Monthly Archives: June 2011

School Year is Practically Over

Our first academic year in Monsey will be officially over on Thursday. What a ride it has been! A phenomenal year was had by all the InThePink kids.

Lenny graduates 10th grade and is counting down the two years he has left in school – he plans to make aliyah, and join the Israeli Army. He is working this summer in the Catskills, turns 16 next month, and is way too grown up for me to accept.

Squiggy has graduated 8th grade and finished his elementary / middle school career. We had a lovely graduation for him and his class on Sunday night at which the entire class had the chance to give a speech. He gave over his part so confidently – I think he may indeed have a future in public speaking. He’s looking forward to high school.

HockeyFan is leaving 7th grade and entering his last year in elementary / middle school. We have to start considering high school options for him – didn’t I just do this? Oh yeah, that was for Squiggy. But it is wonderful to have schools to choose from.

Chatterbox is going into 4th grade and growing like a weed. He is already talking about learning to drive and his barmitzvah and is in such a rush to grow up. I want him to stay little and sweet forever.

They will enjoy their summer off – no camp. Or actually,Camp Ima. When they are here. They are lucky enough to be up in Montreal for part of the summer – so the KoD and I will have some time to ourselves. Knowing us, we’ll be working, but hopefully will take some time off to take a short trip or two.

This will be my first summer juggling working at home and children around  – I plan to rise early (5 am) and work through till lunchtime, the kids can manage to keep themselves occupied until then, and the afternoons will be errands, parks, pools, fun etc.

I guess I had better stock up on coffee.

So how was the school year for your kids? What are your summer plans?

Waking up is hard to do

I get up earlier than the kids, so I can get caffeinated in peace and quiet and slowly open my eyes at my own pace. That’s the idea, anyway. I don’t get adequately caffeinated until about 4 in the afternoon but that’s a different story.

I am a grump in the mornings. And it takes me a long time to be articulate. A long time and a lot of coffee.

But the nine year old wakes up raring to go. He bounces out of bed, questions pouring out of him. He’s bubbly and energetic and so happy with his life. I want to embrace that and encourage it – but but but he’s so………… perky. And it’s early. And I just need more coffee.

But I know this won’t last. At some point in the next couple of years he will develop into a morning kvetch just like his brothers and have to be pushed and prodded out of bed. He will be monosyllabic and non-conversational – and I will still complain.

Pass the coffee. And the grumpitol.

Wednesday’s Wacky Signs

What defines picky?

I love when my readers send me questions – I am going to answer this one briefly, and then turn it over to you, my loyal and knowledgeable blog readers.

Hi,

I stumbled upon your blog and had a question for the Royal Highness QoH. How many [shidduch] dates is it normal for a guy to go on? I’m trying to determine at what point does one get the title ‘picky’.

Your humble servant,

Y

Well Y, you give me no indication of your age, but I am going to assume you are a young man at that time in his life when school is over, and it’s time to settle down and get married, have kids, take on a mortgage and pay tuition. (Run while you can – j/k).

You are looking for a woman who will share the rest of your life with you – 50 plus years. Pickiness, I would think, needs to be present in some form or another, otherwise you’d marry the first girl that came along, whether or not she’s right for you.

Now, if the reason you are rejecting certain girls is a petty one (she’s not a size 4 or her eyes are the wrong colour), then yes, you may label yourself as “picky” but if you are dating, going out, but the magic isn’t happening yet – don’t despair. Sometimes it takes a while to find the right one. (A friend of mine dated 57 men. She married the 58th – does that make her picky?)

I will tell you this – dating is frustrating for sure, and add in the societal pressure in our communities to be married – oy – but you have to do things at your own pace so you get it right.

Look, Y, I finally found my KoD – and he was worth all the stress and the dating horror stories and the angst and the whole ball of wax. Hang in there, stay focused and good luck.

So readers, can you weigh in? What would you like to tell Y?

Happy Father’s Day KoD

This song is written from a step-child’s point of view – and it gets me choked up every time.

KoD – you are our everything, the most awesome father and stepfather a child could ever have. Thank you  from the bottom of our hearts for all you do for all of us, and for taking on the boys with an open heart.

Happy Father’s Day!

Lyrics:

When a single mom goes out on a date with somebody new
It always winds up feeling more like a job interview
My momma used to wonder if she’d ever meet someone
Who wouldn’t find out about me and then turn around and run

I met the man I call my dad when I was five years old
He took my mom out to a movie and for once I got to go
A few months later I remember lying there in bed
I overheard him pop the question and prayed that she’d say yes

And then all of a sudden
Oh, it seemed so strange to me
How we went from something’s missing
To a family
Lookin’ back all I can say
About all the things he did for me
Is I hope I’m at least half the dad
That he didn’t have to be

I met the girl that’s now my wife about three years ago
We had the perfect marriage but we wanted somethin’ more
Now here I stand surrounded by our family and friends
Crowded ’round the nursery window as they bring the baby in

And now all of a sudden
It seemed so strange to me
How we’ve gone from something’s missing
To a family
Lookin’ through the glass I think about the man
That’s standin’ next to me
And I hope I’m at least half the dad
That he didn’t have to be

Lookin’ back all I can say
About all the things he did for me
Is I hope I’m at least half the dad
That he didn’t have to be

Yeah, I hope I’m at least half the dad
That he didn’t have to be
Because he didn’t have to be
You know he didn’t have to be

What’s that on your neck?

