Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Transcription attempt

There is no way I can transcribe all of that, but I'm going to try.

The girl climbs into her bed, tosses and turns a bit while we finish shema, then asks me to hold her. I tell her I'll hold her for a couple of minutes.

I sing...
Over in the meadow in the house of the sun...
The sun went down?
Yes, Sarah Rochel. Shhh.... (I get a couple more lines of the song out)
...lives an old mother fishy
A fishy goes like this. (does a wonderful fish face)
Yes, that was lovely Sarah Rochel. Shh...
Hold me like this, like a nursing this. (she lurches sideways)
Okay, fine, I'll hold you this way. Now shh... (I switch songs to one in Hebrew, hoping for less stimulus)
Meyemini michael umismauli gavriel...
I have a boy Smauli (aside: did she mean Shmuely?) in my gan. I like him. He's nice to me. Not in Morah Shana's gan, in Morah Shoshi's gan. He's not a hitting boy. I don't like hitting boys. There's a boy Kivi in my gan, I like him, he's not a hitting boy, and there's a boy (name hidden to be nice) in my gan, he's a hitting boy.
Oh, does it make you sad when he hits you? (By now I've given up and I'm humming.)
No, he doesn't hit me. He hits someone else.
Oh. (Wise Parental Oh.) Does that make them sad?
Yes. I no hitting. We make nice. In my gan, in my gan, in my gan at Morah Shoshi we eat food, and we no hitting. There's Esti in my gan at Morah Shoshi's, she has curly hair like Sarochel, and we have Ushi Wushi in my gan (aside: that boy's name is Asher) and I like him, he's not a hitting boy. He doesn't wear a kippa.
So maybe he'll wear one when he's bigger.
I don't wear a kippa because I'm a girl. But now I'm not a girl, I'm a boy. Mommy, we need to buy a kippa in the store.
But Sarah Rochel, you're a girl.
No, now I'm a boy. I'm a brother. (aside: no, she's not black, we've just been talking a lot about how girls are sisters and boys are brothers, etc, etc)
Sarah Rochel, did you know only girls can become kallahs? Only girls can become Mommies?
No, I'm a boy! I'm a nice boy.
Okay. Sarah Rochel, you need to get in the bed now. What song do you want me to sing?
Chupa song.
Od yishama... kol chason vekol kallah...
Remember, remember I saw a kallah?
Yes, shhh...
I saw a kallah with Bubbie, no, no, I saw kallah with Mama Nechy. I danced with kallah, remember?
Wow, you remember! Very good Sarah Rochel! Now it's time to be quiet.
I like kallah.
Sarah Rochel, SHHH!

I sing another song. I don't stop when she starts talking this time. :)

About 3/4ths of the way through the song, she rolls over and passes out. Well, wouldn't YOU be tired after all that?

Sarah Rochel. Definitely NOT a boy. I have papers to prove it.

In my every-so-often role of SuperMom, a couple days ago when she out of character-ly wanted just to go home in the afternoon, rather than play with a friend, we made homemade playdough*. Lots of fun, cheap, non-toxic, and the food coloring stain only took two days to come off my hand!

Sarah Rochel was almost as proud of her smock as of her wonderful abilities at making snakes. She makes really, really good snakes. Also eels, earthworms, and of course, challah (which oddly resembles a contortionist snake). We also made a girl together - I built the torso and she added details such as nose, ears, mouth, feet the size of the entire girl, a belly, and a very, very large tushy region. This MEANS something...

Special welcome back to the blog to my parents, who have the tremendous blessing of electricity once again! Now we just need the rest of the family - and of Houston - to have it too!

*Recipe: 2 cups flour, 1/2 cup salt, 1 teaspoon oil, 3/4-1 cup of water. Add water gradually and knead.


Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Why I Believe Separating Boys & Girls in School

I know she's advanced, but this is rediculous.

Yoav calls me today warning me that when I get the girl at 4, she's got a mark on her face. "Someone took a chomp out of her," he says.

The biter's mother calls me later (before I've picked up the girl) to apologize profusely on her daughter's behalf (which was VERY sweet of her).

So by now, I'm expecting torn flesh, stiches, blood-stained clothing, etc.

Check it out:

A cute little circle! Okay, it was from teeth (not the ones in the background - those are mine), but still, even Sarah Rochel said, "My boo boo doesn't hurt anymore. It got better."

So... what happened?

It was all because of a boy! (I should have known!)

Basically, SR and another girl both ran at the same time to the door to welcome the boy coming in... okay, he's pretty darn cute, I'll tell you - blue hair, blonde eyes, an OLDER man (he's 3). But hello??? You girls are 2-and-a-flipping-half?? Anyway, they got into a dispute over who gets to stand where (at least they weren't asking for autographs, which is good since this kid can't write or anything). Did SR strike first? Entirely possible, although she says she didn't (her account of this event also included backwards sequencing (namely, that the other girl hurt her because SR got the ice on her booboo - huh? A sort of quantum paradox thing - or a misunderstanding of the word 'because' - but I digress)). Fortunately (and I checked with both ganenets) SR has NOT been biting lately at all. But anyway, SR gets a big old chomp.

