Bless her heart

January 19, 2012 2 comments

The other night Niv had a meltdown. It was past her bedtime, but she really wanted to draw a picture and write a long message to her friend who’s mom just had a baby. I sat with her and patiently spelled out every word of every sentence. It was not a short letter. She drew a lovely picture of monkeys and asked to put it all in an envelope.

And then she made a mistake on the envelope and went stark raving mental. She was clearly tired and past her coping with failure threshold and the fallout wasn’t pretty. I let her cry and tried to calm her but the final straw was her shouting rudely at me. I said “right, enough”, and told her to go to her room. Aha. Sure. At this point Moran came into the room, grabbed the envelope from her and threatened to tear it up. Lovely. Just great. Because that will most definitely calm the beast. He didn’t rip it up, but he did pick her up, fighting like a wet cornered cat, and put her in bed.

That’s when she stopped crying. And started screaming:

OOOOHHHHH! How fun! How fun for us that there are parents who will RIP APART children’s drawings! And envelopes! Thank GOD for parents like this, that will grab their children’s creations from their hands and tear them up! How lucky we all are! WHAT FUN!

She’s 5. The future terrifies me.

Categories: Uncategorized

It’s Friday morning, the sun is shining…

January 18, 2012 Leave a comment

This post from Melchett Mike reminded me of something that happened to me a few years ago. Moran and I were walking down Shenkin street on a busy Friday morning (on the pavement obviously), and suddenly there was a guy on a bike barreling towards me full speed. It was also obvious that the bike rider was chromosomally challenged in one way or another, which is, er, fine, you know. I’m not knocking the guy. Seriously. I mean, he’s out there, riding a bike, independent and all that. Good for him. Please no hate mail! Aaand back to my story. As I scrambled to get out of the way, he shouted at me (with a lisp) something so priceless that it’s become one of our daily catchphrases:

“THUTHI VAKASHA METHUMTHEMET!” (zuzi b’vakasha metumtemet. Eng: Move please idiot).

The ironies in that short sentence are both stark and subtle, and many. For starters: 

1. He is riding full speed along a PAVEMENT, not a bike lane nor a road. And he’s shouting at ME to move.

2. He is shouting for me to move, and then politely screams “VAKASHA” (please). ????

3. After shouting PLEASE, he calls me a metumtemet

4. I’M the metumtemet?

That’s what makes it so brilliant. And I can tell you this – it was worth it for the sheer satisfaction I get when I’m reaching past Moran for the salt and I shout “thuth vakasha methumtham”.

Categories: Israel, Uncategorized

One night you go to sleep in Israel….and you wake up at the back of a bus

December 19, 2011 3 comments

Some recent events:

  • Bowing to ultra-Orthodox pressure and fears of vandalism, advertisers have stopped displaying images of women in Jerusalem.
  • A few months ago several observant IDF soldiers walked out of an official IDF event when a fellow female soldier began to sing. The Ashkenazi Chief Rabbi of Israel, Yonah Metzger, justified their actions and asked that only men sing at military events where observant men are present.
  • During a visit to the Golan heights to watch an exercise of the Golani Brigade’s 51st Battalion, Barak and Gantz made jokes at the expense of female soldiers  in the unit and Barak’s female media officer. They then threatened the press not to air the footage.  
  • In September at an award ceremony held by the ministry of health two recipients of an award for qualitative compositions in the field of medicine and religious law, Prof. Hani Maayan and Naama Holzer, were asked not to go up on stage to receive the award (and their full names were not mentioned) so as not to offend any rabbis present.  As infuriating, the award recipients had to sit in a seperate area with the rest of the female audience, who were separated from the men. 
  • Most recently, Tanya Rosenblit got on a bus from Ashdod to Jerusalem and sat behind the driver. Some of the ultra-orthodox passengers demanded that she move to the back of the bus, and she refused. One passenger stood between the doors so the driver couldn’t close them. A policemen was called and he asked Tanya if she would be willing to respect these men by moving to the back of the bus. She refused. I can imagine that how hard this was, staying calm in this situationa yet refusing to budge.

