That’s a long diaper-change.

“Ok, Beebs, let’s stop here on the side of this shop and get that diaper changed… Man, that’s a big one! Lady you are not…”


“Oh, the bomb siren drill. Weird that it’s a siren and we don’t have to stand at attention, eh, Beebs? Actually, no one is even close to taking this seriously… Check out those soldiers strolling along Emek Refaim like it’s all totally normal… Where are the wipes?”


“Did I not bring enough diapers? Oh, there we go. Yeah, there’s actually no one on the street so maybe people just went inside places. There’s a bus, floating by…”


“Beebs, what would I do if it was real? Am I the kind of mother who would take you and run? Go anywhere but here? Is that right? Am I the kind of mother who would stay? And hug you in bomb shelters till it was over?”


“I dunno, girl. I really don’t know. That’s a lot of poo, and the siren is still going and I’m still cleaning you up. We suck at this, Beebs.”


“And, boooom.”

When it's not a drill.

It was about 10 o’clock and I finally had the boy calm and rocking in my arms, reading superficial feature stories in the cyber New York Times. I was between starting breakfast and finishing breakfast, because Koala really needed to be held.

Then I heard The Siren pierce my world outside.

For a split second I thought, what’s today? and then I shot up, grabbed my phone and his pacifier with my free hand, and dashed up the stairs to the mamad. I practically dropped Koala on the bed, slammed the door, and went for the window. The window is stubborn, and at a certain point I just let it go; I experienced the nothing could possibly happen to me I have a little innocent baby here rationalization. And besides, Koala was crying too hard so I picked him up and sat in the corner of the room by the door, staring outside at the sunny day.

Note: Never let sunny days fool you – a sunny Tuesday in 2001 changed everything for the worse.

The siren finally ended and I just kept staring while my mind raced, what comes next?

I remembered my phone next to me and called my husband, at work in Jerusalem.

“Did you just have a siren in Jerusalem?”

“A siren? No…”

“We just had a siren.”

“What kind of siren?”

“A bomb siren.”

He checked the news, and lo and behold, a siren drill was posted at 8 am to take place at 10 am in the Beit Shemesh region.

Thankyouverymuch. I don’t read real news anymore.

But now I know what it’s like when (you think) it’s not a drill.

My heart is still racing and the taste of vomit lingers in the back of my throat.