Wednesday, 23 July 2014

I See the Sea

Last year I wanted to take Butterfly to the sea. Okay, at the beginning of the season we went a couple of times with my mother and sister and kids, but I wanted to go solo with her and more than just once or twice. Unfortunately we then had a polio scare (more an exaggerated scare) in which kids were given to the mouth drops of live vaccine. Since my daughter is not vaccinated, I preferred staying away from places she might get it. So the sea became a big no-no.

Then this year, our homeschooling group decided that since it is too hot in the summer to meet at place X during the morning-early afternoon, that we shall shift to a late afternoon beach gathering. Yay, I thought! We shall have lots of sea this year!  Well. hmmm... so far none! I mean there was a first gathering which I couldn't attend but then... again, a big no-no.

Because it is a big open place with no where I know to run to in case of rockets. Because this is our reality now. I have to add that I am not saying this side is right or wrong or that this side is suffering more or suffering less. I feel sorry for the civilians on the other side who are also having a terrible time. I really feel sorry for them. I debated whether to put a picture of a house (in my neighbourhood!) that got a direct hit from a rocket, but think I won't because I really do not want to turn this post into a political one. I just want to write about us, about life for me and my daughter.

We live in the centre of Israel, in a small town not far from the airport. We are not used to sirens here. The south of Israel, yes, unfortunately they are used to it, but not here in the centre. Well, about two weeks ago we had our first one. I was at home alone and my sister was out with the kids  (mine and hers) at the playground. Since they were out in the open, they saw how it was intercepted, mainly seeing a little cloud. My sister gave some kind of explanation, my daughter understood there is something that might scratch her face, and well, I thought that was a crazy thing but that's it. 

Well, I think it has been two weeks. Butterfly knows that when she hears the siren we must immediately go the the reinforced security room, close door and window and wait (while playing a game!). We should wait ten minutes (that's the official guidelines), but we wait till we hear the booms, usually two, wait  maybe another minute or two and then go out and carry on with what we were doing before.

And Butterfly asks so many questions - what if we are in the street? What do we do? Where do we go? She asks about the little cloud [she associates the booms with the little cloud she saw at the playground], what can it do, etc. And how do you explain this to a little girl? To a little girl who doesn't really know good and bad, a girl who has no witches in her world. How do you tell her about wars and about fighting and how these rockets intend to do a little bit more than just scratch her face?? I try and stay calm, to be almost indifferent (oh, yes that is a siren. yes, let's go to the security room. can you close the door while I close the window?), but I know she knows it is more than that.

And then this morning I woke up hoping she doesn't wake up so I can sleep a bit more. I went to the toilet, came back and snuggled carefully next to her, when the siren went. We both immediately jumped and went to the security room. Here is the place to add that we live in a wooden house and that I live in a unit on the second floor in my mother's house. The security room is in my mother's house, so we quickly have to go to her house, unlock the door (mother is currently on vacation abroad) and go to the security room. Luckily we have a minute and a half (in the south, they only have 15 seconds), so we managed to do that. And then we hear a boom. This time just one single one, and it was loud, very loud! Apparently it was somewhere in my neighbourhood, and more so, it was a rocket that managed to escape the Iron Dome and land on a house, destroying it. I can tell you, that is scary.

Tonight I think I will sleep on the sofa at my mum's. Not comfortable but if they are targeting the airport and again send us a rocket... Anyway, hope next year we'll manage to have fun at the sea!

Wednesday, 9 July 2014

~ 4 ~


Butterfly is FOUR and totally amazing! She loves to hug and cuddle and tell me how much she loves me. In fact she melted my heart the other day when she said that if she had a mother [we were talking about frogs not having a mother, lol], she would want THIS mother.

She now loves "reading" me stories, as well as writing (shopping lists, recipes, etc). My eldest niece used to do a lot of "writing" before she knew how to write - scribbling on a piece of paper, claiming to have written this or that. I thought it was a stage kids go through, but then I didn't see any of my nieces/nephews do it. But now my daughter is also doing it, and I love it. Love that she wants to learn to read and write, and is playing around with it. I took a video of her writing, love how she sounds the words as she "writes" them - it does show, in my opinion, some understanding of the connection between the oral language and the written one.

video

Lately I have been taking a lot of videos of her - always asking her if I can, she always telling me, at some point, to stop videoing..
Two notes about the video - first, metapelet is a nanny. Second, towards the end she says something about if there is a noise we have to go inside - we had a siren earlier today [it is mostly quiet here] and I explained to her how we have to go inside, etc, telling her that we might have to change our plans for later this week (we were supposed to go to the sea! Not sure if it will be wise..]. She got a brief explanation, not going into the big picture of rockets and shooting and killing and all. Hopefully I won't have to talk more about it all, but how do you explain to a four year old???
Oh another note - that fringe? She cut it by herself. lol. 

