Wednesday, March 22, 2006

knit knotes (plus thoughts on that parenting book)

Since folks keep ending up here because I knit, and since the rest of my life usually results in big blobs of text that aren't exactly photo worthy…here ya’ go.
A knitting update.

I haven’t been knitting much in the past couple of weeks.
It usually takes me awhile before I notice the absence of fiber in my life, and then I need a few more days to analyze why it’s decreasing.

At first, I thought I had some lurking poopiness about not finishing the Olympics. I suspected this for two reasons:
* one, I’ve only knit 4 rows on TheOlympicShawl since the deadline passed right by me, and
* two, I had an email exchange with a knitter friend, and when I scrolled down to her signature stamp, it had the big ol’gold medal o’knitting on it.
And it bummed me out.

But I was pretty sure that the lack-of-shining-gold-glowing-upon-me-to-knit-by wasn’t what was keeping me from the needles.

So I looked at my works in progress.
For starters, I have more things in the loop than what is typical for me.

Sitting by the computer is the companion fingerless glove.

(ya'know...just as an aside: In finding the link for this pattern, I just noticed that the sales text reads: Keep your fingers warm at the computer, or even when you're knitting, with these handy fingerless mittens. Aye aye aye.)

In my purse is MyFK’s orange socks.

Next to the bed is Latifa, that just needs her last few ruffles.

Oh, and then the poor dejected Olympics Shawl:

(she sits in the corner…but I don’t know why…she hasn’t been “bad”, in fact she’s been quite fun to knit.)

So in thinking about the recent lack of knitting, I realize that when I knit a few rows here and there and it’s spread out over too many projects, it’s pretty difficult to see progress, and I think my internal instant-gratification-junkie isn’t getting fed.
But I wasn’t too sure that was the cause for the decrease in knitting, either.

And then it dawned on me.
My right arm has been hurting a whole lot the past few weeks (more on why here). I don’t believe the pain is caused from knitting, but rather from doing other tasks…but then the pain oozes over into other parts of my day. And it’s been silently keeping me from picking up the needles.

Latifa’s ruffles are on US 4’s, the glove on 3’s and the socks on 1’s….all needles so small they hurt. The OlympicShawl is on 11’s, needles almost so big it hurts, plus she's getting a bit heavier as we go.

So I decided to whip out a little something on 7’s and see what happened.
Thanks to Rabbitch and Co.,

I'll have a new dishcloth, I’m only $1.49 in the hole, and my arm isn’t barking at me too loudly.

So now my plan is to start another project on medium sized needles (maybe that “something to keep my shoulders warm in summer” thing?), and in between, knit on the projects calling for smaller needles. I do want to get Latifa done, pretty quickly though…somewhere in the knitting process I realized that she isn’t for me, she belongs with a friend…and that friend’s birthday is coming up soon.

Well, I was supposed to pick up that parenting book once my kid-free week was over, and I never did. And it’s still biting me in the ass. Time-outs just aren’t the reliable tool they were with my 5-year old now that he's 8. I get that. But I haven’t figured out an effective replacement that I can live with yet. And actually, it's seeming like it is mommy that needs the time-out half the time anyway.

I'm also coming to understand that if I’ve only got time to read one book, it might just need to be “boy specific”. Or possibly “only-child specific.” Especially since these are both things I know little about personally (ok, well I know a bit about boys—hehee—but probably nothing I can toss in to my parenting toolbox). But seriously, I wasn't an only child (I had a younger sister), and there were no little boy cousins or whatnot running around.

Although growing up, most of my friends were boys. Hmmm.

Anyhow. Here’s case in point for why I need a kid-boy-primer:
Last night my third grade boy told me that some of the jock-types have been making fun of him, telling him he’s weak.


Because he's (these are MyFK’s exact words, not mine)…“delicate...and can’t handle being rough.” (I love that—delicate).

So I ask MyFK to define “rough,” and he says that he can’t handle it when they punch him in the stomach.

Holy crap.

So there I sit, in parental shock….and I’ve got many thoughts running around in my head. About his new dumb-ass principal. About the new school building and how the layout isn’t effective for lunchtime patrolling. About how the import of (hate to say it, but--ghetto) kids into the school has not included any process for integrating them socially.

And I realize that none of these thoughts are going to help MyFK get through tomorrow’s recess.

And I realize that MY solution to the situation is pretty much a GIRL solution to the situation. Maybe it is just a solution and not actually a girl solution. But I dunno. I have no way to compare. And maybe boys don’t actually need a boy solution for bullying. But I think they do. And I don’t know what that solution is.

The best I do with MyFK while tucking him in last night, is to share with him how I was bullied (by both boys and girls) when I was kid, so that he doesn’t feel alone in it all. And the best I do is let him know that it didn't last forever, although at the time it felt that long. And the best I do is tell him that I feel like I’m not really sure what I can do to help, but that I am definitely putting some thought into it. And the best I do is to ask him if HE has any ideas about what might help.

All good things, I suppose.

I even ask him (in thinking about the few conversations I have had with boys and dads) if he thinks that maybe he needs to punch them back. To which he replied, "No. Hitting someone has never really worked out for me all that well." (yay)

So then I pull this little gem out of my ass:
I tell him that this probably wont make any sense to him now at 8 years old and in 3rd grade, but…
I think it’s important to note that once these bully kids get older, they are going to have a difficult time dealing with people in the real world. The kids who deal with everything by bullying might grow up to not do so well in the workplace. And in the very long run, the fact that MyFK is learning to deal with people without being a bully himself will count for something.

MyFK got quiet, and I was pretty sure was about to fall asleep (nothing like a boring lecture to get you dozing)…but then he says:

“Yeah. And I’m going to pull up in my fancy red convertible and they are going to be standing there with a ‘will work for food’ sign."

"And I’m just going to laugh and not give them any.”



Anonymous said...

Funny thing is he probably will give them something. He's a good kid, an innately compassionate kid, I think (based on what you've written of him), and we just don't stay children forever. And only children believe in the possibility of revenge.

Someday he will be bigger and tougher in every way, a big-hearted man with real strength.

Gray said...

I was going to comment about your son until I saw Sara's post, which was very wise, affirming, and more perceptive than what I was going to write.

Perhaps he will become a fellow health and human services professional- we could always use more like him. You are clearly doing an exceptionally good job raising an exceptionally fine son.

I hope that your arm cooperates well this week. I'll send healing wishes across the continent.

Thanks for an interesting post with multiple themes.