Apparently it looked a lot worse 'fresh.' Gotta love the Irish skin!

I am TOTALLY in accordance with how the morah handled it (I think she and I have read the same child care books), and SR got all the coddling she needed (i.e. an 'igloo' to eat and an extra to apply to the wound) and the other kid was chastised in a way that SR learns from too, to use words when we're angry and so on.

And when the two girls saw each other later that day, they hollered hello to each other and asked to play at each other's houses. No, I DON'T understand kids.

Does this look like the face of a fighter?

But the point of all this is... boys are icky. Wait, no. The point of all this is... CUTE boys are icky. No no no, what I mean is, the point of all this is...

She's a kid. She's learning. And I'm happy she has a great teacher, happy her friends' parents are a pleasure to deal with... and I'm happy she's happy. Because SR is happy. She's not holding a grudge against anyone, except, possibly, the cats in the backyard.

But she is SOOO going to an all-girls school next year!


Home on the range back in Houston, thank you God for the cold front you sent. Now please send electricity! (I keep trying to email my parents some, but it doesn't go through. Maybe I should fax?)


Testing, testing, 123

I got to 3 twice today. Got there twice, and about three times pulled a "Sarah Rochel, you really don't want me to get to 3." But of course, when you pull an "I'm counting to 3!" on a kid, you have to follow through eventually. But frankly, I never want to. Not from an educational standpoint, no no. From a non-confrontational standpoint.

But being two-and-a-half is not about being non-confrontational. Oh no.

Sarah Rochel is going through a new wave of testing, now that she's pretty settled in with the major recent changes (i.e. Big Girl Bed and Big Girl Gan).

Walking home from afternoon gan today took about 20 minutes, for example, because we wanted to play in the little toy house in someone's parking lot:

"I just want to go inside and make on the potty." (Climbs in through window, lifts dress.)
"Sarah Rochel, you may NOT take off your diaper! I do NOT let!"
"I just pretend."

To say nothing of the need to cross the street more than once ("I need Mommy's hand"), the need to search for wildlife ("I want to go in here and find lizards") and the need to be the Mommy ("I go to the office now, okay? I pick you up later" and she walks up the path to the park).

We don't want to put our shoes back on. We don't want to go anywhere. When we get there, we don't want to leave.

I'm the one who picks her up everyday from afternoon gan at 4 PM. I feel horribly guilty being worn out by 5! Gosh, what do actual retail stay-at-home parents do??? I realize it's a function of me being pretty worn out BEFORE I pick her up as well, but still...

The last couple days she did get an hour nap in at afternoon gan, so THAT's an improvement. Before that we would go to a park and she'd complain "the dirt has too much dirty."

And then, today at gan... well, see next post.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Gulf Coast Guilt

So B"H my parents, my grandparents, my aunt and uncle and cousins are all fine... hot (no power), under-bathed (little water), dark (at night - see no power), but fine. Few fences blown down, little rain leaking in at the windows.. but fine.

YAY! Thank you God!

It's been very strange, reading all the news reports online and watching videos and stuff, and then looking up to my landscape of... dry. Arid. Dusty. Hot (well, THAT's the same). Air-conditioned (thank you God again!). And I never thought I'd feel this way about Israel, but it's so nice to have ENOUGH water (our multi-year drought notwithstanding).

(I started that blog yesterday. Now they have decent water pressure back, thank God, but still no power... and oh, the phone line stopped working too. Sigh.)

I still feel guilty using my air conditioning, my water... going to the gas station without waiting in line (but still, alas, paying far more than my parents would). It's so strange - I feel I ought to be there, but the last thing Houston needs now is one more kvetchy, sweaty, uncomfortable person. And I really LIKE electricity, you know?

Which reminds me, that Sarah Rochel is now tall enough to reach the lowest button in the elevator. (Whew - had to get her in there SOMEWHERE.)

Monday, September 08, 2008


SR is all full of spunk and mischieviousness as well as being stone-cold exhausted (bet you never knew cold stones were tired, but lemme tell ya...). She's finally in pajamas, hair brushed and special-comb-ed, and I'm brushing her teeth... She keeps chomping down, or curling her lips around so her teeth aren't accessible - you know, how toddlers do.

So finally I physically gesture that I withdraw and step away from the table and say, "I'm sorry, no."

Her little face crumbles into misery, and she rolls over (tummy down is our preferred insulted-crying position) and she cries.

I rub her back, and in couple minutes sit her up. She stops crying.

"Sarah Rochel, are you ready for Mommy to finish brushing your teeth now?"

"No." (pout)

"What do you want to do Sarah Rochel?"

"I want to cry more."

(pause) "Oh." (That's the Wise Parental Oh.) "Okay."

And she rolls over and proceeds to resume crying loudly for another minute. Then she's done, we brush her teeth, read books, say shema, and go to sleep beautifully.

