Great day! We finally met with the school psychologist who decides if Karen is ready for first grade. She got 2 thumbs up both for her cognitive abilities, as well as significantly improved behavior. Her teacher told us that she doesn’t have attention problems, except once she gets bored with something, or has it figured out in her head. Sometimes she doesn’t complete her work if she feels she already “gets it”. We also heard that on Family Day, when children discuss their home life, she proudly told the entire class that she was born in Ukraine and that she didn’t come out of her mother’s tummy. According to the teacher, she shared her family story with confidence and in a positive light. I’m really, really proud of her! The teacher told me how she made a big deal about how Karen was “chosen” by her parents. Nice try, but today, adoption professionals advise against this “chosen” concept because it leads the child to question whether we would still love her and have chosen her is she wasn’t so special, cute, pretty, smart, or whatever. In addition, it isn’t true. Truth is crucial to maintaining trust with children who only began to learn to trust after we adopted them. Our story to the children is that we were looking for our daughter/son, and that there were people who helped us locate them so we could adopt them. Which is all true.
Today Matan had an occupational therapy session combined with a speech therapist. The occupational therapist has great chemistry with Matan. It’s been two weeks since she saw him, and she was really impressed with his significantly improved level of play and speech. The slow increase in Matan’s repertoire of words is no thanks to the speech therapist, and mostly due to work I do with him or stuff he learns from other kids at preschool. I’m trying to get us transferred to a different speech therapist since this one has zero chemistry with Matan. I’m thrilled to hear him say new words almost every day now, but he still seems to lack motivation to speak. The occupational therapist is absolutely wonderful, and has had a great influence on Matan, and on how I play with both children.
My last update on Egypt is beginning to look like week old veggies gone soft in the fridge. I celebrate with the people of Egypt in their happiness at moving towards democracy, but can’t completely throw off my Israeli fear of what may come next. Stratfor is calling this a military coup, which I think would surprise a lot of Egyptians. For Israel, a military government may be the easiest to deal with. After all, Egypt’s military has an interest in maintaining the status quo, if only to continue receiving US aid.
The bigger coup will be when the Egyptian people manage to vote for and install a new government that can truly be a light to the Arab world.
They have shown us that the “Arab Street” can be massive, yet maintain a non-violent opposition. This is HUGE. How many other countries have actually gone the non-violent, passive resistance approach, and won?
This is being called the Internet Revolution, and it does seem that social networking played a part in the end of Mubarak. I hope that the improved communication available via the Internet, and the way it enables former enemies to interact, will also help all sides bring a more peaceful existence to the people of this region. I am encouraged when I see how many Israelis comment on English language Arab blogs.
Let’s all hope that this is the beginning of a new, more democratic Arab world, one that continues to develop ties to Israel.
Twitter has been a lifeline for some of the protesters in Tahrir Square. I mentioned some of the Tweeters, or is it Twits?, I follow. This is an update on how they have weathered the past few days in Cairo. For both, yesterday was one of the most difficult with one arrested and one rescued by the army after being attacked by roaming vigilantes.
@Sandmonkey has become something of a celebrity online, both with his blog, Rantings of a Sandmonkey, which has been around since late 2004, various guest posts and articles and on Twitter. He also gets credit for bringing one of the flagship corruption cases to the English reading public. He published a graphic account of the police brutality case of Khaled Said . Said was sitting at an Internet cafe when he was accosted and beaten to death by two police officers. He has poked fun at protesters in the past for not being organized enough. The blogger’s pro American view has been instrumental in building an audience of people with vastly different backgrounds and views who might otherwise miss this important voice from Egypt.
SM, as he’s known to many, spent the last week on the streets, in relative safety. Yesterday he was arrested. The news travelled like wildfire over the ‘net and supporters from all over the world sought information about his welfare. The fact that he had just posted a fabulous article about the situation in his city and that his blog suddenly went offline had many people worrying that the Egyptian government had somehow managed to pull his blog. As it happened, the blog account had been suspended because it came under a hack attack, and the host had it back up today. The man himself was released from custody after only an hour. I encourage you to read his latest manifesto, titled “Egypt, right now!”.
@TravellerW, also known as Mo-ha-med also had a bad day yesterday, all documented on Twitter. His blog, The Traveller Within is also being updated with requests for assistance and information about the real situation in Cairo. From what I’ve managed to understand, and I may be wrong on the details, but it appears he was attacked on the streets of Cairo, not in Tahrir Square, because he was carrying a laptop. Vigilante’s are everywhere, and side by side with escaped convicts and anyone else taking advantage of the mayhem and lack of police protection. Mo-ha-med was rescued by the army, and made it home with a bleeding and aching head. No news on whether he got to keep the laptop.
Matan managed to expel the chunk, or chunks that were blocking him up. He’s back to normal now. We finally got almost six hours of uninterrupted sleep last night. Now Karen has a fever and some coughing, but seems to be fighting back pretty well. I know we should have gotten flu shots, but when I went to set an appointment, I was told they are all out and would only have vaccinations available in about two weeks. Now that we’re back in the timeframe, Karen’s sick. I had hoped to take them both together and get it all over with in one unpleasant visit rather than try to take each separately. Still not sure the best tactic.
Then again, maybe we’ll forget about shots. Dr. Barak is against flu vaccinations and has an alternative remedy on his blog (in Hebrew). His solution uses a homeopathic flu medicine called Oscillococcinum. I don’t usually go for homeopathy, but I know several people who swear this specific remedy. I’ve used it myself and can’t say it works any less than the allopathic vaccine.
Update: Dr. Barak has been kind enough to visit this blog, and post his flu recommendations in English. If anyone wants me to translate his entire flu vaccine post, just know that I’m a terrible translator, but if you need the info, and Google Translator isn’t sufficient, let me know and I’ll put some work into it and post a translation. Dr. Barak has given me approval to translate.