Wednesday, December 20

Tomato, Come Light the Menorah

Tomato, is a very special boy.
Eight years ago, he almost arrived in the world on Yom Kippur but then changed his mind. He next tried to make an appearance the following Shabbos but then got shy. He was finally born the first night of Sukkos having forced his Daddy to drive on three mega holy days. We were this close to calling him ‘Mechallel’ and his middle names were going to be, ‘Shabbos and Yom Tov’.

He is the least demanding and easiest of my children, therefore, I find that I have to remind myself to spend some alone time with him. This Chanukah afforded me the opportunity to spend some real ‘Mommy and Me’ time with him because he came to me with a request to help him with a Chanukah project; to which of course I immediately acquiesced.

FYI, I happen to be the Project Queen.
It’s not that I’m not humble, it’s just that I appreciate and cherish the gift that Hashem gave me even when it means that I’m doing my neighbours Shabbos table shoebox diarama at two o’clock in the morning.
Okay, maybe I’m not humble.
Sue me.

It is actually very interesting that I’m so good with what teachers call ‘technical’ skills because I’m really lousy with what I think is really the technical stuff. In fact, you could call me ‘technically impaired’. It’s serious and it’s sad. I can’t program my car radio buttons so I end up scanning and listening to the same gardening radio show, over and over again. I can now mulch and compost with the best of them. It is amazing that I can type this and it’s a real miracle that I can turn this computer on at all.

Anyhoo, I have been excelling at kids school projects since I learned how wield scissors. My brothers always capitalized on this as did my mom’s friends and then mine which then extended my friends kids. What can I say?
They recognised greatness when they saw it.

So when Tomato told me he had to do a project for school, I thought ‘Oh, good’. When he told me it was a competition, I thought ‘Oh, FABULOUS’!!!!! Now, as you know, I’m not a competitive person per se, only when it comes to having the nicest Sukkah and the best darn school projects.

The project assigned was to create a Menorah from disposable goods.
This was on Tuesday, so I asked Tomato when the project was due and he said on Friday. On Friday!!!! That left us so little time! How was I to collect all the toilet rolls from inside the toilet paper? How does one (uh, hum) encourage family members to go more often and use more paper?
Never you mind, a teensy bit more fibre in their diets and we shall we say, managed.

Then Tomato and I sat down and cut half moon shapes from the bottom of each of the nine toilet rolls and stuck them on the two paper towel rolls, which I had no problem collecting considering we go through paper towels like Condoleza Rice goes through Helmet Head Hairspray.
For the Shamas, we added another half of a toilet roll to make it higher and then we put another toilet roll underneath the paper towel rolls and attached it to a tissue box which we taped and glued into submission. Then we taped up the holes at the top of the toilet rolls and put Evian bottle caps as candle holders.

The final touch was when we spray painted it silver and the wind shifted and Tomato ended up with silver tipped school shoes.
I actually think they make quite a style statement.

The entire Menorah was finished by Thursday night. We had made the deadline! Then Tomato dropped the bombshell; sheepishly with a sly smile on his face he said to me, “Actually Mums, (well, he is British you know!) It’s due for NEXT Friday, I just wanted it done ahead of time!” Aha. I thought back to all that sweating and rushing and I came to the conclusion that he is a very bright boy indeed because he knew that I would only do it last minute anyway.

Anyway, on the allotted correct Friday, which was this past Friday, I drove Tomato to school, because he didn’t want his beloved Menorah, which we had all bonded with (well, it was sitting around the house an awfully long time) to get squashed by well meaning boisterous boys on the school bus.

He came home in awe of the other projects and thought there was one good contender; a boy had made his Menorah out of sweets, but apparently, when he wasn’t looking the rest of the class helped themselves and so by the end of the day there were very few sweets remaining on it.
Come on, let me hear a big, ‘AWWWW’…..
But Tomato assured me that it still looked okay.

The final judging was on Tuesday after his Chanukah Show.

I must say that even though the parking is murder and the school hall is jammed packed like the Harrods sale, I always look forward to Tomato’s Chanukah shows. Tomato got such a treat because the infamous travelin’ man Mr Kasamba came as well. When Tomato saw both of us sitting in the audience he grinned from ear to ear. The show was adorable and hearing Tomato sing his solos was a shtikel Gan Eden. I can’t imagine the Leviim in the Bais Hamikdash would have made me feel any more blissful then I felt at that show. It was a real nachasfest.

Soon enough the moment arrived, the results of the menorah competition were in! The lady sitting on my right leaned over and said to me, “I helped my son make the most amazing menorah!”
I answered, “Well, we’ll see, won’t we, my pretty…”
and then I laughed an evil laugh, “Whaaa, ha, ha Whaaa haaa haa….”
Actually, I didn’t really say that out loud, I just thought it.
At full volume.
What actually happened was that I turned to her and said,
“How nice.”

Then it was announced, (drumroll please…)
Tomato had won the competition!
Oh, yeah, oh yeah, we’re the best oh, yeah, oh yeah!
After Tomato collected his prize, and I gave high fives and cigars all around, I very maturely explained to Tomato that winning isn’t everything and that it’s just as important to have tried your best. And as he looked up at me with his earnest blue eyes, I was hoping that he couldn’t tell that I didn’t mean a word.