Things are turning…sinister. And I don’t like it, not one bit. This is not a women’s issue, this is a human issue, this is a democratic issue, and it should enrage, inflame, infuriate ALL of us, men and women alike.

I don’t know what it is with all these patriarchal religions and their hate and disdain for half of the human population, but here’s what I have to say about it:

We are not going anywhere. We are half of this world.

You don’t want to hear us? You don’t want to see us?  Go sit in a dark corner of a dark room in a dark house. Lock the door, throw away the key. Because that’s where you belong.

Gibran on children

December 6, 2011 1 comment

As a mother, I struggle to find my path. Sometimes I lie awake and wonder if I am worthy of these amazing girls. If I am good enough to be their mother. If I can find the wisdom and strength and patience to to navigate their childhood and bring them through to adulthood happy and healthy.

When I’m having one of these moments, this poem by Kahlil Gibran about children often makes my mind go…quiet, and calm. For a bit.

————————————————————————————————————————–

Your children are not your children. They are the sons and daughters of Life’s longing for itself.

They come through you but not from you, And though they are with you yet they belong not to you.

You may give them your love but not your thoughts, For they have their own thoughts.

You may house their bodies but not their souls, For their souls dwell in the house of tomorrow, which you cannot visit, not even in your dreams.

You may strive to be like them, but seek not to make them like you. For life goes not backward nor tarries with yesterday.

You are the bows from which your children as living arrows are sent forth.The archer sees the mark upon the path of the infinite, and He bends you with His might that His arrows may go swift and far.

Let your bending in the archer’s hand be for gladness; For even as He loves the arrow that flies, so He loves also the bow that is stable.

Categories: Uncategorized

A letter in which I say things that no one else wants to say. Then I swear again. But I use ***s this time!

November 24, 2011 5 comments

Dear Evolution,

First, can I congratulate you on a job very well done? I mean, except for the odd design snafu here and there (you know what I’m referring to right? Where that one thing is too close to the other? Well if I have to spell it out for you…you know…where the windpipe is too close to the food tube? Ohhh…the other two things? Right. Well. Those too) you’ve done exceptionally well with what is, in essence, a bunch of cells, electricity, and (hopefully) a soul.

And I mean, I get it, I do. You force us into attempting monogamous pair-bonding for our entire adult lives despite all the contradictory hardwiring (bet you didn’t see modern medicine coming, did you? Effectively extending our lives and said monogamy for years…and…years…and….years. FUN!) because it takes at least two adult humans to get these infinitely complex, tiny little humans to adulthood. So for the most part it makes sense, it does.

But if I may be so bold as to ask – what the f**k? What the f**king f**kity f**k?

Can we start with childbirth? Can we? I say, yes, let’s. And I think that pretty much every woman who has every borne a child joins me in saying yet again…WHAT. THE. F**K. So with that in mind, can I make a suggestion? Just something to mull over when planning future human generations? I’m thinking something along the lines of an abdominal birthing flap thingie. And please, make it bigger than a walnut. You’d think it’s ridiculous that I even have to suggest that last bit, but there you go then.

Then there are the actual babies. My GOD (someone you don’t believe in I know, but some of us need something to pray to in the middle of another infernally endless sleepless night, and you’re not it), the eeeendless crying and weeping and wailing and screaming. And that’s just me. Honestly now, thinking back, wouldn’t it have made more sense to make them a little more self sufficient? And a little less floppy? It’s 3am and you haven’t slept in 72 hours and your arm loses feeling for a second and the little head flops back and I’m telling you, this parenting gig is some scary sh*t. I’m just saying. Maybe they can get a little…I dunno….firmer….sooner?

And not that you probably care or anything, but I’ve been wiping poo bums that are not attached to ME for almost 5 years now, and I see no end in sight. Again, something to think about when planning the next batch. Please, don’t get me wrong. I am endlessly, infinitely grateful for my two gorgeous, happy, healthy girls, and I thank God and the universe for them every day (and pray to get them to adulthood and beyond the same way). But I’m thinking maybe some sort of self cleaning mechanism?