On the down side - we still have difficulties socializing in the homeschooling group. We also have a wetting problem, which gets better and then worse again. 

Her birthday party with the family was a success :-). I had bubbles for the kids, and they made a horse on a stick (using a sock and all sorts of things to glue on) and they played around :-). In the months before we were fooling around with the idea of making a colourful cake. So I attempted to make a colourful cake - using only natural ingredients (for example, beetroot cooked with coconut milk produces pink).The colours didn't so much come out, but oh well.. at least I tried, lol. [At the last minute I decided to try and make a 4..]

Saturday, 7 June 2014

Playful Parenting / Lawrence Cohen - not a book review

I am aiming for this to be a series of me writing about parenting/homeschooling books I've read, but at this rate... Anyway I really enjoyed reading this book, I think I've learnt a lot from it. I hope to be a more fun parent who plays more with her kid.

Today Butterfly asked me why I wanted a baby and I answered for her to have someone to play with. Meaning more in the terms of siblings as a long-term relation, that they will have each other long after I am gone, but I just said to play with. She replied in a happy voice: "that means you won't have to play with me anymore". Ouch! Big ouch. The truth is, besides being so energyless, I can't explain but I don't really want to play with her. Actually weird because before I had her, when it was other people's kids I looked after, I could play with them for hours. But when we play, mainly her playmobile and blocks that she builds things for them [and I will add in brackets that I love how she uses her imagination plus "building skills" with the combination of the two], I am tires and can't stop yawing. I try not showing her but obviously she sees. I wouldn't want my mother to behave like that when she plays with me, so why can't I do better!? She used to call me a lot to come to play, I am sad to admit she calls me much less. I want to play with her but I also don't want to play with her. C does talk about this and says playing with your child might be difficult because it brings up your own feelings etc. Don't know, just know that I have to work on it.

C talks about the importance of play for building a bond between parent and child and as a way for the child to express herself. Playing also lets kids try adult roles, helps them reconnect with their parent and recover from emotional stress. He talks about getting down (literally & metaphorically) and playing with your kid. I am glad to say that I never had any problem sitting on the floor and playing..
He also talks about the importance of rough-housing. In short rough-housing creates opportunity for a human, physical connection, and it increases the kids confidence and their sense of power [he does have rules, like no hitting or biting, and stopping as soon as a code word is said, by either side]. So I started rough-housing (or trying to) with Butterfly. We call it wrestling and I try to prevent her from getting to the sofa. But she usually doesn't like me to hold her "tight" and prefers the version in which she runs away and goes from sofa to sofa while I "didn't notice". So we don't have much of the physical contact while rough-housing, but I think that is okay as we do have a lot of physical contact throughout the day with hugs and kisses and just being near each other. On the other hand, as this is something fathers usually do, I don't want her not to have this kind of play, plus the other advantages he talked about, so I do try. Though as a mother trying to rough-house on one hand but on the other hand make sure she does not get hurt - not so easy..

Talking of play (and of no dad).. We usually play "mummy" and "daughter" (and friends) or "baby" with the playmobile. The other day I decided to add "daddy" but then felt that maybe it was wrong of me so I quickly added "brother" and "sister" [of which all she doesn't have any]. Today we had "mummy", "daughter" and "baby" and I was debating if to add "daddy" or not. On the one hand she doesn't have a daddy so why make her play this kind of imaginary game, that is why cause her to feel bad about it. On the other hand I do want her to feel normal and comfortable about who she is, including the fact that she doesn't have a daddy. Not to feel that it is something to hide or to be ashamed of so I think I should play this theme with her, but I really don't know, don't want to push her but don't want to ignore it.

Wednesday, 16 April 2014

Oh, I know I haven't been here in way too long. Unfortunately I hardly have time. We are doing fine - Butterfly is such an amazing little kid, and the things she says :-)

video
Just wanted to put here this short video of my crazy little girl being soaked by her cousin [I see kids on FB dressed nicely, hair tied up and everything is so neat and tidy, and I think how nice these kids look, but they are so not my kid! This is my kid; having fun playing with water, and earlier in mud, being barefooted (and changing clothes many times)]

Tuesday, 18 February 2014

"I want a daddy"

Our first. Upon telling her the very sad news that a girl from our homeschooling group has just lost her father (I don't know how old he was, but he was a young guy. It seems he had a heart attack while playing basketball. I was so shocked and sad to hear the news), upon telling her about it and stupidly saying that now E has only a mummy [okay, there is a learning curve also for parents..] Butterfly said she wanted a daddy. I did explain that she never had one and probably never will [I do not see myself in the future with a guy let alone a guy that could be a father to my daughter]. I asked if she was sad about it and she said yes.
It was a very short conversation and we quickly moved on. She did not cry or seem too sad. I was thinking - yes, it is my fault you do not have a daddy, but also - if it weren't for me, you would not have been born.
[and can't stop thinking of the 5 yr old girl (and her baby brother and mother) who will grow up without a daddy - how in some ways it is the same as us, but how it is very much different.]

