Tuesday, January 24, 2012

The Crocheted Snowsuit (a.k.a. Fistfights Over Imaginary Things)

My children are insane. I've told you this before, but to be a good, imaginative child I think its required that one be off one's rocker just a titch.

A few weeks back I taught myself to crochet.

I know, I know. How very Ethel of me.

I've heard its therapeutic and gives you some sense of purpose and accomplishment as you physically create things. I've also heard that crocheting is like working worry beads - your mind is half engaged on the project, leaving the other half to wander and ponder things, leaving some of your woes behind with each stitch.

Or maybe that's just my friend and I overanalyzing the scarves we're making in the work cafeteria. Whichev.

Anyway, I set out a few weeks ago to make a giant comfy scarf for myself. My sons have seen me working on it, and Nick's even sat with me a few times, mesmerized as my fingers looped and pulled the yarn. I may just have him convinced that magic's involved but either way, they're both impressed I actually made something.

Nick & the giant scarf Will & the giant scarf
See? FUN WITH GREAT BIG GIANT SCARVES! Winter in the Midwest I tell ya...

So Sunday afternoon I took my kids out in the dreary cold January rain so that I could get some needles from the craft store with which to weave in the loose ends of my completed scarf. After that quick trip we stopped at the grocery store.

As we pulled into the parking lot, the following wisdom flowed from my eldest child's amazing little brain:

Nick: "So Mom. I know what we can do. We should get, like, a whole messa yarn. Like a WHOLE WHOLE BUNCH. And we could all - you know - we could all - what's that called?"

Me: "Uh, crochet?"

Nick: "Yeah. CROCHET - a whole bunch all together. And then your piece can get sewed to my piece and then we'll sew those onto Will's piece. And we'll have one big giant piece that we can sew into like, pants and a coat all together. For all of us to be all cozy in outside at the same time."

Me: "You mean like a snowsuit?"

Nick (eyes wide): "YEAH! A snowsuit! And we'd all go into it together so that if we go sledding then all we need are boots!"

Me: "Wow. A crocheted group snowsuit?" {Regretsy flashed to mind} "That'd be...awesome, Nick." {Awkward Family Photos flashed to mind}

Nick: "Yeah! And we could get one of those...wood things?"

Me: "Wood...wood things? What?"

Nick: "You know - that are like loooong sleds?"

Me: "Uh, a toboggan?"

Nick: "YEAH! A big long toboggan so we can all go sledding on it together."

Me: "In our crocheted family snowsuit?"

Nick: "YEAH!"

Me: {thinking that some mother probably tried making something like this back in the 70s} "So if we're all in this snowsuit together, how are we going to fit in the car? How will we buckle our seat belts?"

Nick: "We don't. We'd haveta walk. Or, you know, put it on at the sledding hill, DUH."

Me: "Watch your mouth little man! What if someone has to go potty?" {trying to get him to see the impracticalities of a group crocheted snowsuit}

Nick (shrugs): "We could put a potty in there somewhere."

Will: "Yeah. The potty goes behind you, Mom!"

Me: "Lovely. Just how exactly am I supposed to be able to sit on the toboggan with a potty in my pants?"

Both: "Hee! Potty in your pants!"

Me: "Hee! Potty in my pants!"

Nick: "Or we could just hold it."

Me: "Yeah, I think that's the wiser option."

By this point we're dashing through the puddles in the parking lot. I needed literally FOUR ITEMS.

So I don't need a cart, right?

Moms? NEVER THINK THAT. Just get the damn cart anyway, even if your kids are like 16.

At this point, my kids are still stuck on the idea of the family-sized crocheted snowsuit and I'm cursing Dr. Seuss, who seems in some way responsible.


Me: {wait, wha???}

Nick: "NO. I DO. It goes by age, dummy. First Mom, then me, THEN you. You're on the end."

Me: "Don't call your brother dummy."

Will: "NOOOOO! We take TURNS in the middle. DUMMY."

We get to the deli counter. The ancient old ladies behind the counter are s l o o o o w w w and unorganized. There also seems to be some disagreement as to just who's turn it is to shave more ham.

Nick: "Nuh uh!"

Will: "Uh huh!"

Nick: "Nuh uh!"

Will: "Uh HUH!"

Nick: "NUH UH!"

Will: "UH HUH!"

Me: "OK, OK! You both get turns being in the middle of the imaginary crocheted family snowsuit! Knock it off!"

After nearly 10 minutes of this I'm still at the deli counter, a bickering kid in each hand, attempting to put distance between them.

Gertie and Dot there, behind the counter, are getting heated. The woman in line in front of me gives up and accepts the .16 pounds of ham that is left, favoring a husband who's possibly irritated over a lunch meat shortage over the insanity that is the argument between my ridiculous children and the plastic-gloved face-slap that's becoming imminent behind the counter.

They ask for my order. My arms are being pulled from their sockets by two little ape children who are now "Uh huh-ing" and "Nuh-uh-ing" over exactly how the pretend family crocheted snowsuit will close - buttons or zippers.

And that's when I heard it. Nick had looped around behind my back and belted his little brother across the face. Because...