Finding myself in the Middle East

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Back From The Land of Starbucks

Jetlag blurs days together. When did it become thursday? Never mind thursday; when did it become April? 2010? Ya gotta be kidding me. And whose kids are these, anyway? What do they want from me? Why are they up at 4:30 in the morning, and why do they keep calling me Ima?

Anyways. Past the blur. Beyond what I can't see. I have been to America, and sharing one computer with 25 people tends to have a damper on my mad blog-writing skilz. So, here I am, a bunch of weeks later, hoping that the internet will soon once again purr beneath my hands. (Or at least work. Old computer. Bli ayin hara, pitoo pitoo pitoo.)

So, a million things happening. What should I write about? My America trip? A family crisis that is being blamed on me? That we are moving to a new apartment in less than a week, and are just getting boxes today? That my kids are so jetlagged, they have been going to sleep for the night after the sun already lightened the sky?

Oh! I got it. Princess.

Ooooh. Where should I start?

Princess is, well, a princess. Or rather, a queen. She asked me yesterday, while drip-drying in her princess towel, "who is more powerful (!) a queen or a princess?"

"Well," says I, "A princess is the daughter, and a queen is the mother."

"I'm a queen, then," says she with a proud tilt of her royal chin, as she dripped royal bathwater all over the royal ripped leather couch, "and you can be the princess."

The girl is not easy. She is way too smart for her age, and has a real thirst for power as well. She is always the one who initiates the game with her friends, and the weirdest thing is, they follow her. They all do. No matter how independent they are, they all toe the line around Princess. She loves it. She is a good master, too. She compliments her subjects freely, and stratigicaly. She gives them the idea that they have free will even when they don't.

But this aspect of her personality makes it kind of hard for her to bow to my authority. Her techniques don't work on me, though she tries, and that is very frustrating for her. As I posted about earlier, we recently changed our way of dealing with our precocious oldest. (I also set up a lifeguard at the gene pool. Find me the ditzes, I told the lifeguard. Find me the lighthearted laughing ones. One Princess in the family is perfect. Don't be afraid to blow your wistle!)And it was working! She was happy and responsive and all was Coming Up Roses. But then came (drumroll, please?) The Shabbas With Shira.

Shira. My husband's best friend's daughter. Not the scary brightness of Princess, but her taste for power squared. And then multiplied. And then add to all that the fact that her parents give in to her.

She is catty. She is manipulative. She has her parents wrapped around her finger.

For Princess, it was love at first sight.

Since the shabbas that we spent together, almost a month ago, Princess has been trying everything that she saw over the weekend. Everything. And I'm so jetlagged and tired and it's so hard not to yell and scream sometimes when I see all of my hard work spilling down the drain. It was pretty obvious to me where all of the new agression and tantrums were coming from, but it was all clinched yesterday when she was playing with the downstairs neighbors. Princess decided that everyone in her game was to have made-up names.

"Let's have pretend names for this game. I will be (re-use drumroll) Shira."

She'll get over it, right? She'll pull through. It will all be okay. Because what you learn from the home is most important, and the outside world can remain that way s long as I keep trying and keep smiling and keep doing my best to instill positively and warmth and love. Right? Right?

Hold me.


nmf #7 said...

Gosh, that must be tough. And jet lag is bad enough. Here's hoping that your Princess stays the sweet girl she is inside, and loses the royal attitude part :D

JerusalemStoned said...



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