In which there are four days

I think I might be flipping out a bit. There’s four days left and I got up this morning and took an honest look at what needs doing, and dudes, the knitting might be the least of my problems. As a matter of fact, most of my problems may be the things in this house that are breathing. If someone experienced in these matters could stop by and offer a better answer to the teenaged statement “I can’t wait to move out so I can do what I want”, I would be eternally grateful, and possibly making better time on this Christmas thing. I offered SPS (Standard Parent Speech) #72a “I don’t know what makes you think that grownups can do what they want” followed by #76 v.2 “Do you think I wanted to go to work today?” with the add-on of “It sure would be nice to live the way that you do“, but I still got nowhere. I considered using “I wonder how old you’ll be when you care that your mother is doing everything with no help” but I usually try to save that one for really big game, and the little one did vacuum, while the big one shovelled. No point in over-guilting. Leads to immunity.

The house is still trashed, though I reclaimed the kitchen today, (Poor first choice though, considering that we’re probably going to eat sometime in the next four days and trash it again) and Joe claims he’s going to do he bathroom today, so maybe we’ll get ahead there. I’ve got the living room covered in yarn, which should be turned into stuff by Christmas, wrapped up and given away, and the dining room must be there somewhere. Joe has assured me that it’s under all the paperwork he has all over the place. The baking is almost all done, and I’ve wrapped five things, which is a lot better than wrapping no things, and I’ve got two foray’s into the world left to make, and if I do it right, I’ll make one today and one tomorrow. While that’s on, The Schedule maintains that the little sweater I’ve been working on should be done by midnight today.


Right. Not a problem. All it needs is TWO SLEEVES that I accomplish while shopping, cleaning and making dinner for family night. Excellent. I can do it. (That’s a pattern of my own devising, and Lorna’s Laces Shepherd Worsted -which I like.)

I finished the next pair of socks in the queue though…


and I’m pretty happy about that.


These are charming Hedgerow socks (I love the way the pattern continues onto the heel) in Fiber Optic Foot Notes – in “Black Coffee“.


(That’s another gift I’m going to be sorry to see go.) and I started the last pair of socks in this years list.


(Man. Did typing that ever feel good. The last pair.) Those are a version of an old Patons pattern, being worked in Dream in Colour Smooshy (Cocoa Kiss) I’ll look up the details later. (You know. When my head’s not exploding.)

I’ve got the penultimate scarf on the list underway:


Noro Silk Garden, #’s 284 and 47, and yes, it’s the two row stripe thing again. People like them.

That only leaves one more scarf, but that doesn’t need to be done until the 28th, so I might be ok. I really might.

Sleeves, socks, scarf, shop. Yeah- is it any wonder that Joe asked me yesterday “Why do you think we’re going through coffee at twice the usual rate?” (He’s as much to blame as I am.) Starting tomorrow we have got to get a grip.

To distract you from how distracted I am from the blog, I’ve got a big set of gifts to give away. Blue Moon Fiber Arts has generously donated THREE memberships to next years Rockin Sock Club world domination tour.

The lucky knitters are Ellen K., Adriana H and Lynda M. (I’ve emailed all of you.)

Sleeves, socks, scarf, shop. Gotta go.

203 thoughts on “In which there are four days

  1. Sorry to tell you this, there is nothing you can say to teenagers to get them up and moving.
    The only cure is time, by about age 25 they start to think that you are pretty amazing and at age 30, or until they start having kids, they worship you and ask for advice.
    You will survive this πŸ™‚

  2. I’d have a better chance at being ready if it would stop bloody snowing. Been locked in my house since Friday and WHO HAS TIME FOR THAT AT THIS TIME OF YEAR?? Did manage to get some groceries today, just in time for storm #what? 3? 4? in less than a week. ARGH!
    I’d drink coffee, except it might y’know, exacerbate the mood.
    p.s. re: sticking to The Schedule: I have faith in you. And coffee. The combination of you and coffee should have everything finished on time. And you jangling the tune to Jingle Bells. Very festive!

  3. You can do it!! I’ll be thinking of you knitting sleeves while I finish a Baby’s First Christmas Stocking, Baby’s First Christmas ornament (both in cross stitch) and knit on a pair of socks tonight myself.

  4. Ugh. Did you have to remind me about the deadline? Not so much with the knitting this year, but the sewing… it might kill me.

