Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Three Guests Meme

This Meme is from Jessica. Thanx Jessica for tagging me in the meme. It gives me a great way to write about 3 things in one post! I don’t know who else wants to do memes, but if you want to feel free to do the meme. I’ll tag Margo since I know she has done a meme before and may want to do it. I'm also tagging Sabra since she said thank you for the tag. 

3 Guests Meme:
For one day you have your choice of guests for meals; one guest for breakfast, one guest for lunch and one guest for dinner. These people may be dead or alive. Please pick one person for each meal and explain why you chose them.

Breakfast: I would chose one of the mothers I babysit for. Since she seems to always want my company. Today she called up and told me there’s a sale at some beauty salon to get a hair cut for 18 dollars. So she wanted to know if I wanted to come along with her to get a hair cut. That she would get one and I would watch her kid, and then she would stay and watch her kid while I got a hair cut. She was willing to pay for the hair cut too. Now this sounds like a great offer. But yet it sounded strange. I told her I would but I just had lots of stuff to do. I was babysitting somewhere else in the morning and didn’t get home till after 1:00. She wanted me to go with her at like 4:00. I have a lot of HW due for tomorrow and I was planning on doing it today. She was upset that I couldn’t go with her. So to make up for this time and all the other times when I wasn’t able to spend time with her, I would have breakfast with her. It would be the perfect meal in the morning while she would be eating breakfast I would just sit and listen to what she has to say. I would maybe have some cereal or nosh. This way it wouldn’t ruin the rest of my day too so I would talk with her in the morning. O, and in case it sounds like I would be talking to her unwillingly, it’s not. I really do enjoy talking with her, she always has something interesting to say and it’s always a lot of fun. She’s like the one adult that I can talk to as if she is a friend.

Lunch: I would chose my mother. I love her so much and she has been such a great mother to me, I’m so lucky to have her! I would pick lunch because it’s in middle of the day, by the fact that we both take off time from our schedule to meet makes it special. We would be undisturbed and get to catch each other up on what’s happening. My father recently found some letters I had written to my mother when I was younger, and I couldn’t believe I had written such things. It gives me a mushy feeling to read it. So I know back then I loved my mother too and I plan on always appreciating her!

Here’s the 2 letters I had written to my mother:


Dear Mommy, I know how you feel about the brace. Because I feel quite bad that she has to go through all of these things and would you mind if I could hug you and kiss you.


Dear Mommy, I hope you’re going to like your birthday invitations. Well listen out for this one. I always wanted for it to be your birthday so I could make surprises for you. And so I also could give you birthday presents. And I hope your going to have a fun time. And your going to love when you see my test tomorrow.

Dinner: I would choose Frum Skeptic. I love reading her blog and commenting back and forth with her on different posts. She always answers back and has so many smart things to say, it’s always fun debating with her. It was great talking with her at the Shabbos meal and I would think supper would be great too. The way she describes Russian food it sounds great, and supper is the perfect time to have such a meal. I would also choose supper because then we could see how long into the night the conversations last, and it would be really cool. FrumSkeptic has such great interesting stories that I would love to hear.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

The Good Babysitter

The other day there were some 15 and 16 year old guys outside in front of my house jumping on a huge tree branch that had fallen down. I heard thumping from inside my house so I went to the window to check out what’s happening. I watched them for a little bit, but then I started to get nervous that one of them will fall and get hurt. So I opened the front door, and stood there for a little to see if they will stop. After seeing them continue, I told them “I don’t think you should do that, you could get hurt”. I was so surprised when they all actually stopped and walked away without looking back or giving one response. Then a family member says to me “Babysitter, you are good, very very good, you’re like a grandmother already”. Then I started thinking, perhaps it was grandmotherly of me to go out and tell them to stop, I mean they are big kids already and they were having fun. But still, the babysitter instinct in me was looking out for the safety.

In shul by Simchas Torah it started off very cold at night, so a woman asked that I close the window. Since the window was by my seat, I closed it. But then later on more people had come in and it started getting warmer. So one mother says to me, “Is it just me or is it warm in here?”. So I told her that more people are coming in so perhaps it got warmer, so I could open the window a bit. So I reached out my hand in back of me and started pulling up the window while still facing her. So then she said “Babysitter’s good like that”. I started wondering what she meant. Then I was thinking perhaps it was because I was being sneaky by opening the window because she wanted it open while other people may still have been cold. Since, she is the mother of the triplets that I have babysat for and there were times when I was sneaky and would give the kids stuff they wanted even though the mother had said no beforehand.