Saturday, 15 February 2014

What are fairies made from?


  • Purim is soon and I'm making Butterfly a fairy costume. At first we were going to be Bye-Bye Kitty (who would have a purple face = daughter's favourite colour, as opposed to Hello Kitty with her white face....), but fairies is the new thing! So I finished her skirt. Now I have to do my skirt, and then figure out how to do the wings and a wand (the wand shouldn't be a problem, it's the wings I'm not sure how..).And oh yes, we are both dressing up. My mother said that was weird. I think it is nice for a mother and daughter to dress up together.
  • Speaking of fairies.. She asked my mother the other day what are fairies made from (I wasn't around). It seems my mother told her fairies are not real. Hmmm.. Perhaps it was a good thing mother told me this only after I gave my answer. Because fairies are not real? What about the Tooth Fairy? I know we have a few years for that, but I am pondering whether I go with the Tooth Fairy or not. Anyway, since we have a book about how she came to be (sperm donor + IVF) and she sometimes asks me what was she made from, and since I explain that she was made from an egg and a sperm - I chose to tell her that fairies are made from sperm and an egg and fairy dust. Not sure if that would be the best answer, but that is what I came up with..
    Later my mother comes with a Disney DVD about fairies telling me there is an explanation in it of how fairies are made. Hmmm.. No. No, as I already gave my daughter an explanation and no because I really would rather not have my daughter watch a Disney movie.
  • A dog!! We have a dog :-). [okay, technically he is my mother's]. I love that my child is growing up with animals. We have two cats (Michelle and Cat) and now my mum's dog. My sister who lives next door has two dogs (the younger one, Lola, sharing my daughter's birthday!). Both our dog [Flippy, as my daughter named him..] and Lola are best friends which is wonderful! 
  • We had/have a bit of a social issue. We meet with our homeschooling group once or twice a week. But for various reasons we didn't come for some time. When we came back she would not play with any of the kids, saying they are not her friends and that they do not want her. Now it is not like before she was great friends with the other kids, but she would go along and try to join. Speaking with other mothers they talked about the importance of having a play-date with only one kid, so that when the kids meet with everyone, they have someone they know a bit more. Finally I arranged a play-date with this other girl (H). They played wonderfully together! Unfortunately since then Butterfly was a bit ill and couldn't go to the homeschooling meetings or to H (as we planned).
  • And speaking of being ill.. A bit of coughing and a temperature (mainly at night). Mostly she was fine as she usually is when ill but still I had to stay at home with her (so she doesn't pass it on to others). Grrrr... a whole week of not meeting with other kids.. 
  • Today she was playing with her cousin who lives next door. It is so fun to watch the two girls play together. They can spend hours running around playing whatever. Love that!
  • Yesterday Butterfly rode with me on my bike! That is a big yay because a couple of months ago I tried to re-introduce my bike to her. I used to take her on my bike, but then she got her balance bike and for about a year and a half my bike was put aside. Well, I took her for a ride and she got scared and didn't want anymore. My bike since was not talked about. Anyway yesterday my little monkey was climbing on my bike in order to get to her boot that was stuck in a high bush (my bike being parked right under that bush) and since she was there she said lets ride. We did a little ride (unfortunately after all this time sitting idle, my bike needs air!) which was great. So yay for my little girl who overcame her fear :-).
  • And last of all I will tell you that my sister just had a baby and how I feel ever so jealous. Yes, I do have a child, and I am so lucky to have her and so grateful. I know that some of my readers don't yet have even one child and here am I feeling complaining about a second child. And tomorrow we are to visit my sister and new born for the first time. I do not want to go. I do not want to see this baby. I do not want to hear about the birth [a home birth :-(. I would love to have a home birth]. I do not want to look at new-born pictures of the older kids and wow about their similarities. I just don't want to go, but I will, and I will fake it, oh well..

Tuesday, 21 January 2014

Tu Bishvat

That is the new year for trees (yes, we have a new year for trees :-) ) and a day we celebrate by planting (and eating dried fruit).

So Butterfly and I did some planting

Hope you can see the tree we just planted :-). It is probably a cypress, but did you know that pines live about 400 years! [those are the two types of trees that were given out to be planted].

[This would be my first Tu Bishvat in many years that I do something :-) And it was a nice day!]

P.S
Thank you for commenting on my previous post!