  5. The only answer to the teenage question is to be patient enough for them to complain about their own teens behavior then you fall down laughing and ask if they really want symphaty from you. I’m enjoying that activity on a regular basis.
    Be tough you can do this.

  6. Dude, I am so jealous of the three winners! Good luck on getting everything done. I guess now would not be the best time to say (whispering) I’m done.
    Now before you impale your needles into me, I did not make that much this year. I’m becoming a selfish knitter. I deserve handknits, there are only a SLIM number of others who get some. We’ll see this year if they still remain on the dwindling knitworthy list… πŸ˜€

  7. An answer to a teenager? Hmm…you could offer to help her start packing! Your socks are just gorgeous! And what happened to Mr. Washer? Is he fixed now?
    I hope you’ll give yourself a break and next year just give gift certificates or something…

  8. I have a sleeve, and yoke on a sweater for my teenager, the legs on a pair of toe up socks doing 2 together on circular needles (WHY did I choose to try this method on a time crunch? I think I’ll pull them off and knit them the “regular” way, which goes a lot faster) and the sleeves on a little bitty baby sweater left.
    I put in Season 3 of West Wing yesterday and got the body of the baby sweater and one teenager sleeve done (and the living room cleaned and scrubbed). I also have to make another 12 dozen cookies, 4 pork pies and feed children home from school for the next 3 days.
    After Christmas I’m going to dig out my voice recognition software so I can work (proofreading a web site translated from Chinese to English by native Chinese speakers) and knit at the same time. If I use the software for the next 6 months, it should be trained enough that I can type and knit at the same time. Maybe. I think that’ll be easier than learning to type with my toes.

  9. I feel your pain. I yelled at the kids last week, may have thrown things, and finally put myself in time-out (which the 5 y.o. thought was totally charming, by the way), where I sat quietly in my room and ignored everyone. When my 8, going on 18 year old daughter says such hurtful things, I find it’s best to just agree with her: “yea, I can’t wait until you move out and can do what you want too. But until then, please pick up your books and put them back on the shelf, etc…” At least it startles her out of complacency. And specific instructions work much better than the general “clean up your room”.
    Congrats on the lovely socks and on almost convincing me that yards of k1p1 rib are in my future! Is that sweater for Hank?

  10. Uh—I hate to mention it, but it appears there may be a button band needed as well? Just a thought. But it all sounds very doable, as long as the coffee holds out.

  11. Well, not that it’s any consolation, but your messes at least makes me feel a little better as I’m slightly ahead of the game. Though I don’t have teenagers to contend with… or children at all, which I think has helped immensely. I know you can do it though! And I agree with Kathe… offer to help teen start packing, and then go on and on about how wonderful it will be with one less person to feed and clean up after. πŸ™‚ That’s what my mother always said and it shut me up pretty quick, even in my snottiest years. πŸ™‚ Best of luck! You can do it!!!

  12. Ask Joe for one of his old tape recorders…ask teen to repeat for the microphone…say you are taping it so you have it for when your grandchildren start in…
    I also have a tape I played that featured “Mother’s Greatest Hits”…didn’t even have to say them after awhile :>)…
    Mother Nature is smart to let them grow up and MOVE OUT…it does happen eventually!
    BTW, the other answer to the question of the day is…”let me know how that works out, willya?”…followed by an immense amount of laughter on your part…

  13. Wow! I’m so impressed! This is good work you have done here. You can totally make it this Christmas.
    Only the public parts of the house need to be clean. No one notices how you are wearing the same clothes over and over, and you’ll probably get some new stuff for Christmas, so you only need to wash underwear. Teenagers… well, I can’t help you with that one.
    Have a lovely holiday!

  14. I have full faith in your knitterly magic Stephanie, you will totally finish in time, despite the teenagers. I’ve got so much Christmas knitting to finish it is not even funny. I may resort to wrapping some half-knitted items and finishing them post x-mas. I lost some serious knitting time over the weekend due to a urgent cookie-baking emergency. Sometimes sacrifices need to be made in the name of chocolate and ginger-snaps.

  15. I tell my teenagers one of the things they will GET to do is pay ALL their bills. That usually quiets them down. Remember Steph – it will still be Christmas even if every little thing isn’t done. Your family will be together and you will enjoy yourself. Let it go.

