Category Archives: parenting

Express Yourself: Reveal Rather Than Mask

Since the age of two, my four-year-old daughter has been obsessed with Spiderman. On rainy days, she proudly sports her Spiderman umbrella, her last two birthday cakes have both featured Spiderman, and given an opportunity to dress up (either at home, a friend’s house, or at a gymboree), she will opt for the Spiderman/superhero costume rather than more girlish choices. Her only exposure to Spiderman has been indirect through friends at daycare and kindergarten. We don’t have satellite TV or cable, and she has no siblings who have ever shown any interest in Spiderman.

Tzofia first discovered Spiderman two years ago, during a trip to the States. We spent one rainy morning at a local gymboree, where there was a dress-up area with an array of costumes. Tzofia was instantly drawn to the Spiderman costume, and asked to put it on. Up until that point, she had been exclusive to Tigger and Dora. Once dressed up as Spiderman, she jumped up and down, started growling, and began chasing her older sister around the room. When we asked her why she was growling, she said that she wanted to be “scary like Spiderman.”  We found it both interesting and amusing that her perception of Spiderman was that of a scary and intimidating figure, and since that day, has maintained that character when dressed up as him. Perhaps her image of Spiderman as being scary and “bad” gives her an outlet for any pent-up anger or frustration she is feeling.

A couple of months ago, when we were blessed with a couple of rare but welcome rainy days here in Israel, Tzofia left the house excitedly, more because of the opportunity the rain afforded her to use her Spiderman umbrella. When we arrived at gan, a few girls standing by the door chanted (in Hebrew): “Spiderman is for boys!” I have to say that one of my proudest moments occurred right then when Tzofia marched proudly right past the girls, and hung up her umbrella next to her friends’. I prayed to myself that for the rest of her life she should be as confident in her individuality as she was right at that moment.

With the onset of Purim, our family conversations have inevitably centered around Purim costumes, and Tzofia asked us if Spiderman is only for boys. At some point our free-spirited and strong-willed four-year-old became aware of her surroundings, and somehow internalized the message that Spiderman isn’t every girl’s cup of tea. Our heavily weighed answer was: “Spiderman is for whoever likes him.” I thought hard about Tzofia’s question afterwards. My instinct was to encourage her to stay loyal to Spiderman, regardless of what the girls around her say or do, but upon further thought, I realized that perhaps her question indicated emotional maturity and awareness of her environment. However much we want to encourage her individuality, it is inevitable that at some point she will have to make the choice whether her form of self-expression comes with too heavy a price. And that is part of growing up. Also, is it fair to encourage her to be Spiderman when we all know that kids can be cruel, and she may be the butt of her friends’ jokes?  Fast-forward two weeks later, and Tzofia’s choices ranged from Spiderman to a bear (“because bears scare people more”) to Ironman – to finally Superman. She ultimately decided to stay with the superhero.

My first reaction to these changes of heart was frustration, till it dawned on me that Purim for children represents one day of the year when they can reinvent themselves before their family, their teachers, their friends; that Purim is not just about disguising themselves and putting masks on, but rather taking them off, giving those around them the ability to see them how they want to be seen. A vehicle for self-expression. On this day, when children can parade the streets in their mask, tutu, or superhero costume, they are subconsciously teaching themselves that they can be whoever they want to be. There are no limitations other than those they set for themselves.

Disney World – a toddler’s paradise or a British parent’s nightmare?

me and josh in disneyIn two months, we are scheduled to fly to the States for a couple of weeks to stay with my in-laws in New Jersey. For five days of that time, we will be in Disney World, continuing my in-laws’ tradition of taking their grandchildren (and their grandchildren’s harried parents) to Disney World during winter break. Those who joined me at the beginning of my journey in blogging might recall from my very first post my feelings about Disney World. And in case you have joined the party late, you can read all about my very first taste of Disney World when I was engaged to my husband, five years ago.

