Friday, May 04, 2012

My Big Brave Girl

 We were in a clothing store today, and I was looking at the racks of cheap French-terry shorts, hunting for a 4T because although she will be five in less than one month, the 5's and 5T's I bought at last year's end-of-season-sales are still too big. She gets taller every day, but she's till the smallest in her class.

She had a pink plastic piggy bank in her arms, talking to it like it was an old friend, and she'd dressed it in both a 4th of July star-spangled headband and a clearance St. Patrick's Day giant green bow tie.  She was holding it up and spinning in circles, telling the pig "Oh, Sabrina, now we are going to dance! I will dance you all around the room! We can SPIN!"

I heard a CRACK and looked over to see her at a dead stop, with a horrified look on her face. I thought maybe she'd tripped over something, but she was looking at a pair of rainbow-framed sunglasses on the floor, a child-size pair that seemed to be missing both its arms.

"I'm sorry, Mommy," she said immediately.
I picked up the glasses and found one plastic rainbow-colored arm underneath what was left of the frame. The other arm was nowhere in sight.
"Did you break this?" I asked.
"Yes," she said, and swallowed. "We were dancing and I stepped on it and I broke it. I'm very sorry." She looked from side to side. "I think we should go."
"Not just yet," I said. "Was it missing the other piece before you stepped on it?"
"Yes," she said, but hesitated before she said, "It was missing that piece."
"But then you stepped on it and broke this piece?"
"Yes." She reached for it, took it, and looked nervously at a store employee nearby. "Can we go, mom? I think we should go. I'm very sorry I broke it."
It did, of course, just for a tiny moment, occur to me to just put down the sunglasses and walk away. I did not want to pay $7.95 for non-working sunglasses. But I expected better of my kid (and myself).

"Well," I said, "if you break something, the right thing to do is to tell someone that you broke it."
She looked at me, her big blue eyes full of apprehension. "Will they be mad? Will the store people be mad that I broke it?"
"I don't think so," I said. "But they might make us pay for them. We'll see. You'll have to take them up front and tell someone and see what they say."
She let out a breath and squared her little shoulders. "Okay. Let's go to the front and I will tell them." She put down the piggy bank she had been carrying around for the past 35 minutes and turned to walk to the front of the store. I walked behind her, watching her determined steps and wondering how the hell I lucked out and got such a good kid. I could tell she was scared, and she wanted to put down the glasses and leave, but she knew this was the right thing to do so she was going to do it.

I was proud of her, so fucking proud, because she is like this pretty much all of the time. She is so tiny and loving and so goddamn good, and I don't know how I got so lucky.

She walked up to the counter and looked at me, and I nodded to her.

"Excuse me, but I broke this," she said, handing it to the cashier. "It was a little broken and then I stepped on it and I broke the piece off and I'm very sorry." She stepped back a little, blinking those big gorgeous eyes, waiting for her punishment.

The cashier smiled. "It's okay," she said, setting the pieces aside. "I believe you. Thank you for being honest." 

I apologized to the cashier too, and then I bought Piper the shorts and the damn piggy bank she'd fallen in love with, because how can I not reward the kid for that kind of behavior?  I wanted to buy her the goddamn moon.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Actual Finished Object

It was barely in time, and much later than I planned, but I did manage to complete Piper's Valentine's Day sweater. She picked out this yarn at my favorite LYS when she came along on an early-morning Black Friday yarn shopping trip. She heard me say I was going to the sale with my buddy A (whom she adores) and begged to come along, despite my warnings that we'd have to get up early and Mommy would be wandering around looking at every single skein and comparing them for even longer than usual. For the record, she was very good. She looked at the yarn for a bit, played a spelling game and read a book on my phone, and asked for this violently-pink Cascade Sierra Quatro. It's actually two pinks, a pinky-purple, and a lavender twisted together. I had my doubts, but the finished project turned out pretty cute:
I started it in January, expecting it to take less than two weeks. I was chugging along fine, until I over-knit the body by 2.5 inches and had to rip it back because I would've run out of yarn for the sleeves. I ran out anyway, and had to go get another skein just to do one measley sleeve. I finished it February 13th. On the bright side, I have enough to make her a hat (which she will probably not wear).
This pattern was so cute, and it's quite roomy. This is the 4-5 year size and it fits my smallish 4.5-year-old with room to spare. The worst part (and the bit which took me 4 tries) was picking up all those edge stitches. I don't feel very confident about my stitch-picking-up-abilities, but this thing sure gave me plenty of practice.
Pattern: Daisy Chain by Amanda Liley
Yarn: Cascade Sierra Quatro
Ravelry Details Here.

