Monday, January 21, 2008

Help!

Here's a long shot: anyone have leads for finding a wonderful nanny/nanny share/in-house babysitting in Tel Aviv (not far from the Old Central bus station) fast?

I'd planned on devoting the first three weeks in Israel to finding the perfect situation. After all, I'm still breastfeeding and I wasn't planning to lug a million-pound breast pump at this late stage in our feeding.

But now the teaching strike is over in Israel’s universities. This means that, instead of starting to teach in mid-February, I’ll begin to teach the very next day after I arrive in Tel Aviv. That is, eight days from now.

Administration has decided to start the fall semester on the last Sunday in January. I got bumped up from the spring semester to the fall semester.

I don’t mind rushing the syllabus. Finishing it this week, with the taxes,the book-length translation, the merit report, the packing. But I hadn't planned on rushing child care.

I'm not easily fazed. The first month that I taught Spanish in the Czech Republic I had no classroom—actually, I did have a classroom, "they" just lost the key to the classroom. It’s nice to know there exists a country so virtuous that no one understands how to pick a lock, break a window, slip a really skinny person through the window up at the very top, or any of the other tricks you see in the movies. There were also no textbooks and the photocopy machine wasn’t working. But I digress.

The point is we'll be okay. I can bring baby to class the first day in Israel. We’re going to read some Walt Whitman out loud, and she’ll like that.

I understand that my luggage will get lost—it ALWAYS gets lost, and this trip has a lay-over in Heathrow—so I’m carrying teaching clothes, makeup and syllabi in the diaper bag.

I’m all set. Except for the most important thing of all—baby.

I'm not a freakishly uptight mother. Baby's pacifier drops, I lick it off, or wipe it on something, or dip it in a glass of water, and give it right back. I let her eat sand, and I didn't freak when I found her mouth full of cat food at a friend's the other day. But I lay awake at night terrified at the thought of my daughter feeling abandoned or afraid (or G-d forbid, hungry for milk!) when I'm not there.

Baby turned one two weeks ago, and, of course, it matters more than ever who she's with. She's even more expressive: “Hi Kitty Cat!” “Hi Baby!” “Bye! Bye!” She likes to hide her socks, so that when I inquire, “why, where’s your sock, young lady?” she casually pulls it out from behind the pillow, then cracks up.

In the morning she climbs pillows, flings herself from on top of them onto the bed, erupts in laughter, plays peek-a-boo, throws her arms rapturously around my neck. I’m madly in love. (I just had to go take a peek at her sweet sleeping self in the middle of writing this).

I know that this blog isn’t usually a great forum for soliciting advice, but I’m desperate for good childcare. Please don’t be shy if you’ve got any leads.

6 comments:

Maya said...

I'm trying to update, but I can't get out of the Hebrew language script that won't let me post!!

Maya said...

Is there an easier way to log on than posting comments?

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signing in

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