Growing up in England, I never really gave much thought to Disney World – I knew it existed, it contained a bunch of Disney characters, and like everything and everyone in America, it was huge. Well, all that changed at the age of 23, when I started dating my husband. Disney World came up a LOT in conversation in our first dates, and I got the feeling that if I were to pursue this relationship, I would become increasingly familiar over time with Disney World, if not by actually going there, then by being treated to Disney World trivia and trips down Disney lane. To my husband’s family, and to my husband in particular, Disney World is not just any vacation destination, but it is the Vacation of all Vacations. That became abundantly clear when I would dream out loud with my husband (then-boyfriend) of all the places in the world I wanted to travel with him, and instead of us visualizing gondolas and backpacking in Thailand, the conversation would invariably return to Magic Kingdom and Epcot Center. To his credit, he did agree to go to Italy if I could somehow recreate Disney World for him there – at that point, I realized that EuroDisney in Paris would be my best bet. In his words, “Why would you possibly want to go anywhere else in the world when there is EVERYTHING in Disney World?”

Joking apart, I did have an incredible time in Disney World when we went on our engagement trip, but I am not too sure if that is because I genuinely fell over head over heels in love with Disney World, or if it was by association -I was (and AM) in love with my husband, who was (and IS) in love with Disney World. Whatever the case, when I married Josh, it was with the acceptance of the centrality of Disney World in our lives, and it did not surprise me one bit when my father-in-law, who passed on his love of Disney World to his son, gave as a gift upon the births of my daughters the entire DVD collection of Disney movies. Gotta start them young, and sure enough, my four-year-old and even two-year-old girls make their father and grandfather proud as they sing the Disney songs joyfully and frequently. They know the movies and songs better than I do, which, granted, is not saying much. But still. No one could say they are not continuing the Weinstein legacy. Soon after my oldest daughter was born, my in-laws started planning how they would take all the cousins, and our daughter, when Eliana turned 4. Well, four years has passed and flown by, and my in-laws are making good on their promise. My girls are very excited to see Winnie the Pooh, and, as my two-year-old pronounces it, “Kicki Mouse.” My husband and father-in-law are as excited, if not more, at the thought of the upcoming trip.

As for my mother-in-law, well, whenever I speak to her after her annual Disney trip, she has lost her voice or is exhausted after preparing all the meals, getting the kids ready, running after them all day, putting them to bed, so her feet are more firmly on the ground, and she is not floating as high as the menfolk of the family.

And me? Well, does it make me a terrible wife, mother, and daughter-in-law if I say that I am approaching this trip with trepidation rather than excitement? Being in romantic la-la land is very nice when you are floating around Disney World with your fiance, with not a dirty diaper or cranky child in sight, but the prospect of taking my two- and four-year-old there fills me with an emotion close to dread. I imagine that I will need a good vacation after this “vacation.” It goes without saying that the kids will have a spectacular time, and that they will hopefully come back with great memories, which they can store up and then share with their boyfriends, please G-d, twenty (or forty years, if my husband had his way) years down the line, but truthfully, a nice calm vacation in England wouldn’t go amiss right now. Or Europe. I miss Europe.

Anyway, if anyone has taken a toddler and a pre-schooler to Disney World (you deserve a medal), and has any tips or hints that will help me preserve my sanity, please do share. Adios amigos.

Beauty in the ordinary

Any parent will be able to testify that parenting and child-rearing is a difficult and often thankless job. From the moment you find out you are pregnant, you have to come to terms with a new reality; your time is not your own, and you will need to subordinate your own needs to those of your children. That’s not to say that the moment you become a parent, you get it right every time. Far from it. We snap, we lose our temper and patience, and we constantly are engaged in a struggle against shouting out: “Can’t you just amuse yourselves for just five minutes?!? Is that really asking for too much?”

I became an aunty when I was eleven years old, and doted on my nieces and nephews so much that I knew from an early age that I wanted to be a mother. During periods of my teenage life, I would often have the kind of dreams that are so beautiful that you wish you never woke up from – dreams about giving birth and having a baby. Granted the dreams were romanticized, and the labor didn’t involve excruciating agony, but rather were Hollywood-inspired, where my face was glowing with joy and ecstasy, and I was enveloped in this deep sense of serenity. It was picture perfect, and I couldn’t wait to turn the dream into reality.

At the age of twenty-five, I became a mother, and while the pregnancy left much to be desired, and there were times during Eliana’s first year when I was itching to be back at work, and found myself bored at times, I never in my wildest dreams – not even those that occupied my teenage years – could have imagined the elation that accompanies parenthood. When you get married, you learn to look at yourself in the mirror. For the first time, you are not the only person who has to live with your behavior, and your actions are held up to the mirror, and you see yourself as someone else sees you. Parenting is an extension of that. You learn that you have endless capacities for love, and you learn that even though you are a shameless shopaholic, nothing brings you more pleasure than buying something for your children, and seeing the look of joy on their face. And you learn that nothing makes you happier than knowing that they are well, happy, and feel safe.

