Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Being 'Opposite'

Rolling up her sleeves to tuck into a large Belgian Chocolate Waffle. 
Last Friday they celebrated family day in DD's school. It's the same programme every year but with a different theme. Every year they invite the children to bring in their grandparents or an uncle, aunt or cousin. There's an assembly, they go to the classes and hear stories from the grandparents on the theme, and there's food (obviously).

It's a nice morning. I enjoyed it the first year. The second year was a bit samey. By the third year I really didn't need to go and meet everyone's grandparents again - especially as we have no relatives in the country to bring.

I have some second cousins but not in Jerusalem. Anything further than second cousins I probably wouldn't even know and would include half of the Jews from London probably. I had a friend in primary school whom I used to dance with in country dancing lessons, who turned out to be my third cousin. We had no idea at the time. My Dad sat next to his Dad in synagogue for 30 years and they had no idea that they were second cousins. It gets ridiculous after a generation or two.

So last year in Third Grade, DD went but I didn't. This year she didn't feel the need to go either so we went out for waffles for breakfast to celebrate our family of two.

A word on the waffles. I'm not eating sugar so I went for a savoury waffle. DD's waffle was far too big for one meal so we had half of it wrapped and we took it home. She ate the other half for breakfast on Saturday morning. She didn't need chocolate covered waffle for breakfast two days in a row.

One option is for two people to share one dish - they happily provide two plates for this purpose. But if they sold a reasonable portion for one serving at half the price, we'd definitely go more often. Especially as this was our second eating out in the past couple of weeks. The first time when DD said she wanted a waffle, I said she could have it for dessert. The pizza she ordered for her main course was way too big for her to finish and we brought half of that home with us too. We never got to the waffle. On Friday I said she could go straight for the waffle. Seriously though, half the mains and half the dessert for the same price would be preferable and we really would do it more often.

Today the Purim festivities started. DD's school have a dressing up theme for each day until they break up for the Purim holiday next Tuesday. Today was pyjama day. I put clean pyjamas, Ugg slippers, and her big fluffy dressing gown on the bed this morning in case she wanted to wear them for school. I knew she wouldn't. She came out in normal school clothes.

DD: Do I have to go to school today?
Me: Yes.
DD: I don't want to be the only one not in pyjamas.
Me: So wear pyjamas.
DD: No, I don't want to. It's silly.

DD never dresses up - she hates it. She's the only one in the whole school not in costume on the day of the Purim Parade and she doesn't care. The first time she refused to wear a costume was when she was two. I cried. After that I provided a costume each year which she hardly wore - only if bribed strongly urged to by the teacher. After that I gave up. Each year we go to the costume shop to look at costumes. I tell her she can have anything she wants. She won't choose anything. End of.

One of the things about Purim is to be silly. The idea is to be 'opposite'. I think it's because, in the story, the Persian minister wanted to kill the Jews but in the end, the minister and his sons were executed instead and the Jew became a Persian minister. So we dress up and let ourselves do things we wouldn't ordinarily do like eat and drink too much (haha, that's a joke).

As she walked out the door, DD said to me, "Well I am joining in sort of. I'm being 'opposite'."



  1. In my daughter's school this year for Family Day, they did...nothing. And I was actually pleased, because there was no need to point out that our family does not fit the bill of Father-Mother-Two children-Family Dog and white picket fence, so to speak. Israelis often forget that some of us came from other countries as well, and don't have extended family to speak of.

    1. I know about the extended family. Our nursery, kindergarten, and school have all been very good about celebrating all kinds of families. And I was happy to include all the grandparents the first year. It's just every year with no extended family to bring is a bit much.

  2. Family Day here was this past Monday - but it's a day off for most people. Really it was a way to sneak in another vacation day since it's a long stretch from New Year's to Easter (kids do get a week off in March but it's not a general holiday). Places like museums and other venues offer special deals and events so that parents have somewhere to take the kids - the rest of us tend to avoid those places on that particular day! :-)
    I can sympathize with DD's not wanting to dress up. Friends and I attend ScyFi conventions and when there hear about this the first thing they ask me is "Do you dress up?" Some friends do but I don't - guess I'd feel silly. But - I have seen some amazing costumes and I do admire the effort that many people put into them.
    As for restaurant meals - they tend to be huge over here! I often bring half my meal home or a friend and I will share - restaurants don't seem to mind and it's quite a common practice. Waffles and pancakes are always delicious but I can never finish them. For Pancake Tuesday I made some but ended up only eating 2 and freezing the rest - it's not something that I eat often but it's nice for a treat now and again.
    I can relate to the family situation - when I was growing up we only had one set of Aunt, uncle & 3 cousins here in Canada and we usually only saw them at Christmas and during the summer at their cottage - but being an immigrant country many kids were in the same boat. Grandparents used to come to visit in the summer but it was rare to know any other family members as travelling "back home" with a large family just wasn't affordable. It's great that you and DD get to visit England so often - do they ever come to visit you?

    1. Yes they do come to visit - not especially to see us but my brother in law also has a brother here and an uncle and cousins and lots of childhood friends. And Israel is a place that Jews visit often if they can. London is only 5 hours away and there are budget airlines. Being an immigrant in Israel is a bit different because it's considered coming home - although it took a long time to feel that way. It's still difficult not being in the same country as immediate family.
      Are you feeling better?

    2. I am feeling better - thank you. Still quite tired and my voice goes by the end of the day but improving bit by bit.
      It must be even harder as a single mom without having close family nearby. My dental hygienist visits Israel every year as one son, plus DIL and baby granddaughter live there. I asked her if she ever thinks about retiring there but she says no - it's just too different - a visit is enough.

  3. I like the idea of family day but I can understand how it could start feeling samey. I wonder if there's a way they can liven it up?
    I love the look of that waffle, but totally agree, smaller portions and half the price would be ace!

    1. Some of the other parents have suggested to the head that they invite grandparents, etc, only every three or four years. That way each child gets to do it at least once during their time in the school. And on the other years we can do something else. I don't know if she'll make the changes. We'll see.