Forget it, just forget it.

As we were walking home from our day of Hank-based adventure yesterday Sam turned to Megan (behind my back, because I was obviously starting to look like a mother on the edge) and said, quite bitterly “This is a bust”. I was about to turn around and give her some sort of reflexive mother lecture about optimism, little children and the idea that everyday can’t be Christmas when it hit me.

The Five Reasons that Yesterday was a Bust.

(Disclaimer: Hank features largely in this story. I would like you to know that Hank is an absolutely charming four year old who was having a bad day. Today he’s actually quite ill, so chalk it up to being under the weather, not the fact that he is not a great kid, ’cause he really, really is. His charms are many, and his faults – few.)

1. Does this look like a really happy ball winder to you?


This was actually the question that I asked the little rogue four year old as he cut a path of destruction through my home that would only be equalled by a massive group of teenaged boys on a spring break bender without parents, who were invaded by a herd of rhinoceros with rabies who chased a clan of angry racoons through the living room.

When I walked into the room and crunched spilled cornflakes under my feet, stepped in spilled apple juice and noticed that Hank had written on the table with marker all I actually said was “Oh Dude! Not the ball winder!” We shall not speak of what this means about my housekeeping and priorities. (I think I can fix the ball winder.)

2. Here is Hank at the ROM.


The picture of him is fuzzy because he was running. I could have taken this exact picture the whole time that we were there. (I have never figured out how those little short legs can go so far, so fast…) Note to all four year olds: You need adults to stay alive. We have all of the food, money and shelter. Trying to ditch us in the ROM, or on University Avenue or in the Chapters or on the Subway is not smart and actually counterproductive to your goals.

3. I would like to personally apologize to everyone in the Starbucks in the lobby of the Chapters at University and Bloor yesterday at around 4:30. Hank runs really fast and doesn’t read yet clearly and the words “Fire Door: alarm will sound” mean nothing to him.

In his defence, I had refused to purchase him a novel. It was an adult novel. There was a dragon on the cover. No amount of discussion, or illustration, (here executed by me showing him every single page on the inside of the book) would convince him that it did not have pictures of dragons inside. I suppose that he saw through my shallow attempt to make it up to him with hot chocolate and was simply expressing his dissatisfaction with my attempt to resolve his emotional turmoil in such an immature and superficial way. Again, my apologies.

4. I would like to thank the anonymous woman with the lightning fast reflexes who snagged the hood of Hanks coat as he unexpectedly exited the Subway car by dodging between the legs of that guy on the way home. I appreciate your quick thinking and saving me from chasing him. I held his hood the rest of the way home.

5. When I got home and my sister picked up Hank I sat down to knit for a few minutes. I reached into my backpack to get my sock-in-progress and pulled out a wet sticky mess. I was trying to figure out what had happened when I noticed that I was missing a needle in the sock. (I hate that.)


I reached back into my backpack and discovered that everything is wet and sticky. My wallet, my book, my other sock-in-progress. I used some foul language and tried to find my needle (er…yeah, so my priority is knitting and not cleaning out my purse. Are you trying to tell me there’s something wrong with that? The purse is still going to be wet later. ) and I found the problem, and simultaneously , the needle.

My super-sharp blue metal dpn had impaled a juicebox in my bag.


91 thoughts on “Forget it, just forget it.

  1. Oh, goodness. Children are a joy, eh?
    Although that somehow reminded me to keep my knitting WELL away from my brother’s dog when I go home from Easter. So thank you.

  2. Ah, the joys of spring vacation! So sorry about the ball winder…and about the juice box…when it rains, pours.
    Look at it this way…your daughters will be as ready to head back to school as you are.
    And you have so much more material for your next book!

  3. Well, I was seranaded by an eleven-year-old playing Rock and Roll Part 2 on the clarinet, with appropriate “Hey”s at 6:15 yesterday morning. Who doesn’t want to go to work with Gary Glitter in her head? (correct answer: ME)
    But back to you, sorry you had such a trying day, but at least the ball winder can be fixed and you didn’t completely losethe quick four-year-old or the juice-box-puncturing dpn.

  4. that should have said “your daughters will be as ready to head back to school as you are ready to have them go back to school.”
    or something like that.

