Rachel's little class performed at the once a month Tot Shabbat at our temple. She was so excited to sing her little heart out, wear her new fancy outfit, and enjoy the yummy treats provided after the performance. We made a big deal out of it (as we should) and had a special dinner with real table decorations, fake wine for the blessings (for the kids anyway- it's me we're talking about here) and a challah and everything. She is going to Jewish preschool afterall.
One of the songs is called "I've Got that Shabbat Feeling" and the kids sing that line followed by a different part of the body. Sort of the hebrew version of "Head, Shoulders , Knees and Toes". Funny thing is, the hebrew word for body is Goof. So now, Rachel is running around singing about having a feeling all over her goof. And I say You're being such a silly body!" (get it?)
Emily snapped this picture of me...not bad , huh? I was lookin' all (read: fairly) rested and proud of my little girl singing her guts out about having that feeling all over her 'goof' . She worked so hard to remember all the words and arm movements. It was adorable!
Or should I say - she was adorable. The other kids - I could do without. Or should I say their parents anyway.
I have to bitch about something (again, it's me, you didn't click over the Lollipops and Roses, did you?) I was emabrrassed to be part of that group. As soon as we entered the synagogue - our temple, our place of worship, G-d's house if you will - it was complete mayhem. Imagine 25 four and five year olds and their dozen siblings literally running amok all over the place. Screaming and banging things , and literally trashing their temple. And where were the parents? Sitting and chatting and photographing and completely IGNORING their little heathans. I was mortified at their complete and utter disrespect for where they were. I am not just saying this, but my 2 children were the only ones not misbehaving. Not that they weren't tempted to join the mob ... but Hubby and I wouldn't allow it. So they sat, shocked as we were and watched the scene. Even during the performance there was no control of the situation.
I don't know why some parents think they will scar their little ones for life if they set boundaries and make rules. I believe children want them. But if given no options (and I don't mean "if you sit down nicely and behave, you'll get XYZ") - they will go berserk and learn that that is okay to do. I am not saying that parents should yell and scream at their kids, but have we become so permissive that bribery is the only way elicit desired behavior? What about teaching simple respect and morality?
I lost total respect for the parents of our preschool class that day. And, sadly, a little bit for the Rabbi and Director of the preschool as well. They didn't ask the parents to control their kids. They didn't ask the kids to sit down or calm down. They just stood there with their mouths wide open. In shock. Trying to talk or lead the performance over the brats and their equally as rude parents.
Afterwards, I spoke to the Rabbi. He said his hands are tied. When the kids are at school, his staff is in charge of their behavior. But when the parents are around - the parents are in charge.
What a shame he has no chutzpah (the yiddish word for balls).
Maybe he doesn't want to offend anyone by asking them to control their monsters. Maybe he's afraid of losing members (who pay dearly to belong to the community). But if I were a new family who was even thinking about joining or sending my child to the preschool (at a hefty pricetag I might add), I don't think that experience would have encouraged me to join.
I said to the Rabbi (who, I might add, I beat the pants off of at the Poker Tournament last year - and for that alone - I am going to hell in a Moses basket) "This is your house (and partly mine as I am a member)- and there is nothing wrong asking parents to respect where they are keep a handle on their kids."
I wouldn't invite any one of them to my house, that's for sure. And let me tell you all something- If you are invited to my house we have three simple rules.
1) No using the house or furniture as gymnastics equipment.
2) Respect one another's personal space (stay inside your bubble)
3) And, we don't throw anything here except kisses, balloons or up.
*I'm done fretting over this...it's been weighing heavy on my mind the last few days and I thought if I posted about it - it would come off holier than thou, or anti-religion, or uber conservative. Hope it didn't.
----------On a lighter note - Emily's 9th Birthday party was on Sunday. We had it at a local bowling alley and they turn on the disco lights and black lights and neon alley strips and call it an Atomic Bowling. It was really fun. She had invited about 12 kids (11 girls and 1 boy) and their parents and sibs brought the total to about 20 all in. Emily was a charming hostess and is learning how to 'work the room' fairly well at her age.
This is Emily's little 'friend' that she swears she doesn't 'like-like', Andrew. She was more excited to see him at her party than she was to get cake or presents or being the center of attention. You can't feel the heat of her rosy red blushing cheeks through your monitors, but trust me - Andrew is her first crush "fo' realz!". He is actually quite a sweet and well mannered young boy. His mom tells me that when they talk on the phone, Andrew goes up to his room to have the conversations. I make Emily sit in front of me so there's no secret chit chat. At her party, I caught them 'hiding' in a corner of the game room at the bowling alley. My first thought was - "Oh Shit! They're kissing!" Crisis averted. They were only in one of those photo booths trying to shove 3 crumpled up dollar bills in to get a bad picture. Phew! I told them I would take a good shot of them and give each one of them a copy (read: post it on my blog ) so they wouldn't have to waste their allowance money.
Later that afternoon, after she opened all her presents, wrote all the Thank You notes and started playing one of her new Nintendo DS games...she said it was the best party ever.
I looked at my little girl and looked around her room at the complete mess of 'things' she has accumulated. I realized at that moment that I have to start dealing with the whole 'growing up ' thing. The changes that happen to your body and emotions . Oy Vey. I've skirted it for too long. 1/2 her little 9 year old friends have boobs already. Crap. I've got to hit the bookstore for a modern day version of Our Bodies Ourselves for her. And me.
I said to her last night - "Emily , you have a desk under all this crap, so why do you do your homework on your bed?" She said " Because there is no room on my desk" To which I said - "okay, next project is to sort through all of the jewelry, sea shells, pencil shavings, eraser nubs, note pads, books and other things that are on this desk and get organized. How can you deal with all this stuff all over the place? " Emily , being a young lady with a quick wit and sharp mind (like mother like daugher) says "Mom, I am only 9 - I don't have to be anal retentive like you."
As I tucked her in and kissed her goodnight - I said " Boopie, when are you going to realize that things would be so much easier if you did it my way!"
She says - "You mean, you'd be easier on me if I did things your way"
Touche baby, touche.