the 90th minute

Until September 2007, when my oldest daughter was born, this blog covered daily life and politics in Israel, as well as Hebrew-English linguistic issues, from the perspective of an American-raised journalist and translator living in Israel. Now it mostly serves as the SmunchMonk&Bear news agency, a portal into the bizarre universe of the little people. Read more at:

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Purim: A great opportunity to dress up (or not!) as Worst Ima of the Year

(In Purim-induced bovine distress. Get this thing off my head!)

As Purim approaches (Tuesday in most of the world, Wednesday in Jerusalem), the streets seem full to bursting with kids and teens getting in the dressing-up spirit. Having a kid of my own in day care makes me realize how ignorant I used to be when it comes to just how long that spirit can be made to last; Rimonit has been forced into a different getup every day for the past two weeks or so (her reaction, predictably, ranges from utter indifference to wary, cringing antagonism of the "don't you even think about going near me with that hat" variety). She has already been a chick (well, not really, but the gananot sure did try, and I have the yellow smock and chick mask to prove it), a mushroom, a clown (I think), a (non-)fez-wearing Moroccan (or Turk, as they insisted), and all manner of combinations of random face paint and (mostly resisted) hats/masks.

All this seems orchestrated primarily to ensure that Purim itself will turn out to be anti-climactic. It also seems kind of odd that one of the shortest holidays on the Jewish calendar (only one day, with a quasi-second day as backup!) is being dragged out to last longer than the longest (what, a week each of Pesach, Sukkot and Chanuka isn't enough?).

But the gananot seem immune to this logic, and mercilessly set up Ima Ve'Abba Shel Rimonit (yes, those are now our official names) for our apparent failure of a major parenting test Friday - when, it seems, we were supposed to have dressed the kid up at home and brought her into maon in costume, because heaven knows she hasn't had enough of the grown-ups trying to get her to wear funny-looking stuff lately. Apparently there was a sign on the door. And apparently every single other parent at maon read the sign and remembered to dress up the progeny. That would be, you know, all of them. Except, of course, for us.

Reactions of gananot when Warren dropped off the normally dressed kid amid a sea of Queen Esthers/fairy princesses and at least one King Ahashverosh: Shock! Horror! Shock and horror! (though not on RP's part, obviously). Our crime was so heinous that we got a call at home shortly afterward to let us know that we really should go back to maon and bring in a costume for the poor underdressed kid. Naughty parents! Tsk tsk tsk! (or as they say here, Nu nu nu!)

The truth is, if RP were a little older and could actually absorb the fact that the other kids were dressed funny, and maybe even feel bad about being THE ONLY ONE WITHOUT A COSTUME (oy, I can already imagine the everlasting recriminations if this were ever to occur at a later stage, God forbid), I probably would feel guilty about it for quite some time afterward, maybe even forever. But as things stand, it was just kind of funny that the gananot cared so much when she so obviously didn't.

End of story: We were walking past maon anyway on our way to breakfast, so we dropped off the cow costume I had already acquired, to the vast relief of the gananot (they had, of course, already painted her face so she would at least be somewhat uncomfortable). When I say "we" dropped off the costume, I mean that I made Warren go in because I was scared they would look at me like I had just vaulted to the top of the Worst Ima of the Year list in one mighty bound. I can only hope this will be the worst of the inevitable foul-ups to come, rather than the precursor of further depths of parental depravity and deprivation. In my defense, though, I would just like to add that when you press the button on the cow's head (which, on Rimonit, just kind of hangs off the back of the costume), it emits a very expressive Moo! Beat that, fairy princess!


Blogger Esther said...


I got the same kind of reaction from my daughter's day care when I sent her in a homemade costume.

My favourite Purim prep is pyjama day. It requires no effort or expense on my part and the children invariably enjoy it.

March 20, 2009  
Blogger Shoshana Kordova said...

Esther: I'll have to keep pajama day in mind (though right now pajamas are usually sweatshirt and sweatpants, so not much of a costume). Out of curiosity, how did you find your way to my blog?

March 22, 2009  

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