Thursday, February 5, 2009

Last day of ulpan, kiddie update

We had a lovely last day of ulpan today, complete with a little "mesibah" and all sorts of delicacies. It was fun to pretend we were back in 6th grade, everyone bringing in a snack for our last-day-of-school-party. We had rugelach (courtesy of yours truly), cookies, baked goods, chips, Doritos, drinks - the works! The only reason I knew we were not actually 13 years old is that on Monday, which was our last day of ulpan with Irit (we had a different teacher on Sunday and Monday starting in December), we did not throw her a goodbye party as well. In high school, it was all about how many parties could you wrangle, usually out of a pregnant teacher. The "Goodbye Regular Teacher" Party. The "Welcome Substitute" Party. The "Goodbye Substitute" Party. The "Welcome Back Regular Teacher" Party. Of course, during the course of all these comings and goings, we managed to finish a parshah, perek - even a pasuk would do - so then we threw ourselves a "We Finished Something Party." So it was fun to revisit those days, although we were a bit more restrained with the merrymaking, being all grown up and stuff. Too bad. I volunteered to write a note from the class to go with our goodbye gift for Dahlia. And yes, not only did I write the note in Hebrew, I typed it. Took a good 45 minutes, but I did it. I really need to get those Hebrew letter stickers for my keyboard. Right now, I have to use the "On-Screen Keyboard" which is about the size of a Saltine, and the letters are so tiny they all look like a "samech" so it's very difficult and time-consuming. (Actually, the hardest part about typing in Hebrew is that you want the letters with similar sounds to be the same, but alas, they are not. For example, the "a" on the keyboard is not an aleph - it's a "shin." And the "lamed" is a "k.") Anyway, despite these obstacles, I preservered and hopefully did not mangle the note too badly. At least Dahlia was kind enough not to mention the mistakes in class. Then, after the party wound down, we took the proverbial Hogwarts Express outta there. And what did everyone do with the newfound free time? Well, after leaving ulpan at 12:05, I met a bunch of former classmates at Shufersal at 12:20. Yes, we are an ambitious group!

Speaking of the end of ulpan, there is a new poll up - the staff of aliyahbyaccident is eagerly awaiting your advice and opinions!

This morning, Donny was actually feeling well enough to go to the gym (have you HEARD about his gym plan? It's freakishly brilliant!). He left around 6:45 for the train. And then walked back in at 7:05. Apparently, there was a railroad strike. And the way they tell people is by having them come to the train station, and see that it's closed, and then hopefully they'll figure it out on their own. It was unclear what the strike was for - I heard something about a higher-up accepting bribes, or maybe it was because of money, or maybe it was just Thursday. Anyway, the result of this was that Donny worked from home today. It was nice to have him home NOT retching and puking, and we all got to eat dinner together. (Opher's falafel - the reason we can never ever ever leave Modi'in. EVER.)

Momz, I want to officially thank you for JINXING your grandson. You know, the cute one? (Just kidding, Leezy!) Anyway, we picked up Yaakov today, and apparently Yaakov was a good boy - he did not pull hair or hit. He was quite proud of himself. However, he did kick the teacher. He seemed to think he deserved his prize because he did not, after, use his hands to hurt anyone. I probably would have given in; luckily Donny was there to keep me strong and we told him that no, he did not get to have his prize today because he wasn't nice to the morah. I tried to get the story out of him - something about going down the slide and not wanting to go inside. Sigh. Apparently our boy is very literal. To that end, I am now compiling an exact and specific list of things he may not do in gan. So far, I have:

1. Hitting; including but not limited to, hitting with hands, toys, cups, chairs, blankets, a package of diapers, chicken legs
2. Pulling hair
3. Kicking
4. Biting
5. Pinching
6. Spitting
7. Stepping on children
8. Sticking olives in other children's noses or ears
9. Wrapping up other children in wads of toilet paper
10. Giving other children noogies
11. Using any object found in, near, or around gan in a manner unbecoming
12. Using any part of the body to hurt, upset, or in any way bother any child, teacher, or the occasional animal

I think it's pretty comprehensive; I'm going to have Yaakov recite this list every night and before we know it, he'll be a perfect little boy! Or he'll be sitting in the Time Out chair in gan until he's eighteen. Either way, it's a fool-proof plan!

Now, I often share with you my child-rearing travails because, frankly, they are much funnier than the times my kids are good. I mean, who wants to read a blog where someone just goes on and on about how cute and adorable and smart their children are? (Besides you, Momz.) Booooooring! But just so you shouldn't think my children are monsters ALL of the time, (and so when they bring this blog in to their psychiatrist in twenty years, she'll see that I did write some nice things also), I will share with you this cute story:

Ariella (yes, you heard me, Ariella with a capital "A" for "Attitude") is very concerned with her friends and loved ones getting what they deserve. For example, she was very upset today that Yaakov did not get his prize. She thought that since he did not, in fact, hit or pull hair, PLUS he said sorry to his morah, he was deserving of his prize, and was sad when we said the final answer was no. In gan, all the kids have their picture up on a chart, and when the kid does something nice, the morah writes it down on a piece of paper and clips it to the kid's name. Ariella got her first one a few weeks ago. Today, she was very excited that her good friend Aiden got one as well. "Mommy," she said, "today Aiden did something nice for me on the playground! He gave me his scraper for the sand! I told him he should tell Morah Maya so he can get a note on his chart. He was too embarrassed to say it in English and didn't know how to say it in Hebrew. So I went to Maya and told her in Hebrew, and she gave him a note!" It was doubly cute - first how concerned and excited she was that Aiden got his note, and second how she has become his little translator in times of need. It's nice to see her use her "verbal prowess" for the powers of good!


momz42854 said...

Gila, it's not Jinxing, it's being a way more experienced, wise, all -knowing, and modest mother/grandmother. Anyway, this too shall pass. See how wonderful Ariella was today? See? everything is A PHASE! Anyway, mazal tov on ending Ulpan and dadz thinks you should continue to the next level, if there is one, since you like it so much.

Aliza said...

The "resh" in on R and the "peh" is on P.

Risa said...

Gila, I guess that this should really go to the ministry of polls, but now that you are done with Ulpan, I believe that you should finally start to write your well-awaited novel(s) on child-rearing. I am disappointed that it was not an option (but I voted anyway). I feel that your novel would be appreciated since the "What to Expect" series only goes through age 3.

Anonymous said...

I think you should chill out on the Yaakov thing. Boy did just move 6,000 miles away from everything normal and familiar. I know Opher's falafel is worth it, but maybe to him he just needs more time. Just my 2 cents- A.
btw I think I need to get a sign in since I feel a deep need to comment on your blog.

Bernad said...
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Bernad said...
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Presentations said...

Gila, mazal tov on finishing ulpan. Your third grade Morah is proud of you!! As for your poll, you should have had a choice: write a novel (child rearing maybe, or anything, you are as your mom said "the Erma Bombeck of Aliyah".

Dadz said...




SaraK said...

In high school, it was all about how many parties could you wrangle, usually out of a pregnant teacher.

Ah, yes, all the parties in BY. But as far as I know, my class was the only one to have a Hamlet party with Mrs. Wolf! And a makkos party with Mrs. Wilner! Good time, good times...