I am sure I am not alone in feeling that as a parent, you grapple with the urge to wrap your children up in cotton wool, and do your upmost to protect them from anything unpleasant in the world, but of course, not only would it be impossible, you would be stunting their development. They have to fall in order to learn how to stand up on their own two feet. 

When Eliana was about eight months old, she was sick with a high fever, and she was miserable for days. She was lethargic, she wouldn’t eat, barely drank, and her sleeping was erratic. It was as if a dark and heavy cloud had descended upon our house, and I was racked with fears, most of them irrational. It was Friday night, and Josh and I had just finished eating Friday night dinner, and after four days of Eliana being lethargic and totally disinterested in toys, we saw her crawl over to a toy car, and start playing with it and giggling. Without saying a word, Josh and I looked at each other with such relief and happiness. Later, we discussed how at that moment we really understood what it was to be a parent, to feel such immense love for your child that your happiness is contingent upon their happiness and wellbeing. We were so relieved to see her come out of her misery that we were ready to do jigs and dance round the room.

Now, four years later, we are often sleep-deprived, and my conversations with Josh when the kids are around are inevitably always cut off. I can’t remember the last time I was able to finish a sentence when the kids are around; there are always interjections and requests and fights between the girls to mediate, but even with all of that, your child can say just one sentence, or give you a smile, and it will make all the exhaustion and frustration pale into insignificance.

Yesterday, I picked up Eliana from gan, and I told her that I missed her all day. My (not-so-little) girl looked me in the eye indulgently, and said, “But Mummy, I can’t stay home all day. I have to go to gan and see my ganenet and see my friends.” It was such a beautiful and poignant moment, and it made me think how important it is to hold onto these moments in your heart, because they are the ones that will carry you through the sleepless nights and the endless demands on your time and energy. 

After Josh and I got married, Josh was telling a good friend of his how our wedding day passed by in a blur, it all happened so quickly that it was hard to remember what happened. His friend replied that life is like that, it goes by so fast that you have to consciously remind yourself to live in the moment, and when you are experiencing something that is amazing, you need to stop yourself from moving on to the next experience, and be at one with it. It is all about finding beauty in the ordinary day-to-day routine of our lives. 

When it rains, it pours: a Shavuot we won’t forget in a hurry

Although we were somewhat behind schedule in our cooking this year, we weren’t worried. We had invited our guests, composed a menu, and were prepared to spend Monday and Tuesday cooking frantically. We were pretty excited for Shavuot – we had found some very interesting and surprisingly uncomplicated dairy recipes, and since Shavuot is only a one-day affair in Israel, everything was under control. At least it was until I came down with strep on Monday. (When I was in England, it was good old-fashioned tonsilitis, but since I got married to an American, and go to an American doctor, it’s “strep.”)

As soon as I came home from the doctor’s, we notified our guests that I had strep, but since I started taking antibiotics on Monday night, and they weren’t coming to us till Wednesday lunch, it wasn’t such a big deal. After 24 hours, you are no longer contagious. We were still on with our guests. Josh stepped in and did all the cooking, and by Tuesday lunchtime, everything seemed to be going smoothly. The food was cooked, my antibiotics had started to kick in, and I was starting to remember what it was like to feel human. Since the girls didn’t go to gan on Tuesday, we even managed to take them to the park for a couple of hours so they could get it out of their system.

Fast-forward to an hour before the start of Shavuot. I was blowdrying my hair, when I heard Josh yell at the top of his lungs that Eliana, our oldest, was hurt. She had been riding her bike, and had hurtled forward and hit her head against the garden wall. Josh’s t-shirt was covered in blood, and her forehead was bleeding. After making a couple of calls, we found out that the amazing TEREM in Modiin was open till midnight on Shabbatot and festivals, so with less than an hour to go till chag, Josh raced over there with Eliana. When they arrived, they received almost immediate treatment, and Josh told me how amazingly brave Eliana was throughout the whole process. She didn’t cry at all, not even when they were manipulating her head to put on the bandage. I was so incredibly proud of her. Even when her head was still bleeding back at home, and I had to put some clothes on her before she left for TEREM, she still had the strength to tell me that she wouldn’t wear pants, only a skirt! When she came back from TEREM, she ran into the room, and announced triumphantly, “Mummy, the doctor said I can’t get my bandage wet, so I can’t have a bath for three days!” That for her was the real icing on the cake. She got a special treat when she came home, and a star for her star chart, but the prize was avoiding baths for three days. Even today, every few hours, she tells me, “You know, the doctor says I can’t have a bath!”

