Thursday, May 31, 2012

Hair Tape

Yes. Yes, I am using those two words together, on purpose, as in a thing you would want. Like "denim skirt" or "chocolate ice cream." Hair tape.

Yesterday, Nadav (I know! Shocking that a blog post entitled "Hair Tape" is about Nadav) found the forbidden tape. I try to keep dangerous or messy objects away from him, like: tape, scissors, glue, markers, keys, peach slices (he likes to squeeze them over his legs), cheese sticks (he eats the first one like a normal person; the second one becomes a sword or is squeezed into a warm, mushy, nauseating mess), yogurt (just use your imagination), writing implements, packages of diapers, the Tupperware drawer, foil pans, puzzles, toys and clothes.

But Ariella had been using the tape and it is now Out in the open. So Nadav tries to rip off a piece; I decide, wisely I think, that instead of waiting until he slices open a finger, I should just give him a small piece.

A short while later, I notice it is in his hair. Better take that off; it's gonna hurt him. I remove it. He screams - but not because I pulled out some of his overlong hair. Because he wanted the tape there. On his hair. So I...put it back.

We carry on with our evening, going to pick up Yaakov from a playdate. "Is that tape in his hair?" asks the mom, reaching out to remove it. "Yes," I quickly reply, moving Nadav out of reach. "Leave it, he likes it there." Luckily, this mom has her own two-year-old, who is currently refusing diapers but doesn't want to go on the toilet (too scary) or the potty (too pretty), so she understands where we're coming from.

Next we head out to pick up Ariella. (I had 2/3 out on playdates last night. So I gave Nadav a nice, simple dinner of cheese sticks and yogurt (see above.))

We enter the house. "Yes, there is tape in his hair, don't take it out, it's there on purpose." Again, very understanding mom, who had to deal with two almost-nine-year-olds (one of whom, I confess, was mine) deciding to use fish tank water for a water fight.

We finally get home and begin the bedtime nightmare routine. I'm settling down to vigil with Nadav, after extinguishing the double-whammy temper tantrum of "Why can't I have a sleepover?" and "Why can't I watch a movie?" and reading Goodnight Moon five hijillion times. (Honestly, it might not have been that many; I lost count after four hijillion).

Suddenly, Nadav lets out a blood-curdling scream and grabs his head. What? What happened? Did he bang it? Is he bleeding? Is there a monster in his bed?

Then I realize - the Hair Tape is missing.

"Do you...want tape on your hair?" I ask him. Indeed, I strung those words together as a sentence.

He nods, looking up at me with big teary eyes.

I go out, get another piece of tape and hand it to him. He places it on his head and contentedly begins to suck his fingers. Eventually, he falls asleep (before waking up in the middle of the night for his Journey to the Ends of Mommy's Bed, where he spends the remains of my sleeping time kicking me in the stomach or sticking his fuzzy hair up my nose. But that is for another time).

I guess it's true what they* say. If your have your hair tape, you have everything.


Friday, May 25, 2012

And A Happy Basket to You

Shavuot. The time of the harvest, of receiving the Torah, of scrambling to find a tene and zer perachim for your children to wear to gan. (A beloved - by ganenot, at least - and time-honored tradition; the tene, aka basket, represents the bikkurim brought on Shavuot and the zer perachim, aka flower wreath, the flowers that decorated Har Sinai).

In the Rose household, a snapshot of how the (not-so-mighty) have fallen (even further):

The older children, lo these many moons ago, going to gan with a tene and zer:

Ariella, with zer bought from actual flower shop!

Yaakov, with authentic tene!

And this year, poor Nadav, sent to gan with a sand toy and a lei.

(I would like to point out that I kept that darn red basket, pictured above, for a year, knowing I would need one this year. Sure enough, right before Shavuot, it snuck away, probably with Yaakov's kippot and the package of tissues I could swear was right here two seconds ago. They're hiding somewhere, snickering, and will show themselves only they've been replaced/are no longer needed.)

Wishing you all a happy Shavuot.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Tweets From a Vigil

So, I don't tweet. I'm one of those dunderheads - oh wait, in Twitter we have to "tw" everything. So I'm a twunderhead - that has an account and hasn't figured out quite what to do with it. In the olden days, I would have sat there for months with flint and a piece of steel, contemplating them, eventually leaving them off to the side and lumbering out of the cave to go feast on some cold raw rabbit. #cavemendontkeepkosher

Also, on Twitter you need to have a following. And who wants to have to gather another following??? I have Facebook friends, and I have you guys. #whatmorecouldagirlwant

But I like the idea of Twitter. And I think hashtagging things is hilarious. So I've decided to present you with my would-be tweets. The ones I would have sent last night, from the Vigil, if I weren't such a twit. (Ha!)