And while I’m pretty sure I know you’re going to tell me exactly where I can file this, I still feel it’s my duty to remind you that no matter how good a job you’re doing, there’s always some room for improvement (something you have programmed our offspring to remind us of daily).

But again! Thanks for everything! Keep up the good work! And while you’re (probably not) listening,  I could do without the mosquitos.

Most sincerely,
Human number 3,968,003,732

Categories: Parenthood, Uncategorized

It’s morning and there is swearing

November 14, 2011 3 comments

Yesterday a friend posted on FB how she hates having to sort socks in winter.

Summer in Israel is mostly hellishly hot and humid but one of the perks is how quickly I can get the girls dressed and out the door in the morning – undies, sundress or t-shirt, shorts, sandals, and they’re off.

Winter, not so much. This is how it goes.

Is it a mild winter day? Or is it cold? Will it warm up in the afternoon? There are “ma’aver” clothes for spring and autumn – long sleeves and pants made out of thin cotton. Or do I put them in “footers” – thick, fleecy clothes (don’t ask me why they are called that). I think I’ll do layers. I’ll dress them in a ma’avar top with a sweater on top. Wait, what if it’s hot in the gan? Niv will take hers off if she’s hot, but will Shai’s teacher take hers off? Sometimes they don’t. I’ll tell Moran to remind them. But they’ll need to put it back on when she has her nap. I’ll tell him that too. I know he’ll forget. I better remind Nivi to take hers off if she’s hot. And put it back on if she’s cold. Ooof kibinifuck. I haven’t even started to dress them yet.

Right. I’ve decided what to dress them in. Now I’ve got to catch them. I grab a blurry Shai as she runs past me laughing and wrangle two tiny kicking legs into pants. I put two feet in the same pant leg. Oh for fucks sake. Ok, she’s dressed.

Plead with Niv to dress herself. Tell her that her cousin gets dressed all by herself. Niv tells me that she can dress herself just fine, she just doesn’t want to. I say that if she wants to go into first grade next year, she has to dress herself. She replies that when she goes into first grade, THEN she will dress herself. Kushilirabfuck. I’d rather do a televised presidential debate, drunk, than argue with this child. I dress her.

Socks. I plow through heaps of laundry. I feel a growl building in me. I shout to Moran who is, I dunno, what IS he DOING? for some help. He asks what I need. I say socks. He says, where should I look? Really? Really?

FOUND! Four socks go on four feet. I reach for  a sneaker and sand spills out. Bugger, I forgot to empty out their sneakers yesterday. Pour the sahara out of their sneakers. Four sneakers on four feet. Brush hair, ignoring cries of OW OW OW! that start before I even TOUCH their heads. Ponytails, clips, done. 

Remind Moran to take their bags.

Kisses goodbye….and they’re off.

I exhale, make a nice cup of coffee, sit down, and start with the easy part of my day: founding my start up.

Categories: Israel, Parenthood

Seeing red

November 4, 2011 Leave a comment

You just know. Sometimes you hear the bump or the crash and you know that your child is fine. Even if they’re screaming bloody murder, you know before you get to them that they’ll probably just have a small bump or a bruise or whatever and it’s no biggie. 

But other times…other times there’s that strange, hard-to-describe quality to the sound of your child colliding with something hard, and as you hit the ground at a dead run you know…you. just. know…there is going to be blood.

I fetched Niv early and took her to the bumper cars at Arena mall. I was all about good intentions (road to hell I know) – I just wanted to spend some one-on-one time with her. She was having a blast driving around like a little maniac – the rink was empty and she was doing great. But then for some reason she came on full speed towards the side of the rink and a split second of a heartbeat before the car crashed into edge she got distracted and let go of the steering. I heard the crack and as I ran towards her I knew I was going to see red, I just wasn’t sure where it would be coming from.

Her nose. Again. That poor little sweet nose has taken more than it’s fair share of bumps. At least it’s not another grey tooth. My God we are a classy bunch.

Categories: Parenthood