Before Shul for Simchas Torah night, one of the mothers comes over to my house and asks me if I can watch her daughter while she gets dressed, and then after she gets dressed I would walk to shul with her. I asked her what time she’s leaving and she said 7:30. So I told her I was going to ask my mother what time my mother wants to go and then I will let her know, since beforehand my mother said she wanted to leave at 7:00. So then she says, “I’ll keep the door open for you, if you come”. So I asked my mother and she said we were leaving before and that I shouldn’t go over. Then when I see her in shul, she asks me what happened, that she was waiting for me. So I told her that it sounded like a condition, that I might go over if I could, not that I was for sure going to go, and I told her that we left 7:00. So then she says to me, “Babysitter, you are a good girl, when I was your age I wasn’t like that”. Then she started telling me how she would hang out till 11:00 at night with friends from college, and then go out again till 3 in the morning. That she had a phone so her mother knew how to reach her. It was funny to hear this, since her mother was my HS teacher, and it just didn’t fit with her personality.

Now, I love candy but I feel as though I’m older so I really am not supposed to get the candy they give out by Simchas Torah. So the first Nosh that they gave out I didn’t take, I figured I would let the little kids have first, so that there should be enough. Then as they came around with more stuff, I took, so I had 2 things at the end.

Now, here is where you learn to judge favorably. After Simchas Torah at night was over we all went back to our houses, and then I hear a knock on my door. One of the kids I babysit for tells me that his mother left nosh of his with me that I should take home and then give to him. I was thinking to myself, the mother didn’t give me anything, so did she honestly believe that she did? Or perhaps she knew that I had nosh, so she was hoping I would give my nosh away to him? Meanwhile my father had brought home an extra nosh cause he knows I like it, so I gave it away to him so that he shouldn’t have nothing. So the whole time it was troubling me, cause I couldn’t imagine that she would lie like that and expect me to give something up. Then the next day, I see her in shul again, and she asks me what her son said the night before when he came to my house. So I told her that he asked for nosh that I was supposed to have for him. So then she clarified it. What happened was, she told him that his nosh was in a box near where I was sitting. So then he had assumed I brought the box home with me to give to him. But I of course hadn’t known it was his box nor to take it home. But then it all worked out cause the next day he got his candy!

In shul by the night of Simchas Torah, one of the Rabbi’s sons was in the women’s section with his sister. I had seen them one day of chol hamoed on their way over to some rides, so I went over to ask if he had fun. He said he had fun, then he takes my ring off my finger and puts it on his. I let him wear it, then he puts it in his pants pocket. So I said “you made a magic trick, now its gone!”. I was going to get the ring back, but then his father came to get him to come to the men’s section. So then I was going to wait till they were done with laining or whatever they were doing. But it was getting cold, so I asked one of the boys I babysit for to ask the little kid for my ring back. So he went over to the Rabbi’s son who was sitting next to the Rabbi, and asks him for the ring, and he took it out of his pocket. I watched by the mechitza and wondered what the father was thinking as a ring comes out of his son’s pocket. Then the boy brings it over to me and I put it back on.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Foolish but yet Cool Babysitter

I know it has been suggested by Leora and Childish to have boundaries with emotinal attachment from the mothers of the kids I babysit. But yet it can be hard when they are your neighbor. You end up interacting with them much more, and it’s less of a professional relationship, it becomes more casual.

So one of the mothers invites my family over to her Succah for dessert. We were chatting and eating fruit. At one point in the conversation someone mentions how the fruits wet your appetite and that’s why they are usually served in the beginning of the meal. Then all of a sudden it clicked in my brain and I said “o, I finally get why those are called appetizers” I seriously never knew that the root word was appetite and never made the connection before. So then a family member comments to the mother “Don’t worry she only says such things around you”. Seems like I have a habit of sounding foolish in front of her. So then of course they got into the discussion of the other time when I didn’t know which was Sadam Hussein and which was Osama Bin Laden. I then assured her that now I know the difference, thanks to a commenter in Frum Skeptic’s blog who had pointed out that Osama sounds like Obama, so he’s the one that’s alive. I of course didn’t mention that I got that hint through a blog.

