Friday, June 21, 2013


So 2/3 of the Rose children are now wage-earners. Of course, the wages they are earning are from me, so it's not like it's going to help pay down the mortgage or anything. In fact, it's kind of putting me in even more debt. But, now, instead of hanging up the post-swimming gear and folding towels, I get to nag my children about it 100 times a week and then pay them for that privilege. Everybody wins?

I have noticed two distinct methods to money-earning and spending:

The Saver
Ariella saves her weekly 5 shekel. Her wallet is bursting with coins. This is helpful for me, because I use her as my personal bank. Need to break a 100? Just visit the World Bank of Ariella. I've asked her what she is saving up for. She has no clue. She just knows that having money is good and by spending it, she will no longer have it, so that's bad. Frugal. Thrifty. Between her fat pile of coins and her collection of Everything She Drew Touched Made or Received Ever Ever in Her Entire Life, she'd be a good candidate for one of those preparing for the apocalypse shows. Or maybe Hoarders. I do make her pay for certain things on her own, but other than a few shekel here and there, she is saving, saving, saving. For her, the whole point of having money is having money.

*This reminds me of certain friends of ours, who made aliyah nearly 6 years ago with a stash of Bounty paper towels. It remains untouched, because our friends are waiting for the Big Spill. And you just never know when that will come, so better save up those soft absorbent squares. I hope when the Big Spill happens, they will call and let me know. I want pictures.

Anyway, that's type #1. Type #2 is:

The This-Money-Is-Burning-a-Hole-in-My-Wallet-er
Yaakov, on the other hand, has had his eye on a Zord for quite some time. A Zord, by the way, is a registered trademark of Power Rangers, and it is NOT to be confused with a "sword." When I, ever so dumbly--where was I born, under a Power Rangers-free rock?--suggested that the Zord is a special kind of sword, Yaakov rewarded me with a look of utter contempt. The same ohmigod-how-is-my-mom-so-clueless look he gave me when I wondered once why his shirt was covered in all sorts of colorful stains ("BECAUSE my desk was dirty so I had to clean it!" With your shirt? "Well it was the MIDDLE of class! I couldn't leave to get a paper towel!" Too bad he didn't have any Bounty ...)

Anyway, once I had made my complete lack of Powers Rangers knowledge abundantly apparent (I'm still not sure if Power Rangers Jungle Fury are the same guys as Power Rangers Mystic Force, but I'm afraid to ask. I want to keep some shred of dignity.) Yaakov explained that the Zord is ... damn, I totally forgot what he said. Anyone?

Well, whatever this non-sword-Zord is, Yaakov wants it. Bad. And he is saving up for it. He had a nice head start with some money from Saba last summer. And last night, after receiving his 5 shekel piece, he realized he had exactly 100 shekel! Just enough for a Zord! (Although, I think he may have been counting his agurot as shekel. A sad day when you count all those 10 agurot pieces and realize that after all that effort, all you have is ... 1 shekel. Not even enough for the 1.5 Shekel Store.)

After his exciting discovery, he ran over to me and asked if we could go to the toy store. Now. (It was 9:00 at night). Okay, fine, tomorrow? he asked. He cannot spend this money quickly enough. It does not bother him that owning this Zord (although, really, does one ever truly "own" a Zord?") will bring his balance back to zero. For him, the money is a means to an end: MOAR TOYS.

Anyone else give allow-mints? Do you have savers or spenders?

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

How I Spent My Day

Full disclosure: These events did not all happen in one day. Some, of course, are regular occurrences. Others, thank God, are rarer events. Think of this like the blog form of a photo montage. 

