Friday, January 30, 2009

Scenes from a madhouse

Scenes from a mother determined to eke out a few rows
10-year-old sitting on mom’s bed. Needs socks. Mother suggests he try on a pair of wool ones she just completed. Son inspects them. “You pull it on for me,” he says. Mom obliges, thinking, “boy, his toenails are sharp.” Second-guesses idea of giving away socks to kid who won’t appreciate them for an instant while repressing urge to suggest nail clippers. Sock fits perfectly. Mom: “These are very special. They took me a real long time to make.” Son: “Mom, do I have to wear them to school?” Mom grabs socks back, rolls up, places in her drawer. Leaves room.

Mom trying to complete knitted rectangular washcloth on Saturday. Just golf ball-size of yarn remains in project. Eighty stitches in each row of basketweave stitch, eight per section. Mom barely completes eight stitches before she’s interrupted by 5-year-old asking her to “look it.” At him maneuvering Tech Deck minature skateboard over miniature stairs, down railing. “Now you do a trick, mom.” Run back to knit a few more stitches. “Mom,” 10-year-old yells from kitchen. “Where’s the Ovaltine?” Down goes the knitting, into the kitchen mom walks wordlessly. Grabs Ovaltine from shelf, puts on counter. Hears 5-year-old running toward couch, then sees him flipping over it into headstand, landing all over washcloth, knocking stitches off needles. Sighs. Puts project away.

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