Then the other night I was babysitting by her house, the kids were sleeping. She called me over at 9:00, she wasn’t ready right away, so as she was putting on her sheitel and we were talking. She shows me her tights that she was wearing, they had like black vertical stripes all around. She said she was in love with them and had paid $18 for them! That sounded like a lot of money to me for a pair of tights. She said she saw a pair of tights in the store that she really loved but they were $36 so she didn’t get them, I never knew it can get that expensive. But if mothers are willing to indulge so much on a pair of tights then for sure they should be able to spend some money on their children, (something I plan on writing a post about). Then ends up being her and her husband were talking to me for a half hour. Then the mother says “I think we will just stay here because it’s so cool to talk to ‘the babysitter’”. So they finally end up leaving at 9:50.

As they were putting on their coats, the husband asked me if I would want him to bring me a coat that he can get from work, just like the one he and his wife were wearing. I asked if it would be free, and I forgot what he said in response, some joke. So then he said seriously he can get me the coat. I said perhaps my brothers will want it, so then he said that he didn’t ask them, he’s asking me if I want it. I already had a coat, so I would have said no. But then I remembered advice I once heard about accepting offers. That if they offer, then you should accept. That advice was told concerning one of the people I was babysitting offering to pick me up from my house or if I would walk the few blocks over. Since I was already running late, cause I had totally forgotten about having to babysit, I felt guilty, so I told them I would walk over. So then a family member said I should have accepted the ride. So having that advice in mind, I decided to just say “ok you can get me one”. We’ll see if he actually does or doesn’t. 

I hadn’t thought they would be gone so long, so I had just brought a long my cell to listen to some shiurim at Kol Halashon. I listened for a while, to a great one by my previous seminary teacher, she has 46 shiurim there and so far I listened to 2 and a half of the 3rd. Then my battery dies out on me at around 10:30. So I then had nothing to do. I know they offered that I can watch TV if I want, but I just didn’t feel up to that. So for a while I just sat there doing nothing, I was afraid of falling asleep laying down on the couch. So I went through some of their Mishpacha magazines. I saw an ad for a Jewish book that I would want to check out, a book called the code of Jewish conduct, about how to act with interpersonal relationships, bein adom lichavairo stuff. Then I found a cute chabad magazine and was reading that. Then time eventually went by, and at 1:00 they came home!

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Am I a Stranger?

Today I went to the park with my little sister. When we got to the entrance I saw some kids I recognized from shul playing outside in the dirt by the street. So I went over to the kid and started talking to him. There didn’t seem to be any adults with him, so I asked him if he came with his parents, he didn’t answer.

Meanwhile, there were 2 other kids I didn’t know there, and they started talking to me. One was telling me a story of how a few days ago a person went into a store and shot the store owner and then a helicopter came with police man. Then his sister asked me what my name was. I told her my name and asked her what her name was, she told me her name. Then I asked her what her last name was, wondering if I perhaps have heard of it before, she said it in a low voice, so I asked her again, but then it wasn’t clear.

So then I was talking to the kids I knew from my shul and I mentioned how his father did a great job davening for Yom Kippur, and he said “yea, my father davens for the amud”. Then this man comes over, and he comes to the 2 kids I didn’t know and tells them to come back into the park. All the kids go back in, so as I was going back into the park, I saw the father of the kids bring over his son and tell him that he’s not allowed to talk to strangers.

I found the whole thing ridiculous, I never considered myself a “stranger” before. Plus he wasn’t watching his kids, so he should be thankful to me for watching them, making sure that they didn’t go in the street and that they were supervised. But then I thought, perhaps he is right, his kids didn’t know me, so they really shouldn’t have told me so much information. I mean what if I hadn’t been a good person.

I always wondered if the kids differentiate between Jewish people or not, do they know to trust me because they could tell I’m a frum girl? or would they just trust anyone? Or is everyone they don’t know considered to be a stranger? but then how do you ever get to know anyone if you can’t ever talk to them?

But I do suppose the kids aren’t being trained enough not to talk to strangers. The other day I was walking home and I saw this little kid outside crying. I asked her “what’s the matter?” and she just continued crying. Then she cried out “mommy” so I asked her where her Mommy is, and she said she’s in the house. So I asked her if her Mommy knew that she was outside, and she said “yes”. So I figured I would wait outside, just to make sure someone comes out for her. So I was waiting there, then she calmed down from crying. Then after a few minutes she just went into her house. Then a different day I pass down the block and again I see her outside by herself, and she went into a different house while holding a Sippy cup, so she couldn’t be more than 3 years old. That seemed like a young age to have a kid alone outside.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Uh Oh… I Feel Faint!

