Saturday, September 25, 2010

Shani's first birthday

Today is Shani's first birthday.
She now knows five words, all of them in Hebrew. Kova (hat) which she uses not just for hats but also for items of clothing (most of them will go on your head if you try) and bottle tops. Kadoor (ball)which she uses for anything round, including fruit and vegetables. Or (light) she uses for lights, light switches, ceiling fans, the sun and the moon. Hav Hav (Hebrew for woof woof) means dog and any animal. This morning she pointed at a pigeon and said "hav hav". She can also identify images of hav havs and kadoors and says kadoor when when seeing basketball or football on the TV.

Abba (father) she uses for me and (not sure how this happened) for mobile phones.

We spent the last ten days in Italy where she produced a new word, her first verb: Havi (bring / give). She doesn't conjugate it properly but there is no doubt about the meaning. She'll finish hr bottle and then point at it and say "Havi!" sending me scuttling to the kitchen, with her in one arm to make her a new bottle.

Being an Israeli child she also knows a few gesticulations: she can point at things and pat her head when saying "Kova!".

She may be confusing Abba with mobile phones because I recently bought a new one and have been playing with it. For a while I had David Bowies' song "Ground control to Maj

or Tom" as my ringtone but someone at work started joking about my being an astronaut so I changed it to the more combative "Joshua fit [fought] the battle of Jericho" sung by Mahalia Jackson.

During our visit to Italy we went to see the Jewish Museum in the Rome synagogue, which is one of the most magnificent synagogues I have seen. They have an excellent exhibition on the Jews of Rome, which is incidentally far better than that shown in the London Jewish museum, although using less fancy displays. Perhaps the London Jewish museum should be in the Bevis Marks synagogue.

It was hard being in the museum as Shani wanted to touch the displays and drum on the chairs, but I managed to contain her until we were taken on a guided tour of the synagogue. Here everyone was asked to wear a Yarmulke and Shani started shouting "Kova!" Kova!" much to my embarrassment. To further compound the situation as I held Shani, my cellphone went off and stated going "Joshua fit the battle of Jericho, Jericho, Jericho...".

At that point I gave up and walked out. I then realized Shani needed a nappy change so I went into the garden and started preparing to change her when a whole crowd of people came out. Realizing I might be causing offence I totally left the synagogue area and changed her on the street outside.

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