6:40 Wake up kids
6:45 Wake up kids, with cajoling
6:50 Wake up kids, with threats ("There will be no time for breakfast. NO TIME!!")
6:52 Wake up kids by blanket-and-ankle yanking
6:55 Breakfast. Nadav picks his cereal. I confirm his choice (Cheerios) before pouring. He requests craisins. I confirm his request before adding. I pour milk
6:56 OH MY GOD! Disaster of hitherto unheard of proportions!! There are CRAISINS in Nadav's Cheerios! Do you hear me! CRAISINS! How did they get there???? "LO ROTZEH!" he demands. They must be REMOVED. Immediately! Nadav refuses to touch them, so the task falls to me to remove each one, wet craisin by wet craisin. "Better now?"
6:56.5 No, it's not. Cheerios in the bowl! Red alert! "LO ET ZEH!!!" Nadav cries, pushing away his bowl of the detested Cheerios. He wants his favorite thing to eat, "mashehu acher (something else)." I refuse to waste expensive Cheerios by tossing them down the sink so we have a few rounds of Breakfast Is Over Do You Hear Me?? before he deigns to eat it.
6:57 - 7:35 Bark commands: Get dressed! Brush your teeth! Put your lunch in your tik! I watch Nadav as he slooooowly put his shoes on himself ("AMARTI RAK ANI!") and I must sit on my hands to stop them from shooting out and grabbing the #$#@$#$# little Velcro strap myself and pulling it through the slot. Oh dear God he's almost there, just pinch it and yank it through, pinch and yank dammit, we're so close I can taste it, although, I do NOT want to taste it, since Nadav has insisted on wearing closed sneakers and socks and it's freakin' SUMMER in ISRAEL.
7:35 We bundle out the door. Ariella, as usual, is not ready ("I needed a few minutes to stretch!") so she says she will meet us at the car. We strap ourselves in and wait, while I mumble, "Next time, she's WALKING," and Yaakov is cheering me on, because his dearest ambition in life is to get a ride while Ariella has to walk, and then just to be contrary I yell at him, "Is that nice? To hope she has to walk? How would YOU feel? blah blah blah, be nice, do unto others, blah blah blah." Ohmigod I am so tired of saying those words.
7:50 I return from drop off. I open the door and notice a disgusting dead bug, upside down, its little gross buggy legs sticking up in the air. I feel willies up and down my back. I climb out the passenger side of the car.
8:00 I drink coffee/work/drink coffee/work, going to my virtual break room every so often to see what's going on.
10:00 I am hungry. I go to the fridge. It contains a mushy peach and a container of olives. I drink more coffee.
10:30 I have to go to the bank. The bank is like The Machine in "The Princess Bride." Every trip = one year off your life.
10:50 Still waiting at the bank. I admire Teller Window #2. So pretty! What? No one is ever working at that second window, so I assume it's for decorative purposes.
Eons later: It is my turn. I fight to convince them that the thing they think I can't do at the window I actually can do.
12:00 Home again. That trip to the bank deserves some more coffee. I look around. No one seems to object, so I make more.
1:30 I pick up big kids and we go to the pool. We get artikim. I wash off the artik in the bathroom sink after it falls onto the grass.
4:15 I pick up Nadav. He quietly contemplates what his afternoon tantrum will be about. Perhaps he will decide, once we are already home, that he MUST have his hat from gan and wail about it for 45 minutes. "AVAL ANI ROTZEH!!!" (In Nadav's world, this is a perfectly logical reason. "But I WANT it!" Oh! You WANT it! Now I understand! I shall rush to bring you the very item you covet, forthwith and without delay! Also, while we're talking about one-sided logic, I will note that while it is perfectly acceptable for Nadav to use "kachah zeh (just cuz)" as a reason, if he is deluging me with an endless barrage of  "AVAL LAMAH"s, I best be coming up with a satisfactory response. As Nadav tells me: "You lo say 'kachah zeh.'"
5:00 The tantrum has subsided. Nadav and Ariella are playing on the mirpeset. I overhear the following language lesson (for Nadav, who is hopeless about his male/female in Hebrew): "Nadav," says Ariella helpfully, "if you have a penis, you say 'Ani yodeah.' If you don't, you say, 'Ani yodaat.'" Which? Pretty much sums it up.
5:30 Doctor's appointment. I take Nadav because he had a weird cough in the morning. Yaakov happily plays on my phone during appointment. Lungs are fine. We leave.
6:00 Dinner. Nadav eats "mashehu acher." Yaakov complains that his head hurts. We were just. At. The doctor. Couldn't you have told me this an hour ago????
7:00 Getting Nadav ready for bed, wondering why Yaakov is running the water in the living room.
7:01 Come out to the living room, see the contents of Yaakov's lunch + dinner on the floor. Make another doctor's appointment for tomorrow.
7:02 Nadav fascinated by puke. "Ani rotzeh see. Yaakov oseh mashehu (I want to see. Yaakov did something)," he explains. So - and I can't believe I am actually typing this sentence - I take Nadav to look at Yaakov's vomit. "Rachok mee-die (too far)" Nadav comments, and I think he's commenting on Yaakov's impressive trajectory. But no. WE are too far. So - and I can't believe-oh who am I kidding, I can totally believe it - I bring Nadav closer to the puddle of puke. He is fascinated. "Yaakov oseh mashehu. Lamah?" I explain about feeling sick and vomiting. "Achshav Yaakov go mechonit rofay. Hu lo margish tov. (Now Yaakov has to go in the car to the doctor. He doesn't feel well.)"
7:15 I read Nadav his 3 books, the same 3 books (2 Curious Georges and a strange Hebrew ones about shoes who go to a party, except the army boots don't go because they have to protect the country, so the high heels bring them cake and a balloon.) We must read these three books EVERY NIGHT in the RIGHT ORDER, or ELSE.
7:30 Nadav falls asleep. I commence floor-cleaning and grownup-dinner-making.

Hoping for a quiet dinner free of puke, craisins and mashehu acher.

So how's by you?

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Things I've Been Saying Lately

Take your car out of the yogurt
Everyone gets privacy in the bathroom [Ed. note: Excluding me. Obviously]
Yes, you can bring your shoko into the bath
Is there anything molding in your tik today?
No, Nadav, we can't pee together.
I will pay you not to hit people
Hang up your towel. Hang up your towel. Hang up your towel. Why is your towel still on the floor????
Come here, I'll kiss your teeth. [They were hurting.]
Any homework? [Dear God, Please, please let the answer be no. Kisses, Me]
Did you even LOOK for it?
Stop being a davka-nik [DAVkanik (n). Origin: Me. Def: Touching your sibling's chair ever so lightly with your foot so as to annoy the hell out of him while you innocently proclaim, "What? I'm not doing anything!" Or: When you don't really want the red car; in fact, you may despise the red car. But hell will be so frozen that the icicles will have icicles before you will give the red car to your brother. He will have to pry it out of your cold, dead hands. Which he may be able to do, if you don't stop it and just give him the car]
Fine, get the sandwich out of the garbage and finish it.
You're right. If someone does something to you that you don't like, the best response is to do that same thing back to him. I'm sure that's what Hillel really meant. [Talmud, revised: Can you tell me the Torah on one foot? Yes: Don't let your sibling get away with squat.]
Put. Your. Clothes. In. The. Hamper.
Yes, I was listening to everything you said. [Ed. note: Not really]
Where's your other shoe? Why are they never together?
Yes, you need a bath. Yes, you need to change your underwear
When you  choose one thing, that means you are un-choosing something else.
What was I saying?