Thursday, June 12, 2008


1. We got Avtalyon's passport yesterday. This is a saga in and of itself, in that it took us over two months just to get his birth certificate. And I filled it out at the hospital! By the time it came, it was too late to get a passport by mail, even with expedited service, and still too early to get an appointment at a regional passport center. This week, though, we passed the 2-week threshold for same-day service, and MHH, Barak, Avtalyon and I loaded up and headed out to our nearest one. I left Iyyar with the babysitter, since we couldn't all fit in the car and Barak would have fun while Iyyar probably wouldn't.

The whole experience was surprisingly painless; our appointment was at 1 pm and we were out of there, passport in hand, at 3:30. I was surprised at the number of absolutely brand-new babies in there--I saw two that couldn't have been more than a few weeks old. Barak enjoyed the whole experience, from looking out the vertiginously high office windows to campaigning for the Slurpee I got Abba while we waited (Barak got ice cream--I refuse to let him even taste Coke).

2. Other trip preparations are moving right along. Last week I went to Target and bought a ton of sunscreen, dental floss, Lego for my nephews, diapers and wipes (I know you can buy them there, but I want at least a week's worth to bring with) and so forth. I've already packed Avtalyon's clothes, out of his 6-12 month stuff, which he's almost into already. And most important, of course, I have carefully selected and packed the yarn and needles I will almost certainly not get to use the whole time we are there.

3. On Barak's potty front, so far, so good. He is close to filling up his sticker chart, the reward for which has been, to date, his choice of truck from the toy truck selection at Target. However, today, something extremely strange happened.

This would require a bit of back story to really tell properly, but the very short version is that during my misspent youth, I was quite fond of Pirates of Penzance. So much so, in fact, that I, um, ended up more or less memorizing the whole thing. Not on purpose, but just from the number of times I listened to it. Last night, during a very late email exchange with my knitting buddy Cecilia (who considerately lives in Sydney, and therefore is nearly always at her computer when I am) I developed a hankering to hear it again. Alas, the LP I owned in junior high is long gone, and I couldn't really justify spending $25 on a new set of CDs.

Tonight, at bedtime, Barak was being... resistant to going to bed. "I don't want the baby song," he told me peevishly. "Fine," I told him. "I'll sing you a pirate song instead." Whereupon I took a deep breath, opened my mouth, and belted out "Pour, oh pour, the pirate sherry..."

Now, chances are none of you has ever heard me sing, and there is a very good reason for that. I'm not tone-deaf or anything but I am not very well endowed in the vocal department. Barak, however, thought it was... amazing. He stared at me, openmouthed and clearly, um, awed.

"Imma," he breathed, "Can you sing some more pirate songs please?"

I obliged with a rousing rendition of "When Frederick Was A Little Lad," followed by "I Am the Very Model of a Modern Major General." He wanted more. I started singing, "With Cat-Like Tread.." and then realized after a few "tarantaras" that I didn't know the segueway into the next bit.

"I'm sorry, I don't remember how it goes," I told him. "I need to listen to the CD to remember, and I don't have that CD."

"Could we get it?" Barak asked, practically whispering. "Could we get it, and listen to pirate songs?"

I considered. "Do you want that to be your sticker chart prize? Instead of a truck?"

"Yeah! I want the pirate CD instead of a truck."

I can see that Barak's musical tastes are going to be just as normal, boring, and run-of-the-mill as my own.


Deborah said...

Oh, oh, that is absolutely the best thing I have read in ever so long. If you all were not going to Israel for the summer, I would hop a train to come visit ---not just to hear you sing Pirates from memory, but I must say thinking about seeing and hearing you sing Pirate songs to Barak adds incentive to visit.

uberimma said...

"Visit"! You used the word "visit"! You used it TWICE!!!

We're back Monday August 24. The new CD should be here by then. Come! Bring Isabelle! Bring Miss Ellie too!

LC said...

I'm not sure if I ever saw 'Pirates' in its full blown glory, but I definitely know 'I Am the Very Model of a Modern Major General'. Probably from random excerpts included in a musical theater camp program when I was a teenager. Ahh, memories . . . (although that's a different show :)

miriamp said...

The local "Barbershop Quartet" (which has at least 9 members and puts on a Purim musical play thing each year) did a hysterical parody of 'I Am the Very Model of a Modern Major General' called 'I Am the Very Pinnacle of a Rabbi Who's Rabbinical.'

I should search up a copy of the lyrics and send them to you.

I never owned the soundtrack, and I only saw it once, so I don't have that particular play memorized, but I love Gilbert and Sullivan. (And Rogers and Hammerstein, too, for that matter.)

I don't listen to them anymore because of the kids -- my children saw Charlie and the Chocolate Factory all of once, and the 2.5 yr old and 4 yr old are still going around quoting it "Violet, you're turning Violet!" and singing "I want to wrap it all up in my pocket/it's my bar of chocolate/give it to me now!"

Doesn't mean I don't miss it, though.

harmless-drudge said...

My own memories swing more towards HMS Pinafore, myself. I think I was in that in...6th grade?

Weird music is good for kids. It gives them a broader appreciation for life. Also, Vartiina is easier to listen to that Uncle Moishy, or so I imagine. ;-)

Alisha said...

miriamp -- that's funny, because the local shpiel group here did a similar parody of our rabbi the Purim before last called "I Am the Very Model of a Rabbi Modern Orthodox". It's a rather shpiel-able kind of song, I guess!

Yasmin said...

Oh, I LOVE G&S! I've got "Pirates" almost memorized too, and also "Mikado" so I could sing along :D

When I was in tea school in Japan, one of my instructors was very fond of puns so he loved G&S also, and a fellow student had put on a couple of the musicals at summer camp in adolescence, so we had our moments on the tatami, ah, yes. Not what one thinks of in terms of zen at all, and yet I think we could make a case for it.

I should see if anyone is performing either of them over summer while Robbie is here.

Darnit, now I have "When a criminal's not engaged in his employment..." stuck in my head!

Yasmin said...

I meant "felon", there, of course. "Criminal" scans all wrong, anyhow.