If only that was the end of our dramas. This morning, over coffee, Josh asked me if I noticed that Eliana’s face seemed blotchy. Without my contact lenses, everything seems blotchy, so I couldn’t comment either way. Ten minutes later, once my lenses restored my vision, I noticed that Eliana was covered head to toe in spots. Yup. Chicken pox.* And we can’t give her a bath for three days because of her head.

So not only could she not go to shul with Josh – which is pretty much the highlight of her week – she couldn’t see her friend who was supposed to be coming over for lunch with her parents. Josh had to walk over to our friends, with trays of food, and tell them that this time, lunch really wasn’t going to happen. We felt so awful about it. At least, though, they had a good lunch:-)

So now we are just waiting for our toddler, Tzofia, to catch it. Thankfully, both girls have been vaccinated, so the symptoms shouldn’t be nearly as severe. Considering the circumstances, Eliana has been an absolute  angel. It is pretty awful that we can’t give her a bath when she needs it the most. She said to Josh tonight that she wanted him “to tell Hashem that her body hurts and that He should  make her boo boos go away.” AAW.  

So all in all, not the funnest of Shavuots, but hey, all four of us are in one piece, and we made it through the day with the help of treats and various other types of distractions. I just thank G-d that we are not in America, where we would be celebrating two days instead of one! 

* Curiouser and curiouser. I took Eliana to the doctor today to ascertain whether she really has chicken pox. With the absence of blisters, and the blotchiness of her skin, it seemed unlikely that it really was chicken pox. The doctor said that 50% of her patients had come in with a similar “rash” that morning, and that either it was some sort of virus (like the majority of unexplained illnesses), or it was a reaction to the antibiotics she has just finished for last week’s ear infection (I know, never a dull moment). She prescribed some antihistamine drops and some calamine lotion. Eliana was a happy camper because she came out of the doctor’s office with three stickers, which she took while the doctor was busy writing out the prescription. Hopefully she’ll be back in gan next week.

You can NEVER be too careful

My first instinct after reading this article is to go pick up my two girls this second, and take them out of their respective day cares.

A two-year-old boy died in Oklahoma after being bound and taped for refusing to be quiet during nap time.  I know that evil acts are committed every second of every day, and this isn’t the first or unfortunately last example of barbaric behavior, but as a parent, as a mother, stories like these make you want to wrap your children up in cotton wool till they are 18. No, make that 21.

Closer to home, I read almost every week in the free local Modiin newspaper sickening stories of child abuse occurring in private day care centers. An acquaintance of mine put her six-month-old son in a private day care center, only to wake up one night, after picking up her son from day care, to hear him screaming in agony. After taking him to the emergency room, the doctors told the parents that the baby had broken his elbow, and dislocated his arm. The day care lady claimed to know nothing about it.

I remember last year reading a story in the Modiin newspaper about a one-year-old boy who was found walking in an underground car park during the middle of the day. Apparently, he had climbed through the bushes of the garden, and walked down the street. When the police finally went to the day care center, the two women in charge hadn’t even noticed the boy was missing. Chilling stories. And all from private day care centers, where you are supposed to be paying extra money for peace of mind.

Since my husband and I both work full time, we have become very familiar over the last three and a half years with the process of searching out day care centers for our little ones. Over a year ago, my husband and I were looking for a day care center for my then-seven month old. We eliminated half of the day care centers on our list by simply standing outside their doors before knocking, so that we could listen to what was going on inside. In quite a few places, we heard the women yell at the children, and talk to them in a way that made ME frightened. We just walked away.