  5. I guess I will not mind being home with my 10 and 7 year olds for the next 10 days. I will just be sure to not pick up any 4 year olds along the way. Good Luck with your new book.

  6. Well, I laughed at your antics. I’m sorry, but I couldn’t help myself. And then I remembered why I had decided to never have children. I may very well be in jail for murder if I were in your shoes. Yikes. Sorry about the ball winder and the purse – hopefully both will be good as new before long.

  7. ROTFL…. kisses hubby’s feet for taking first week of this holiday off, he took the kids out to park and golf driving range today while I slept. Phew.
    I feel like another nap already after listening to your day .

  8. Yours is the blog I look for first thing everyday when I fire up the computer because I just know you’ll be writing about something that will help me feel like I’m *not* crazy/lame-ass/mentally deficient because of my aversion to housework, dread of spring break, hatred of pooling/flashing colors in varigated yarn, *and* defeat after the occasional disaster-day with my 5-year-old son. He and Hank might share a significant chunk of DNA, somehow.

  9. You’re causing me to seriously reexamine my priorites. Because the marker-defaced table immediately bothered me more than the ballwinder.
    Wow, maybe I’m not as bad off as I thought.

  10. Among the top 10 times I feel like a bad parent — those awful days with a kid when you would like to give them away, only to have them wake up the next day, REALLY sick. Duh! But I never learn. I console myself with the fact that I never have actually given one away. I AM nice to them when they’re sick.

  11. Hmm, no chance the juice box contained that super saturated over-dyed colored beverage is there? Might have been an interesting experiment in juice-dying. Damn organics!

  12. Definitely a bust. So, was the ball winder fixable? I must check for your book, the review was great! We all knew it was a winner though πŸ™‚

  13. Aaagh! Despite your well-illustrated tally of the day with hank, what really got me was the mess to your poor sock by the juice box. That really hurt. Owie!

  14. I hope the ball winder, your purse, and of course Hank all recover! Bummer that the ROM bookstore didn’t have your book artfully displayed next to the dragon book…

  15. Some of the DPN projects I do end up like that… needles coming out and something spilling out and ruining it… (thanks goodness it has only been two projects that were ruined)
    I want you to know that the lovely handspun you sent me last year is still sitting in my stash, not because I don’t love it, but because I want to do the amazing yarn justice with a beautiful pattern… any ideas?

  16. I have a four year old nephew that sounds just like yours…. Hope you get some rest today.
    By the way – picked up your FABULOUS BOOK last night – I’m in Northern New Jersey – so it’s made it’s way to the B&N there, just so you know.

  17. And here I was thinking that my week was a bust because I can’t seem to learn CSS to save my life and my blog title image.
    Poor Harlot!!
    Note to self: No juice boxes in purse or anywhere else near needles and yarn.

  18. Its nice to hear someone else’s trials with a four year old. Now it is clear to me why I am torn between taking my three and four year old kids places and keeping them locked up in the house where the only victim of their daily chaos is myself! And after all that…the juice in the purse!

  19. Oh no…not THE book? Did THE book get soaked by the juice? Bummer.
    I have a four year old. I feel your pain.
    Wasn’t it great to give him back at the end of the day? πŸ™‚

  20. You deserve to be nominated for sainthood for taking on a 4 year old during spring break. Seriously, after surviving my own 2 children’s toddlerhood there is no way I would want to go back and no way I’d have the physical energy to keep up with a 4 year old at this point. Saint Stephanie has a nice ring to it!

  21. I am recovering from a hideous case of the flu and, during the worst of it, my three-year-old daughter kept trying to cheer me up by playing me “nice music”. Apparently, “nice music” involves a tamborine, a metal pot lid, a wooden spoon and screaming. Upon being asked nicely to cease and desist, she reprimanded me saying, “Mommy, it’s not nice to growl at people.” Kids – they’ll win every time.

  22. Aw crap. I can hardly wait till mine turns four. Meanwhile, I’m going to do some exercises in sharpening my sense of humor, because when it happens to someone else, it’s funny! (sorry)

  23. How many days of March break left? Oh, yeah, it’s Easter Weekend which means monday…
    We’ll all try to send good vibes. Don’t worry about the mess. Hope you get some calming knitting time.

