Barak and I share many traits in common, among them our preferences in food. Neither of us is a very great fan of most traditional Shabbos food. It's not that I don't like potato kugel and chicken soup and cholent. I do. But if you made a list of my fifty favorite foods, forty-eight of them would be dairy or parve and the other two would be not-suitable-for-Shabbos fleishig.
So when the end of Shabbos rolls around, I am usually very much looking forward to my milchig malava malka. Sometimes I make Hungarian noodles or macaroni and cheese, sometimes I make pizza (I have that Bosch and all), sometimes I make cheese pretzels. I usually don't get around to eating anything until pretty late, and since I'm usually too busy with the kids to eat much of a seudat shlishit, by then I'm hungry.
This week, MHH invited some of his boys to a malava malka. I planned pizza. I made six pizzas' worth of dough, and cleaned, and had cheese and toppings and drinks on hand. On Friday, MHH came home and said, vaguely, that he wasn't sure how many would come. On Saturday night, I s asked him when he'd called it for. "Well, I never really set a time. I was having trouble keeping them on task and forgot to mention it." Oh.
Strangely, nobody came. Hmm.
Since I had pizza dough already, I made pizza for myself. Like I said, I like pizza, and I was hungry, and I wasn't really all that put out about not having a bunch of teenage boys descend on my houseful of sleeping children.
Did I say sleeping children? Sorry, my mistake.
I got the pizza in the oven, and Iyyar woke up, wanting to nurse. I nursed him, put him back down, and took the pizza out of the oven, practically rubbing my hands together with anticipation and glee. Children in bed! Kitchen clean! Husband otherwise engaged! Pizza!
Iyyar started crying again, and when I went to get him, there was Barak standing in his crib (Iyyar's old pack and play, where Barak sleeps now, since he still scorns his toddler bed) looking his most winning. "Imma," he said, positively dripping sweetness and hope, "I needa come out. Needa poop potty please."
"Do you need to poop right now" [I am, remember, nursing the baby] "or can you wait a few minutes."
"I ca' wait a few minutes." Pause. "Come out please. C'I come out."
"Sure, come out. Abba will take you to the potty, okay."
Barak positively cannot believe his good fortune. He climbs out. "I just gonna play a iddle bit, 'kay?"
"No, Barak, you're not going to play. It's 10 pm. If you need to poop, that's fine, but it's not time to play."
Barak decides not to push his luck.
"'Kay. I just gonna poop onna potty."
"Just wait a minute, and Abba will come get you as soon as he's off the phone."
"Iss okay. I just gonna go poop potty by myself."
"Oh no you're not. Wait just a minute for Abba." Abba does not in fact get off the phone, so I put Iyyar back in his crib, mostly asleep, and take Barak to the potty. I set him up with his monster book, and think, would it be terrible to go eat a little pizza while it's still warm?
"Barak, I'm going to go to the kitchen, okay? You go ahead and poop."
"'Kay." Barak is happily sitting reading his monster book, clearly in for the long haul.
I head back to the kitchen. I wash, again. I take one more bite of pizza when
"Imma! I pished! Imma!"
I go and duly admire. Barak flushes. I head back to my congealing cheese.
"Imma! I pooped! Imma!"
"Abba, please, can you go help Barak on the potty?"
I take three bites. Three. I counted them. Barak is in the kitchen, dancing with joy.
"I pooped! I pooped onna potty! I gonna getta ice cream graham cracker sprinkles!"
"No, sweetie, it's too late for that. You already brushed your teeth, and we don't do treats in the middle of the night."
"I getta jellybean M?" [A jellybean/M & M from the Jar of Potty Treats]
"No, sweetie, no treats now."
You know how people talk about faces crumpling? Barak's looked like someone reached over with a first and scrunched it. Hard. He was crushed. I got out of bed, I pished, I pooped, and I get NOTHING?! Clearly, this would not do.
"All right, Barak, how about we go listen to Hashem is Here."
We go into the back bedroom, find Hashem is Here on RealPlayer [How annoying is it to pay for a download that is write-protected so that you can't load it onto your iPod?!] and listen. Twice. Barak is pleased. He goes back into bed with minimal fuss.
And I eat my stone-cold but still quite tasty pizza.