  16. I’m FIGHTING the urge to add last-minute knitted gift items. I’m pretty sure if my dad had changed from a non-wool wearing muggle to a wool-lover, he would have told me, right?

  17. Dudette, do I hear you. No teens at home, but Mom lives here. I had to show her, again, what we bought everyone for Christmas (30 minutes gone from my life), then she couldn’t find matching socks – I was on the phone at the time (15 min. disappeared), I have one sock to finish (this is the one I had to frog because it was too short, then the yarn tangled and…never mind. 4 hours gone – poof!) and I decided I have time to knit an ear flap hat. Who needs Christmas cookies?

  18. 頑弡って下さい! (Gambatte kudasai = Good luck / Hang in there!)
    I am choosing not to feel inadequate that I have a scarf I know I’m not going to finish and socks that barely made the boat (the mailing was today). I’m in awe of the progress you’ve made each day you’ve come up for air!

  19. Could you (or one of the other talented people who love your blog) point me to the actual list of Standard Parent Speech. It has to be out there somewhere. My daughter is 12, excuse me, “almost-13-MOM!” and I would rather have this list than the “Top 50 Convents in North America” list. Although that is a close second.
    I hope to find my living and dining rooms sometime before school starts again. Nothing like triple-bang-ice-and-snow-storms in MA to cancel school the whole eight days before winter break.
    Keep the faith!

  20. I’m not sure how to answer your teenagers, but you could try this video.
    Everything a mom says to her children in a given day, to the tune of the William Tell Overture. . .it’ll make you laugh, even if it doesn’t get you the results you were after. Good luck!

  21. ” Can’t wait till I move out and do what I want “— hehehehehe Most of them return to the home nest because they can’t handle the “do what I want ” world. . LOVELY sweater and socks and I’m sure all will be done on time,just don’t panic you still have four days or is that TWO? Good luck.

  22. Keep knitting. It’s not pain, it’s just your yarn telling you how late you are… I have a sock and a half left of chunky house socks and an ear flap hat. There’s a skein of Manos Silk Blend and a Fiddlesticks knitting pattern waiting for me. That’s my light at the end of the tunnel.

  23. My solution was to look them dead in the eye AND MEAN IT and say, “DO go. Now. PLEASE.”
    It usually conveys very plainly how very NOT interested in their issues you are and ends the conversation completely. Ceasing all communication helps, too. They KNOW what needs to be done. They are bright bunnies. They have your DNA. Stop playing their game. It wastes energy better used elsewhere.
    How’s Sir Washie?

  24. And Sir Washie’s future? I won’t even begin to tell you what’s not done here. It’s bad! Good luck and all best wishes for the season.

  25. The best response to that sort of thing with teens is to laugh wildly, and when they ask why, just say “you’ll find out.”
    Way to go on the knitting. You can make it. I’m sorry I ever doubted you. I love that colourway of the Smooshy. Love. It.

  26. Don’t hate me, and I’m no math wizard but…depending on when you need the gifts by and when your true Christmas chaos starts I think you may only have had 3ish days left this morning. I know I’m down to about 1 1/2 days but you need a lot less sleep than I do:) My 16yo daughter is actually helping with baking and wrapping and my 13 yo son is bringing in firewood and carrying water for the critters- sshh, maybe they still believe in Santa.

  27. I am so envious of your knitting ability—you knit faster than me and your stuff always looks great! Merry Christmas!

  28. Solve most of your problems with one good slip on the ice = one broken wrist = end of knitting 5 weeks = ouch. Most friends and family are accomodating and I am also releived of cooking. shopping, cleaning, shoveling. Employer is less flexible – I am typing as fast as I can with one hand.

  29. My standard answer is when you pay the bills and the taxes you won’t be able to afford to do what you want, lol.
    I have faith in your knitting, if anyone can get done it’s you. Have a very Merry Christmas and I hope you enjoy the next 4 days dispite the teenaged hassles.

  30. You can do it! I have total faith.
    As for the other… I think I started really listening to my parents after I moved out and was living on my own for a year or so. And you know what? Now that I’m staring 40 in the face, I SO appreciate them. They did an amazing job with me and my sibs. πŸ™‚ And I don’t have kids.

  31. Love the Hedgerow socks. Jane sure writes a great pattern doesn’t she.
    And the only consolation I can offer about the teenage “whine” is that very soon (when they are out on their own) they will be beggin to move back home and be a teenager once again – and they’ll tell you that being “grown-up” stinks.

