Tag Archives: Lego

Tight Knit

Mommy and son knitting at the library

Mommy and son knitting at the library

I taught my 6 year old son to knit today.  He is home on Winter Break from school and was bouncing off the walls.  I was trying to tune out the kids fighting, running, yelling, and generally being kids so I plopped on the couch with a new knitting project and tried to focus.  Within minutes, “my overly active, never sit still, can make any furniture a trampoline” son sat down next to me and asked me to teach him.  I was reluctant at first.  There was no way he could do this without getting frustrated and waving my knitting needles wildly.  This was going to end in another trip to the Emergency Department.  Besides, I was not going to let him practice on my very expensive fancy yarn that we got on our “date weekend” to New Orleans a few months ago (http://www.pagewoodfarm.com/flora-fina.htm). But, he insisted.  So, I had to find him a set of needles (they were in the computer desk, of course) and some spare yarn (skeins of yarn for hundreds of unfinished or more likely never started projects are stashed in every drawer and every closet around here).  I did not think he would have the patience to wait for me to gather what we needed and cast on enough stitches to start a scarf and then wait for me to be able to show him what to do.

I was WRONG.  He not only waited patiently, he watched over my shoulder as I carefully cast on 20 stitches and then knitted the first 2 rows.  When I tried to sit behind him and take the needles in both of our hands, but he said “I got it, Mom. I watched you”.  (Really?  It took me weeks to get the hang of knitting.)   I knew he was capable of focusing on something he is excited about (usually a new toy or a superhero movie that I have finally agreed to let him watch).  I also  knew he was good at spatial relations (like his father, the architect) and figuring out complicated diagrams (like Legos).  What I did not expect was that he would make mistakes (only a few) and ask for help without getting frustrated and that he would stick with it most of the day.  He even asked to take it to the library and sat with me knitting while the girls picked out books.

An added benefit was that as he was knitting, he was talking to me.  He rarely talks to me.  I mean he asks for food, and snuggles occasionally and refuses to go to bed and tattles on his sisters and says he loves me (usually when he wants something).  But, he doesn’t talk to me about anything important very often and if I try to initiate a conversation he gets embarrassed or too silly to talk.  The knitting changed all of that in a way that even the focus of building Legos cannot.  Today, I heard all about the kids at school, his teacher and her dog.  I heard about his favorite songs from music class. I heard about his fears that his friends might tease him for learning to knit because “they do not know how fun it is and they might think it is only for girls ” (not sure how this could be my kid).  I heard about his future dreams “he wants to live at home forever” (ugh!).  I also heard about how he thinks about people who are homeless a lot and wants to donate his warm scarf once it is finished.

The other thing I heard that I have not heard in a while is a calm, silent, focused, happy boy.

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Losing it

Our Honeymoon

Our Honeymoon

I lost it yesterday.  Do not get me wrong, As a mom with three young kids, I pretty much lose it every single day.  But, yesterday I lost it worse than usual.  Part of it is that I have been sick with a flu that made me miss Thanksgiving and seems to be coming back as a hacking cough, earache and possible bronchitis.  Part of it is that my kids are often a real pain in the neck and seem to only get worse when I am not 100%.  Part of it is that my adorable, loving, handsome husband does not worry about the same things that I think are important after all these years. He is my laid back, fun loving, Yin to my stressed out, uptight, Yang.

So, I lost it and yelled at him.  In front of the kids.  I feel terrible.  Especially because he didn’t really do anything wrong.  He just did it differently than I would have.  And his way was just fine.  In fact, better than fine.  Besides, he works crazy hours everyday and then comes home every night and puts the kids to bed so I can veg on the couch.  When he finishes with the kids he brings me ice cream and rubs my feet.  He also does all of our laundry, deals with anything related to Legos, and is not afraid to paint my girls’ (and his own) toes with pink polish.

Sometimes when I am angry at him I go back and read the journals he has given me over the years.  I have one from the first home we bought together with sketches of how we were going to decorate it (of course we never did), I have one from our honeymoon with watercolor sketches of our adventures.  The one he wrote the first time I had a miscarriage makes me sob. He wrote a journal entry everyday on the train to work during my pregnancy and then when it was all over he printed it for me in a little book with a ribbon tie.  I like the tie.  Somehow it made it less accessible and allowed me to read it when I was ready (10 years later and I still can’t really get through it).

So, he is a good guy who has the right to do things his way (sometimes).  He deserves an apology and a break.  I deserve another sick day.