Sunday, September 16, 2007

R"H, a BMA, and a birthday

Gut voch, gut yor everyone! I hope you had a lovely Rosh Hashana. We got through just fine, despite the 3 day yuntiv, something that strikes fear into the hearts of Israelis, who almost never (R"H is the only possible time) have three days strung together like this. We ate out for three of the meals, and I'd like to publicly thank those holy host families, without whom we wouldn't have made it!

As it is, all the food DID get cooked. The only cooking we did on yuntiv proper was the chulent for shabbos of course (we left the crock pot on, used it for soup one meal, for hot water for coffee (parve) for another, etc), and an 'eggie' (SR likes eggies) for my daughter. For the latter, I Pam-ed a frying pan and threw in two beaten eggs... and came back later. Yes Mom, you're right - you really CAN cook on our hotplate, although the egg was more dried than cooked... same thing I guess... and once I cut off several inches all around to get rid of the plasticy edges, the girl was very happy to eat it. Glad we could accommodate you, your Highness.

Do you see how much hair someone has? And can you imagine how it smelled after three days of not bathing it? We served both salmon and gefilte fish, and neither improve in odor with time... Fortunately, she is back to her pristine, sweet-smelling self.

Oh, so the BMA (Bad Mother Alert) number 145,323... this was a doozy. I'm downstairs in the parking lot with the girl (aside: why did we all buy apartments with backyards, if we play in the parking lot? End of aside.), and she's with some other kids, several of whom are older. And they drift away out of my sight for a minute or two, and I'm just hanging out shmoozing with the other mom, and.... honk. HONK! So I get up, and around the corner find a lady waiting in her car to access the parking lot (imagine, she wanted to park!), and the older kids moving the littler kids (mine included) away. (At this point, one of my child's grandmothers is sitting in America, dialing a travel agent to find out how expensive it would be to fly in for each playtime.)

So I naturally go and pick up my only mildly startled baby (baby? Toddler!) and wait for the car to finish parking. The driver then gets out and proceeds to tell me how she couldn't see my daughter in her line of vision at all, and it's really not a place for children to play, and I really need to watch her, etc, etc. And I agree with her and tell her so - she's right, I was negligent, no question about it. (She also adds as a parting dig, "You waited long enough for that baby." Truer words never spake!)

The crucial BMA, however, isn't the incident. The incident was, on some level, bound to happen as I realize my daughter is old enough to a) get away from me when I'm distracted, b) get far away from me, c) get into serious trouble. Lesson learnt.

But... why wasn't I freaking out? Why, even when I heard the beep, wasn't I scared? Why wasn't I all a-tremble, checking my daughter for injury, hugging her despite her squirming to get down, etc?

One reason is the other mother I was with is exceedingly laid back, and also someone whose parenting techniques (as a whole) I admire, so I no doubt took some cues from her (her child, about 5 months older than mine, had been honked at too).

But I think (BMA majore) that some of my teenage invulnerability is being projected on my daughter as well. Mind you, I'm not a teenager anymore (heck, I'm 30 in less than a year, gulp), but I have almost never really been scared that I would be hurt. And I'm not really scared that Sarah Rochel will be either.

This... this worries me, a little. And yet, I'm not unduly reckless with her. I'm exceedingly cautious with her health (that is, she's had more doctor's visits than most children have by the puberty), I feed her whole wheat for heaven's sake, I won't let her hit and bite and so on. But it troubles me that I wasn't upset.

Feedback, friends? Was this a BMA (not the letting her wander into traffic, no no, but my calm reaction)?

Anyway, the above picture is Sroch on her 'Wee.' As in, "Weeeeeee!"

And lastly, today was Yoav's birthday - his Hebrew and English dates coincided, which is after all only supposed to happen every 19 years (I asked to confirm - he's not 38). But it's still cool. And since we came home, Tochterbean went on and on, "Abba goda birdtay." SENTENCES! Wow. But fear not - BMAs or not, we will strive to raise her not to end sentences with a preposition.


Nechama Gorfinkel said...

i dont think you need to freak out. its ok to stay calm if it was you who did something wrong (if she has run into the street you need to react for chinuch reasons...)but in a case where something couldve happened and didnt, i dont think theres anything wrong with you if you dont feel any aftershock. then again, i live with the yarmishs so my judgement might be a bit impaired.

Sabba Lenny said...

Anyway, SR may have inherited the wanderlust. When this sabba of hers was a toddler, he did worse (according to great grandma Evelyn- paraphrased): "I was shopping in a store, and suddenly noticed Lenny was no longer by my side. I heard a commotion outside and went out to find passersby rescuing him from the street." I think that your parking lot has acquired the status of a playground. Let's pray that all drivers use appropriate caution. After all, many little kids play there unsupervised by adults.

Faye said...

I think that the fact that you did not freak is good. SR would have been scared, and since there was no actual negative result (other than YOU getting yelled at, which, by the way, you deserved), calm was probably the way to go. It is not like your child ran out into the street, which as Ms. Gorfinkel pointed out above, is a totally different situation. I think you handled it just fine. Gmar Chasima Tova!