“Where’s Patchy?” I asked Ari.
“He’s at a hotel,” Ari replied.
“What’s he doing at a hotel?” I asked Ari.
“He’s on a trip,” Ari answered.
I sensed Ari was still a bit bitter about last week’s work trip I took. Instead of going down that road, I continued to play along so I asked, “When’s Patchy coming home?”
Ari peeked underneath his quilt and said, “He’s home from the hotel now!”
Ari made adorable stuffed-puppy sounds to celebrate Patchy’s return from the hotel.
“Is Patchy going to settle down to say prayers with us?”
Ari placed Patchy on his pillow and then, in a puppy voice, he sang the entire Sh’ma. I held it together — since it is the most important Jewish prayer — but inside I was giggling. There I was, snuggling beside my sweet little boy and his stuffed puppy who recited the prayer in perfect Hebrew.
I stifled my laugh and simply asked Ari, “Does Patchy know V’ahavta too?”
“No,” Ari said. “Just Sh’ma.”
“Well, you know V’ahavta so let’s say it together.”
Ari switched back to his normal three-year-old voice and chanted V’ahavta sweetly with me.