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Still Here

So, this blog thing, I am not so great at it. Specifically the posting regularly part. Sorry to just drop off the radar for a while, to those of you who might still have me in your feed readers. Things got a little crazy over here. Let me give you a recap:

September 2011 - after a crazy and emotionally draining spring and summer, fall brought the return of preschool (and my-now-four-days-a-week, 25-minutes-each-way drive). It also thrust me back into the thick of the Minivan Mafia at her school, and this year I've refused pretty much every time they have asked me to volunteer for something. I am just too busy and too tired to knock myself out for people who will throw away whatever I do in spite of the fact that it's exactly what they asked for. I have met a kindred spirit this year, a woman whose daughter is new to the class and who found that the "friendly, welcoming atmosphere" proclaimed by the brochures and other parents is somewhat less than friendly and welcoming. She is also crafty and into animal rescue, and she helped me get a part-time job at the children's clothing store where she works.

October 2011 - I drove all the way to Chicago to see Portishead. It's 13+ hours each way. It actually took 15 hours with stops. It was supposed to be just me, going to see my cousin and go to the concert with him, but at the last minute Ryan decided he did not want to tackle three days of Piper whining "I don't want you to do [thing that happens every day],  I want my mom!" so they came with. We crashed at our friends' place in Evanston. Their neighborhood is awesome, lovely, amazing, cute, and nearly perfect. We fell totally in love with it, but since even a 2-bedroom condo will set you back $200k and houses start at $1.5 million, I don't think we'll be moving there any time soon. We discovered they are expecting a baby in the spring, and we are totally happy for them, even if we did also say "Wait! We were supposed to coordinate this so we could have babies together!"*

How was the concert? AMAZING. Probably the best show I've ever been to. When I told people I was going, they said "You're driving HOW FAR? To see WHO?" and I had to explain that they haven't toured North America in 13 years and only did 2 tours before that, the band members are all in their 40's now and could well decide they want to split up or never tour again, so this could be my last chance, I've never seen them live and they're one of my top 5 bands ever, and I never get to see my cousin anymore, my cousin who was my best concert buddy for years, so I basically have no choice.

I took video and photos with my phone, which I have watched over and over to re-live the experience. It was so fun, and I was proud of myself for taking the L all the way into town and back without messing it up and for feeling like it was a piece of cake. We were only there for 34 hours or so, and we didn't do any sight-seeing, but were happy to spend our time hanging out with our friends and taking Piper to the park in their neighborhood. I introduced my cousin to Indian food, we couldn't have picked a prettier time of  year to travel, and everyone had fun.

November 2011 - *As it turns out, we are having babies together. I have a bun in the oven, due in July. My husband thought it was a fabulous birthday present. Piper is totally psyched about being a big sister. I am one of five pregnant people I know among my close friends. One friend said she is up to 10 pregnant ladies within her immediate circle. There was apparently something in the water.

December 2011 -Deep in the grip of 1st-trimester nausea and migraines, I felt like Christmas got away from me more than usual this year. I managed to get everyone's gifts to them on time, but nothing was hand-made. It was warm - 50's & 60's - so there was not even a hint of snow. Oh, well.

January 2012 - coming out of the 1st trimester but I'm still exhausted much of the time and generally feel like crap. This pregnancy is pretty notable so far for its production of weird dreams. Every single night (since even before I had a positive pregnancy test) has been full of vivid, weird, super-involved dreams. I had to quit watching stuff like The Walking Dead right before bedtime because five nights in a row of dreams about rescuing my family from zombies while also riding a unicorn and completing college exams naked was my limit. Now I watch Downton Abbey all the time and my sleep is full of The Titanic, World War I, and being a member of the 1900's British aristocracy. Oh, and riding unicorns.

Last year I set myself a goal of two completed projects per month and didn't reach it. This year I have doubled down and my goal is four completed projects per month. As much time as I spend in the evenings sitting on the couch watching Downton Abbey because I am too worn-out to do much else, you'd think I would reach this goal with no trouble, but it doesn't seem to be working out that way. It's January 31, and I have one project finished and another one 3/4 done. But I wrote myself out a list, and I have enough planned projects to keep me at four-per-month for the next five years. I'd better step it up. Maybe more regular blogging will keep me on track.