Sunday, December 8, 2013

The Hidden Costs of Vacation

This past week was Chanukah vacation. Various kids were home for various chunks of it. Today, Nadav has decided to grant me a vacation extension. In the form of being sick. "Ani lo holech gan hayom," he explained to me. "Yeladim acherim holech, aval ani lo holech." (Question, Loyal Readers: Do you prefer Hebrew written ככה or kachah? In Hebrew or transliterated? I often transliterate because of this thing I have called Lazy. As in, too lazy to press alt+shift and then hunt and peck. But let me know. Your opinion Matters.)

So he's sleeping - in my bed, natch - and instead of using nap time to clean or shower or work I'm spending it on this post. Cuz I love you.

Right. Where was I? Vacation. We didn't do anything this past week, as my children pointedly reminded me. No chu"l, no Eilat. One quick trip to Kever Shmuel Hanavi/Nebi Samuel on the Friday of Chanukah and then a Microsoft day at the movies on Sunday comprised our entire family fun-ness. (Ulpan by accident digression: The movie we saw was "Frozen." We had to see it in Hebrew of course, because that's how kids movies work here. Adult movies = English with subtitles. But because many children, especially under the ages of 8/9, can't read that fast - dumb kids - they can't use subtitles in kids movies. They have to dub them. This means that instead of watching "Hunger Games" in English, we had to watch "Frozen" in Hebrew. That, right there? It's called "good parenting," people. It's called "sacrificing for your kids." So we didn't complain, too much. On the upside, the movie was actually pretty good and I understood most of it! This means I now have Disney-level Hebrew! The first step on the ladder to News-level Hebrew! Also, I learned another word. As we passed a "Hunger Games" poster (we'll see you soon, my sweet), I said "Why does it say 'התלקחות?' Doesn't that mean taking a shower?" Ariella looks at me. "It means something that catches fire." Which makes MUCH more sense.)

Anyway, back to vacation. So there were no big expenses, is what I'm saying. No airfare or hotels or lotsa takeout. But in any vacation, even a lame one, there are hidden costs:

1. Going food shopping with Nadav. (or any of the children, really. The big ones are helpful but still approach food shopping with a "What can I get Mommy to buy for me, and then how can I get her to buy MORE?") But I particularly try to avoid shlepping Nadav with me. However, it was Sunday morning, everyone was home, I announced I was going and offered for people to come with me. But it was not Ariella-who-stands-in-the-cheese-line-for-me who wanted to come, it was Nadav-aval-ani-ohev-et-zeh who came. He was super jazzed, but he's not used to the extended production of a Sunday morning food shopping. I was about 7 minutes into the shopping when he wanted to know when we were going home. Then, after every item I placed in my cart, he asked, "Now? Now we're done?" And, as everyone who has shopped with kids knows, the only way to survive is let them pick out treats:

 a. Box of Kariot cereal  = NIS ~23. Nadav INSISTED that he LOVES this vile, "nougat"-filled Shabbat cereal. Guess what? He doesn't. (The other two were horrified. "But Mommy," they said, munching through their third bowel of Cap'n Crunch, "It's disgusting!" What can I say, my children have an American-honed sense of sugar cereals. Telma just doesn't cut it.)

b. Animal crackers = NIS 8. Yep, another Nadav pick. He wanted to then pick "shalosh" to put in a bag but when I showed him how much "shalosh" was he changed his mind. He meant the "shalosh" that's actually "HARBAY!"

2. Shokos = NIS ~20. Everywhere we went, throw another shoko in the cart.

3. Breakfast with Ariella = NIS 100. I had this great plan that we would go to a cafe, get breakfast, then I would work while she would read. Well, the first part of that plan went well. The bread was delicious.

4. Sufganiot. NIS waytoomuch. Run an errand, get a sufganiyah. Repeat. Though by the end of the week, Ariella had her fill. "I don't want a sufganiot. They are too sweet! [Pause]. Can I get a bag of candy instead?" Because logic.

5. Art projects. NIS 70, bought me an hour of work.

7. Movies at home = $30. (However, watching Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark as a family was a truly special experience. Especially for Nadav, who fulfilled the important role of "Third child watching movies that are wildly inappropriate for him." Picture your oldest. Now picture him/her watching Indiana Jones when they were three. You're laughing, right? But Nadav enjoyed (almost) every minute. "Ani lo ohev ha'snakes," he declared)

8. Ariella's day of fun in Jerusalem with Aunt/Tante Talia = NIS 100 for bus fare (took it into Jerusalem all by herself, like a boss) and other sundry activities. But, really, a day of fun with the coolest aunt that was pretty much a montage of Ariella's Favorite Things? Swimming-shuk-McDonald's-Book Store-Aunt Talia. Worth every agurah.

9. Overpriced toys in the supermarket. NIS 50. I had a good reason for buying these, I think. Or maybe not. It's possible there was no good reason at all, except they asked and I agreed because it was the end of the week and whatever it will take to keep you quiet and happy.

8. My sanity. (I would say "priceless," but really, it's just the cost of a few cups of  coffee.) When I was working = "Oh my god I'm such a bad mom!" when I was with my kids = "Oh my god I'm such a bad employee!" #can'twin

I always have a love/hate relationship with these vacation weeks. Cuz I love the break in routine, but also I don't. It's like that. Anyway, we are now heading into our longest stretch of routine ever, thanks to Adar I & II. Leap year = money saving strategy. Looking forward to many months of not buying Kariot.


SaraK said...

Disney-level Hebrew sounds fabulous. They should make an ulpan just for that.


I'd like to hear this story from Nadav's point of view, please. I'm sure it'll be very eye-opening. I hope he will ohev to tell his sipur.