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Jolly Solly: No Rest for the Weary

R. Atkins

Now that Avi was settled on the floor with a box of toys, Bracha hoped to be able to grab a short break

Wednesday, January 04, 2017

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Photo: Shutterstock

B racha sank into an easy chair with a sigh of relief. Watching a lively toddler while fasting on Asarah B’Teves was no easy feat. Her husband was in shul, and with the rest of the Morrises living far away, there were no younger brothers or sisters around to give a hand. Still, she’d fed and diapered Avi, and now that he was settled on the floor nearby with a box of toys to keep him busy, Bracha hoped to be able to grab a short break.

She was just getting really comfortable, when suddenly there was a great big clattering noise.

Clatter!

Crash!

Uh-oh. Avi had somehow managed to open the silverware drawer — something that had always eluded him in the past — and he was throwing the neatly organized contents higgledy-piggledy onto the floor. Bracha jumped up, horrified. Unfortunately, it was too late to stop him, but she quickly wedged the other drawers shut before he decided to have a go at them, too.

Redirecting Avi back to his toys, Bracha sank back into her easy chair. With the other drawers now inaccessible, she was savoring the peaceful atmosphere when a rrrrrrip sound caught her attention. Oh, dear. Avi again. This time, he’d ripped apart a book. It was supposed to be sturdy, but obviously the publishers hadn’t reckoned on Avi. He’d somehow scrunched up a whole bunch of pages, and managed to pull them out at once. Bracha quickly removed the book and put it away, hoping it was still salvageable. She’d once heard Jolly Solly had some sort of wizard method for repairing books.

Before returning to her chair, Bracha cast a quick glance around to check if there was anything else that needed securing in a room she’d thought was already childproof. Everything looked fine. There was a plastic jug of orange juice and a bowl of fruit on a table, but Avi was still too small to reach those, and hadn’t yet mastered the art of climbing on chairs. The only other books around were Bracha’s cookbooks, sitting on a high shelf well out of reach.

With a satisfied grunt, Bracha settled back down, looking forward to some much-needed relaxation. Avi busied himself with his toys, banging colored blocks together and muttering gibberish to himself. Then he emptied all the toys out of the box at once, enjoying the noise as they clattered to the ground. After a few minutes, though, he lost interest and sat back frowning. Avi felt he needed more excitement in his life. Bored, he looked around for inspiration.

Aha! Crawling over to the table, he eyed the jug and bowl curiously. If only he could get his hands on them! Stretching out an experimental pudgy little hand, he yanked the tablecloth toward him.

Crash!

Down came the jug, spilling juice all over the floor.

Bang!

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