  24. Oy! My son is 3 months old. Now I know what I have to look forward to. NOT.

  25. Oh man. That sounds eerily familiar. I’ll have to remember that about dpns and juice boxes. There but for the grace of…you know.

  26. Oh, dear.
    I confess, I came upon yesterday’s blog entry here, about fifteen minutes after you posted it. For one or two irrational minutes I contemplated heading over to the ROM (ten minute walk), to meet you, and the Incredible Hank. Now it sounds like you could have used the extra pair of hands. Hope your ballwinder survives!

  27. Well, I cannot even think of a day that I’ve had that sounds worse than that – sorry, I’ve got nothin. But I hope you never have another. Annnnd, after giving Amazon a piece of my mind – your book will be to me by the 30th!!! I’m jealous of Cara because a) I also live in northern NJ and b) she had the presence of mind to go to B&N, whilst I took the amazon way out. I could be reading right now!!!

  28. An object lesson in “why you should be careful what you wish for [ie children], Daphne.”
    But pretty darn funny from this POV.

  29. May I say that whatever supreme being there is knew what she was doing when she decided that only female chromosome bearing sperm would survive in my womb. I don’t think I have the constitution to have handled a male preschooler
    Of course, that means I’ll have TWO female teenagers. Gaaaaa.

  30. The things they do when they’re little, that teach you patience, you get to tease them with when they’re teenagers. (Neener, neener, guys…) I’m sure my 6’9″ son just loved hearing others being told about the time he reached back in the shopping cart and grabbed the egg box, opened the lid, and shook it upside down while I wasn’t looking…

  31. See, around my house “wet and sticky sock-in-progress” means that Willow, my black lab was assisted by Sophie, my calico cat, in slobbering all over my sock. It’s a two man operation: sophie pushes sock off of high place I’ve stored it, Willow destroys it. Her favourite snack for a while were size 2 bamboo DPNs. At least she has taste?

  32. Sam was right. It was a bust. Give the girl credit for summing up the situation very succintly.
    On a more joyful note, the bookbookbook has made it to the B&N in Charlottesville, Virginia, where I was told by a mystified clerk, “You know, someone else was asking for that just yesterday.” I moved all the copies to the top shelf for you πŸ™‚

  33. My oldest is a girl (6), my youngest (3) a boy. When it was just my daughter, I would marvel at the things little boys did, and gave a relief filled sigh that my daughter was nothing like those rough,loud boys. I vowed that if I had a son he would be “better behaved” then the boys I saw. I thought they lacked discicipline, while their mother’s would always nervously smile and say “little boys are VERY different than little girls.” That is the understament of the year. My son is very charming when he wants to be, has a great imagination, was at one time less tempermental than my daughter, and for the first two and half years was pretty easy to please. Now, however, he runs everywhere, screams so loud and long I am waiting for the lenses to crack in my glasses, and has some fantastic tamper tantrums. I have to hold him by his collar when we are out in public, because evidently any grown up is just as good as the next to follow. I am pretty sure he has a good shot at a career in football, given the way he is able to knock most kids down when they are blocking his way, and that is nothing compared to the arm on that kid. I am still waiting for “Supernanny” to knock on my door any minute. I had to leave a store once because he wanted Chaps cologne-all because there was a cowboy on the box. I said no, and a meltdown ensued. The dirty looks I get from other adults…..well, anyhow, I am sorry about your day yesterday. But I am laughing pretty hard too. Tee-hee.

  34. Still bummed to hear that all Toronto bookbookbooks have stealth capability. I just looked it up in AMICUS, the big electronic catalogue of Canadian public libraries. You have your very own entry in there! The subject “Knitters (Persons)” knocks me out, so you can imagine how amused I am that it has subdivisions.

