Wednesday was Erev YK, as I'm sure you remember. Or not. Yaakov had been up during the night with his cough, which was not much fun for the rest of us. Donny's driving instructor came by with his temporary license (the instructor actually took care of all of the paper work for it), and then Donny went to the post office for the next step in the license process, which is getting them to send you your permanent license. We went to the mall to get challah and stuff from the bakery there. We cooked and cleaned in the morning, and then headed over to Bet Shemesh at around 1:00, since minchah was at 2:00 and the fast started at 4:30. The men went to shul, and Leezy and I hung around watching the kids play and reading Disney books for the 5 millionth time. Of course, since we had eaten "dinner" at 3:30, the kids were all hungry later and needed second dinner. Yaakov might have had third dinner; the details are a blur. They went to bed around 7:30, the men came home at 8, and us grownups sat around talking (not lashon hara, of course. Hehe). When the AC in the living room went off at 9:00, Donny took that as a sign that it was time to go to sleep. I was nervous that Yaakov was going to be up again with his cough, and since we were downstairs and the kids were upstairs, I didn't want him waking up everyone else. When I got up around 5:00 to go to the bathroom (because that is what happens on YK - you drink so much the day before, that you just end up in the bathroom all night, and come on, does all the drinking REALLY help you at 4:00 the next afternoon? I think not.) Anyway, I was happy that all seemed quiet upstairs and that Yaakov had slept. Of course, 5 minutes later, I heard him wailing. While the wails were still penetrating Donny's fog of sleep and slowly making their way to his ears and consciousness, I was already up the stairs and in Yaakov's room. I lay down with him on his air mattress for a few minutes, and when I thought he was asleep, I tried to creep out. Caught! He started wailing again, so I took him downstairs and plopped him on Donny's bed. I felt that being up two hours early was an inauspicious way to begin the fast. I told Donny to deal with him until 7:30, when shul started. For Donny, that meant letting Yaakov play in the living room with toys and then crawling back into bed. Of course, Yaakov found every loud, "musical" (and I use that term loosely) toy he could find and played it over and over and over again. By this time, Ariella had joined in the action. I think they might have been taking down pots and pans and clanging them together. At least that's what it sounded like. So we gave up and went out to the living room with them to supervise the action. Eventually it was time for Donny and Elie to leave us and the kids ("being left with the kids while husband is at shul" is the hallmark of a Jewish woman.) All things considered, the kids did pretty well all day. The one bright spot to Yaakov's waking up at 5:00 is that he took a nap in the morning. Leezy and I found that breaking up the dynamic of the threesome every so often was healthy. So Yaakov was playing in bed/sleeping from about 10:30 - 12, and Ariella entertained Netanel. In the afternoon, Netanel, Leezy, Ariella and I all fell asleep on the couch and Yaakov had his way with things. We're not sure exactly what he was doing, but it definitely involved banging. Ariella was really the hero of our fast. The whole day, we were saying, "Can you get Netanel's blanket? Can you find Yaakov's sippy cup? Can you close that door? Can you get those toys down? Now, can you clean up the toys? Will you entertain the boys? Make lunch? Change a diaper? Do you do windows?" She was really very helpful. Somehow the day passed - play with toys, clean up toys, prepare a meal, rest on couch, read books, look at picture albums, repeat. The last 2 hours were painful, and I was very grateful that at 3:30 there was only two hour and twenty minutes left, unlike on Tisha B'Av, where at that point you basically have two days left. I had a pounding migraine so bad that talking was making me nauseous. Yaakov was holding a toy and asked me if I bought it. (He's in the "who bought this?" stage of questioning.) To minimize the amount of talking, I just said, "Uh huh." However, he caught me in my lie. "You did not buy dis! Aunt Leezy and Uncle Elie bought dis toy!" Can't win. Leezy looked at the picture albums again with the kids, although she did have to put an end to Ariella's incessant questioning. ("Where were you? Why were you there? What did you do there? Who is there with you? Why did they come? Is that shirt Netanel's wearing really from Yaakov?" And so on.)
Finally, the fast ended, the men came home, we ate, packed up, and left. Yaakov woke up AGAIN this morning around 5 - I figured I should just let him cry for a few minutes and then go back to sleep. Donny went in - a good thing, because Yaakov had fallen out of bed. Hence the crying. Whoops! Today, we bought our arba minim from the mall (try doing THAT at Towson Town), went back to the bakery for the fiftieth time in two weeks, and now we are getting ready for Shabbat, which is going to be rather soon, what with the time change and all. Yaakov's eating his fifth pita and chocolate sandwich of the day. Shabbat Shalom!