my pop called a few times and said he'd be late. he finally got home around 7 p.m., complaining about something or other, but as soon and he and dad started preparing dinner in the kitchen he was his old pop-like self.

pop and dad actually started cooking yesterday. they made a brisket, which i think is gross because i'm an elephant, and all elephants are vegetarians. actually, the brisket smelled very good -- pop found a moroccan recipe in his jewish cookbook that uses lots of tomatoes, onions, olives and some ginger.

pop put a lot of different things, including a bone, an egg and some veggies, on a special plate that he called a cedar plate.

"a cedar plate?" i asked. "like the tree?"

"no," pop said. "it's a seder plate -- s-e-d-e-r. it's for our special dinner tonight."

pop put the seder plate in the middle of the kitchen table, and he and dad put all sorts of other things on the table as well: some salt water, an extra wine glass, and a plate with flat bread called matzoh. pop put a napkin over the matzoh plate. everything seemed to have its own special place on the table.

finally, at 8 o'clock, with the brisket heating in the oven, dad and pop and i sat down at the kitchen table. pop gave us each a backwards book called a haggadah -- i say it's backwards because the pages go from right to left, instead of left to right. you start reading on the back page and go to the front.

"in hebrew, you read from right to left," my pop explained. "that's why books in hebrew go the other directions than books in english."

pop and dad and i took turns reading from our haggadahs, which told the stories about how the jews left egypt a long time ago. we also read about all the different things on the seder plate, and what they mean -- the mixture of nuts and apple was tasty, but it represented the mortar the jews had to use to build pyramids for the egyptians. the bitter herbs didn't taste good.

at one point, i got to read a whole section of the haggadah myself. it was the part called the four questions. later, my pop broke the middle matzoh in half and took away the larger part. he said it was the kofi annan -- or was that afikomen? -- and that he would hide it and i would have to look for it later.

about halfway through the haggadah, we put away our books and ate our yummy dinners. i didn't have any of the ge-filter fish. i didn't have any brisket, either. dad made me my own plate with matzoh, collards, apples and carrots.

after dinner, dad and pop asked me where the kofi annan was. i had totally forgotten about it! i searched all over the kitchen, but couldn't find it. then i looked in the living room. i saw something flat and rectangular, wrapped in a napkin, on top of the teevee. it was the kofi annan!



after dinner, we picked up the haggadahs and started reading again. we opened the door, so that anyone who wanted to could join us, but we didn't open it too much, because there are some stray cats in our neighborhood and my dad didn't want them to come in.

my pop did most of the reading ... or, should i say, skimming. i asked my pop why he was going so fast.

"you see, daal, speeding through the second part of the seder is a long and glorious simanoff tradition," he said.

at the end of dinner, pop pointed out that we had been visited during the seder by elijah, a prophet.

"uh-uh" i said.

pop pointed to the extra wine glass on the table. there's less wine in it now than when we started, he said. i didn't watch the glass during dinner, but it did look less full.

next year i'm going to measure the wine in the glass!

love,
daal
the baby elephant

Friday, April 2

my pop hurt his knee. he banged it against a file cabinet at work. he took some advil, but i think elephant kisses are the best medicine.

love,
daal
the baby elephant

Thursday, April 1

my pop just finished reading "prey," a book by michael crichton. i asked pop what the book is about, and he started talking about all these things i didn't understand, like nana-technology. when pop saw that i was confused, he told me that the book is about little robots that are so small they look like dust -- and that these little tiny dust robots can work together, like a swarm of bees, and kill animals and people.

now i am very scared, because dad and pop are very messy and there is a lot of dust in our house. what if it's killer dust, and it thinks a baby elephant would be an easy target?

i will ask dad and pop to buy me a little dustbuster that i can take everywhere. just in case.

love,
daal
the baby elephant