Sunday, October 22, 2006

My friends should probably stop reading this blog

Of course I say that tongue-in-cheek, but it's kind of funny how so many of my friends read a very negative post on here and then call or e-mail or IM me, very worried about my mood, or call each other and discuss it among themselves. (And I never should have told my mom about this blog.)

One friend challenged me today to write about something positive in my life. There had to be something good going on, he said, despite the severe physical pain, my crummy insurance company, the hostile Dr. Jerk, the unanimous and harshly judgmental faculty, and my status as an aging single girl. At the time I rebuffed him, but then I thought I'd give it a shot.

So I'm going to write about my friend Ruchama's daughter, Tikva, who is 3.

Tikva and I have a special bond. Even though Ruchama's four other children try to grab some of my attention when I'm there for a shabbos meal, Tikva always demands top billing. She's the one who gets to sit on my lap (the older kids aren't interested, but the 6-year-old wouldn't mind a turn chez Ayelet). Tikva always sits next to me (or on me) at meals, and when she has to go to the potty -- being newly trained -- I'm the one she wants to take her. (As an experienced aunt, I'm not put off by this, since this is exactly how my nephews and nieces act when I'm visiting. "Aunt Ayelet! I need to go make!!!")

Over Simchat Torah, Ruchama invited me to have Shabbos lunch -- the last meal in the succah -- with her family. We ate in the synagogue succah, and I spent the entire meal doing three things:

1. Cutting up food for Tikva
2. Asking Tikva what she wanted from the various dishes on the table (Ruchama's a fabulous cook)
3. Taking Tikva inside to use the potty

There were a few false alarms, because Tikva's still new at this potty thing, so we made several trips back and forth. Tikva also thoughtfully provided a comprehensive blow-by-blow of the process, so I wouldn't miss any important details:

"It's a pee-pee...."

"It's a poo.... It's a BIG poo. Yesterday I had a baby poo...."

"Finished!" (after producing a fanfaronade of gas)

And there's no better way, as far as I'm concerned, to spend lunch. I managed to eat enough, in between trips to the potty and cutting up Tikva's food, and I got to spend a lot of time with someone whose regard for me "borders on idolatry," in the words of her mother.

I pushed her home in the stroller (at her demand: "Not Mommy! Ayelet push the stroller!") and she fell asleep in the warm autumn sunshine; as she napped, I spent some time in grown-up talk with Ruchama, while the other kids played or read. When Tikva woke up later that afternoon -- a little cranky, as many children are when first waking up -- she didn't go to her mother. She came straight to me and snuggled on my lap. "Ayelet no go home," she said.

So screw Dr. Jerk and his unreasonable, unprofessional, ultimately pathetic hostility toward me. Tikva and her family think I'm the greatest thing since computer games. And theirs is the opinion that counts.
Copyright (c) 2006 "Ayelet Survivor"


  1. there ya go! now reading this brings a smile to my face as i reckon you are smiling and you are changing!!

    you write there opinion is the one that counts!!


  2. Awwwww. That's so sweet! I love little mushy kids who cuddle. They're the most delicious things ever.