Oh, BTW the sweetie menorah won second place and that lady’s kid didn’t win at all.
Never mind, as I said before, winning’s not everything.
Yeah, right.


At 1:50 PM, Blogger Tzvi Meir said...

LOL you're a very mature mum! ;)

At 1:54 PM, Blogger Shoshana said...

LOL - SO funny! Congrats on (Tomato) winning the competition. Happy Chanukah!

At 2:40 PM, Blogger calmsoul said...

Hi kasama- I've been away for a while, but I' back and hopefully staying. - once again you brought a smile to my face whilst reading your last blog, and well done for winnning..Happy Chanuka- Its good to be back in blogland!!

At 3:17 PM, Blogger Ezzie said...

LOL and congratulations! :)

(But wait - wouldn't Evian bottle caps melt!?)

At 4:32 PM, Blogger kishmech said...

post a picture!!!

At 5:57 PM, Blogger Hila said...

You're one crafty lady, Kasamba! Congrats to you (and Tomato) on winning the competition. I'm always in awe of anyone who is "crafty" because I am seriously lacking in that department. *sigh* Hope you are having a great Chanukah!


At 6:47 PM, Blogger Shopaholic said...

Sounds really cute! Congrats on winning!

At 8:27 PM, Blogger Nemo said...

-10 points for fire hazard!!!

At 9:23 PM, Blogger RaggedyMom said...

That was very vividly described! I like the juxtaposition of the increase of fiber in the family diet and the holiness of the Chanukah lights :) - the mundane and the sacred, immortalized side by side in a school project. Great story!

At 11:52 PM, Blogger Sara with NO H said...

Awww I want to be a tomato! Congrats on the win Kasamba mama! I want to see a pic too. No way you didn't take a picture of the winning fine specimine.

At 12:21 AM, Blogger Also A Chussid said...

Like each and every single solitary post of yours this too was, dee…li…ciousss…

As they say in Yiddish “stuuu…nning…”

At 4:15 AM, Blogger ~ Sarah ~ said...

lol... congrats to you and tomato on your prize winning creation.

do we get to see a picture of this wonderful creation?!

chodesh tov, happy chanukah!

At 6:08 AM, Blogger Mia said...

LOL and congratulations on winning! What a great mom you are! Show us the winning menorah! Happy Channuka

At 9:54 AM, Blogger Open Up! said...

that was too funny as usual...ha ha ha ha he he he he ho ho ho---ooops wrong religion

At 9:54 AM, Blogger The Next Contender said...

"Oh, BTW the sweetie menorah won second place and that lady’s kid didn’t win at all."

Excellant stuff!

At 5:45 PM, Blogger Limey2001 said...

how much did you have to bribe the judge/s?

At 6:58 PM, Blogger Bonnie B said...

Oh it's a good thing our kids don't go to the same schools because I too was blessed in the school projects category-- there would have been fighting int he aisles (oh excuse me, friendly competition) Congrats!

At 9:40 PM, Blogger BarbaraFromCalifornia said...

Since we are ready to light the 7th candle tonight (still afternoon in California), I just wanted to wish you and your family a Happy Hanukah and good Shabbos for tomorrow.

At 10:01 AM, Blogger Pragmatician said...

Kol Hakavod, today most parents hire someone to do the kid's projects!
So your humor is rooted in creativity....

At 2:25 PM, Blogger chaverah said...

congrats on your win and I can relate to this post! Everytime a teacher gives one of these projects they should think about the poor mothers! I try to encourage my kids to do it on their own but somehow I alwasy get involved! one thing I do appreciate I never knew chumash and dikduk so well as i do now since I am going through scool all over again!

At 2:25 PM, Blogger chaverah said...

congrats on your win and I can relate to this post! Everytime a teacher gives one of these projects they should think about the poor mothers! I try to encourage my kids to do it on their own but somehow I always get involved! one thing I do appreciate I never knew chumash and dikduk so well as i do now since I am going through school all over again!

At 5:07 AM, Blogger Amishav said...

Do you know the famous American football coach who said, "Winning isn't everything, it's the only thing." Congrats on winning even if it was Tomato who did the actual winning. You can bask the red glow of victory.

At 4:41 PM, Blogger kasamba said...

Kollel Mama:
Young at heart;)


Great to have you back!

LOL!!!It was just for 'show' the project was to make a manorah out of DISPOSABLE goods- any way you slice it- it's a fire hazard!

I'll send you one!


thanks Sheifele!

See answer to Ezzie!

Yup, that's me- just elevating the mundane!

Sara with no H;
I'll send you one to BN!

Also a Chussid:
You always say the nicest things!

i'll send you one!

I'll try and send you one as well!


The Next Contender:
Why thanks!

As if!

At 4:44 PM, Blogger kasamba said...

LOL! Well that's good then!!!!

Thank you! I hope you had a wonderful chanukah!

Hmm maybe...

You are probably the best teacher!

And bask we did...

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