Paging JFK.

Maybe this isn’t very nice because once upon a time, I was just starting out, making aliyah, making ends meet, figuring it all out.

But at the same time, I don’t think I was ever a brat.

I’m just tired of hearing about/from people who are debating whether to make aliyah, but the angle they come from is what can the country to do for me? over what is my strategy for making this a successful aliyah?

It’s crucial, at least for most people, to be cautious and weigh the options – in my opinion, realistic, flexible, open-minded aliyah is more likely to succeed. And of course, a flair for brutal honesty, a sense of humor, and a decent set of employable skills help. I don’t think the strategy for aliyah in itself is to see how much the country would pay you, what the government would give you, how Israel will make you not regret moving here.

It comes down to: don’t come to live in Israel if you’re coming with the idea that you’re owed. I don’t think you will enjoy your experience here. Like anywhere else in the world, you have to make it work in Israel – job, health, housing, opportunity.

The only thing guaranteed when you’re handed your teudat zehut is a plastic sleeve.

(And that will rip in time).

Update: I enjoyed this post by One Tired Ema which emulates a similar line of thinking.

Koala update: Twenty one months.

I’m having a hard time believing we’re three months to two-years-old. I’m having a harder time believing we’re three months to two children.

It’s a really great time for Koala lately. The teeth are in, the whining has been at a minimum, we’ve learned more about identifying his moods, words, wants and needs to avoid meltdowns.

Well, at least for now. A lot of my time with Koala lately (aside from enjoying every second of this age) has been wondering how the Ultimate Meltdown post-NewBaby will play out. Well, it’ll be what it’ll be.

For now…

Social life and public speaking.

The visit to Australia did wonders for Koala’s social life and public speaking. Hanging with eight cousins for four weeks (and all the squealing and hugging and emoting that comes with it) opened Koala up even more than he already was. And between Huz and I, we know it’s clearly not genetic, so go figure.

The word count soars every day (the latest: ‘cheese and vegemite!’). We even have a couple of phrases – ‘don’t want,’ and one of my favorites – ‘aww, man!’ Obviously I taught him ‘dude’ and obviously he says it in a way that sounds like an Israeli arse trying to look cool in New York. The most fun word to hear him say is ‘juice.’ It comes out like ‘jooshz.’

And better yet, combining both achievements, Koala can now say both his girlfriends’ names (Shira and Talia).

Introducing’pee!’ and ‘poo!’

Hello there, have you met our new friends, Pee and Poo? Koala has, and I’m finding that:

  1. He likes to make their presence known.
  2. He likes to accompany Mama when she, well, you know.
  3. He insists on trying the toilet out for himself when nature’s call rings.

So, armed with a Sesame Street mini toilet seat (Elmo! Ernie!), we give it a shot every once in a while. Mainly going through the motions (and diapers). I think we’re going to take it one day at a time; the Big Shakeup in April is enough for one tiny toddler to handle (see above, Ultimate Meltdown).

Bathing Beebee

But it’s not all Meltdowns and Shakeups around here. For a little while now we have been getting Koala acquainted with ‘Beebee’ (it’s how he pronounces baby). ‘Mama’s beebee’ refers to my bulging belly. ‘Bath with Beebee’ is nightly quality time for Koala and his little baby doll. And any photo of Koala before six months ago is quickly labeled ‘beebee’ (how they forget so fast…).

Happy Australia Day, by the way.

Back to gan.

We got back from Australia/Hong Kong late Monday night, kept off the radar yesterday and went back to respective offices/gans today.

The report from Koala’s ganenet was – shockingly good, for a kid who doesn’t sleep much on airplanes.

  • He is definitely taller than when he left.
  • He went to the play kitchen and did netilat yadayim with a cup in the sink – just like his Bubbe taught him every day in Australia.
  • He hugged all the kids.
  • He asked for things he wanted using words – food, water, etc.
  • He pointed to each motzetz and matched it with the kid it belongs to, from memory, along with their sippie cups.
  • He kissed the mezuza (and forced me to kiss it) on the way out.

So much about being away, being with family, being with eight cousins, really did a lot for Koala. He’s opened up, he’s expressing, he’s figuring things out, and he’s gotten over his fear of monkeys.

More on that later; I’m jet lagged.

DYK? Australian Etiquette dictates…

I’m enjoying the bizarrity of finding this book at the State Library of Victoria today:

Published in 1885, it’s pretty thorough on the type of behavior expected from true-blue Aussie ladies and gentlemen. How to propose marriage, how to accept or reject them. How to grow your beard, how to deal with hangnails.

I like today’s Australia better – struth!