I am patiently vigiling. Unfortunately, vigilee is in living room playing with package of toilet paper. #atleastoneofusishere

Why can't Yaakov be the vigilee? HE'S already asleep! #ohwell #cuzthatwouldbetooeasy

Sometimes, when I have to hold hands with Nadav during vigil, it means I need to play Solitaire one-handed. #sacrifice #amotherslove

Request for water. Naturally, must be any cup except the one that's ALREADY IN HERE. #themindofatwoyearold #bedtimeneeds #scenesfromavigil

Can I leave? Well, fingers out of mouth, safe to go outh. Yes, I use my own poem as a mnemonic device. #wannamakesomethingofit


I'm twotally twocking this Twitter thing.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Access: Denied!

As you may recall, last year I successfully passed the pool quiz and was deemed fit to shell out a lot of money for a pool membership at the new Modiin pool. It was a big success; in fact, it worked out swimmingly, you might say. So I was determined to get a manui (membership) again this year.

For the last month, I've been obsessively checking the pool's website, calling the number, and even making unexpected visits to the pool, hoping to find out when they would open registration. The memberships run out quickly, so I wanted to be first in line. Determined, remember?

Finally, the blessed day arrived. It was last Sunday; I remember it well. I was notified via my Modiin app and my Facebook news feed that registration was opened! I sped over, my tires making little screechy noises. I sat down, gave them my information (name, number, family members), and they said they would call me in a day or two. I remember from last year that they didn't let you fork over the money right away, so I figured it was the same deal.

And I left, satisfied. I saw with mine own two eyes that they wrote my name down on the sheet. I patiently awaited my phone call. Of course, we all know that "I'll call you back," means I won't call you back, (except for the people who want me to sign up for something or switch banks; they always call back). I therefore wasn't surprised that a week had gone by and - whaddya know - no phone call.

So I grabbed the pool by the diving board and marched into the office this past Sunday. "Just want to check that I'm still getting my membership," I said, ever so breezily. "I signed up last Sunday but never got a phone call."

The Official Pool Lady smiles ever so sweetly and says, "I'm [ed. note: not] very sorry, but if you didn't get a phone call, you didn't get a manui."

Jaw dropping is commencing, but I am sure this is a mistake. After all, I saw my name get written in official blue ink. I was one of the first names on the sheet.

I attempted breezy again. "Yes, but I was here last week, I signed up, I was one of the first ones."

"Yes, I'm [not] sorry, but a lot of people signed up. Coming first had no effect on whether you got a membership."

"But I had one last year! That should count for something!"

"On the contrary. The administration decided to give priority to families who did not get a membership lasat year."

[Stupid socialists!]

"So, coming early didn't help, and having a manui last year only hurt my case?"

[Beaming, since I've finally cottoned on.] "Yes, exactly!"

"So how was the decision made, then?"

"Many families signed up. The administration took all the names and made [random, nonsensical and quite frankly dumb] decisions as to who would receive a manui and who would not."

[Pause. All traces of breezy are gone.]

"You can still buy a kartisiya," she adds, ever so helpfully.

I stalk out, forcefully. This is my revenge. I will not walk out nicely, oh no. I will stalk! Forcefully!

So here's the thing. The advantage of not having a manui to the Modiin pool is that we are free to play the field this summer. We can have a fling with the Maccabim pool, or a one-day stand with the pool in Kfar Daniel. We are free agents.

But here's the disadvantage. The thing I loved about having a manui--besides feeling so super-cool when I used our electronic manui hoojits to enter the pool--is that we could go whenever we wanted, and--this is important--stay however long or short we wanted. Sometimes, the amount of time we spent eating dinner and showering was equal to or greater than the time spent in the pool. But who cared? We had a manui!

This year, I'll have to count our punch-card clicks carefully. A la Elaine of Seinfeld, I'll have to decide if this day is "click-worthy." Are we really going to stay long enough to get the most swim for our click? Hey kids! Get back in the pool! You have not been in there a click's worth of time yet!

