N has been washing her hands more lately. This is a good thing.
Not that we haven't always taught her to do this, mind you. And not that we have neglected to teach her to use soap, or to spend plenty of time scrubbing (in fact, I taught her to count to 15 slowly while sudsing). But when "nice Mrs. G. at school" tells her to do it, for some reason it carries more weight.
And now she not only washes carefully, but she sings while she washes. Two choruses of "Row, Row, Row Your Boat," to be precise.
The school nurse is using this clever strategy to get the younger children to soap up long enough to kill bacteria, and I think it's great! N is enthusiastic about it, and even when she rushes through it, she can only sing the words so fast, you know? Two verses still take enough time that she does a pretty good job with that soap.
Incidentally, she's learned another interesting life lesson from one of her "specials," this one last year, actually. She explained to me very seriously last year that when she runs in gym class she is always very quiet and never yells, because "when you yell, it slows you down - my gym teacher told us that." Heh heh - talk about a smart guy! This is the man who broke her heart by retiring last year, and it's taken the new young woman almost three months to gain N's trust. N is very loyal! This new gym teacher learned the rule from N, according to N, and thought it was just dandy. I asked N if it's always quiet in gym when there is running, and she shook her head sadly. Apparently not all of the kids are as serious about running fast as she is.
Last night it was still enough that R & N managed to light our outdoor menorah. Z had already left for art class, and C had taken her; I was in bed with a migraine, so R & N went out and said the blessing and lit it, and I crawled to the window to admire it. It was lovely, especially with the snow falling. It is R's invention: large jars with candles in them (held in place by wax), sitting on our garden bench. Not easy to photograph, so here's the best I could do:
Maybe tonight R will go out & take a picture from closer up. This was taken by me from inside, which was the best I could manage, given my condition. Considering that the mitzvah is to light a menorah where everyone can see it, and our indoor ones are not by a window, we really should have this in the front yard, not the back, but I'm pretty sure (with all the vandalism lately) it would be broken. Maybe we will try it the last night.