  32. Argh, teenagers. Second the “I’m not sure *I* can wait till you move out” recommendation.
    Though if you can manage the correctly cheerfully insincere tone of voice, “Awwww… MUFFIN!” has its uses, and is faster.
    Stunning socks. Havng taken up knitting in, um, October, I’m making three hats as Christmas presents. They are full of lumps, um, full of love.

  33. Speaking of teenagers…many years ago my oldest son’s favorite activity seemed to be collecting traffic tickets. Fast forward about twenty years. His oldest son got a speeding ticket; after he appeared in court, paid his fine and heard the judge’s “sermon,” he got another ticket on his way home. I’m still laughing!
    Your day will come, Stephanie

  34. he-he-he Send them teenagers my way. . . . I would be a wicked step-mother. πŸ™‚

  35. Ah yes, the holiday panic attacks. It’s funny how even a heathen such as myself falls victim. At least Joe isn’t picking NOW to start household projects that have been languishing all summer. My sister is supposed to be here in THREE DAYS (weather willing)! and hubby suddenly developed the urge to stain the INSIDE of cupboards, re-wire computers, polish and buff bathroom doors, and generally leave a trail of disaster leading directly to the project of the moment. It will all be lovely when it’s done BUT HOLY CRAP, MY SISTER WILL BE HERE IN THREE DAYS AND WE DO NOT HAVE TIME FOR THIS!!!
    I’ve decided that it’s time to relax and embrace the horror. The animals are all clean and there will be a clear spot for Sis to sleep, so screw it. Life’s too short and I’m sick of being stressed out and not enjoying it!
    I have NO suggestion for the cranky teen other than to ignore her. Focus on the feel of the wool, the beauty of the sweater, the pleasure of the recipient when you get around to giving it, the joy of being married to a man who doesn’t recoil at the suggestion that he clean the bathroom. Life is good and when you die no one is going to stand up and say, “ya know, she wasn’t as good a person as she shoulda been – she didn’t get my Christmas present knit on time and her toilets were dirty.”
    In the immortal words of Mr. Bobby McFerrin, “In every life we have some trouble, When you worry you make it double, Don’t worry, be happy……”
    And if Joe’s noticing coffee shortages, it might be time to cut back just a wee bit. πŸ˜‰

  36. Just celebrated our 33rd year of marriage and DH gave me your book, “Free Range Knitter”. He got breakfast in bed. I never cook breakfast so he was really surprised.
    Teenagers…we had 4 at once. God is good. They all did finally leave. A few years ago the oldest thanked us for staying together since so many of her friend’s parents did not. It made it all worth while….mostly!
    Merry Christmas!

  37. There’s nothing you can say to your daughters to make them understand what adulthood really means. I told my mom the other day that I was amazed at how much she’d learned in just a couple of years; when I was 18 I thought she was ridiculous and went out of my way not to listen to her. Now, at 23, I ask her advice for almost everything.
    C’est la guerre.

  38. Keep on keeping on Stephanie. Stuff will either be finished or not. But you know that, right? Teenagers do grow up. They don’t seem to understand that we are all for their growing up! They’d like the growing up without the responsibilities, I found with mine. There seems no way past it. The Mom Song is a blast and so is the time out idea. I’m finishing my knitting and trying to get our house ready to list Jan.2. Arggh. And I seem to be the only one concerned about all the things that need sprucing up by then!! I am a wee bit frazzled…. Merry Christmas to you and all you love!

  39. Teenagers are a lost cause. The only joy will have is one day they will have kids that will give them the same headache. Paybacks can be fun, you just have be to be patient.
    As for the knitting, YOU CAN DO IT!!!! Keep on stitching.

  40. I will come cook for you and clean the house, keep you and Joe supplied with coffee, if only you would sprinkle me with sock mojo (I can’t get into the groove and only want to get them the eff off the needles) and lace mojo (it frightens me).
    Big order, I know. But seriously — a week in your company would totally be worth it. And I make a wicked mean veg lasagne.

  41. WOW! Best Blog AND Best Activities blog, 2008 .. (I just saw that, I’m slow). Congratulation!! And, you’re baking and knitting and cleaning and parenting. Almost makes me feel a tiny bit guilty for driving an hour away from home today to buy fish for my little kid’s new tank and then cracking open this guinness while he and I watch them swim. We’re way less motivated for Christmas around here, but we at least admire you motivated types. πŸ™‚ I think that’s enough activity for me; admiration and guinness tipping.

