These Armenians have it right! Not only is International Women's Day an official holiday in Armenia, the whole country essentially celebrates Women's Month - from March 8 (International Women's Day) until April 7 (Motherhood and Beauty Day). According to Wikipedia, the first IWD was observed on 28 February 1909 in the United States following a declaration by the Socialist Party of America. Among other relevant historic events, it commemorates the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire (New York, 1911), where over 140 women lost their lives. The idea of having an international women's day was first put forward at the turn of the 20th century amid rapid world industrialization and economic expansion that led to protests over working conditions. By urban legend, women from clothing and textile factories staged one such protest on 8 March 1857 in New York City. The garment workers were protesting what they saw as very poor working conditions and low wages. The protesters were attacked and dispersed by police. These women established their first labor union in the same month two years later. More protests followed on 8 March in subsequent years, most notably in 1908 when 15,000 women marched through New York City demanding shorter hours, better pay and voting rights.
The kids, however, were not impressed with the importance of the day. Austin woke everyone up early and didn't really care that I wanted to sleep in. Oh well.....So much for better working conditions at home....
While the BBC reported that women in Tehran were being beaten and arrested for sitting outside some government ministry demanding (while sitting, mind you) equal rights (read: the ability to see your children after divorcing an abusive husband who was awarded custody automatically), Mom treated me to a spa treatment at the only Indian inspired Ayurvedic salon in Yerevan. We joined my new friends, Erica and Sonya. Erica is from Amarillo originally; Sonya is my boss and from California. We brought wine, baklava, and cookies and had quite the feast before our spa treatments. Included in the low, low price of about $20 (with tip!), we each had our hair cut, a manicure, and a wonderful facial. All while sipping wine and eating. Afterwards, we met with another friend, Amy, and headed out for "Mexican" food at Cactus Cafe. Amy is from all over, but amazingly has a house about 1/2 mile from mine (off S. 1st for you Austinites).
Then we came home and the kids were still not aware of the purpose of the holiday and proceeded to bicker until I put them to bed early. I am starting to remind them of Motherhood and Beauty Day in the hopes that I can at least sleep until 7.30.
On another note... the weather is getting warmer. The kids are doing well in school. Cole Ryan has spring break this next week; for some completely unknown reason, Madisen does not. She also goes to school on Saturdays and he stays home. Last Saturday she refused; this Saturday she is not complaining because she has a playdate with a new school friend, Lilit (pronouced "lil eet"). Madisen liked going to school today as she and her female classmates were given a fabric flower and small plastic coin purse. Socialization starts early for IWD. Cole Ryan is still stymied as to why there is not "International Men's Day" and feels quite cheated. Austin, of course, is oblivious.
Mom leaves on Wednesday (3/14) and I am bracing for single parenthood until Tom visits in April. I have a new parenting tactic: if they misbehave, they have to pay me out of their allowance. I figure I will save up that money and treat myself to another spa day!