Thursday, September 25, 2008

Ricki’s Teshuva (Repentance), and the Nice Lady in the Mall

If you have been reading here for over a month, you may remember that near the end of August, Ricki ran away from me in a small shopping mall. (If you are a new reader, see original post here.)
Ricki had a chance to “replay” the incident yesterday. We had to go to the eye doctor for a post-surgery check-up (his office is right by this small mall), and I wanted to go into the stores after this appointment to see if I could find a few things we need for the almost finished (GRIN GRIN) shower room (which is being overhauled, see posts from September 5,7,8).
Our sages tell us that true repentance is being faced with the same situation you failed in, and doing properly the next time. But we don’t always have the opportunity to make such a correction. Ricky did.
Before entering, I spoke with her about my expectations regarding her behavior. For the first 10 minutes or so, she acted wildly, not listening, and grabbing things. I caught her, and threatened concrete “consequences” for continued misbehavior. THAT worked, and she calmed down. So we were able to do some shopping, and Ricki had “experience” in behaving in a mall.
As we were leaving, we saw several tables with various trinkets for sale near the door. One, with flashing lights, perked Ricki’s curiosity. As she went zooming over to the table, the saleslady smiled. She patiently showed each thing to Ricki, explaining how to turn the lights on and off, etc. We bought a small item. I even told the lady “You were so nice, I’m writing you into my blog tomorrow, I promise.”
Then as we passed the last table, Ricki touched something and the proprietor panicked. She urged me to restrain Ricki, who was really not doing anything terrible, she was just examining the items. She roughly told Ricki “It’s not for you” when Ricki asked what the item was for. So I decided (perhaps still enwrapped from the “glow” of our previous saleslady), that I would just ignore the hysterics of the woman. I certainly didn’t tell Ricki off, as she was really not doing anything wrong, and was handling the merchandise* carefully enough. I calmly explained what the items were, and told Ricki to put it back as we needed to “get going”.
And I really didn’t mind the second lady, because the first one was so nice.

*Yes, breakable merchandise, which I would pay for if broken
PS. By the way, the doctor was quite satisfied with the results of the surgery.(So far, he has to recheck her in a month and a half.) There still is a bit of cross-eyedness, but it is MUCH less than before.


Anonymous said...

Glad that you had at least one good experience and that Ricki did such a good job. We pretty much only go in the mall to use the play area or the movie theater. :)

Chris said...

Good for Ricki for behaving so nicely, good for the saleslady who showed kindness. Hopefully the other clerk, will realize that she didn't need to act the way she did, that Ricki was doing nothing wrong.

Anonymous said...

Good new for Ricki's eye surgery!

I am finding as Gabriel grows up some, people are assuming the worst of his behaviour. Recently, the postman told me that "you have to keep an eye on those kids". His comment took me aback as he was just telling me about his nephew who was severely affected by autism. If anyone would have some sense of understanding of behaviours, it would be the postman. Not so...Anyway, I guess I wanted to say that you did the right thing by hanging onto the first experience with the saleswoman. That is the important thing: the way she made you and Ricki feel. And feeling wonderful and safe and just social is more important than assumptions from someone else who just doesn't "get it".

Jewish Side of Babysitter said...

Glad that her eyes are better.

Amazing what an effect people can have. That's why they say to keep track of the good memories, so when things get hard you have something to look back on and help you get through it. So it really works.

I'm assuming the second place was fancier than the first?

A Living Nadneyda said...

Good job Ricki, and good job Ricki's Mom for showing restraint when the second vendor didn't give you the benefit of the doubt. It's doubly nice when a positive experience continues to rub off on us even during a less-positive one.

I'm glad Ricki's surgery was so beneficial for her.

Shana Tova to both of you.