Leora's birthday party at Gan

Before I get into the details about the birthday party I'd like to describe how gan has been going for Leora so far this year. Shira has described it partially in the past but I'll try to give a little more detail here. Leora is in gan chova which is for kids who turned 5 by Rosh Hashana so she's one of the younger kids in the gan. Officially the day is until 1:20 but you have the option to pay and have the kids stay as late as 4:30 at tzaharon. Everyone in Leora's gan stays for tzaharon. There is one ganenet (teacher) and one assistant for 35 kids.

Leora went to gan on the first day and basically didn't know a word of Hebrew. At least half her class though speaks English so it shouldn't be a huge problem. Neither of her teachers know any English though. So Leora was a little freaked out. For a while she pretty much screamed any time someone would talk Hebrew to her. She's gotten better with that and now just tunes people out but doesn't run away screaming. After a couple weeks, we/the ganenet decided that we should stay with her for an hour so she could stay calm. It never really worked because it just delayed the screaming (we've since cut it down to only stay for 15 minutes). When we leave, she screams and runs out after us. There is a security guard outside the gan (there are a couple other gans inside there also) who stands by the gate. The door is open in the morning and afternoon when the parents are bringing their kids but the rest of the time the gate is locked and the security guard has to open it for anyone who wants to come or go. Each day, Leora runs out after us and we lock her behind the gate like she's in jail. She screams and cries for 15-60 minutes until she calms down. The teachers claim that once she calms down she's good and has lots of fun in school. So I'm still hoping that one day we'll take her and she won't run out after us screaming. It's going to happen one of these days.

They do three birthday parties in gan at a time and only do them on Fridays. The parents bring aruchat eser and cake and the teachers have an entire schedule of games and songs that lasts for over an hour. So the party was scheduled for 9:30. I brought Leora to gan at 8 and hoped that she'd let me leave right away but she still screamed and ran out to the gate when I left. I picked up my parents so Yeshaya, Shira, my parents and I showed up at Leora's gan at 9:30 for the big party. She was sharing the spotlight with two boys.

It was a very nice party and we got to see firsthand how Leora interacts with some of the kids. I'll include below a video of the hokey pokey in Hebrew and some other assorted pictures. It was a lot of fun but of course Leora screamed when it was time for us to leave.

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