"This young man’s a bit of a handful, as you can see. I’ll have to find some stuff he can do here without causing chaos"
The Morris household was buzzing. Bracha and Naftali, and their little boy, Chananya, were coming for Pesach. Chananya was the greatest genius the world had ever seen… at least his parents thought so.
Moishy got out some of the books he enjoyed when he was a kid. After all, a world genius would surely like books. Even if the genius was only one-and-a-half years old!
Miriam dug out her old blocks. Then she had another thought. Should she let Chananya borrow one of her teddies? On the one hand, the teddies were all so dear to her. She didn’t really want to part with any of them. On the other hand, Chananya was a Very Important Guest. He deserved the very best! Miriam bravely picked out a teddy called Ted, who wore a snazzy ribbon round his neck. She placed him gently in the crib where Chananya would sleep.
The guests would arrive that evening. After supper, a car pulled up outside the Morrises’ house. There was the sound of doors slamming.
Moishy looked out the window.
“They’re here!” he shouted.
Leah flung the front door open. There were hugs and handshakes as the Morrises welcomed their guests. But Chananya was fast asleep.
“I wish he was awake,” sighed Moishy.
“Me too,” echoed Miriam.
“Well, things are a lot calmer when he’s asleep,” said Bracha. “He’s become a real handful lately.”
“Yeah, but still, we wanna play with him,” said Moishy.
“And we prepared such nice stuff for him,” added Miriam.
“There’ll be time for all that tomorrow,” said Bracha, yawning.
The next morning, Moishy and Miriam went to get Chananya. He was happy to come downstairs with them.
Moishy put the blocks in front of him.
“Here! Make a tower,” he said. He showed the little boy how to put one block on the other.
Chananya copied him.
“Wow! Clever boy!” cheered Moishy. “Now put on another block.”
But Chananya was soon tired of the blocks.
Crash! He knocked down the tower. He grabbed more blocks and threw them at Moishy and Miriam. He kicked another bunch of blocks under the sofa.
“Quick, take the blocks away,” gasped Moishy. “I think he needs something more, um, calming.”
Miriam scooped up as many blocks as she could. She couldn’t reach the ones under the sofa. She returned them to their box, closing the lid firmly.
“Bring down the books I prepared,” Moishy told her. He tried to block Chananya from grabbing the box. “Maybe they’ll help him settle down.”
Miriam hurried to get the books.
Moishy placed a book gently in front of Chananya.
“Here, turn the page,” he said, showing the little boy what to do.
Rrrrip! Chananya tore out a page. He liked the sound! He scrunched up a whole bunch of pages and pulled. Rrrrrrrrrrrrrip!
Miriam ran upstairs to get Ted. She plunked Ted in front of Chananya, hoping to distract him.
To Miriam’s horror, Chananya grabbed Ted and tried to bite his ribbon off.
Miriam broke into loud sobs. Moishy tried to rescue Ted. Chananya shrieked like 20 trains all at once.
Suddenly, there was the sound of footsteps tap-tapping into the room. The children looked up. To their surprise, there stood Jolly Solly!
“I got a call that I was needed here,” he explained. “Bracha buzzed me inside while all the, er, action was going on.”
He drew a feather from his hatband, and used it to sweep the blocks out from under the sofa. He whipped out some special tape from behind Moishy’s ear, and fixed the books in a jiffy. Ted was safely placed on a high shelf. Jolly Solly reached into his sleeve; out came a soft toy looking just like a miniature Tuki. He gave it to a pleased Chananya.
Just then, Bracha came downstairs.
“Thanks, Jolly Solly,” she said. “This young man’s a bit of a handful, as you can see. I’ll have to find some stuff he can do here without causing chaos.”
The clown reached under his hat.
“Oops! I almost forgot these!” he declared, pulling out some of his famous crackle-popper candies for a delighted Moishy and Miram.
Then off he went, whistling a merry tune.
Mitzvah gedolah l’hiyos b’simchah, of course!
(Originally featured in Mishpacha Jr., Issue 906)
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