Life's Little Details: Knitting, Sewing, Green Living, Frugal Living and Cooking In A Little Corner of Southern French Countryside.

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Is It All Worth It?

I'm kind of hoping that the trouble I go through to have fun with the kids will be worth it in the end. Of course, they'll probably come up with plenty of reasons to resent me, but I try. And when they're in therapy, blaming me for the troubles of their lives, I'll always know I tried. Or, maybe my attempts at having fun with them will be what ultimately throws them over the edge and causes them to seek professional help. Yeah, given the way things went with our Christmas decorating extravaganza the other day, that's pretty likely.

You see, I had the bright idea of having a full day of Christmas fun on Wednesday, when they weren't in school (French kids don't have school on Wednesdays - if you're really curious, I can elaborate some other day). We were all going to go out and chop down a Christmas tree bush together, then bring it home to decorate it. Then, for extra fun, we would bake and decorate sugar cookies. Well, you know what they say about the best-laid plans...

First, the baby fell asleep just before time to go bush-hunting. So, I didn't get to go. This little detail made Daddy feel he had the right to skip out on the decorating. So, it was just me and the three little ones. That was alright, though, because I was armed with Christmas CDs and plenty of Christmas spirit. CD player not working? No problem. I've still got my Christmas spirit, right? That's about the time Lambchop #2 dropped and broke an ornament given to me as a gift many years ago. Christmas spirit, are you still with us? A tiny, whispered 'yes' was the answer. Then, my sweet little angels commenced their most well-practiced activity - the bickering. No, really. They're quite good at it. I should be proud they've achieved such success at such tender ages. Lambchop #1 wanted all the pretty ornaments. Luckily, Lambchop #2 didn't care much about that (even though Lambchop #1 tried hard to make it clear hers were prettier - being the first-born seems to have plagued her with a constant feeling of jealousy, and she tries her darnedest to spread the wealth, but that's a therapy session psychology lesson for another day). He was more concerned about getting his fair share of turns on the step stool to put his not-necessarily-as-pretty ornaments up. Unfortunately, this ranked right up there on Lambchop #1's list, too (she's got that first-born's competitive nature thing going on, too). So, to make a long story short, we finished with narry an injury inflicted, and I sat them in front of the babysitter tv for a movie while I prepared the kitchen for cookie decorating.

La-dee-da. While I enjoyed a few minutes alone, Lambchop #2 fell asleep on the couch. Fast forward. Kitchen's serviceably clean, so it's decision time. Do I wake him? Well, he'd be mad to find out we did it without him, right? So, I woke him. Bad idea. He cried almost hysterically for the next half hour while cutting and decorating cookies. I think it must take some talent to both decorate cookies and throw a fit. What can I say? My kids are gifted. Lambchop #1 - I have to give the girl some credit - was very patient. I held my own pretty well, too, up until Lambchop #3 joined in the chorus with her brother. That's when I had to call in reinforcements. So, Daddy reluctantly came over from his office and helped out. For the next half-hour we calmly tossed colored sugar over the top of every surface of the kitchen the cookies. All in all, it was torture. I'm pretty sure, though, that it'll be remembered as a good day in their minds. Afterall, they were the ones just doing what kids do, and I actually did keep my calm. So, they won't recall "the day Mommy flipped out when we were decorating cookies". Hey, when I think of it that way, I'd have to say it was a pretty good day, right? Well, at least they got some coolness points out of it at school. The cookies were quite a hit.

Oh, and not that this should be an after thought, but I finished the little blue sweater I was making for Lambchop #1. It turned out pretty well, I think. She seems to like wearing it, which is way more than you can ask of a 5-year-old girl (especially when it's not even pink). The yarn is Anny Blatt Fine Kid in some (most likely discontinued) color called Glacier. I knit it on 10.5mm needles, which are huge for the thickness of this yarn, but it gives it a nice airiness, and makes it a pretty quick knit. I didn't use a patttern. It's a bottom-up raglan in the round. I just did a gauge swatch and measured her and made it up as I went a long. It's got a scallopy/lacey bottom edge on the body and the cuffs. The arms are big flowy things. I sort of meant to do that and sort of didn't. I wanted it to be the same circumference all over, so I measured up top and didn't do any increases from the cuff on up. Silly woman that I am, though, I measured around the shoulder where the body would normally get sewn to the arm, not the bicep area that I should have. By the time I noticed, it was way too late for me to want to rip mohair, so I went with it. The resulting arm is a little flowier than what I had planned but not by much, so I can live with it.

And, currently on the needles...

a cable newsboy cap from Stich'N'Bitch Nation. I had a brain... um... burp of some kind when I first cast on. Didn't get the right number of stitches, despite the fact that I counted them. Oops. Noticed it over an inch into the thing when I started the cable pattern (after doing the m1 row). I ripped and started over. Now I'm all the way up to the beginning of the second cable. This is my selfish knitting of the weeek. Hope it goes quickly, because I have couple of hats I wanted to knit for Christmas gifts.