Friday, December 03, 2010

Dr. Aunt returns

Over Thanksgiving, Shira confided in me that when she sleeps at her father's house, she has terminal insomnia. Obviously those weren't the words she used, but she wakes up at 2, 3, 4 a.m. and can't fall back asleep.

I was concerned. Very concerned. I've never slept well -- even as a kid I had sleep disturbances. The last thing I want is for Shira to struggle the way I have. I asked her if she'd discussed the problem with her dad.

"He says I should come get him," she said, "but I'm not comfortable doing that." Probably for a number of reasons. She is 10, after all, a little old to get into bed with Daddy. Then there's the home-wrecking girlfriend who also sleeps in Daddy's bed. So I tried to think of an intervention that might soothe her.

"How about if I got you a nice soft stuffed animal, and when you wake up and feel lonely, you can hug it?" I suggested. She's a little old for transitional objects, but I didn't think my ex-brother-in-law would listen if I suggested he give her melatonin at night. Shira thought that was a good idea.

On Sunday I got together with a high school friend in midtown for lunch. Then I went to Herald Square, thinking I'd hit the Toys R Us that used to be there. (I figured the Times Square Toys R Us would be too crowded with holiday shoppers.) I went into Daffy's, and lo and behold, they have stuffed animals. I chose a pink and orange velour dog holding a puppy in its front legs and sent it to her with a note telling her that just like the dog is holding the puppy, I'm always holding her in my heart.

She got it today and loves it. In a few days I'll ask if it helps her sleep.
Copyright (c) "Ayelet Survivor"

1 comment:

  1. Wow you r something special to your niece- that know one else can be . You are needed because the love u give is like no other. So when you are slipping into darkness despair - remember - your way of love - your expressions of love -your gift of love is valuable! I wonder if you would be the Aunt your are - if you were already married with your own Kids? She's blessed and so are you. ;-)