Thorny Knits

I've got a husband, twin toddlers, a cat who I probably forgot to feed this morning, and never, ever enough time to knit.


One for all those people who say, "Oh, I've always wanted twins!"

Originally written on Valentine's Day, 2007. Which is a wee little bit sad, come to that.

Man. I just was washing my hands and happened to glance into the bathroom mirror, and I realized that somehow I had failed to change my shirt once I got the kids safely to bed tonight.

I look like an extra from Resident Evil or something.

Dude, I wish I was kidding. But no, my shirt, which in a quirky little twist of fate I had decided would be getting thrown away after this wearing, is like something out of CSI. You know, that piece of evidence they discover at the 35-minute mark, that turns out to be nothing, but looks really incriminating?

That's my shirt.

There is chocolate. And snot. And blood. And something purple I can neither recall nor identify.

This is what happens when your toddler learns both where the candy is stored and how to climb up on the kitchen counter. And then falls.

Here's the situation:

I was trying to do something laundry-like today when I hear that most-hated sound of mothers everywhere, the ominous thud, followed immediately by screaming. Hoo boy.

So I dash out of the laundry room and discover Henry pulling himself up off the kitchen floor, his hands and face covered in chocolate, and a big uglier-than-it-really-is scrape on his face, bleeding away. Egads.

So of course I comfort him and hold him and try to get a look at the scrape on his face. He keeps turning away and smearing his face, along with his now-snotty nose, all over my shirt. I finally get a look at his face, and then realize he's holding his mouth funny, and all I can think is, "Oh god, he's knocked out a tooth." So, I scissor-lock him with my legs and then manage to get hold of both of his hands with one of mine and then try to force the crying child's mouth open, only to discover that no, his teeth are fine.

He's still chewing on a Hershey's kiss.

Gotta admire the boy's priorities, I guess.

Caz got home tonight, helped me smear some Neosporin on Henry's face while he slept (because heaven knows he'd never let me put that horrible stuff on him while he was awake - the child has standards, and though they may include eating Cheerios he finds under the couch cushions (ew!) they do not include letting his mother smear some nasty ol' antiseptic ointment on him), and then went to ask me how my day was. He stopped when he caught sight of the shirt. I think his comment was on the order of "That shirt looks like it's been through the apocalypse."

Yes, dear. But only the shirt. My day, by contrast, was stellar!!


So last week Friday, I'd really just reached the end of my tether. Just, you know, one thing after another. Nobody had slept well so we were all on short fuses, the whole thing. The kids were doing this faaaaaaaabulous thing they do, where they sit quietly in the living room looking at books and playing (that's not the "fabulous" part). They do this until I start to go, "Oh, well, okay then." And I get down a bit of knitting, settle down in my nice recliner, and decide to see if I can't knit a row or two. They continue this... this... behavior... until I am about halfway through a row, generally in the middle of something like, a cable crossing, or counting a series of yarnovers, or something like that.

At which point, they spring up and race in different directions, leaving little Tex Avery thought-ballons of mayhem and murder and who-knows-what-else in their wake.

Leaving me to try to gather up my knitting and put it up someplace safe (yeah, I've learned that lesson already, thankyouverymuch) and go fetch them from whatever mischief they've discovered in those 34 seconds, spitting and cursing and generally ready to lose my ever-lovin' mind.

Once they kinda "break the seal" on that, they stop waiting for me to start knitting, and instead just wait for me to turn my back for a second or six. So, you know, I'm fetching some milk for one who's screaming his guts out, and the other one decides now's the time to climb up on Mommy and Daddy's desk and knock over the shelf above it! Or one decides to open the dishwasher, while it's running, and use that as a platform to climb up to the cabinet where the crayons are used to be kept, and then start coloring on every non-paper surface they can find, while the other tries to sit on the cat.

You get the idea. The point is, we'd had a whole day of that, along with the screaming and kicking and throwing themselves to the floor when their little toddler designs were thwarted.

Earlier in the day, one of them had managed (again) to climb up on the counter and get down a box of Corn Chex.

And dump it all over the living room floor.

At first I was angry and tried to pick it all up, but eventually? I was just too tired. The living room floor had been vacuumed the day before, so it wasn't like it was atrocious or anything. And besides - Corn Chex are fortified.

But after a little bit, when their interest in eating Corn Chex off the living room floor had waned and I had gotten tired of stepping on crunchy corn shrapnel, I decided it was time to deal with the debris. So I got out the vacuum and started vacuuming.

And I noticed an amazing thing.

The kids are a bit wary of the vacuum cleaner. The kids had both been on the couch when I started vacuuming. After a few minutes of vacuuming, the kids were still there. No crying or all that afraid, just... wary. They don't know the way of the vacuum, and so don't trust it yet.

And I realized how to use that to my advantage.

I swear to you, I vacuumed that 30-square-foot area for. Ten. Minutes.

During that time, I admit, I got a little caught up in the joy I was experiencing. I started to think, "Okay then! I'll just start vacuuming as soon as Caz leaves for work, and I'll stop when he gets home! I'll even get a little bit of a workout out of it! It'll be perfect."

Except a few little problems started to crop up, even in my happy little vacuum daze.

Hmm. I suppose having the vacuum running for nine hours straight is probably not good for any of our hearing.

And eventually, the carpet is going to wear thin.

And Caz will almost certainly catch on - what, I'm going to go from always leaving the vacuuming to him to vacuuming every day? Hmm.

And then, there was the kicker.

Oh man. What'll I say when next month's power bill shows up and I have to explain why it's $400?

So, eventually, I discarded the plan.

However, I'm still keeping the vacuum and its mysterious power to keep the kids rooted to the couch in reserve. I'll just make sure to use it sparingly. Wouldn't want to abuse it and anger the Vacuum Cleaner Gods*, after all.

*Because the last time I angered the Vacuum Cleaner Gods? They made their ire known about ten minutes before my in-laws were due to arrive, which was also several weeks since the previous vacuuming. There's no way I'm setting myself up to endure that again.


  • At Fri Mar 23, 07:29:00 PM CDT, Blogger melanie said…

    Man, B., you're so not helping me look forward to toddlerhood.

  • At Wed Mar 28, 08:23:00 AM CDT, Blogger Lanea said…

    My mother is very angry with you for encouraging my continuing childlessness, and my sister invites you to babysit her four year old while she tends her twin toddlers. Seriously, it's a wonder we don't just eat our young sometimes. They would be tender.

    Good trick with the vaccuum though! Quite tricksie.

  • At Wed Apr 04, 09:56:00 PM CDT, Anonymous Stephanie said…

    At least you don't have a large, discount store size tub of peanut butter into which they got and smeared it all over the kitchen. Try vacuuming peanut butter...

  • At Thu Apr 05, 12:43:00 PM CDT, Blogger Thorny said…

    Oogh! No, luckily the peanut butter is now kept in a locked cabinet. However, I have recently learned that banana in carpet is no fun either. ;)


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