It reminds me of the famous zoo story. (Feel free to stop reading if you've heard this before.) DADZ took us kids to some run-down zoo. Not the kind that's all, "Conservation! Research! Saving animals! We do research and save animals! Yay ecosystems!" but more, "We have animals! They are in a cage! Gawk at them!"

But it didn't matter how lame the zoo was. And it was very, I can assure you. DADZ insisted that we stay until 4:30, because then we would have paid some amount of money per minute, and at that point, he calculated, the trip would have achieved worth-it-ness. (Could you guess that DADZ is an accountant?) So we hung around, picking at the grass, until DADZ announced we could finally leave.

I fear that this summer, I, too, may inflict worth-it-ness upon my children.

But here's the real question: Does our first summer of manui ruin us forevermore? Next year, are we back in the running for a manui because we didn't get one this year? Or are Donny and I going to be shuffling up to the registration desk 50 years from now, only to be denied yet again?

Monday, May 7, 2012

Rose-Colored Glasses

(Warning: This post may contain explicit language. I may or may not - you'll have to read to find out - use the word s**y).

Recently, I bought new glasses. I've been a contacts girl for a very long time, so this was a big switch for me. In America (or, "the States" as olim are somehow strangely addicted to calling it), I occasionally switched between glasses and contacts, but in Israel, the Land of A Thousand Sunny Days, I had to wear contacts in order to wear sunglasses. (Because squinting = migraines, and who needs another migraine trigger? 'Cuz I have a sneaking suspicion that children between the hours of 4 - 8 pm are also triggers. So I like to eliminate the ones that I can (triggers, not children.)).

However, the Land of a Thousand Dust Particles made me feel like I wanted to rip my eyeballs out at the end off a long, contact-wearing day, but I didn't even want to think about what sort of ishurim and hafnayot Maccabi would make me get for a new pair of eyeballs, so I decided it was simpler to just make the switch to glasses + prescription sunglasses.

I, for one, have been very happy. First, this means no more eye-ball ripping! Also no contacts means one less thing to do in the morning while Nadav is shrieking for me to pick him up and I can't because I need two hands for contact placement, so he stands there in the bathroom pulling on my stretched-out pajama pants until they end up around my ankles. And also, one less thing to do at night, when I am so tired I can barely pull back on the aforementioned overly large pants.

Now that we're a few months into the new look, I asked my darling husband, my knight in shining armor, what he thought. I pointed out that it was really because of him and a conversation we had when we were dating that I started wearing contacts. I recall that he expressed his preference for contacts over glasses at some point during our courtship. I honestly do not remember if he was talking about people in general or me in particular, but back then, in the throes of young YU love, I wanted to look good for my man. (Fast forward twelve years, to overly large brown velour - did I not mention the brown velourness of them? - pajama pants, paired with an equally large old t-shirt of Donny's that is now grayish-white, with many a-stain of indetereminate origin. Trust me, the people who claim, "Wearing your man's clothes is sexy!" did NOT have this in mind.)

Anyway, Donny of course had no recollection of ever expressing his preference for contacts. He does have a hazy memory of discussing why politicians never wear glasses. So somehow, I turned a conversation about Clinton into a directive for me to toss my glasses and wear only contacts forevermore. Again, young, in love, YU, you get the idea.

Fast forward to the present. I bring the conversation around to me again. "You haven't answered my question."

"I haven't?"

"No. So what do you think?"


"No matter what I say, I can only get in trouble."

"Oh come on. I have to come kippah-shopping with you and discuss the merits of fifty very similar-looking knit kippot and engage in lengthy conversations about how they fit your head and whether they express hope and optimism. You can answer this question."

"Well, you know I was once in a training session at work and they said when presented with a difficult question you should answer, 'It depends.'"

"You still haven't answered my question."

(Donny is often very successful at manipulating the conversation so I forget my original point, in cases where my original point may have been detrimental to him.)

Finally, he said he liked the glasses, but they created a certain "look" - he threw out a bunch of adjectives a this point - smart, intellectual, funky, he may have even included "sassy," I kid you not - and that the "look" was jarring when paired with certain outfits. Like pajamas. It all comes back to the jammies. I guess "Sassy Intellectual in Baggy PJs" is a fashion statement that hasn't hit Israel yet.

So now when I'm in my pajamas, with my glasses on, I like to get all up in his face and say things like, "Oooh, does this bother you? Huh? Huh? Is it jarring? Is it creating disequilibrium in your world? Well, too bad!"

Just call me an old-fashioned romantic.