We finally found a place for Tzofia with what seemed to be a warm, Sephardi, grandmother-type, figure in her early fifties. She had five children of her own, who were all older and in school, and she was taking care of just two other babies. She had a large house with a huge garden. Sounded good. We told her everything she needed to know about Tzofia – her likes, dislikes, sleeping patterns, and arranged to leave her there the next day.  It was pretty straightforward – at that time, we had just started Tzofi on solids, so all she really ate was a bottle, fruit, and oatmeal.

The following day, I came to pick Tzofi up, and found that her face was covered in chocolate. Bewildered, I asked the woman why her face was covered in chocolate. Her response? “My son had a birthday party, and Tzofi really enjoyed the cake.” Well, that was the last time I ever stepped foot inside that house. Not surprisingly, on the way home, Tzofi threw up in her car seat.

Until your child reaches the age where s/he can communicate, and report to you what happens during the day, you need to take all the necessary measures to ensure that your child is in a safe and loving environment. A couple of weeks ago, I was standing on line in the supermarket, and struck up a conversation with the lady in front of me. She talked about her new job, and she said that she had just found a day care center for her six-month old baby, which was conveniently located next door to her apartment. I asked her if she had received good references, and she looked genuinely surprised at the question. She said that she hadn’t asked for references, but the location was so convenient that she couldn’t pass up the opportunity.

Before registering your child for any day care center, private or otherwise, make sure you do the following:

1. Before you even go to check out a place, make sure that you have at least 4 references from parents of children who attend the day care. Obviously you have to use your judgment, and discriminate between those complaints that are silly and those that are critical. If a parent tells you that she doesn’t like the day care woman, because she is anal about parents coming to pick up their children on time, that is not an issue that is going to affect your child’s well being. If, however, a parent tells you that his/her kid comes home unhappy every day, and is not eating, sleeping well, it should make you think twice. The important thing is to have enough references to feel that you have received an accurate overall impression. 

Our two girls are both in gans that are simply amazing. While both of my daughters’ gans do things that annoy Josh and I, like insisting that we turn up to their events, etc., we can handle it because we know that they love our girls, and that they are extremely happy there. You have to be able to differentiate between annoyances that bother and affect YOU, and issues that bother your children. Your children have to take precedence every time.     

2. Go and check out the place at a time when they are not expecting you. It is easy for them to put on a smile, and be all sweetness and light when they know that you are coming. If you catch them off guard, you will get a truer picture. Stand outside the door for a few minutes, and listen to the way they talk to the children.

3. Go see the place at a time when the children are up, so that you can see their mood. While it is easy for adults to put on an act, children don’t lie. Do they seem content? Are they being supervised? Are they wandering around aimlessly, or are they engaged in activity?

4. Once you have decided on the day care center, make sure that for the first few weeks, you pop in every now and again, in the middle of the day, to see how your child is doing. It is better to come in unannounced. I know that many day care centers discourage that, but you can always make out that you forgot to bring them something.

5. Watch your children’s behavior. Even if they are unable to verbalize how they are feeling, do they seem happy to be going there in the morning? Do they run into the woman’s arms, or make motions to give them hugs or kisses? Our little girl was in a day care center for six months, and while I couldn’t pinpoint what was wrong, she never looked the woman in the eye, never said goodbye to her, and never reached out to give her a hug and kiss. That was very uncharacteristic of our little girl, because she is very extroverted and affectionate. Once we took her out of that day care center, and moved her to her present one, her behavior changed almost instantly. She hugs and kisses the women, and while I constantly have to grit my teeth at the women’s idiosyncratic demands, there is no doubt in my mind that my daughter is ecstatic there. Once she is their arms, she doesn’t even notice that I am around. 

6. Finally, GO WITH YOUR INSTINCT. If you have any niggling doubts about a place, don’t bury them. Parenting is not an exact science, but a parent’s instincts, especially a mother’s, are extremely strong, and I only wished in the past that I had gone with my instinct. You can’t take chances with your children. Believe in yourself. It is better to be excessively cautious than be sorry after the fact.

There should be a law passed that each day care center installs a webcam, so that parents can monitor what is going on during the day. I know that certain day care centers in America do this, but it is unpopular among the majority of day care centers. They claim that if they are being watched, they can’t be natural with the children, and that parents will complain over the most trivial things. While this is a legitimate complaint, I think parents would sleep better at night if webcams were installed. I know I would.