  42. Don’t look to me for answers! The tree has been up for a week, still bare naked. The entire house needs a top to bottom cleaning and most of the food shopping remains undone!

  43. My answer to the teenagers? “What are you waiting for? There’s the door. Have fun!” They’ll be back shortly. It’s a cruel, cruel world out there:)

  44. You do not understand. When your teens grow up, they will be able to do anything they want because they are not losers like you (and me) are. As explained in my instructions on How To Ingratiate Oneself With A Teenager (Rule 4).

  45. Oh man…the teenager comments. I could SCREAM with that one! the 14-year-old is the worst! Course, I guess she had lots of examples set by her two older sisters, but I don’t remember THEM starting that at 14!

  46. Oh man…the teenager comments. I could SCREAM with that one! the 14-year-old is the worst! Course, I guess she had lots of examples set by her two older sisters, but I don’t remember THEM starting that at 14!

  47. It still totally gets me that the family so completely trashes the house, and I’m expected to clean it up.
    Mostly, I don’t.
    I take care of my own room, a few specific tasks (I run the washer/dryer & mostly cook), but beyond that, it’s a team effort.
    And slowly but surely, it’s working. I have to direct their cleaning up efforts, (the kids are between 9 and 0) and usually get them started, but they’re complaining and melting down less and less as time goes on.

  48. My almost 10-year-old son thinks your daughters are funnnnny-at this moment, he knows when he has got it good he only really HAS to shovel-a couple of times a day this week it is true, but hey, he gets fed a couple of times a day too.
    My family doesn’t appreciate knitting, so I was really glad of your list that let me knit for myself this year with no guilt (the snowshovelling boy may have to score some New Year’s socks though, he likes my knitting, as long as I don’t make him wear it to school.
    Is the miracle truck still going?

  49. “If someone experienced in these matters could stop by and offer a better answer to the teenaged statement “I can’t wait to move out so I can do what I want”, I would be eternally grateful. . .”
    Simply say “Me, too.” They won’t know if you mean you can’t wait for them to move out, or for you to move out. Either way, it stops things for a moment or two.
    Your gratitude need not be eternal. I’ll take until New Year’s, just so your head doesn’t explode. πŸ™‚

  50. Oh Steph….if you’re even reading these comments then you’re losing time on your schedule! πŸ˜‰
    I had to laugh a week or two back when you were talking about how on track you were because it was just a given at that point that you would soon arrive at….this point. I probably shouldn’t tell you how thankful I am that all my gifts were purchased, wrapped and shipped a week ago…thankful because here I am in Seattle under a FOOT of snow which totally cripples this city. We are at a grinding halt. I just enjoy the smaller things though and it makes me feel more grateful for the more important things of Christmas – like watching the kids and teens snowboarding and sledding on the closed hilly streets. Or groups of people walking by in the snow with their Santa hats on, dragging toddlers on sleds behind them. Or being thankful for having such great neighbors who check on each other to be sure nobody is without power or milk or cocoa πŸ™‚ I don’t get to travel home to my family this year, but I’m finding this is one of the better Christmases I can remember as an adult because the snow has forced me to SLOW. DOWN.
    Happy knitting πŸ™‚

  51. Teenagers – can’t live them and aren’t allowed to lock them up until they come to their senses. If it is any consolation my son, who turned 33 this year, recently told me that he appreciated how hard I worked to raise his sister and him alone. Wow!! There is a light at the end of tunnel, but it’s a REALLY long tunnel.

  52. Yeah…well…teenagers don’t develop a sense of consequence OR appreciation until…hmmm…..yeah, I’d say middle twenties. Sometimes, as late as thirties for boys. Hang in there just isn’t enough. Gotta say, I’m glad my knitting-and-Christmas-duties are slow this year. Next year maybe you can look at me and think “…its not me this time, HA!” πŸ˜‰

  53. Or maybe a vest???
    Fingers still crossed for success. Glad to hear Joe is no longer trapped by any obscure piece of real estate.

