Monday, October 30, 2006

Mommy Dearest

Okay, so perhaps I'm being a little hard on myself. . .

But really, sometimes I do feel like I just manage to stay on this side of the line between "nurturing, rational, attached mama" and "she who should be publicly flogged and not allowed to breed further."

I've been thinking, as all new bloggers must, about how I will use my blog and what it will reveal about me. Naturally, I want to use it as a venue for sharing my creative work and facilitating an exchange of ideas and encouragement with all of you wonderful knitters, crafters, makers and bakers out there in the blogisphere. However, I also want to have an outlet for sharing some of my personal trials and tribulations, particulary, but not only, as they relate to my role as mama. Shall we say, a space where I can rant now and then and perhaps some kind soul out there will make a point to tell me that I'm not alone? Of course, I have my family and friends, and they've been more than supportive, don't get me wrong. Still, and let's get down to the nitty-gritty here, it's been over 30 years since my mom had a toddler and neither one of us were a boy! My sister doesn't have any children, yet. And my mama friends, from my distorted and self-referential point-of-view, get it right more times than not. Now, I really do know that they suffer much of the same self-doubt as I do, but it's not always apparent.

So, let's state the obvious. I LOVE my son. I would NOT trade him in for another. He enriches my life immensely. For the most part, I think I succeed as a parent. I am loving and generous, I provide ample opportunities for social, emotional and intellectual stimulation and growth. But, sometimes I just SUCK. Sometimes, I want hours to myself, where I can read or craft, uninterrupted, without having to guide his activities constructively or, ahem, guiltily allow him to watch TV so that I am free to go about my business. It's usually educational, and it's rarely more than 1 1/2 hours per day, but that's already too much according to many of the "more attentive" moms out there - though less than what the doctor cautions against!

Also, I am a control freak. Yes, it's true. I like things my way, thank you very much. Hmm, but so does he. Imagine, if you will, the myriad opportunities for conflict: getting dressed, eating, brushing teeth, choosing a halloween costume, even! Often, my lesser self rears her head, the one that I don't like very much. I try to ignore her, but am not always successful. Let's not discuss the screaming, the bribes or threats, the entirely counter-productive meanness. . . I don't know you well enough, yet, for that.

I think I've said enough for now. Thank you for reading this far, I feel much better to have got that off my chest and, lest you take my words too much to heart, let me leave you with a picture and a promise to approach each day, even each moment, as a new beginning:

Saturday, October 28, 2006

Sleepless In Oakland

In shining armor

En garde!

Knight Rider: Chain Mail Dress-up from New Knits on the Block by Vickie Howell.

40% completed over a one-week period at a semi-leisurely pace. 60% completed in a mad frenzy of postponed knitting over a 24-hour period.

3 hours of sleep last night, 8 hours of knitting.

Was it worth it? My little knight eagerly donned his costume this morning, wore it for three hours straight, through progressively warmer weather, without a single complaint, brandishing his sword hither and yon, and looking more perfect than I could have imagined. Yes.

I didn't manage to knit the hood, but justify this with "he probably wouldn't wear it anyway, because he's really sensitive to itchy yarn and he gets so hot that he wears short sleeves long into winter." Oy, maybe I'll crank it out in time for All Hallow's Eve. . .

Many thanks to Vickie who supplied me with a bag of the discontinued Soiree yarn that the pattern calls for! I had my heart set on this yarn as it really does look like chain mail, so I was thrilled when she came to the rescue. . . .

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Muu Muu A No No?

Yesterday, having the morning to myself, the incorrigible one not in tow, I hit a few estate sales. They were mostly a bust, except for these vintage patterns, buttons and the always welcome pie dish. I was so excited by the short muu muu that I headed straight to the fabric store and bought some lovely 30's repro "frolicking" deer fabric, picturing myself lounging around the house in my too-cute-for-a-thirty-eight-year-old house dress! Am I nuts? When my mom saw the pattern, she couldn't stop snickering. Now I'm thinking of using the fabric for the apron. . . And that yellow piece of paper underneath the pie plate? The ticket I received for driving without my seatbelt. The only time in YEARS that I have driven unbuckled longer than it takes me to pull away from the curb!

And here, hearkening to Amanda's call, is a "corner of my home," where I drink my coffee or tea, read a few pages, sew into the wee hours of the morning, and bake many pies. We three live in a one-bedroom apartment and I often bemoan not having a room of my own. This will have to do.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

I Should Be. . .

1. Paying more attention to my family
2. Working on the Knight's chain mail for my son's halloween costume
3. Reading Kate Atkinson's Behind the Scenes at the Museum. I loved Case Histories and am excited to hear her read at Diesel, a Bookstore
4. Tackling my ever-growing stack of unread New Yorkers
5. Sleeping


I've discovered the best store ever! It's just a hop, skip and a jump throught the Caldecott tunnel. And I foresee much hopping in my future. Cotton prints, lovely wools, felt (both wool and wool blend), sewing notions, trims, wool embroidery floss - all to feed my ballooning craft habit.

A visit yesterday yielded all the bits and pieces that I'll be using for my next creation. I'll post a teaser shot later. . .

Meanwhile, Sam would like to say hello.

He's a sharp-dressed man:

Rosie's pleased as punch to have a new friend. . . and, ahem, a new nose.

Monday, October 16, 2006

You Are An Obsession

With a trip to the sewing store to get my grandmother's Singer tuned up, many hours of frustration, and much foul muttering, I have overcome my fear of sewing. I also stayed up until 4:30 in the morning as a result - so there is a tradeoff. I'll have more self-made crafts, but also baggy eyes. You can blame Hillary for her lovely patterns. Once started, I cannot stop. Bear is up next!