Koala update: Fifteen months.

Toddler. Tired. Tantrum.

This koala update is brought to you by the letter ‘T.’

He walk-runs. He reaches tabletops. He knows what he wants and he will damn well tell you.

Also, don’t bother feeding him. He will feed himself, thankyouverymuch. With a fork. And a spoon. Simultaneously.

Language is getting fun. Not only does he recognize dogs in pictures and in real life, and called out to them (da!), but Koala also calls cats, birds and cars by the same name.

Also – shoes!!!! And ices.

We’ve gotten into water play this month. Whether in a bowl on the porch, or in a pool on another porch (we have three for some reason), splashing is fun, squirting is fun, and pouring out is funnest of them all.

The ‘terrible twos-minus-nine-months’ have begun full fledge. Koala displays two main types of tantrum poses: the Muslim (body folded, head down, fists banging the floor) and the  Shove (upright, facing you, everything in his path, pushed away).

But the sense of humor is still awesome. Even when it’s at ‘כיבוד אב ואם’ ‘s expense.

Ynet is the authority on Haredi weddings.

Ynet did it again. This isn’t the second time I’ve noticed the blatant anti-religious fervor that an Israeli newspaper is purposely trying to spread. This is the 328975623th time.

I used to actually enjoy reading Ynet. It was one of the central papers; sitting somewhere between JPost and Haaretz (in English, anyway).

Their credibility has completely been shot as in the last few years it has become repeatedly obvious that Ynet can’t control itself regarding its one-sided commentary on religious and haredi life.

Let me include a disclaimer: I’m no haredi, and I don’t look or act dati leumi. It doesn’t matter what I actually am. I’m a former newspaper reporter and I’m angry at this ridiculous, blatant, one-sided hatred pouring from Ynet’s pages.

This isn’t the best example; there are tons of others. I’m just tired. It’s this essay in Ynet about haredi weddings. Yes, it’s tongue-in-cheek. Yes, it ends in a positive light, if you get to the end and haven’t gotten bored and moved on before that. No, it is not indicated anywhere that it is meant to be humorous or satirical. It falls under the often-infuriating ‘Jewish Life’ column. Why not add a tag at the top that it’s meant to be humor? And why do your Jewish Life columns always focus on either a tiny out-of-context detail related to sections of haredi populations or poking fun at them without explaining truth?

Your audience is mostly secular, Ynet. Why fan flames of distrust, dislike and hatred on a weekly basis? Why not promote understanding, reporting the deeper stories about all kinds of demographics, the stories most Israelis on different sides don’t see?

This is who we are.

Part 1: 9:46 pm

Me: Lalalala bla bla bla.

Friend: Oh, happy anniversary.

Me: Oh, shit! It’s Tu B’Av!

Part 2: 9:50 pm

Me: Happy anniversary! I said it first!

Huz: Oh, yeah. It hasn’t been five years already, has it?

Me: It’s been four.

By the way:

We thought the extra bonus to getting married on Tu B’Av was so we would have a better chance of remembering. We thought wrong.

Zumba!

For a few years I kept seeing the word ‘zumba’ in my Facebook feed…

Ahhh! Zumba!

Just came back from zuuumbaaa!!!

I <3 Zumba 4everz!!11!!1

And I’ve had no freakin clue what everyone has been saying.

Last week, I got an email advertising Zumba on Sunday nights right here in cozy little Tzur Hadassah. So I had to break the curiosity and go.

Ok, here’s the thing: Lately, I’ve been feeling really… old. Sure, I’m chillin’ in my late 20s, but it’s a state of mind. I don’t exercise, gravity is pointing it’s forefinger at me and I find myself saying things like, “Wait till your father gets home…”

So if you’re feeling old, what better way to youthen up than to dance-aerobics to spicy Latin hip hop?

In an open school yard?

While 11-year-old boys watch you?

Israeli Zumba: It’s you, gloriously uncoordinated you, and a bunch of 40/50 year olds, sweating your hearts out at the local school, loud Spanish speakers blasting while a Russian hottie makes you move your hips in naughty ways, an audience of a dozen grade school boys on the verge of puberty watching (possibly filming, who can be sure?) – and a few actually join in behind you.

Zumba!!1!1!! I’m going back next week.

Lemonade stand.

Walking in Jerusalem today, on HaPalmach street, I spotted a 6ish year old boy operating… a lemonade stand (!)

Did you grow up in the 80s? I remember having ‘computer class’ in elementary school, which meant playing Lemonade Stand on an Apple II or Commodore 64 for 45 minutes while the teacher read a book.

This boy and his little pitcher struck such a chord with me…

(God, I feel old).

Of course, I supported his entrepreneurial spirit and bought a cup of 2-shekel lemonade. Which was extra tasty on a hot day.

Bully.

Koala comes over and yanks off my glasses.

“No! Mama is blind, c’mon…”

He bends back the left arm with his little fist. The second pair he’s ruined in a week.

“Oh, c’mon? Why you gotta be so mean?”

I go upstairs and get my next spare pair.

“Look, Koala! Do you like Mama’s ugly glasses for emergencies?”

After a sharp look of disgust, he walks off to the, apparently, cooler parent.

Wait until genetics hits you hard, Koala.

Fanning hatred on the 9th of Av.

Can someone explain to me how publishing an article about which Israeli demographic hates which other Israeli demographic is supposed to be appropriate for Tisha B’Av?

Why so negative, Ynet? Why stir the pot of hatred and conflict and darkness?

As a Jew who studied for years and years about Jewish history, as a student who spent the last few years studying conflict management, and as a mother for just over one year… I take offense at Ynet’s skewed survey and the publishing of its superficial results – so incredibly anti what the next 25 hours are about.

And if they want to make it sound like it’s something only observantly religious folks care about, their own survey proves them wrong.

The fact is, a day that is set aside in Judaism for mourning our own destruction, due to our own hatred of own people, is something the entire Jewish world – secular, religious, purple or green – should acknowledge.

This is the easiest day in the Jewish calendar to secular-ify. Teachings of tolerance, peace, treating others the way we would want to be treated…

Really? Does that not speak to you, Ynet?

It’s a shame there isn’t more outreach, programming and news related to the positive effects that are possible from the core causes for our mourning on Tisha B’Av.