  35. First off, your book rocks. And what a great size! It will easily fit into my overstuffed, absurdly heavy bag (why DO we carry so much stuff?). Oh my gosh, I can totally empathize with your bag story. My 3 1/2 year old daughter recently stashed a banana and milk-filled sippy cup in the body of my bag (instead of the outside pocket), and I wasn’t aware of it until a clerk at the local Whole Foods ran up to me and said “Miss, you’re leaking milk!” and pointed to a long trail behind me. Sheepishly, i removed all the wet, drippy things from my bag, but not before putting my finger through the hidden banana. I adore both of my children, but they certainly do keep me on my toes at all times. Can’t wait to delve into the book! congrats again (and I hope Hank feels better).

  36. Ohhhhhhhhh…I feel your pain. That’s all I can muster up right now. On a positive note, at least the needle puctured the juicebox, and not your ass.
    P.S. I *LOVEEEEE* the Chai shawl! Pressed/ironed or not, it is gorgeous. Gimme, gimme, gimme.

  37. Another good thing – days like this will help ensure that your daughters are in no hurry to have kids of their own! πŸ˜‰
    And Amazon is now saying that they are preparing the bookbookbook for shipping. I wonder what has to be done to prepare a bookbookbook to be shipped? Does it need to get shots, since it’s international, or to have a visa approved? Or perhaps it needs to be sedated so as not to disturb the other cargo? Maybe they just need to tell it what to expect in the shipping process…

  38. Oh dear, it really does sound like a bust. I’m still a bit on a baby high, as I went to see my very new housemate to the hospital today. She was very small, very red and her parents were tired but happy. They will be coming home in a couple of days, and then my 8-month-old has to get used to not being the baby of the circ… umh, I mean the family. πŸ™‚
    Now we know what to expect in a few years.

  39. Just make sure you archive your posts so that you can hold Hank for a nice hefty ransom when he’s all grown up! πŸ˜›

  40. This is why I had to give up teaching preschool. I love kids, but 20 four-year-olds for an entire day, five days a week nearly killed me.

  41. Been there , done that ! So sorry for your day – the cure – a bottle of screech ! You will be thinking that your day wasn’t so bad and laugh it off !
    Happy knitting ,
    Kim O

  42. I used to be terribly fond of steel dpns, but too many purse adventures and sit-upon adventures cured me… Was it at least colorless juice, not grape? Hope Hank feels better soon. He was probably just trying to outrun that ominous doom feeling of getting ill. He’s a very lucky boy to have an understanding (and fun!) auntie like you.
    If it’s just the tabs broken off the cylinder of the ball winder, you should be able to work wonders with duct tape and popsicle sticks. Can’t quite tell from the photo.

  43. OY. Sounds like you’re more in need of that hot chocolate than anyone, Harlot dear.

  44. Oh my. Sounds like a heavy Screech-imbibing day. With lots of chocolate & nice hot bath.
    When’s the gang back in school?

  45. Oi. Aren’t you glad you have teenagers? I mean, they may roll their eyes and wear too much lip gloss and pout and leave dirty dishes around the house, but at least they don’t require you to carry snacks and drinks in your purse.
    Tried to find the book book book at my local Borders. They’re knitting section was so disorganized I don’t know if I’d have been able to find it if they did have it. Anyway, I’m ordering a whole stack of them for the new store. I predict that it will fly off the shelves.

  46. I remeber those days. Oh yes I do. And I glad that they are a memory! But it does lend credence to the theory that God has a sense of humor. He has to if he thinks that children are a good way to perpetuate a species!
    Hang on. Some day all the children in your life will be over 20 and you will start, with no real reason that you can give, start to count the days until you become a grandparent and can again take a small child shopping!! I’m still waiting!
    S’s MOM

  47. Oh my, I am SOOOO with you. Four kids,(all day) and I am doing a frantic house rearrange/cleaning for Easter with my guest list growing. Where am I going to put 35 people? The teenager is in revolt and the 7 and 2 year old are in destructo land. The 10 year old is simply trying to stay out of the way and on my rapidly shrinking good side. Days like these make me miss my Mom. I wish you a peaceful night. A

  48. Sometimes I have some nostalgia for the days when my former children were not 18 and 20, but usually I get by very well. Not having juiceboxes in my life (My car used to smell like a brewery from the fermenting dregs) is right up there. I am glad someone yelled at Amazon, I am also becalmed there. Went to Borders and the bookbookbook is not in their computer system. To their credit, they tried to end me to the LYS.

