On Friday, we celebrated Yaakov's birthday at gan! I know, he's been three for what seems like YEARS already. But at gan, they do the birthday celebrations only on Fridays, and there is only gan every other Friday, and there were an overabundance of birthdays, tiyulim, and plays (my debut included, if you recall) taking up the available Fridays. So finally, on Friday, July 10, we celebrated his birthday in grand style. The timing ended up working out to Yaakov's benefit, because SabaSara were able to join us. I prepared the necessary victuals - borekas, hard-boiled eggs, veggies, and a cake. After 64 pita sandwiches, it was a walk in the birthday park, I tell you. We arrived at 10:30, and Yaakov was already enthroned upon his Royal Birthday Chair, with all the kiddies seated in a circle around him. The kiddies, having done the Birthday Procedure many times already, were squirming in anticipation. Ofira started off with the guessing game. Now, she did warn those naughty kids not to tell her whose birthday it was, because she wanted to guess, but gosh darn it, those kids could just not keep it in! They kept squealing, "Yaakov! Yaakov!" every time she made a wrong guess. They have no patience!
Other highlights of the party: When the morahs placed 4 sparkly hoops on the floor, and Yaakov jumped through each one, although he refused to let go of our hands to do it. Also, I got to lead the Yom Huledet Rakevet with Yaakov. And my personal favorite: All the kiddies came up to Yaakov one by one and gave him a hug and kiss. Bar, quite the cutie, got an extended smooch from Yaakov, and Linory, another one of his gals, stroked him affectionately on the cheek as well. The boys pretty much barreled into Yaakov and gave him a choke squeeze.
Then we ate and it was time to leave! Definitely one of the best gan parties I've ever attended.
Later in the afternoon, we went to the pool with the Balsams. It was quite crowded, as everyone had had a similar conversation in the morning.
"What should we do with the kids today?"
"Lock them in their room and read the paper with a cup of coffee?"
"We did that last week."
"Do you have a Death by Melting wish?"
"Well, you think of something."
Then, both, in unison: "The pool!"
So we showed up around 2:30 with the rest of Chashmonaim and other settlers. The kids had a good time splashing around for a while, and Yaakov showed off his jazzy Water Ballet moves. Then, however, Ariella decided (in her head) that we were going to buy ice pops. Boy, was she in for a surprise when she found out the answer was no! (As it sometimes is.) That pretty much put an end to the fun, as Ariella's entire being was single-mindedly focused on obtaining an ice pop.
"How about," she said, gulping back the tears, "if I promise not to kvetch about it? Then can we get one?" A clever line of reasoning, but still, the answer was no. So eventually we came home - having angered one child, we considered the day a success - and decided we should do something about the dirty children, dirty floor, and raw food. I briefly considered selling the apartment, the children, and getting takeout, but on second thought realized that we were just renting. So the cooking and cleaning began.
We had a lovely Shabbat with SabaSara, whom the children accosted every moment they (SabaSara) were awake. SabaSara had bought some Hooked on Phonics material, and spent most of Shabbos playing the accompanying card game with Ariella. Yaakov, for his part, just tried to climb on people.