The thing is... I'm most proud of her for knowing what she wants. It is most disruptive to one's mental balance to stop crying before you're good and ready. I'm so glad she could articulate what she needed and didn't hesitate to ask for it.

Hmm... a toddler that hesitates to ask for what they want? Much like ROUSs, I don't think they exist. :)

Monday, September 01, 2008

Memory (almost) full

The title refers not only to the state of my camera's card, but my brain. Too full. Especially when I'm trying to play catch-up on the latest Happenings de Druyan for the blog.

First of all, an apology to all my readers (Mom) (oh, and Micah) who saw the last post and immediately thought it meant we totalled the car. Again. My bad. So sorry, and bli ayin hara the Toyota continues to thrive, it's latest 1400 NIS 30,000 kilometer service appointment notwithstanding (apparently it needed new brake thingamawhoosits, and apparently new brake thingamawhoosits only grow on endangered brake thingamawhoosits hardwood rainforest bushes).

Our 9th anniversary. For this year (unlike last year's rather outdoorsy escapade) we did two things, both of which you might THINK would be 'outdoorsy' but were both indoors, actually - we went to a shooting range where I learned to shoot a .22 (and got some 38 of my 50 bullets ON the paper target, thank you very much, not too embarassing), and we rented a private pool and went swimming together! Both were things we always meant to do and never got around to. It wasn't a cheap day, but it was fun. And Sarah Rochel, whom we adore to pieces, wasn't invited to either.

The continuing adventures of She Who Has No Normal Schedule. We've been juggling since Yardena's Home Care Thingy went on break two weeks ago, but the Prune with her usual resiliant wonderfulness was rolling with the punches very nicely. But on Friday when her metapelet-of-the-day wasn't feeling well, we decided an outing with the Abbaman was in order. So off they went to Yeladudis (and a gracious nod to the Bergers for the tip) whilst I stayed home cooking. They had a great time - all the jumping and riding and 'dry' toys are indoors, in a (somewhat) air-conditioned big room, and there's water stuff outside too under shade... but we stuck to the indoor stuff. SR had a great time. Here's a small video her father made - we'll see how Blogger's integrated video uploader works:

Bedtime for you and bedtime for me. I was getting all set to blog about how really well she's been going to sleep lately, bli ayin hara, not perfectly but really consistently improving and very, very commendably. And then tonight was the night of Tantrum, Thy Name is Toddler. I mean, we DID forget her baby at a neighbor's (B"H it was at a neighbor's in this building and not on the other side of town or - heaven forfend! - in Jerusalem or in the backseat of the car that was with Yoav at yeshiva), so we did have to make phone calls and get out of bed to go over there in the midst of bedtime.. But she was having trouble getting to sleep (read: crying and not wanting me to leave, but without being able to say why) before we noticed even. It's possible that she was just unsettled by the events of the day, namely...

The first day of Big Girl Gan! Well, the first hour. You see, many ganim in Israel start slow, letting the kids break themselves in gradually or something. Even the older grades do this on some level - for example, Yoav will be teaching in a junior high again this year, but his classes being afternoon classes don't start until a week or so into the school year. So today she had Big Girl Gan with Morah Shoshana (which is actually co-ed, but is mostly girlies) for an hour, Mommy in attendance. Then we came home, and THEN we went to meet Morah Shoshi who will be our afternoon gannenet a few times a week... and THEN we had to go to Morah Avigayil who is watching us today and tomorrow while Mommy goes to work because Morah Shoshi's afternoon program doesn't start until Wednesday!

Tomorrow she'll have gan - solo, sans Mommy - for two whole hours. I think she will do FINE - she was perfectly happy there today, barely noticed I was there (although did come for the occasional reassurance). My big girl!!

But three gans in one day may have been a wee bit unsettling, even for Miss Resiliant. So hopefully bedtime tomorrow will be a tad easier... for both of us!

And I think that's it.

As always, you all suffered nicely through my diatribes, you may now have eye candy.

This is us at the shooting range. It's good to know which end of the gun is up, you know? The instructor even coached us on basic wand safety, because better wizards than you have lost a buttock... oh, wait, sorry. Next slide please.

And this is us, in the car. In the forest. Near the pool. What, you thought we'd take a picture at the pool? I think you may be able to see a tree reflected in Yoav's glasses tho.

Changing our baby for shabbos. Well, of course.

Talking to the neighbors on the mirpeset, before they moved away on Sunday (snif snif! We miss you!) (okay, okay, they moved half a block away, but you know...).


Mine... all mine... (it was actually oddly empty for the last Friday of vacation - good deal!)

In our 'turbu' Ferarri.

"Look Mommy - I have beard! Like Abba!"

This was us on our way to Big Girl Gan. Note our new Big Girl Tik (on the back!), and you can't see the matching Big Girl Sippy Cup we allowed her to pick out (it took four stores - maybe we'll wait on her picking out things for a little bit, or at least we'll give more defined choices!).