Thursday, April 24, 2008

Who knows ten?

Every day I think of some little thing or another that I want to blog. But I've just been too busy to sit down. So, here are a few scattered things for your time-wasting pleasure:

1. Today was my first day back at work. The amount of stuff I have to do is unreal.

2. Avtalyon is smiling now, big lopsided grins that melt the heart into puddles of motherly goo. I'm not sure how much he weighs exactly, but he has doubled his weight from a couple of months ago. An impressive achievement, although not one I'm aspiring to personally.

3. Barak, even before he could talk, monologued--in his high chair, in bed, to his trucks, wherever. He still does it, talking to himself in this conversational tone, sometimes to our intense amusement. Tonight, I ran out to run and errand with Avtalyon, and MHH fielded bedtime. When I got home, he reported this monologue of Barak's, overheard post-bedtime.

"Superman... Superman's a billion cool. Spiderman is ten cool. Batman's five cool." MHH is not sure why Batman is so much less cool than Superman, but says he got the impression that even being five cool was something. Of course, Barak also thinks Superman has horns, so he might have him mixed up with Batman, of the pointy bat ears. But Superman, as we all know, helps people. That might be it.

4. Yesterday we went on a chol ha'moed outing--to take the bus, which is the fun part for Barak and Iyyar, to go to the picture place and outdoor play area at the mall. We never go to the mall. Ever. Malls make me itch. I hate shopping, hate the music, hate the acquisitiveness and consumerism and gashmius, and MHH hates them even more, especially in summer when not everyone is dressed. But we haven't had a family picture since Barak was ten weeks old, and I really wanted one, so we went. I'm so glad we did. I love the picture we got with all of us. It makes me happy every time I glance in its direction. Okay, so I look fat, MHH looks grumpy, the kids are clearly bouncing off the wall--but we look like a family.

5. I haven't knitted a thing in ages. I haven't had much in the way of time, obviously, what with the new baby and Pesach and the rest of our usual routine, but I haven't had much of a taiva to do it either, which is unusual for me. But probably just as well.

6. Avtalyon is three months tomorrow. Barak's fourth English birthday was yesterday. And the potty regression continues. Nuff said.

7. Barak got a Pesach tape at school. In this tape, his morah sang all the songs of the seder, with admonitions not to "play this tape where there are big men or boys over thirteen." The point is to play it over and over, so that by seder time the kids know the songs.

Now I know that I send my kid to a chareidi playgroup. Why? She did ma nishtana in Hebrew, English and Yiddish. Seriously. Now I can say "all kinds of vegetables" in Yiddish, and I'm sure that will come in handy someday.

8. There were two makkos songs on the tape. Barak, like all little boys, LOVES the makkos, and the whole idea of it. He sings one of the makkos songs, gleefully, often, sometimes on the toilet, in a fierce and ruthless growl. "The mitzrim were PUNISHED, again and again!" The other makkos song, of course, teaches what the ten makkos were, and if you're Jewish you probably know it. It is a rollicking tune that helps you remember that they were "Dam, tzvardaya, kinim, arov, dever..." etc.

Got all that? Good. So, last week our non-Jewish babysitter was here while the tape was playing. We love our babysitter, and I thinks she likes us, even though she probably occasionally thinks we're deranged (and may be right.) Then we got to the makkos song. She couldn't help but notice that Barak was singing this one particularly... lustily. "What's that song?"

Without even thinking, I started to sing it, to that cheery bouncy tune, translating it into English as I went. "Blood and frogs and lice, wild beasts and pestilence, boils hail locusts darkness, the slaying of the firstborn!" I think she was mildly horrified.

9. It looks as though, B"H, MHH has a job for next year. This has been in doubt for about the last year and a half and has been weighing on us fairly heavily. His school had to inform him in writing by April 15 if he was being cut; they did not, although they also did not inform him that they were keeping him. So we had this weird day in which we were constantly calling each other. "Did anyone call? No. Did anyone call you? No. Is your cell phone on? Yeah. Nobody called. Was there anything in your mailbox? No. Did you check my email? Yep, nothing there. Okay, it's 11:30, and nothing yet..." This went on until about 11 PM, when we looked at each other and finally exhaled. Sort of, because, you know, nothing had really been confirmed in either direction. That was Tuesday. He had also applied to another job, in a local kollel, that he really wanted more but didn't think he would get. Less than an hour and a half before licht, his phone beeped, and there was a message on it saying "we're looking forward to welcoming you to the kollel..." They have not yet talked tachlis, so there is no actual job offer on paper, but so far appears that he even has options.

And it also appears that I might shortly become a kollel wife. The mind reels.

10. Grandma E and Grandpa M were here last week, in Grandpa M's great big truck. We went on sort of a pre-Pesach chol ha'moed outing on the Thursday before Pesach. I thought I would pack us a lovely picnic lunch for a last chance at some chometz. I had paper plates, knives, forks, napkins etc. in the bag I'd packed for the day, and had deli, mustard, mayonnaise, cucumbers, and juice boxes in a tied-up bag in the fridge. The ruggelach and rolls for sandwiches were in separate bags in the freezer. When it was time to go, I grabbed two of the three bags, leaving the rolls for the sandwiches behind. So we ended up eating meat with our fingers for lunch. Sigh.

The boys didn't seem to mind eating straight bologna for lunch, though, and had a fine time riding in the truck, climbing on farm equipment, etc. Inexplicably, we were the only Jewish family in the children's museum the day before the three-day yom tov that Pesach came in on. Weird, huh? I wonder where everyone else was.


Yasmin said...

Hooray! A bundle of good news. Glad to hear all is well, the kids ditto, family visits, job for next year. All good.

Also educational. I've been looking up all kinds of new words :) But I still don't get the implications of being a kollel wife...?

Karen B said...

I don't even know what a kollel wife is .... or a kollel? Can you explain to us non-Jews please?

Deborah said...

Waving hand wildly in the air: "I know, I know!"
Because I look it up on Scroogle.
It is college or university to us non-Jews.

Congratulations on good news. I love hearing about the plagues song.

miriamp said...

Kollel is post high school full time learning, (but not necessarily for a degree) where the person learning usually receives a stipend. (As in, you get paid to learn Torah all day). I don't think it really translates.

miriamp said...

Oh, and almost exclusively, you have to be married to be in Kollel.