Last night I went babysitting and the kids were sleeping. I brought a long a pen and paper so that I can write a post while I’m there because I didn’t have any school work to do. So I wrote out a whole long post for my new blog “The Jewish Side of Me”, (which is having some technical difficulties right now and can’t be accessed).

After an hour and a half of babysitting, the mother comes home. She sees that I hadn’t brought any bags with me so she asked me what I did the whole time, I told her I was writing for a journal. Anyways, somehow the conversation turned to her previous pregnancy. She was talking about how last Yom Kippur she didn’t have to fast when she was pregnant because she had something called placenta previa. I didn’t know what that was, so I asked her “What’s that?”. That was probably my mistake, I shouldn’t have asked her. She got into a whole long discussion about what it was.

Then all of a sudden I started feeling like I was going to faint, I got that lightheaded feeling, and my ears felt like they popped and my face started feeling hot. I didn’t want to interrupt her while she was talking to me. Since we were standing by the front door of her house, I decided to go sit on the couch while she talks. I knew that sitting is supposed to help, so I moved myself to the couch, I wasn’t sure if that was the right thing to do or not. Because then she came over and sat on the couch too and continued talking. I just responded “yea” and “oh” and words like that to show I was listening.

Then it came to a point where I just couldn’t take it anymore, so when I thought she was done talking, I just got up and headed to the front door and opened it. So she said “thanx for coming and have a good night” and I left and made it safely home. I realized I may not be so strong after all to handle such gory information. Just the sight of people after surgery, when they look different gives me a queasy feeling and I just can’t handle it.

Also, I have fainted before, so I knew what it was like to faint, I remember the feeling that came over me, it’s the same kind of feeling of when you get out of your bed quickly and then the fluid in your head isn’t settled so it causes you to feel dizzy and light headed. The last time I fainted was in the orthodontist office, but that I was okay with, I didn’t want to faint here by the house I was babysitting by. The mother gets hysterical over everything, and she wouldn’t have been able to handle it, so thank goodness I made it home.

Friday, October 3, 2008

Refreshing Cleanliness

Cleaning and Organizing serve as a great motivational tool. People are naturally lazy and would like to procrastinate jobs for as long as possible. So normally you think of the idea of cleaning as a task that seems tedious and undesirable. But really cleaning will get rid of your laziness and make you more enthusiastic about getting things done.

Think of a room that is messy with piles of clothes, papers and junk all over the place. It becomes impossible to find anything you need. So you push off making copies of the paper needed because you just can’t find it. You push off doing laundry since it means you have to go through all the piles of clothes sitting there. You push off doing homework because you just don’t know where to start. You push off everything in general because you just don’t feel in the mood of getting anything done.

This feeling of laziness and procrastination can all be solved by cleaning up and staying organized. If your room is nice and clean and you know where everything is, then it would take seconds to find what you need. The mindset itself of knowing that your room is clean makes you feel happy and accomplished. The trick to keeping everything neat and organized is to put things away and get things done right away. If thinks aren’t able to be done right away then at least a to do list should be made which would serve as a reminder of the things needed to be done so that you can still stay on top of it.

Once a room is clean if you stay on top of cleaning and putting things away then it shouldn’t be so hard to maintain. Since instead of tons of stuff to clean you will just have a little at a time so it will be a less daunting task and appear more manageable to upkeep.

This is one of the reasons why children love going shopping for school supplies at the start of the new school year. They are excited for the new year and want to start off in a organized way so that they can stay on top of their school work. So parents should keep the children excited with the task of buying school supplies so they can feel good about school and want to do their homework. Better to buy the child a pen or Looseleaf they like so that they will want to use it, than to buy any school supply that is on sale.

This is also the reason why school’s have cleanup time where the children put all their toys away. Having a neat classroom helps the children focus better on what is being taught. There are less distractions and the atmosphere of a clean room itself helps them pay attention better.

Giving children baths and washing them up are also forms of cleaning that serve the purpose of making children happy. After a child gets a bath or washes their hands we say “all clean” and then they feel so good about themselves. It’s a refreshing feeling to get rid of the dirt and to be clean. Although sometimes right after their bath they may start to color and eat and become messy all over again. The child still feels good about themselves the times when they are clean. Children who are kept clean, faces washed after eating, usually appear happier, it shows their mothers care about them and are pampering them to keep them clean. While the children with dirty faces and runny noses appear to be neglected.

So the trick to being successful is to keep everything clean and organized!