Monday, December 24, 2007

A stitch in good time

It’s Friday evening, prime time for knitting. The children are settled, all snug on the sofa, while visions of VeggieTales bounce from the DVD player. Ma’s got the old sock project out, weary eyes squinting at the tiny stitches. Gauge: 7½ stitches to an inch on size 2 needles for a size 12 man’s foot.
My television flips between "Inside Edition" and "Extra" — fluff, to be sure, but salve for a trying day.
Now I remember why I haven’t vacuumed for a couple months, I thought that morning, instead relying upon the comparatively silent broom to sweep up gray puffs of dust, food crumbs and dirt.
You can’t surreptitiously vacuum without alerting the 4-year-old. It’s cumbersome and loud. You might be able to sneak it from the utility closet without him noticing if he’s otherwise occupied, but as soon as you press the "on" switch, he’ll appear like a shot, whining, "I wanna do it! I never get to do it for a long, long time!" — crying, screaming, then finally throwing things as I desperately suck up a few extra grains of sand before admitting defeat.
Why don’t they build houses with sound-proof play rooms that lock on the outside and a glass wall, like police interrogation rooms or radio station sound booths, for moments such as these? I could then vacuum merrily, might even dress the part in housecoat and apron, while aforementioned 4-year-old motions wildly — and silently — for "his turn?" Or, Mr. Down Under-accented Dyson inventor, how about a stealth vacuum for this very instance? It could hover above the floor, eliminating the telltale sound of rolling wheels on hardwood, and in a whirlwind of noiseless military precision, suck the grime from every nook of your home in minutes? Or, even better, a self-cleaning house: said hover vacuum could run continuously, powered on renewable energy of course, so the dirt never has a chance to settle. Preschooler fascination would quickly wane as its ever presence would subvert it to an everyday appliance. Problem solved.
Now if I only could solve the problem of the never-finished second sock: mate to the patient singleton pictured at left; before it joins in exasperation.

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