Just read an article about a mother who knew that she was dying, so she left pages of instructions for her husband on how to raise their 7-year-old.
It made me think...if I had to do such a thing, what would I write? Would anyone else care whether Yochi likes green olives and Hagai likes black ones on their grilled cheese sandwiches? At any rate, I am starting my own list.
1. Margalit gets headaches sometimes, and they don't respond to acamol. Must use Optigin. Sometimes twice (4 hours apart).
2. Yochi likes onions. A lot. On everything. So do Ariella and Avishai, but in more measured quantities. Hagai and Margalit don't want to see an onion anywhere NEAR anything that they're going to eat!
3. Always check Avishai's pockets before laundering his clothes.
4. Just because Margalit isn't itching doesn't mean that she doesn't have lice. She probably does. Check all the time.
5. Don't forget to get the Friday local papers.
6. "Chat up" the librarian at the Rosh Pinna library. Besides the fact that she's a nice lady, we are given a LOT of leeway in how many books we are allowed to take out!
7. Try to keep Margalit from changing clothes more than once a day. It's hard to keep it in check, but nothing ever gets put away.
8. When going to the library, go through the shelves and take out books that the kids might not otherwise take out. Hagai, especially, will read anything, and has read some classics in this manner.
9. Ariella doesn't eat meat, chicken, or fish. She won't eat an egg if it looks like an egg, but if you make something with eggs in it, and don't tell her, she'll eat it.
9. Yochi and Ariella like chocolate with nuts. Hagai and Margalit like it with cream. Avishai is not fussy.
10. If you remind the kids enough times that the phone rates go down at 7:00p.m., they'll make an effort to make most of their calls then. If you don't say something about once a week, forget it.
11. Places that Ariella is most likely to leave her mouth "plata" (brace): On the bathroom sink, next to the computer, next to the candlesticks, on the window ledge. Other than that, it's time for a search.
12. Hagai will wake up amazingly early in order to have a bowl of cereal before school, even though they feed them again at school. If he misses his morning corn flakes, it ruins his day.
13. When Hagai's hair gets out of control, the best threat to get him to get it cut is "if you don't go to the barber, I'll cut it tonight". Works every time.
14. When a new animal arrives, go ahead and say "it can stay if it stays OUTSIDE". Then, forget it. The kids work as a team to get the new creature into the house.
15. When Yochi shows any signs of a cold, get her to breath in steam immediately, periodically. Otherwise, her cold turns into a sinus infection within hours.
16. If Margalit won't brush her teeth, remind her of her last dental visit. It was NOT a happy time.
17. If there are eggs, cheese, and vegetarian snitzels/hot dogs in the house, no one will starve. Keep the supply of corn flakes up.
18. NEVER run out of ketchup. It would cause a meltdown.
19. If Margalit is too tired to say what she wants to take in the morning to school, a pita with olive oil and zatar on top, baked in the toaster-oven for 5 minutes, is always a sure thing.
20. To keep Yochi's blood-pressure down, go ahead and pick up after Margalit. It may not be the best thing to do educationally, but it saves sanity and peace.
More to come.