(Blogged with permission)

My Lenny was staying over at friends last night – school is finishing up, and the living is easy. He walked in just now – huge band aid on his neck.

Funny story, Ima, he says, fingering his band aid. It’s just a bruise.

Last night his friend was playing around with a paintball gun in the woods (don’t even get me started on that), thought it was empty and fired it in Lenny’s direction. A pellet hit him in the neck. Didn’t hurt, says my tough soon-to-be 16 year old.

He woke up this morning, and his friend’s  brother took one look at him and made some kind of comment about him having a fun night last night. My son, being oh so innocent (and don’t disabuse me of this notion because I will need to take a powder and lie down) told his friends that he failed to understand the comment. They explained to him that it looked like a hickey.

Ok at this point I burst into laughter. I mean, covering up a bruise with a band aid just so no one would think he had a hickey!! Everyone knows he doesn’t hang out with girls. (again, don’t disabuse me of this notion because I will need to take a powder and lie down). He’s a good yeshiva boy. But yeah, he has school tomorrow and it wouldn’t look good for him to walk into school with it – you know how teenaged boys are. But having the band aid draws attention to it.

As he is walking away he asks me – Ima, if I had told you it WAS a hickey would you have believed me? I pondered for a moment, and said “no”. He wasn’t sure if he should be flattered that I trust him or insulted that I think he doesn’t know any girls.

He doesn’t, right?

Who should pay?

It’s the end of the school year and the kids have many trips. To the lake, to the pizza shop – ten bucks here, ten there – it does add up.

My 8th grader is graduating and moving on to high school. (Give me a second, I am verklempt just thinking about it). His grade is being taken on a graduation trip where they will do stuff like white water rafting and rock climbing. I am so totally envious – I even asked him if they needed mommies to come.

Anyhow, this is a big trip, subsidized but still costing plenty of money. Not your ten dollar trip to the pizza store. I can’t not let him go – he has worked so hard this year, he has earned this trip, but yes, it’s tough on the wallet – especially with all the schools wanting the registration fees for the next academic year by the end of this week. (Oy to the vey on that).

My son, bless him, offered to pay something towards it because he knows that it’s a lot of money. I feel that he has no income, he has no way right now to replenish his bank account, and that was his barmitzvah money. He should keep it for something important.

I have been told by others that I should NOT pay for the whole trip and allow him to contribute. But when the boys go to the pizza store or the lake or the museum I give them the full whack. They don’t get allowance – it isn’t fair of me to expect them to cough up the money, right?

So what works in your house? Do you pay for all the trips? Do you give allowance and expect the kids to pay for everything out of that? How does it work? Talk to me, folks.

Budding Lawyer

I shlepped little Prince Chatterbox with me to Stop and Shop today (I know, rookie mistake….but he wanted to “help”) and reminded him of our rule when shopping with Ima. You can only ask for ONE thing that costs under $2, so it must be something you really want. (This cuts down on them asking for everything they see).

So he chose a 2 litre 99c bottle of red drink (oy, sugar and water and coloring. Shudder) and said he was ok with that. Next aisle. Chewing gum. 99 cents. He stands still and ponders.

Then asks “Ima, can I have the gum too?”

-Um, mini-dude, you chose the punch drink.

-Yeah, I know, but that’s to share with EVERYONE on Shabbat. It’s really only a quarter mine, and the brothers will be so thrilled I bought something for them. Please may I have the gum? {and he fluttered his eyelashes at this point}

-No. Well, you are being very sweet and manipulative. And you make a good point.  But well, no.

I walked away feeling like I had been so mean – a rule is a rule, though…. And turned back and said to him – “oh ok then, but don’t ask me for anything else. It’s only because you made a logical argument and I am a soft touch”.

He didn’t ask for anything the rest of the time in the store.

Would you have given in?

Consideration – not all it’s cracked up to be

Last night my son had a barmitzvah to attend. This year they have been attending parties and dinners so often the excitement should have worn off – luckily for them, it hasn’t!

I always offer to drive him and his friends to the venue as I like to get to bed on the early side. I don’t want to have to shlepp out at 10 pm to go pick up a bunch of over stimulated thirteen year olds. The other parents are more than willing – we all help each other out.

Even though I like to be in bed early, if one of the boys is not home, I will not go to sleep until everyone is tucked up in bed.

Last night, it was gone 11 and he still wasn’t home, which was highly unusual. I hadn’t heard him come in – they are not so quiet at this age.

I fretted a little bit wondering why he was out so late, and then decided to go check if maybe he came home and we hadn’t heard him.

There was a teenaged size lump in his bed, but I had to rouse it to make sure it was HockeyFan. Ridiculously at 11 at night I though perhaps one of the other boys was sleeping in his bed – they look similar in the dark!! He had crept in sometime earlier, and said he hadn’t wanted to wake us, so he went straight to bed. I am glad our boy is so considerate – but I needed to know he was home! I could have had more sleep.

Do kids of this age need to have a curfew when you know they are at a barmitzvah and with other kids the same age and reliant on parents to get them home? At this age I don’t recall ever being out so late.

Wednesday’s Wacky Signs