Bribery – works like a charm

It’s amazing what we endure to keep both our parents and children happy. My mother-in-law sent the girls sailor dresses for Pesach, and while on the phone to her just a couple of weeks ago, I made her an offer which as soon as it left my mouth I instantly wished I could retract. “You know what, mom? “I’ll get the girls to put on their dresses before chag [festival] begins, and will take a picture of them to send it to you.” (Note to self: never make offers that involve cameras and children under the age of four. [I’m an optimist by nature. Who knows, maybe the kids will be more cooperative when they get older?])

Well, Pesach in Israel is a seven-day affair, and I told myself that there would be plenty of opportunities for me to fulfill my promise to my mother-in-law. As the final day of Pesach approached, I realized that time was not on our side. Just half an hour before we welcomed in the second days of the chag, I forced the girls into their dresses with promises of a Ferrari for Eliana when she turns sixteen (her dream is “to get bigger, drive a car, wear my earrings, and have babies” – all in that order) and a bottle of milk for Tzofia (my little one loves to hit the bottle – on average, we buy at least 10 bags of milk a week).

Well, folks, Eliana may have been temporarily lulled by the promises of a car, but by the time Josh got her into the garden, as you can see, she was not a happy bunny. Can you blame her? I would cry if someone put me in that outfit (Eliana is the crying child on the right).

Before

At that point, it was time to bring out the big guns. There’s only one thing Eliana loves more than the idea of driving a car – and that is candy. So even though she has consumed far more treats in this last week of Passover than is probably recommended for an entire year, we acquiesced, and promised her yet another “treat.” I know, shoddy parenting.

After

Well, you can’t argue with the results!

Quite comical really….

This evening, as we sat down as a family to eat dinner, I tried to engage my three-year-old in conversation about Pesach. Purim was such an anti-climactic experience – Eliana was crying most of the day, she didn’t quite get the concept of reciprocating when it came to Mishloach Manot – I thought it would be smart to get her in the Pesach spirit ahead of time. I asked her what she had learned in Gan about Pesach – it better be extremely profound for 2000 shekel a month, I thought to myself – and she replied, tilting her head to one side, “I don’t know.”

Not one to be deterred, I pressed her further. “Did they talk to you, sweetie, about what happened to the Yehudim (Jews) in Mitzrayim (Egypt)?” Bingo. I had used the correct targeted keywords. Her eyes widened and her expression became animated.

“Yes, Mummy, Tzvika [the ganenet’s husband – don’t ask – it’s a really long story – if you really want to know why the ganenet’s husband was doing his wife’s job, send me an email and I will explain] told us that Haman HaRasha (Haman, the wicked one) was a really naughty man, and all the peoples were so scared!”

Josh responded, “No, honey, that’s a different chag (festival)! On Pesach, the Jewish people are scared of Pharaoh!” That basically summed up in a nutshell our experience as the Jewish people. We go from one baddy to another!

From the mouths of babes

When Eliana, my three-year-old, returns from gan each day, she is always showing off a new look. Yesterday, she came home with her hair braided, and I was amazed that Eliana let her ganenet (kindergarten teacher) braid her hair, because at home she cannot stand still for two seconds before jumping up and down and remarking on some earth-shattering event – “Look, Mummy, Tzofi has taken out your wallet and is about to eat your money,” or squeals like, “Aval [Hebrew for “but” – my daughter has yet to say one complete sentence that is either totally Hebrew or totally English. Ah, the joys of raising a bilingual child] Muuu-mmy, I don’t want a braid, I want kemo [Hebrew for “like”] you have – I want to wear a bandana.”

We remarked to Eliana how beautiful her braid was, and asked her who did it for her. She smiled coyly and answered “Sivan,” her ganenet. Her smile said it all. I am an angel in gan – butter wouldn’t melt in my mouth – but at home, don’t mess with me or my hair. It suddenly occurred to Josh and I that we didn’t know the word for “braid” in Hebrew, so we turned to our little angel in the back of the car, and without missing a beat, she enriched our Hebrew vocabulary and told us that “braid” is “tzama”(I think that’s what she said). It is the wackiest feeling in the world when your three-year-old is more of an Israeli than you can ever hope to be, and even though I studied Modern Hebrew in school, am familiar with Hebrew literature and poetry (I still remember quotes from Bialik and Agnon that I memorized for my Modern Hebrew A’ Level), she is teaching ME how to say words. I love it. My daughter, the Israeli.