  49. At leat you can’t blame #5 on Hank. Or wait, you can because he was the reason you were carrying a juice box in your bag!

  50. I feel your pain – at least you had Hank as part culprit for your bag dousing – I only had myself to blame for my knitting bag getting a Coke shower! πŸ™‚

  51. Oh Stephanie, anyone willing to take a 4 year old to the ROM is a winner in my book! And just think, little Hank gets to go home at the end of such an exciting day. You think his mom would be willing to take my 3 kids with her? I still have one MORE week of break to endure…I mean enjoy. You will hear me screaming at them from the Ontario Science Center next weekend; consider all of Toronto warned!

  52. The bookbookbook has arrived in my house. (I sent my husband and daughter after it. B&N in Roseville, MN was OUT of them on the shelves.. .my daughter asked for it, and they pulled one out of the back for her.
    I’ve already read half, laughed out loud 7 or 8 times, and read 3 or 4 of them to my husband (a non-knitter who also laughed).
    Not to mention my running into the other room to make him read page 19 just to prove that its not just me πŸ™‚
    I’m half done. I’ve stopped so that I don’t finish it too soon…

  53. hi! just wanted to say that i say your book in a barnes & noble in NJ, USA. i’m still waiting for the one i ordered online to arrive, but i was very tempted to just buy it at the store!

  54. Hey, juice is washable. The odor from a several-days-forgotten-in-the-bottom-of-the-purse poopy diaper? Not so washable.

  55. One night, after a similar day, I took a large gin & tonic up to my bed for a bit of quiet knitting… and put the glass on the bedside table, which is stacked up with magazines, yarn and a clock, and it spilled, of course, onto all sorts of stuff I keep beside the bed, including the sock I was knitting for my 8-year-old! Luckily one can wash the smell of gin out of a sock….
    And I don’t have a bookbookbook of my own, but I do have a pattern published in one of those VK On the Go books. I always find it on the shelf in a bookstore and open it forcefully so the book falls open to that page, and then leave the book lying around so that at least the staff have to notice it to reshelve it. Who knows if it works…
    School next week! I’ll try to calmly knit at least on Tuesday!

  56. This is one of the funniest entries I have ever read in blogland – I am literally crying I am laughing so hard! I love this Hank kid! And by the way, I just wanted to let you know, that in Durham, NC, USA, the Barnes & Noble at the Southpoint mall has 4 (!) copies of your fantastic book. CONGRATULATIONS!

  57. Sorry about your day. You do write a wonderful blog. We appreciate it. I wish I could see the difficulties in my own days with half the humor you find in yours.

  58. Oh man, that sucks. What an unrelentingly bad day, funnily rendered in the your blog (this is the upside). I hope it gets better!

  59. Guess what *I* just bought?!?!
    At the Barnes & Noble in Richmond, VA, USA:
    AT MY KNIT’S END!!!!
    Lucky me.
    Now, ‘scuse me, I gotta go read.

  60. I just got home from running errands, with, inter alia, one of the four copies of bookbookbookbook in the North Haven B&N. The remaining 3 copies are also more prominently displayed than they were when I entered the store.
    If I didn’t have planting to do and another sock to knit…

  61. Oh stephanie,
    I feel your pain but i must admit that I laughed, a lot,out loud, while reading your post. At one point in the past which I only vaguely remember, I had 4 boys aged 6 and under and life was full of the kind of days that you described. I was spared the acerbic older kid wit. I now am fully in the midst of teen parenting with an 8 year old “baby” but I do still remember (some) of what life was like when things leaked in my backpack and I had to be prepared to sprint in pursuit of escapees.

  62. harlot, i just bought your book at barnes & noble’s in ft.lauderdale, fl πŸ™‚ too cool!

  63. Book sighted at LBS and acquired! It’s wonderful!! Looking forward to the book-signing in NYC.

  64. guess what i bought yesterday???
    at Barnes and Noble in Bellingham Massachusetts…
    your book…its great…and it sure feels good to not feel alone…i am only about a third of the way through, and i keep wanting to read it out loud to someone. your book will be the perfect accompanyment to my two week car ride (road trip) to Arkansas and back (about 3500 miles roundtrip)
    thanks again for making me know i am not the only fiber obsessed being in North America
    Sharon from Massachusetts

  65. Now THAT is what I call great birth control! Can I borrow Hank next time I have a hankering to children?
    Love your blog.

