Thursday, October 17, 2013

Journey to the Gan Birthday 2013

Beginning of October

Knowing that my parents are coming in from Boston for a visit to Israel within two weeks, and hearing every day from Raphaela about her Gan birthday party, I asked her teacher to finalize a date for the party, asking that it coincide with my parent's visit.

One Week Later

I (and three other parents) receive an email describing what we must bring for the celebration, and that we should "work it out amongst yourselves" as to who brings what.  Acknowledging that Raphaela's teacher must have a reason for having four children share the day, I inquire as to whether two or three might be a more optimal number than four, which I believe robs each individual birthday prince and princess of their time to enjoy the attention and bask in the spotlight.

I am told, "Don't worry, it will all work out."  The teacher then reminded the group that we must make a special cake for one of the girls in the class, "M" who is "deathly allergic to everything."

The email starts a flurry of correspondences and phone calls back and forth, in which one parent (not me, and I thought I was a control freak) decides that she is going to take care of "mostly everything."

Six Days Before Party (BP)

Having received a recipe for a cake "M", it occurs to us that there are two children in the class who have gluten sensitivity, and that they cannot eat anything with flour.  Now we are making both a hypo-allergenic and gluten-free dessert. (Yum?)

Four Days BP

Apparently one of the mothers really wants to be the boss of everyone, make all the decisions and take on most of the work by herself.  I have been given the job of making individual salads for the individual picnic baskets, almost 40 in total.  That's a lot of chopping vegetables.

I suddenly realize that on Wednesday night I have a Chiropractic Board Meeting in Tel Aviv.  Somewhere between Wednesday and Thursday I must do a major shop, including our regular weekly list, stocking up food for my parents' arrival, and the birthday party.  My parents arrive some time Thursday, and on Friday morning we celebrate in Gan.  Then, sometime before Shabbat, I must cook for Shabbat as well. With no wiggle room for breathing or sleeping those three days, I am getting dizzy just thinking about it.

Two Days BP

After two separate trips to the supermarket, I have still forgotten certain items for the party on Friday, d'oh!  And in honor of the occasion of me being stuck in Tel Aviv for a late night meeting, Raphaela will have her first ever, in her whole life sleepover at a friend's house this evening.  (I am not counting as a sleepover the several days that Raphaela stayed with friends when I was in the hospital recuperating from my emergency appendectomy.)

Somehow, between my very specific instructions to the teacher in the morning - "Here is a special bag for today, please make sure that Raphaela takes it with her when she gets picked up and taken home with her friend." -  and my specific instructions to the baby sitter -"I have left a large blue Barnard College tote bag with a B at Gan.  Please make sure you pick it up, it contains her pajamas, her toothbrush and hair brush, and a favorite toy."- you guessed it.  The bag is no where, lost somewhere in Jerusalem between my house, the Gan and the baby sitter.  I will have to search for it tomorrow, because I have so much time while I am getting ready for my parents arrival.

One Day BP

The overnight bag?  Exactly where I left it in the Gan the morning before.

Spent the afternoon creating individual salads for the birthday party tomorrow, and only started getting bored toward the end.  So I pumped up the volume on my motivational music CD, with classics like "Eye of the Tiger" and "We Are the Champions", and finished the job.  Then I started the chicken soup for Shabbat, and felt very house frau, tired, but happy.

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