peer k (aka lawn jockeying jew)

“Let My People Go!” So, alright already; they let ’em go. But I tell you what, they didn’t go to Texas.

When I first moved to Austin, I was pretty sure we’d be the only Jews on the block. Though I took comfort in the fact that one of the largest independent food retailers in the nation, sprinkled throughout Texas, bears the name HEB. “See, honey. These are our people.” 

We put our unborn children on the preschool wait list at the J. We didn’t call it “The J” because we were hardly on a nickname basis. “Yes, button. Just as soon as I return from Michael Dell’s Jewish Community Center.”

I loved the idea of “Tot Shabbat” and was thrilled when two spots opened up for my guppies. They tadpolled their way through the ladybug room, then graduated to the 3-4’s, split apart, each to his and her own classrooms. Which brings us to now: 2011, the Jewish Year of 5771, and more pointedly, the year of bake sale hell. At least it’s hellacious when you’re Weight Watchering your way through New Year’s resolutions while simultaneously composing Red Velvet Cake Pops and Rice Krispie Treat Scones.


Recently Abigail’s teacher Miss Anne—a wonderful teacher with an ambitious curriculum (which we love)—asked if I’d “Set an example for all the other families” as we journal Abigail’s week spent with An Ethical Start® doll named Peer K. Explorer.

“So, basically, I need to blog for Abigail.”

With Abigail,” Phil corrected me. Right. Absolutely. I’m not going to be one of those moms who does her kids’ projects for them.

“Yes, with. Now we have some homework to do.”


“As in, not just me.”

The idea is to include—and document—this egg-eyed friend in all of our activities, capturing his moments in restaurants, at the zoo, eating moist brisket at Rudy’s. Only, I’m pretty sure the kid keeps kosher.

Yeah, so. Every time we left the house, Peer K. Explorer in tow, we happened to be sans camera, leaving me with the task of documenting a week’s worth of activity spent at home.

Our week (aka my homework) is included herein.

(I used some Ali Edwards elements, and I was off and running)


  1. When my youngest darling was little, we had to participate in the ‘paper doll that everyone mails around to take photos with and it’s a great project’ project from hell. Our poor paper doll thingie had a great time in my purse…in the trunk of my car…under the front seat of the car with some ketchup on it…half hanging out of the door of the car…dragging along behind the car. Needless to say – there was nothing cute about it. Hmph. I bet if I looked really hard, I could find bits of that paper doll thingie in the lint filter of my dryer.

  2. I know this was a post about Abigail and Peer but I have to tell you once more what a fantastic writer you are. Your comic timing is so spot on. Everything you write is a joy to read. Sincerely.

  3. So Phil’s friend Jay Zwerling died. I’ve been reading his entries on CaringBridge ever since you mentioned him many months ago.

  4. Love the play on Pirkei Avot. I think your insanely wonderful Peer K. blog absolves you from (of?) ever having to participate in any way — as either a supplier or consumer — in any current or future bake sale. Anywhere. Ever.

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