Wednesday, January 27, 2010

I know I've been gone a long time

How have I let so much time go by since I last posted? I'm sorry to anyone who actually enjoys reading this. I haven't forgotten my blog. I've just been focusing on life a little bit these past few weeks.

Work has been pretty hectic. It's IEP season (which means tons of paperwork), and standardized test season AND spring fever seems to have come on a little early this year with the students!! No one wants to do any work (me included) so I have been doing a little convincing and A LOT of cajoling! Even in my own house the girls are itching to play outside, they are literally climbing the furniture on a daily basis. And they are not getting along well at all-because they are literally in each other's faces all the time. Having sisters is a having built in playmates, but they want to play together even when they are annoyed with each other. What's up with that?

We have also been feeling playdate/sleepover insanity!! The girls were asking soooooo much to have playdates and also sleepovers that we had to make a rule. NO playdates during the week! At all. And they have to stop asking. Maybe it sounds mean but it was taking over our lives and not in a good way. We are too busy during the week to add more distractions. Of course, I am happy that my daughters have friends. That is something we don't struggle with.

We also had parent-teacher conferences for the middle two girls, Lulu and Little T. They went so well! The girls are happy, they are learning, and the teachers are happy with them. Not even one complaint. When the teacher see something that could potentially become an issue, they find ways to problem solve with the child. Lulu has "concentration endurance" issues (she has a hard time completing a task for an extended time). But they build in breaks and allow her to work on other learning topics and then return to the original task. And when she completes her work, she is completing it well! Little T has really emerged as a leader and loves to learn. She is completing multiplication problems (with hands-on material) because she wants to and she understands it! She's only just turned 6. We walked out of the conferences feeling so good about our choice to send them to this school. We thought we made the right decision and the conferences really confirmed it. Yay! Now if we could only win the lottery so we could pay for it! Ha!

On a different topic, we recently had the opportunity to have some guests for Shabbos lunch at our house. A couple that we do not know well. They are recently married (within the year) and kinda, sorta invited themselves to our house. Although that in itself is an issue, let's forget about that. When the man spoke to my husband he said he had food allergies (food dye). Well, the lunch was set up for 3 weeks since the time we spoke at shul so we forgot about it for a while. Thursday of this past week I emailed the wife to find out if this was the week and if so, are they coming? She responded late that night saying yes, she was sorry she hadn't confirmed earlier in the week, she was emailing her husband's food guidelines. Food guidelines? What the heck does that mean?

I found out when I opened an attachment that was about a page long listing all the things he could not eat/ what he could eat. I am not joking-the list included such things as "will eat green beans but only with lots of flavor, so if steamed don't bother making them.'' It did also say things he couldn't eat: challah bought from the bakery (dye), pistachios, anything with msg (listed all the ways that could be listed in food items), margarine, chocolate, and it went on and on. There were also many vegetables he could not eat as well.

What do you think I did with this information? I immediately emailed her and then called her to say that the menu had already been planned and the food made. There was not one thing he could eat, based on the food we made (deli roll, cholent-has potatoes, kugels with marg, etc.). So I told her that. There were even pistachios in the salad we were having. She tried to figure out a way to still come, but while trying that did not offer to make food to bring with them (except rolls). During the course of the conversation, it did become clear that he is sensitive to much of this food-they are not all allergies.

Oh my gosh. Seriously? Can someone really think it is ok to give a list like that a night before shabbos? Or even at all? Honestly, I felt resentment and irritation. I don't normally read ingredients on items I buy. That is time intensive for me to do simply for one shabbos meal . It is also costly to buy things I don't usually buy (earth's something or other margarine). Why should I have to do that? Which leads me to the mitzva of hachnasas orchim (inviting guests). How far do I have to go? As far as I can tell, there is no real reason they NEED to go out for meals. It's not like a single person who can't cook for themselves. They have a home. I know I am assuming, but because I am so sensitive to others when I enter their homes, I feel like it is a total lack of sensitivity on their part to have those sorts of expectations about the food. Additionally, when I have guests in my home I am (maybe extra) sensitive to their needs and would not feel comfortable serving them food they can't eat.

I could very well be wrong. But my resentment is still there. And I don't think it's going away any time soon.

Whew, it felt better to get that off my chest!

I do just need to acknowledge that it has been a little more than a year since I started this blog. I really appreciate all the readers and all the readers that comment. I never thought I would like doing this but it really has become not just fun, but important to me.

Thank you, Thank you!


Shosh said...

I agree that that's very rude. I dont mind having people with food restrictions, but I at least like to know about it well in advance! And yes, it would be nice if they offered to bring some of the foods he could eat.
I always find myself griping about these things. And then I feel guilty for complaining, because isnt this the mitzvah? To accommodate people and make them feel as welcome as possible?
I have this issue when making meals for people who gave birth - people come up with all sorts of requests that I find ridiculous. Ive gotten requests for No pasta, no white meat chicken, please send enough to feed 6 adults b/c my parents and in laws are in town (if they are, then why am I cooking for you????) and all sorts of other things.
Sometimes it's really a struggle to do chesed for people! And it makes me feel like a really bad person that I feel bitter about helping people sometimes.

shalva said...

wow, i'd be annoyed! i can't imagine how someone wouldn't be extremely embarrassed to a-send a list like that - absurd! and like you said, it sounds like most of these aren't even allergies, he's just really particular and wants to be accommodated! i am acquainted with several people who suffer from severe allergies to multiple foods - and they would never make requests like this - they'd either decline the invite bc it would be too complicated, or they'd offer to bring suitable foods for themselves. i know i'm probably repeating myself but it astounds me that people aren't ashamed to be so entitled!

Orah said...

I'm dumbfounded. If my husband had food "allergies" and we were "invited" out, I would simply say, "yes, I would love to come, if it does not bother you, my husband has many allergies so I will bring food for him and you need not worry ABOUT ANYTHING!!!"

I have a feeling, they will learn quickly when the "invitations" stop coming.