Monday, May 11, 2015


Today the Israel Museum in Jerusalem put on a 50th birthday party.  Not only was admission free for everyone, all day, but they also gave out museum-themed loot bags, created a giant cake reproduction of the museum itself, and had former President of Israel, Shimon Peres, cut the ribbon to open the birthday festivities.

Unfortunately, they did not actually plan a birthday party that was actual children-friendly.

They had one clown (one!) who functioned as the balloon animal provider, and after waiting on line for twenty minutes, Raphaela decided that it was not worth the time.

They had set up a long table, full of brightly colored drinks and special Israel Museum cupcakes for the children, and then it sat there for over two hours, guarded by one poor security guard, while parents and children clamored behind the thin barrier.

Those in charge kept insisting that they had to wait for some signal before they were allowed to serve the growing crowd of tired and frustrated children and their families.  At one point Raphaela started crying out of pure exhaustion, and immediately several mothers yelled at me for trying to manipulate the situation through tears. I tried to explain that Raphaela has never been a crier, and that I didn't plan this little show to get things moving.

Almost 45 minutes after the original schedule, the volunteers behind the barrier began tentatively giving out a glass of sticky juice and a cupcake to the children closest to the gate.  Within one minute, the parents (including regrettably, myself) had ripped away any remaining barriers and sense of order, and everyone stampeded toward the treats table.  Juice spilled, people were trampled, and for five minutes I lost Raphaela in the crowd.

Afterwards I pulled Raphaela over to the side, chastised her for getting separated from me; and when she bit into this cupcake, she said, "I don't like it.  Let's go see something at the museum."

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