Monday, February 23, 2009

The Return of Ulpan

Toilet Training Update.....Toilet Training Update....Toilet Training Update....

A friend at ulpan lent me a kids' potty training book for boys. I figured, hey might as well read it. Always liked a good fantasy story. Anyway, as I'm reading it, I realized that it's written in British! It's a rhyming book and half the words rhyme with "nappy" or "wee." Now, as we all know, "nappy" is what Dadz takes before and after lunch on Shabbos. And Sunday. And the occasional Monday. "Wee," of course, is what one says when attempting unassisted human flight off the couch. So I've had to modify the story a bit. Yaakov doesn't seem to notice that it doesn't really rhyme anymore; he's more interested in the tushies.

Sunday began ulpan again. A group of us from the first go-around - seniors, if you will - showed up for registration. There were about 25 people in all, including the four of us, people who just made aliyah, and those who were not zocheh to take ulpan in September. Us old-timers received our teudot and grades from our test. I did very well, thank you very much, although it doesn't make me feel any better because I still spend half my day saying, "Mah?" with a quizzical expression on my face only to find out that the person was really talking to the guy behind me, leaving me looking like I'm having an internal debate between the English and Hebrew voices in my head. Anyway, the Ulpan Powers That Be decreed that in order to determine our levels, teudot nonwithstanding, we all needed to do a little writing assignment: Write about yourselves, in the past and future tenses. During this writing assignment, the Menahelet of Ulpan came in and said they would be opening up a twice a week class for those of us on the gimmel level. We continued to write. The Menahelet left, and upon returning, said, "Oh, I've just heard from the Inspector of Ulpan [dah dah dah Inspector ULpan, dah dah dah dah dah....] that there aren't enough students to open up the gimmel class. Sorry!" So we dropped ("will drop") off our beautifully written passages on the desk and left. As it turns out, I should have kept it... We heard, however, that there was going to be an ulpan gimmel/daled opening up in Hashmonaim and registration was going to be on Monday.

Meanwhile, I tried calling Dav-eed of Dimri. (Do you also hear majestic trumpets when I say that? Or is that just my voices again?) Dav-eed of Dimri is the man with the power - the fix it guy for all of Dimri. We've been collecting "problems" for the past couple months - the door to our bathroom gets stuck if you close it all the way (yes, I've locked myself in on more than one occasion), a cabinet door in the kitchen fell off, the mirpeset door is off its track, and every so often a piece of something falls off. Bathtub, cabinet, drawer, door, you name it - we have a collection of Apartment Pieces stashed all over the place. Yessirree, there is some quality workmanship going on here. Anyway, nothing really interfered with our quality of life - not even our inability to close our bathroom door, since anyway Yaakov believes "privacy" includes rather than excludes him. Finally, though, on motzash, our sink pipe sprunk a leak. This has happened before - I believe the last time they fixed it with a couple of band-aids. Now, we decided we really did need our Dav-eed of Dimri. (La, la, la, laaaaaaa!) However, when I called, I was told, "Ani pashut lo oved hayom." Oh well. So much for that. So I did the next best thing - called Lisa and chatted for twenty minutes.

On Monday, I went to Hashmonaim ulpan registration. The teacher told us that in order to discern our levels, we needed to do some writing, so we should write about ourselves, in the past and future tenses... Sound familiar? Told ya I should have kept that paragraph... In the end, she decided that we would meet twice a week, as one group, starting next week. Back to school I go....This is seriously going to interfere with my talking to Lisa time.

We had a Tipat Chalav appointment scheduled for this afternoon, that I scheduled two months ago. Ariella needed her second Hep A shot, and Yaakov needed a developmental check-up. However, while at ulpan registration, I got a phone call. Apparently, the doctor that was going to check Yaakov just up and left, so they cancelled his part of the appointment. Since I had already promised him I was picking him up early for Tipat Chalav and pizza, I schlepped him along anyway. It was a fascinating appointment. First of all, the nurse spoke totally in Hebrew, and I was so proud and impressed that Ariella understood everything, and was able to talk (and talk back) in Hebrew. She did a whole workup on Ariella - height and weight (it was like in liters and kilometers or something, so I'm not sure what it means, but she did tell me Ariella was on the tall and skinny side. Guess she needs more chocolate sandwiches....). She then asked her to draw a person. Ariella started with a house. The nurse gently requested she draw a person. "Ani rotzah gam bayit," Ariella replied, staring the woman down. "She's a character, isn't she?" the nurse said to me. Ahh yes, the real Ariella is starting to emerge. She did eventually do a person, and included face, arms, legs, and hair, but no body. "What about the stomach?" the nurse prodded. Response: Israeli shoulder shrug + "Lo rotzah." Ariella's people don't have stomachs. Got a problem with that, lady? Ariella then returned to her house, coloring in the roof and adding a doorknob, before she allowed the nurse to take away the picture. She then showed Ariella some scenes from a picture book and asked her to describe what was going on, which she did well, I'm proud to say. Then came an eye test, standing on one foot, and jumping. (Not at the same time, though.) Check, check, check. Finally - the shot! As usual, hysterics before and calmness during. What can you do? We then went for pizza - our traditional post-shot treat. Then I wanted to go get Yaakov a Purim costume. We looked at Batman and Superman (too expensive), a policeman (too big), and some animals (too hot.) We ended up buying a gun. The truth is, he's not so into the whole costume thing, unless it involves some fabulous sunglasses and heels, so he'll be perfectly fine with his Tzahal pajama shirt and his cool gun with neon balls inside. Just like the real soldiers!

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