Well, folks, it has been a busy few days here at aliyahbyaccident. (Not sure why I'm bolding my own blog.) First, a huge, hearty, and heartfelt, not to mention humongous, and happy, aliyahbyaccident welcome to Loyal Reader #32, none other than my very own cousin (and friend) Rivki "Veronica" Leibtag! Glad to have you with us! And a big welcome to soon-to-be Loyal Reader SaraK.... (Had to do some snooping, SaraK, but I found out who you are. Because I'm a blog yenta.....a blenta!)
Now, ahem, I'm not sure if you noticed the picture [modest cough] there on the left. What picture, you ask? That note with the words "I [HEART] YOUR BLOG" displayed prominently, and the heart colored in a deep red to make sure it grabs your attention? That picture, you want to know? Well, I'm so glad you asked. I will explain. It appears, my devoted readers, my Loyal Readers, and my lurkers who will hopefully declare themselves soon, that I have truly "made it" in the blogosphere. A fellow Modi'in blogger, whom I will identify only as "Baila" has apparently been lurking for some time. She went back to the beginning and READ THE WHOLE THING. (Extra poofahs: Who said, "You said to go back to the beginning, so here I am." Hint: It's in a movie.) As we are soon nearing our 200th post, reading the WHOLE THING is no small feat. So anyway, Baila decided [blush] that I make her laugh, and gave me a special shout-out on her blog, as well as an "I Love Your Blog Award." Thanks Baila! You have made this blogger's day, if not week, and well, let's just be honest here, the whole darn month. Baila is writing a similar book on child-rearing, "Leave Me Alone So I Can Use My Computer." Maybe, Baila, since we both live in Modi'in, we could get together one day! How about coffee? I know this great place in Modi'in Center. You want to drive?
On Friday we had a religious dilemma. Not the one that happened to "my friend" once, when she cooked onions in a milchig pot, using a fleishig spatula. Not the one where Yaakov, seconds after finishing his chicken, decides he absolutely needs a ma'adan (which is really pudding but I like to pretend it's yogurt.) And by the way, we usually just let him have it. You know what they say about picking your battles; I just usually pick not to have them. Anyway, the dilemma was that we found ourselves in the sad period of the Nine Days, during which we figured we should forego the normal pool/beach activities. Which left us, on a looooong Friday, with: Hanging Around the Apartment, or Something Else. Let's examine the choices, shall we?
1. Hanging Around the Apartment: By 9:00, Ariella, who did not have any kaytanah, was going bonkers. We had finished our errands already, and had thus commenced the "I have nothing to doooooooooooo! It's so boooooooooooring here!" portion of the day. (In general, she is pretty adept at entertaining herself, but like all of us on a Friday, she'd had enough.) While normally I loooove the sound of kvetching - it's like sweet, gentle music to my ears - I figured, "Well, I've had sooooo much of it already this week; maybe I should take a break today."
2. Something Else: Ready? Ok, the Something Else has to be something not too hot, preferably indoors with air-conditioning, entertaining for a 6-and-3-year-old, not too expensive, not too far away, opened in the afternoon (it seems a lot of museums close early on Fridays), not too crowded and not too incongruous with our period of sadness. Okay, people, let me hear all those ideas! [Silent pause.]
Exactly. That's what we came up with, too.
In the end, we went back to the Cow Park, but we dragged along Moshe Balsam, to "up" the fun quotient and to "down" the kvetch quotient. As it turns out, we needed to rename the park, as the cows had disappeared. (Or, "misappeared" as Yaakov says.) Perhaps we should call it the Sometimes Cow Park? The Poop Park? (Because the cows did leave plenty of stuff behind when they fled.) Where does one even hide fifty cows? Ariella and Moshe had very animated discussions about it on the way home. Ariella: "They went to a zoo." Moshe: "They went to Be'erot Yitzchak, to get milked." In the end, even though the Where'd The Cows Go? Park lacked indoor-ness, it fit all of our other requirements, so everyone played for about an hour and a half, and then we returned home. And wiped off our shoes, if you get my drift.
Shabbat was very nice. We bought take-out for Friday night, and went out to some Hebrews for lunch. Ariella hit it off right away with their daughter, who is also going into 1st grade, and they played the whole time as if they had always been BFFs. This family is Real Israelis (even Realer than the Sassoons), who could not even fathom going to work and not being able to eat, or having to take your pots and pans with you on vacation. We had a lovely time with them and even managed to speak pretty decently in Hebrew. (Luckily, most Israelis we've met, even if they don't speak English, understand it pretty well, so you can always do the I'll-speak-English-you-speak-Hebrew dance.)
We had a very heartwarming experience at lunch. We had received two letters from two different organizations regarding Yaakov's tzaharon for next year (the afternoon portion of his day.) Both organizations claimed to be responsible for tzaharonim and wanted my money. We asked our new friends, who have a daughter going into the same gan, what they thought about the Dual-Payment Discrepancy. They said that they, too, had no idea why there were two letters were also unsure what to do. We're just as clueless as Real Israelis! Kappayim to Gila and Donny!