  54. I may need advice from YOU on how to handle teenagers!My two are only 10 and 8 but they’ve been at each other these past few weeks.And Christmas vacation started with a snow day-meaning 17 whole days of too much togtherness!Although I’ve heard homemade cookies do sometimes calm them down for a while…

  55. I dunno about the teenager thing… we have two out in university and two left still at home….. and still I have no answers……
    Breathe…..knit…. breathe….?
    Oh and smuggle a little Baileys into your coffee..!?!

  56. I’ve gained a few days. We’re snowed in (unusual for PDX) and the family wants to postpone Christmas dinner until Sunday. No problem. More knitting time, the house can surrender to entropy and be picked up on Saturday. All I do right now is pick up after boots, hats, gloves…

  57. Wow you are so close! You can do it. πŸ™‚ I have umm a second mitt and a thumb to knit since I decided it would be cool toss another project on the pile last Wednesday. Granted, I have given permission for this to be a gift for next Christmas if it isn’t finished. πŸ˜‰

  58. Go Steph go! I can’t beleive your accomplishments already. It takes me weeks to knit a sweater, and socks, weeks! Wow, I am in awe. You are awesome! I have accepted that my last knitted gift (for my kids) will have to wait for New Year’s. Or maybe Valentine’s Day.
    As for my two cents on the surly teen answer: My kids are only 7 and 4, but I already have my stock reply ready:
    “Neither can I! Then I can get some bloody peace and quiet!”
    Haha! Seriously, good luck.

    Now you know how poor Picard felt, trying to make sense of things.
    (This may only be funny to me right now)
    You can do it!

  60. Teenagers!
    Here’s your chance! Move out now, get a job, pay taxes and go run the world, while you still know everything!
    (I saw that on a t-shirt. Loved it!)

  61. Well, you’re ahead of me. We had barely enough energy to dig out yesterday, which left us with none to clean the house. If I can get *one* thing at least partially knitted, that will leave me with only… three presents to pull out of, um, nowhere.

  62. It’s more of a cry for freedom from you, in all honesty. I don’t mean it in an offensive way, but I think that’s what she’s saying, or at least that’s what I was trying to say. I don’t have a good comeback for that one yet… then again, I’m still in the stage where I can occasionally use that line…
    Good luck on Christmas! You’re nearly there! RAWR!

  63. I’m all for making that sweater a vest, ifyaknowwhati’msayin’.
    And thanks to you and your “I get super-nervous when I think I’m gonna run out of stuff to knit when out of the house” post, I nearly had a nervous breakdown while experiencing the Bermuda triangle of air travel this weekend (it includes the lovely areas of Chicago and Toronto, ’nuff said!)…..
    Problem number one: being threatened with the possibility of being stuck in Chicago for days, possibly even a week, with only a ball and a half of Plymouth Encore left to do on my pillow cover. Managed to escape that one and got home only 12 hours past schedule — yay! Running around for hours trying to finagle alternate flight paths home help to extend the life of my only knitting project in my carry-on bag — double yay!
    Problem number two: luggage did not make it to Halifax the same time as we did. Luggage includes all the knitted gifts completed and two cross stitch ornaments to be completed. The possibility of getting things done on time this year rapidly dwindling — boo! Only project on hand is on last ball — double boo!
    Problem number three: two pieces of luggage make it to us. Gifts are found — yay! Suitcase with unfinished gifts and back-up projects (including my first attempt at full-sized socks for me) still missing — double boo times two!
    Fortunately, the route to my grandparents’ home in Cape Breton goes right by the exit to Baadeck Yarns..and we will be taking that route tomorrow….oh yes, I can feel the slight feeling of nauseousness ebbing now!
    I no longer will be nonchalant with my stash of projects to take with me in my carry–on bag!
    PS. I find that listening to a full blown teenage rant calmly and responding with “so, how do you feel about that?” usually tends to take the wind of their sails. πŸ˜‰

  64. Oh, and for the teenagers: *I* can’t wait until you have kids (chuckles evilly).
    (Of course this assumes that they have first moved out and are doing whatever they want, which might explain where the kids came from. You don’t want them doing whatever they want while living in your house, that’s for sure.)

  65. Offering a teenage perspective, I think what was meant by “doing what I want” implies not necessarily doing what I want, but NOT doing what you want. I certainly feel that way when my mom tries to make me wear clothes that are “fashionable” (picture me yelling **** fashion!” at the top of my lungs). Also, the Christmas knitting seems to be coming along nicely. No, I didn’t jinx it, my fingers were crossed!