  66. Of COURSE Clara liked your book. I can’t believe you don’t really know how awesome you are. You knit Estonian mittens and lace shawls with the interruptions of teens, husbands and write like a dream, have housekeeping chorses in PERFECT priority, maintain your sense of humor (or at least find it within minutes), are charitable (think of how much TSF would have suffered without your promotion!) Sure, it’s nice you don’t boast, but never never never never doubt yourself.
    Please come to Dallas! We are not over-supplied with funny, literate, talented women.

  67. Well downtown can be a daunting place to scoot around in with a four year old on the best of days, nevermind an off day!!! Good for you for having a dose of humour about it all πŸ™‚ Great Blog. I read that reveiw of your book and am going to pick it up for sure.
    Cheers! and happy knitting.

  68. I am usually a “lurker” but had to come out of hiding to say that I got your bookbookbook yesterday at B&N in Independence MO. Got home and stayed up till 1 this a.m. to finish it (I am a fast reader). I enjoyed all of it and found quite a bit applied directly to me, as I am sure all knitters will. There were many laugh out loud moments. Congratulations on the book, I think it is a real winner.

  69. My grandsons (ages 6 and 8) frequently spend the day at our office (we have a family room for them).
    At the end of these days, which are always truly enjoyable, I can be discovered requesting “a large gin, with all possible speed, please.”
    My grandchildless friends don’t understand my state of complete exhaustion. I shall now print today’s post, and hand a copy to each person who thinks I am overplaying the effects of spending the day with a couple of charming, whirling dervishes.
    The drinkbox thing was part of the experience.

  70. Oh, Hank sounds adorable. I have an active 4 year old boy too, I wear flat shoes so I can outrun him, and I don’t think my sister is going to baby-sit him πŸ™‚

  71. Just wanted you to know that your bookbookbookbook is in the Barnes & Noble in Westminster, CO. I bought it on Saturday and I love it.

  72. Sounds like a day in the life w/ my 4 yo; at least you could give Hank back to your sister. lol
    My priorities are right in line with yours: 1)Knitting; 2)Housework; actually housework comes after feeding and shoving the boys in front of the TV to keep the occupied for a bit while I knit. : )

  73. I’m glad someone else has a crazy 4 year old boy, and has the same priorities in life as me. πŸ™‚ I enjoy your blog immensely.

  74. Poor Hank. My 4 yo generally has a really wretched day just before getting sick. Don’t know why we don’t clue in to that sooner. I think I may need a hard case to carry my socks w/dpns. The other day they poked right out of my knitting bag and snagged my husband. He is constantly afraid I am going to injure someome with them just lying around. Better days ahead.

  75. Ok, now I’m scared. My 3 1/2 year old guy sounds a lot like Hank, and he’s still got half a year to hone his craft before he hits 4. Better yet, in about a year and a half he’ll be 5 (which in my experience is very similar to 4), and the twin guys will be 2. Criminy. (and that’s not counting their older sister, who is now 6). We took them all on a road trip to see their grandparents this weekend, and the guys cried for about 150 miles (stop, go, no matter). I sat in the middle of the backseat of the van with my butt wedged between 2 carseats for about 4 hours, trying to make *that noise* stop. Anne-Caroline, thanks for the tip on Southpoint B&N – I’ll have to go pick up the book there!

  76. Please, oh please, tell me what kind of cutsie (if a bit broken) ball winder that is? I’m just to the point in my knitting that I’d like to try some of the niftier yarns that only come in hanks, and I’ll need a ball winder.
    I sympathize with the children going nuts. I only have one, but he’s 6.5 and has ADHD (bonafide-diagnosed-by-two-pediatricians-and-a-psychiatrist-ADHD), so I must have him occupied or sleeping in order to knit. The good part is that he’s trying to knit himself. So far he’s facinated with the knitting spools that you make “ropes” with, but I’m thinking straight-needle knitting will work better when he’s a bit older.

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