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Tuesday, August 21, 2012

(Boot) Camp Caroline

Me in my motorcade

When we first realized that Shalva had a three-week break during August, there was more than a small amount of panic in our household. Mommy and abba envisioned failing to get any work done while a roving toddler overturned everything in sight at home or disrupted the office and everyone in it. I envisioned boring days watching adults tick away on a computer while I waited for a fraction of the stimulation I would receive at Shalva on a daily basis. But I had nothing to fear as Grandma swooped in to the rescue and offered to take me and my rowdy self during the break.

And so it became known as Camp Caroline, named for Caroline Jansezian, my paternal grandmother. But that quickly got renamed to Boot Camp Caroline after Grandma repeatedly referred to "working on" my walking skills. The Boot Camp concept was further confirmed when mommy noticed the potty training pants that Grandma had bought for me barely hidden among the equipment that Grandma had amassed for the three weeks - purchased before I was even taking steps! From that moment, we all knew - I was in for it.

You see, Grandma is no slouch and neither will her grandchildren be. I was in for a disciplined three weeks that would probably result in me walking - nay - marching to the toilet; ceasing to throw objects;  reading and writing; eating whatever is placed before me; forsaking my tantrums and being whipped into adulthood in no time. Mommy and abba cheered on the concept while I shuddered.

But I knew deep down I had nothing to fear. Grandma is a grandma. And thus my first day at Camp Caroline resulted not in a potty training session or any sort of physical therapy, but rather in a new pair of shoes - blue Crocs, an accessory that accents my cuteness. And it only built from there. On the second day resulted in a "trike" - a tricycle/stroller!

Now this trike has become my motorcade. As we wheel around the Old City I wave to my constituents,  anyone and everyone walking by. I have perfected my "Queen of England" wave and receive accolades from all passersby, locals and tourists alike. Everyone will return home marveling over the wonders of the Old City including that boy with the swirl and the winning smile waving to us as he drove by in his motorcade.

Not only are the accoutrements splendid here at camp, but the meals are sumptuous as well. I have been exposed to petit buere cookies, apples, Old City hummus and, though I won't tell my parents, ice cream! And what's more, how many babies in the world get to spend their summer respite in the Old City of Jerusalem? Every morning as we drive up the hill toward Zion Gate just as the sun is cresting over the horizon while everyone heads to their respective landmark to pray, I realize how fortunate I am to be in such a unique corner of the world. How exhilarating.

Alas, there are but a few days left. And then I return to Shalva while the adults in my life all breathe a little easier. But I have enjoyed my summer camp and will miss my daily spoiling sessions courtesy of Grandma. I am already enrolled for next year!

Grandma waiting for me with my taxi

Look out Queen Elizabeth - the Royal Baby Motorcade is in town!

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