Today, Ariella was FINALLY returning to school. After being home on Shabbat due to it being Shabbat, then on Sunday and Monday due to strep, then on Tuesday due to Lag b'Omer, she was more than ready to be back at school with her friends. She was practically skipping down the path towards gan. But before we entered the hallowed gates, the guard stopped us. "Shvitah," he said. A strike. From what I could understand, there was a strike of the assistants. The teachers were in gan, but kids could only go if there were parent volunteers to stay in the class all day. One of the three adjacent ganim had a parent volunteer, so they were opened for business. However, Ariella's gan, which is a "gan meshulav," (aka there are some special needs/LD kids) needed at least two parents. And apparently no one had volunteered. Now, I have seen these kids in action, especially Itai, who personifies the ancient saying, "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you," provided that he would have them kick him, throw water on him, trip him, make fun of him, and generally make his life miserable. So I don't blame all 32 parents (well, actually 64) for staying way the hell away from Gan Shoham.
But my poor daughter was so excited at the thought of being back with her friends, she was actually in tears when we headed back to the car. Luckily, we saw one of the friends, Shani, standing there with her mother, and politely asked if we could kidnap Shani for a few hours for entertainment purposes. The mom readily agreed and said she would be in touch if she heard that gan was opening.
So Shani and Ariella returned "habaytah" and played pretty nicely for a few hours. Ima shel Shani called a few times, only to say that Batya (the Wednesday teacher) was sitting in gan all by her lonesome, because no parents had come and therefore gan was not open. (I would not fault Batya for discreetly turning away parents at the door and spending the morning reading a magazine. She's not a fan of Itai, either.) Apparently, a phone call had gone out last night to all the parents to ask if they could come in and sub. I never got the phone call; had I, it might have given me some inkling that there wasn't going to be gan today. Maybe they just skipped me because they wanted someone who's verbal abilities extended beyond, "Shalom! Mah shlomech!"
After about two hours, however, the girls were staring at me with that "What do we do now?" look. House, cards, coloring, and beads had been played with and discarded. So we drove Shani back home and Ariella and I ran some errands. Then she went to chug and a birthday party, during which point I did a little sleuthing, in the form of asking someone, to find out if there was gan tomorrow. It seems the strike is a one day affair. Let's hope so. Otherwise, tomorrow may find me sitting on Itai, trying to persuade him not to kick the other children ("Shalom! Mah Shlomech!"), while Ariella happily runs around with her friends.
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