  66. My 17-year old is unhappy because I vetoed her plan to spend the day with two boys I’ve never met, at the home of the one who lives 30 miles away whose parents will be at work all day. We went several rounds of “why don’t you trust my judgment” and “you wouldn’t say no if I were a boy” and of course, “I can’t wait until I move out.” I can remember feeling exactly the same way at her age, but that’s why we don’t leave children to raise themselves: because they wouldn’t be very good at it.
    I also like the Bailey’s idea (above) for fortification.

  67. How does one learn to knit fast?
    I just get tense and/or make (more) mistakes.
    Perhaps you can give a lesson after the first of the year… Or do we have to check with Ms. Chin?

  68. You can DO IT!! Sleep is totally optional this time of year anyway. I mean – do you think Santa has time for sleep?

  69. No advice on the teenage thing, except that for the most part we all manage somehow to survive each other (by we I mean parents and teenages). As for christmas, what I dislike about christmas is it’s so hard to get past the “getting ready for christmnas” stage and get to the “enjoying christmas” stage. But I’m close.. oh so close.. so obviously I have forgottten something important.

  70. But grownups get to make the rules. Because they know they have to live by those rules. What the kids really wish for, even if they don’t know it, is that they had that sense of responsibility and ability to take charge. Since they don’t have it, we get to give it to them. Joy to the world!

  71. My stepmother’s standard response to my teenage brother is: “Thanks for sharing.” It applies very well to most of his comments.

  72. Couldn’t keep away from the Noro,could you? I went back, after I finished my Christmas knitting, and made myself a watch cap out of the yarn leftover from my own Noro scarf, so it matches.
    Yes, I finished my Christmas knitting. All it took was to cancel my husband’s argyle sweater, and substitute a Noro watch cap to match the scarf I had already made him.
    That Noro is hard to keep away from.
    Anyway, the socks look great,as does the sweater. Good luck getting help cleaning up for the holiday dinner.

  73. Oh, you need a housekeeper. We got one a few years ago when we realized that it was cheaper than the impending divorce as a result of all the arguing over who should do what around the house. They are actually more reasonable than one would think and now I have more knitting time…

  74. I’m so pleased that you liked knitting your Hedgerows! The heel flap is my favorite part of the design, so I’m especially happy that you liked it too. Thank you for linking to KR!

  75. Response to teenager: “You know where the front door is. Don’t let it hit you on the butt on your way out.”

  76. I hear you about holiday stress. Festive Season, my &@#! Okay, okay, deep breath. Peaceful thoughts. Brownies. Cold weather outside, cozy-warm inside. Hot tea and knitting. Okay, I’m all better! Well, stress or no, it’ll all be over soon. And I have sock books from the library to drool over! Good luck! Love the spinning wheel in your photos, by the way. I wish I had one, but I can just hear the cats going scratch-scratch-scratch on it!

  77. P.S.: Thanks for the sock recipe in “Knitting Rules!”; you saved my sanity and some excellent sock yarn. I’m working the plain part on the foot of my very first sock now. Tried it on this weekend, and it FITS!!! Note to self: work further down the foot first. Three needles do not make as wide an opening as my foot needs!

  78. Thanks for the new-to-me sock pattern. I think I may make these right after I finish the pair on needles right now.
    Response to teenager: Tired of living with your parents? Leave home now, while you still know everything. (Can you tell I’ve been there, too?)

  79. the little sweater is so pretty! and thank you for letting me know i am not alone in the holiday onslaught. annual bout with bronchitis has reared its ugly head just in time to throw a wrench in the grocery-shopping-before-the-stores-all-close-and-we-starve-until-post-boxing-day plans! although being prevented from leaving the house does permit time to work like mad on down-to-the-wire knitted toys as gifts!

  80. I loved your schedule & I tried to keep up, but it looks like my DH will get the yarn & a picture of his gift. I have to get the other gifts done first!
    Enjoy the holidays!

  81. Junior’s only eight months old, so we’ve got a ways to go before the whole teenage thing. If I remember correctly, I was told, “Hey, you can do whatever you want right now! I just hope you want to cook your own meals, do your own laundry, buy your own food and clothes and entertainment…”
    I don’t think I ever made that particular complaint again.

