Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Mommy and Daddy Camp: Merely a Suggestion

Living close (REALLY close) to my kids has allowed me to re-live many of my own parenting moments.  Watching them go through all of the stages of raising their families is a hoot. 

I'll be the first to say that they are WAY better parents than I was (I only speak for myself here) as I am by nature an extremely impatient person.....and.....let's just leave it at that.  But hey they turned out OK, so someone somewhere did something right, probably their teachers and the parents of their friends.

Aside from the parenting observations, I love watching them as couples, joking around, talking seriously, being affectionate.  It is a great feeling seeing my offspring create beautiful lives of their own.

That said, I ache for them and their busy lives.  They are constantly running, running, running, what with school, work, and home.  They need a break.  So the kids have camp in the summer, time to re-charge their batteries, enjoy life, blah blah blah.  And what do Mommy and Daddy get?  Nada.  They have an even tougher time of it during the summer, what with the lack of schedule and all, and when they go on vacation, well as a great blogger said recently, for parents, it's not a vacation, it's a trip.

So I'd like to suggest that parents attend Mommy and Daddy Camp (M&DC) at least once a day.  That's right, once a day.

Before I tell you what it is, let me tell you its advantages so that you can become really interested and keep reading;

  1. It does not require a babysitter
  2. It does not require the kids to be asleep or even out of the room or even quiet!
  3. It can be done anywhere at all
  4. It takes less than a minute

Here are the instructions for Mommy and Daddy Camp:

  1. Sit down next to each other.
  2. Put the phones and computer far away from you.
  3. Look at each other.
  4. Say "hi."
  5. Smile
  6. Say "I missed you today."
  7. Smile again

That's it.  It should take all of 3.5 seconds.  But hopefully, if neither of you starts giggling or gets distracted by the beep of a text message (seriously, people, let it go for a minute) you  may be surprised at how good you feel after it.

And all of this at no cost to you!  And.....your kids will see you doing it and will remember it.  Yes, they will remember it.

No need to thank me.  I'm here for you.

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Storage Wars

That's it.  I am starting a new protest movement, Closets for Israelis.

I do not know why Israeli apartments are built without any storage whatsoever, but please - people, figure out that we need to put things away and build things in which to put them and don't make us have to buy such things after we move in.

I know, I was spoiled - our last real domicile in Baltimore was a huuuuuuuuge condo that had more storage than we needed, especially after we performed THE GREAT GARDENWICK ROAD PURGE OF 2006 and cleaned out our big house before moving to said condo. ["What IS this?"  "Your college philosophy notes from 1973." "Oh." "Do you want to keep them?" "No, of course not...*sigh*."]

During unpacking after a big move, you always get to the point where there is stuff still unopened, and here is the conversation:
  • What's in there?
  • No idea.
  • Think it's something we need?
  • Nah.
  • Let's leave it in there and if we find out we need it we'll open it.
  • OK!  Wheee!  
  • So let's push that box under that table!  Now we can't see it!
  • Wheeee!

And said box stays under said table for.....a very long time.

I was so happy to have MOST of our stuff unboxed that I decided that I actually LOVED having those random boxes hidden under tables, and had no need to move/open them.

Then they started talking to me.  I am not making this up.
  • Susan, we are still unopened.
  • You cannot live with plastic tubs hidden everywhere, this is not normal, and you know it annoys you.
  • Also, maybe we have something you want
  • In any event, we don't like living this life of uncertainty.
  • Just open us up and decide if we live or die.  We can take it.
Thus began my own personal version of Storage Wars.  Which ended up in our paying a very nice man many, many shekel to build closets for us.  Like every other Israeli.  [Oh, you are wondering about our roomy machsan (storage unit) in the garage?  Hahaha!  That thing is so packed that we haven't found our pesach dishes for two years.  So let's just not go there.]

So some stuff is actually put away.  Some plastic tubs still grace our apartment.  And our bedroom is still the old person's version of a college dorm - knock-down dressers, bathroom rugs on the floor masquerading as "carpet" and an overstuffed walk-in closet.  To think that in Baltimore we had an entire dressing room in our condo.

Well as people say, living here forces into a more simple lifestyle, which isn't so terrible.  And I'm not asking for luxury, really I'm not.  I. Just. Wanted. A. Couple. Of. Closets.

If you want to donate to the cause, please send your tax deductible contributions to ....oh never mind just send me more plastic tubs.

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Lamed Tet....Halachot of Our Marriage

Today we celebrate our 39th anniversary.  It does NOT seem like just yesterday that we were married - these have been 39 very full, busy years - good stuff, bad stuff, sad, happy, blah blah.

So in honor of the occasion I have created 39 halachot for our marriage.  Some repeat, which is OK because it is my blog and I get to make the rules.

1.Laugh. A lot.
2.Nothing is that important.
3.Don’t assume.
5.Watch a lot of television
6.Watch a lot of violent shows
7.Watch a lot of violent movies
8.Appreciate “I Love Lucy” as the best show ever.
9.Read during dinner (when the kids are grown and out of the house).
10.Don’t throw away the foil square that is used for instant oatmeal cooking.
11.Keep the toilet seat down.
12.Make sure the tablecloth is even.
13.Make sure the blanket is even.
14.Allow the other person to clean out your pocketbook.
15.Go to lots of malls.
16.Make aliyah.
17.Agree that “Breaking Bad” is the best TV show ever.
18.Agree that “The Wire” is the best TV show ever.
19.Always watch “Dr. Zhivago” when it is on TV.
20.Scratch the other person’s back whenever they want you to.
21.Never mind #20, it ain’t gonna happen.
23.Share your popcorn.
24.Get cable (when the kids are grown and out of the house)
25.Only one person gets to worry at a time. The other person has to say it is going to be all right even though the other person does not believe it. And the first person knows that the other person doesn’t believe it.
26.Go out to restaurants. A lot.
27.Finally get a bright red car.
29.Enjoy the other person’s socks.
30.When the other person says, “You know what they say….” you have to answer “It ain’t the heat, it’s the humidity.” Every. Single. Time.
31.Laugh at the stupid jokes that you have heard for 39 years. And mean it.
32.Still feel a little excited when the other person comes in the door. Just a little, it’s enough.
33.Know that with all of his/her annoying habits, obnoxious traits, and gross bodily activities, you do not want to live with anyone else.
34.Laugh at just the thought of his/her annoying habits, obnoxious traits, and gross bodily activities.
36.Watch the other person when they don’t know you are watching and think, “Huh. I guess he/she is ok.” Do this at least on your anniversary.
37.Congratulate yourselves that your kids did not grow up to be serial murderers. If your kids did grow up to be serial murderers, forgive yourselves, it wasn’t your fault.
38.Don’t look at pictures from when you were young. It’s depressing and you’re so not that person anymore anyway.