Sunday, July 13, 2008

Settling In

It’s been a strange week. Much of it involved settling the little one into nursery.

Last Tuesday I delivered her, loitered for five minutes then disappeared into the next room. I couldn’t quite bring myself to leave the nursery; I wanted to be on hand in case she needed me. I could hear her crying but she was whining rather than hysterical. I tried to read a book but was just too distracted. The Nursery Nurse kept sneaking back to me to tell me how things were going. She told me to go into another part of the nursery and relax.

I went to where the babies are looked after. When I arrived they were all asleep and I chatted to the lady who cared for them. Initially we spoke in Hebrew and then discovered we were both English speakers. This was a relief to me as my Hebrew is pretty basic. She was originally from Swaziland and told me that at its peak in the late 1970s the Jewish community there numbered 14 families! I spent a very pleasant hour chatting to her and she also crept out a couple of times to report back to me.

After an hour and a half I went back to my teary-eyed daughter and got the biggest hug ever. It is so hard to leave her – hard for her, hard for me.

She went again on Thursday and Friday, just for a few hours. They said that she is doing better – crying on and off, but taking part in activities. They told me to persevere. I dropped her off again today and she cried as we turned up the nursery path. I said my farewells and then stood outside the nursery for a while, listening to my daughter cry. Finally I got a grip and went home.

It is sweltering in Israel at the moment. We have fans in each of our bedrooms to help us get through the hot nights. The fans in Israel seem to be made to fall apart before the end of each summer. The fan in the baby’s room has a broken stand and is propped up against a wall. We recently bought a fan for our room and the buttons have all broken, they just fell apart in our hands, stayed pushed in or simply refuse to be pressed.

We didn’t buy this particular fan locally so I couldn’t be bothered to take it on the bus and return it. Instead I spent this evening taking it apart and using the parts to fix all the faults in the rest of the family’s fans. The fan in the baby’s room is now nice and sturdy, the one in my daughter’s room has new casing. I gave the remaining remnants of the fan to my son who spent an hour happily unscrewing it and taking it apart. Having got as far as he could he decided he was going to continue enjoying this exciting new toy by smashing it to smithereens with a hammer. Each to their own I guess.

Sharona B