The results, ladies and gentlemen, are in..... For the question, "What should Gila do with her life?" the majority (41%) voted "Write more blog entries." This narrowly beat out, "Tizki l'mitzvot ulma'asim tovim" (25%). However, it did not reach the required 51% mark. Therefore, Mifleget Blog is going to try to form a coalition government, although it looks shaky because Mifleget Mitzvot is essentially opposed to Blog, in that Blog believes in making fun of stuff, especially Dadz, and that goes against everything Mitzvot holds to be true. We may need a recount.
Other news from life AU (after ulpan)....Ariella was invited to another friend for the "Chaver Nechmad" program on Monday. I had one of those confidence-shattering moments when I dropped her off. We went inside, and I was trying to think of something to say to the mother. Each idea was swiftly rejected because I couldn't figure out quickly enough how to say it in Hebrew. "Nope....no, you're no good either.....no, no, can't use you...." So instead, I did what I do best in these situations: Stand there and grin like a fool. If the people of Modi'in ever need someone to play the role of "village idiot" I'm their woman. Eventually, Ima shel Allel ("Mommy it's like, 'Allel, Nirtzah!'") said, "Oh, my English is very good - you can speak to me in English. I am working all day in English." (Did you ever notice that when Israelis speak English in the present tense they often use the "ing" verb?) So we schmoozed for about 45 seconds until Ariella gave me the Mommy-get-out-of-here-NOW glare.
We also went to the doctor after the playdate, because Ariella keeps getting these low-grade fevers every few days for the past three weeks. He suggested we do a blood and urine test. So they gave me a cup at the doctor's office for the pee, which we did at home last night, and then I put the pee in the fridge. You know, to keep it fresh. This morning we took our pee and our hafnaya to the lab, got a number, and patiently waited our turn.
(Digression: Israeli offices are pre-emptive about the notorious impatience of their patients. For example, once you take a number at the lab, you sit down and stare at the television monitor until your number comes up. It can sometimes take a few minutes until your number appears on the screen. They have now put a note on the number machine saying, "Be patient! After you take a number, it may take a few minutes for the number to appear on the screen!" Clearly this is a reaction to angry patients storming the lab and threatening to stuff the little number slips up the technicians' noses because their number is not yet on the screen. Another example of this pre-emptive strike is at the iriyah. They too have a sign which says, "It may seem like it is taking a long time, but perhaps the person in front of you needs our attention. Rest assured that when it is your turn, you will receive a similar level of attention." This is the kind of reasoning that I use with my five year old... End of digression.)
When it was our turn, Ariella howled and screamed, then sat quietly during the actual finger prick. We then took our cup of pee to the Pee Window, where it sat waiting very patiently with lots of other cups of pee. I wonder what they talk about...
After dropping off Ariella at gan, I headed to the iriyah (where I had LOTS of time to study the above sign) to take care of my teudat ma'avar. You're not allowed to get an Israeli passport until you've been here for one year, because they want to make sure you are actually, truly, living in the country, and not just using it as a giant falafel shop on your way to bigger and better things. (Not that there is anything bigger or better than falafel.) So after your three-month aliyaniversy, if you wish to leave the country, you need to get a teudat ma'avar, which lasts for about two years. Now, I don't have actual plans to go any further than Shufersal, but I like to know that should I have a sudden need for a large Dunkin' Donuts coffee, extra cream, no sugar, and at the same time someone hands me a plane ticket, I will, then, be able to hop on a plane, leave the country and get my coffee. And then come right back. Because someone's got to get the kids from gan.
At the end of this day of pee (I'm running out of chances to say "pee" and I wanted to get in as many as I can), Yaakov had "pee-ilot bagan." (Hehe.) There is a "Yom Mishpachah" in Israel - it's even on my random calendar that I purchased at a book store - and both kids are learning about families. Yaakov had a "family day" in gan that started at 4:00. Ariella stood in for "Daddy" on this occasion. We went into gan, bringing our treats (each parent had to bring something), and were instructed to remove our shoes. The kids were all sitting on yoga mats. The teacher, Ofira, does a whole yoga class for kids and adults in her spare time, so she's somewhat of a yoga guru. Yaakov, who was sitting and participating very nicely when I walked in, holding the other kids' hands in a circle and swaying, figured it was all over when he saw me. He immediately got up, ran to his drawer, and started putting on his shoes. Yipppeee! Mommy's here! Time to go home! I had to gently remind him that we were here to do activities with him and that we weren't going home yet. He was less than thrilled to hear this. Anyway, I had forgotten that the note had said to dress comfortably, and my clothing was not exactly the most fitting for an hour of rolling around on the floor. All the other moms were in pants, which was probably less embarrassing on the whole. For one activity, the kids had to pretend to be lions and crawl around roaring. Yaakov played the part of the frightened baboon and immediately lept into my arms. He's got a noise sensitivity, poor thing. (Whenever the toilet flushes, he covers his ears. If we were even close to the point of toilet training, this might concern me.) Then we danced together. Good. I can do that - hold my kids' hands and move in a circle. It got more complicated after that. A tunnel. (I should point out that there was a whole "safari to Africa" theme going on.) A tunnel, let me explain, that I had to form with my body. Us mommies (and daddies) needed to form said tunnel by lying on the floor on our stomachs, then raising ourselves so the children could them climb underneath us. So there I am, tush up in the air, random children crawling underneath me, and Yaakov trying to climb on top. THEN we had to make a bridge! Wow! That year of ballet when I was six is really paying off now! It's sort of the opposite of a tunnel - we had to balance ourselves in the same way, but facing the ceiling. My skirt is, well, let's say there have been more modest moments in my life. Thank goodness for tights. Yaakov was again helpful by attempting to climb me like I was some sort of shaky jungle gym, and then yanking off my scarf. Like I had any shame left, anyway. I'm hoping that the other parents were too engaged in contorting their bodies to notice me. In the end, we did have fun, and then there were TREATS. Plus they sent home all kinds of cute artwork the kids had done. The funniest one was a family collage. The kids took magazines, and found pictures to represent their family members. I was very flattered that Yaakov chose a good-lookin' blond to represent "Mommy." Yaakov, you are now back in my good graces. Just please give me back my scarf.