Welcome to summer vacation with teenagers, or, as I have decided to call it, the long dark tea-time of the soul. (With apologies to our sainted and not forgotten Douglas Adams.) Gone are the days when summer vacation was a lovely time of family activities and togetherness. Gone are the days where I spent the days studying, writing and knitting under a tree while my wee girlies played together in the park and wading pool all day. Now my kids are big, and they have an agenda that is all their own and I have new hobbies this summer.
Here is how I spend my time.
1. I say “Stop that. ” (You may imagine whatever you wish for what “that” may be. Everything from shaving your head to poking your sister with the eraser end of a pencil is possible, as is blasting music and running the house out of hot water every ten minutes as you change outfits again.)
2. I turn the tv off. There is no tv from 8-4 in the summer, but this does not stop the girls from testing the rule every six minutes. Apparently, having the rule in place for 17 years is not consistent enough for them to predict my response. Let’s see what they think when I gnaw the freaking plug off of the power cord.
3. I tell them to read books. They tell me they have no books, (The lies, the lies, the lies.) and I remind them that the library is AT THE CORNER, close enough to phone and ask the librarian to THROW a book at your house.
4. I open the fridge to get cream for my coffee and discover that the teenagers have eaten their own body weight in fresh produce when I foolishly abandoned my post of defense in the kitchen for three minutes because I had to pee. I have no idea how it is possible to eat a kilo of fresh spinach and a whole bag of portobello mushrooms while I was out of the room, but while I was in the washroom I discovered that the 12 rolls of toilet paper I bought at the same time yesterday are also used up…so who knows what’s going on.)
5. I try to figure out why there is always the wrong number of kids here. I’m either short a few or up a few all of the time. (This may be related to the food and toilet paper issue. Perhaps they are inviting friends over for salad and a bathroom break.)
7. I scream “GET A JOB.” This is the response to all requests for money. It is slightly unfair, since all three children are working this summer, even though two of them are picking up credits in summer school, but it is a reflexive answer burned into me by my own parents.
8. I stand around different parts of the house trying to figure out what the smell is. (Running shoes? Abandoned bathing suit kicked under the couch? Half a now liquid plum in a leaking ziplock in a backpack?…Teenaged boy looking for teenaged girl?)
9. I try to keep that vein in my forehead from exploding when, after prying the telephone from the hands of a teenager (Who has receiver shaped hands from prolonged exposure) so that I can make a call for work, am asked by said teenager if I can “be really quick”.
10. I point out that if anyone plays “Panic! At the Disco” even one more time, I shall be forced to retaliate by alternating only the great songs “Raspberry Beret” and “Love Cats” until one or all of them moves out. (The 12 year old can stay, but I’m not letting her plug anything in.)
11. Finally, I make appalling progress on the icarus shawl.
When there are 300 and something stitches i get to start the lacy bit. For a while I was counting them from time to time, you know…to see how much further I have to go? I’ve stopped now. It doesn’t matter how much I increase. I’m never going to get there. I understand.
12. I count days until until the first day of school. (There are 63)
Baby hat Q&A
Where do I send the hats?
For those of you who have not yet received an address from me, Jeanne has some company… Ilene would like to give some hats away at her WIC office Breastfeeding Week celebration too. Hats can be sent here:
c/o Brockton WIC Program
795 Pleasant St.
Brockton, MA 02301
As soon as I hear from Jeanne about if she minds me posting her address (I think it will be ok.) I’ll post that one here too.
When is the deadline?
The end of July.
What should I make the hats out of?
You’ve all heard my rant before about acrylic on babies. Since acrylic melts and burns posing serious risks to babies in the event of a fire, for safety’s sake my personal preference for all baby items is natural fibres, but you can do as pleases you. (I don’t mind acrylic on people old enough to “stop, drop and roll”.) I think the California babies would probably get more use out of cotton, and the Massachusetts could go wool, cotton or anything, but there are no wrong answers. The mums are going to be grateful no matter what.
Newborn to 1 year.
Is crochet ok?
You bet. Knock yourself out.
Do you have any patterns?
KathyMarie has some patterns on her blog here.
Anybody else? Toss ’em in the comments.