Tuesday, October 13, 2009

When Do I Get A Turn

well the baby's homecoming was a non-event. i had thoughts of going to town and buying large helium balloons and a placard that read "welcome home". well, at best the hebrew equivalent. i spent the morning and most of the afternoon frantically cleaning the roof top apartment. i figured that dust and pigeon poo can't be too healthy for a new baby. i tried to vacuum the wooden floors but as truth be told ,i hate vacuuming. i'm more of a throw water on it person. to quote the words of Martha Stewart,the shikser ultimate balibusta, "throwing water on wooden floors is not a good thing". so i took out my trusted sponger stick and a new smatoot, the magic rag that does so well around corners, and proceeded to wash the entire area of the roof. is there any wonder why my back and feet are hurting so much today. anyway, i washed all the furniture and windexed the mirrors. i don't think babies do well with smudged mirrors.i probably read that once in Dr.Spock. apparently,it does something to diminish their self esteem. next came the bathroom where i could throw around buckets of water. i figure that the water left around the washer/dryer area will be gone way before i find a competent electrician to install electricity in the room. i'm thinking ahead of course, as i know that the new generation of israeli men enjoy the use of blow dryers and i don't want my grandson to be deprived in the future. i then tackled the rather large porch area and really threw buckets of soapy water at it until it was pigeon poo free. it was a delight to see and smell. wouldn't you know that in just a few hours later those dreaded birds returned to a really clean perch and messed it up all over again. anyway,it was way too late to go to town for the balloons as i still wanted to go food shopping for the new parents. i spent about $100 on your staples: pringles, pretzels, bissli, bambas, chocolate milk and puddings and a dozen eggs just in case they wanted to cook something. i then went into the local newspaper store to buy balloons and lo and behold there was a lovely assortment of baby toys. i never realized how expensive these things are here. i couldn't find any placards or balloons but i bought something cute to hang on the carriage and a stuffed moon with a face that played "twinkle twinkle little star". i also bought a little stuffed cow that made a very realistic moo for my new grandnephew whose parents are shalichim in india. does anyone else get the irony in this gift? i bought two framed pictures of animals cutouts and hung them on the wall next to the crib. i worried that i might have overstepped the boundaries and that my son might tell me to back off and mind my own business. but fortunately, the young parents loved the pictures and i was spared the "i have to be true to my wife" speech. after i checked out the apartment for the umpteenth time and decided that it was,indeed,clean enough for a new baby; i threw in a couple of loads of laundry. as much as i do not like to vacuum, i like doing laundry even less. my mother was a laundry maven. there was nothing more sacred to her than laundry and ironing. in brooklyn the basement served as her laundry sanctum. she would spend the entire day downstairs doing laundry and ironing to the soulful music of edith piaf. she could come home after a hospital stay and was still good for a load. she continued to do all of our laundry well into her eighties and in fact, banned me form using her beloved maytag washer. when she no longer had the strength to do the laundry she took me downstairs and i was finally inducted into the world of maytag. my mom is since gone but i can still hear her voice telling me that i'm overloading the machine and that nothing will get clean. before the baby arrived i quickly scrawled "Welcome Home Sahar" on a piece of shiny paper and taped it to their door. they finally came home at 10 p.m. and the sephardi safta held him. my son brought in the baby things and all of the groceries they had bought. i guess they are growing up now and don't need me to shop for them. i guess that now i can go upstairs and raid their fridge when i get hungry. sahar nursed and his israeli grandmother held him until he fell asleep. she mentioned how all of the aunts and uncles (aged 8-27)cried when little sahar left."oh, if we could only have just one more day with him" they wailed. i, the american english speaking safta have held my grandson maybe 5 times in the first month of his life. i have waited my turn.i let the older sister who hasn't had children yet, have my turn in the hospital. i let the oldest sister who isn't married yet have my turn in the house. i let the safta raba who is on chemo hold him at the bris. i waited and watched as the entire clan held him and had pictures taken with him at the bris. i had to beg the sephardi safta for a chance to hold him and have a picture taken at the bris because he had already fallen asleep. in all this time i reasoned that i would have all the time in the world to bond with my grandson because, after all, they live in my house. so last night i didn't hold him because sephardi safta was holding him. i actually felt sorry for her. she joked that soon he would be climbing down the steps to see me. i just hope that he will eventually know that i am his grandmother and not just the middle-aged landlady living downstairs. i brought up their laundry this morning to get a chance to see him but he was nursing and all covered up. i ran upstairs a couple of times during the day but didn't hear any sounds and didn't want to disturb the resting new mom. at 5:00 p.m. i called my son at his workplace and asked if he had spoken to his wife and asked him how was she managing alone upstairs. i want to honor their privacy and give them space because they were living with the in-laws for a month and things were really close. but when do i get my turn? to be continued....

1 comment:

  1. at least they are back at THEIR home and soon you will have that "cry for help" from Gal. Shar will get to know and love his truely ashkenazi grandma who, as he is able to eat them, bake him lots of healthy cookies.

    You will have the urge to spoil him rotten, just like your mom did with Zvi. Tone it down a bit - he'll still love you lots and maybe he won't have the champagne taste of his parents!

    Love ya girl - remember to take care of yourself so you'll be ready to be the helping grandma!