  82. There is no pat answer to the standard teenage question. They KNOW you don’t get to do what you want when you’re a grownup – they just want to do grownup things.
    I feel for you, kiddo – If it makes you feel any better, hubby and I (mostly I) went through it six times. By the time poor DD#5 (our kid #6) was there, my response was something like, “yeah yeah yeah – this too shall pass.” Poor kid couldn’t rebel.
    But they do indeed turn out well. Really. They do. And you’ll be glad to know them. Someday! Your IQ starts to increase with every grandchild – believe me!
    Merry Christmas!
    Joan in Ellicott City, “Merlin” USA

  83. I believe my mother’s answer when we made that age old teenage complaint of “Can’t wait until I don’t live here,” was occasionally, “Me, too.” We both knew that neither of us meant it completely, but there was some aspect of truth telling as well.

  84. brilliant way of dealing with teens…
    My last two turned 19 this week; they are (now) mostly delightful. I heavily relied on the love and logic empathy response, letting them know it was *their* problem not mine. “Honey, I’m so sorry you can’t afford to live on your own right now, but as soon as you have a job I will be happy to help you move. Meanwhile, since we are allowing you to live here, you will have to go along with our house rules.”

  85. I’m closing in on getting done, but there are still a lot of cookies that have to ready by Wednesday night. The kitchen looks like a flour bomb went off in there.
    There is no answer to that question, btw, except maybe the honest one of, “I’m starting to look forward to it myself.” That could either stop the offender in her tracks or give her ammo for another time. Bit risky. Back to the cookies…

  86. Geez, thanks for reminding me I hadn’t reupped for STR club. Oh, and the kid decided last week decided she needed wrist warmers. And a vest. Yeah. OTOH, the baking is almost done. 😎

  87. You’re more likely to finish than I am… and I only still need to knit a whole pair of socks…

  88. If anyone can do it, you can, Harlot! πŸ™‚ I’ve reduced my Christmas knitting to the bare minimum: two cowls. Still not done…I should get right back at it now, methinks…

  89. I second what one of the above commenters said… by the time your kids are 30 (like me) they will be utterly amazed by you. When I went away to college, I suddenly realized that my mom worked all day and put dinner on the table every. single. night. and never complained about it once. At 30 and theoretically a grownup, I still have no idea how she pulled that off. They’ll get there. πŸ™‚

  90. Take 3 minutes and 59 seconds to enjoy The Mom Song: it will make everything better! To the tune of the William Tell Overture (a.k.a. The Theme from the Lone Ranger): “Get up now! Get up now! Get up out of bed! …”
    Better res version at
    Maybe somebody already posted this for the moms out there … I have too many hats to finish to read all the comments!

  91. When a teen, my daughter was required to do one chore a day. Oh, the agony! None of her friends had to do chores! I was the worst mother ever! And mean! She started doing her own laundry after I “accidently” ruined two of her tops. Heh.

  92. When my daughter was 16, she and a friend were dreaming how great life would be if they did not have to go to school anymore. I explained that than they had to go to work, that school ends at 3pm, but work at the earliest at 5pm so they would have less time for themselves every day. And that they would have a boss in stead of a teacher, and the boss would NOT have an education on how to handle people. They looked at me with eyes big like saucers, never having thought of those aspects. She finished school and college and is an art teacher now herself, and a mother-to-be in 2009 (she is 29). Dear Stephanie: it is just a fase (not the easiest, though)!

  93. How funny–I’m doing the hedgerow socks right now too. Ok, you are done and I’m not even to the first heel.
    I set no real goals for xmas and I’ve fallen short of even my feeble lack of goals. Might as well set goals next year.
    Good luck!

  94. I have one that has moved out in June , but home for Christmas. Yesterday he needed something out of the dishwasher and emptied and put away all but one item. I kept my mouth shut and just said thank you. He has been a really fun person to be around all the time, instead of just some of the time. In crossing the border from Canada to the States via the bus, he was threatened with having his green card taken away,his luggage turned upside down in search of elusive drugs presumably. Instead the border guards found a sheepskin and his knitting and my goodness he has done a lot of growing up in the time he has been on his own, but I have to take back a row on his knitting. Not so much progress there. Hang in there

  95. I’m a big fan of the reposte: “I can’t wait for you to move out so *I* can do what I want instead of doing for you.” But then I’m mean and nasty.

  96. I just finished sewing the last of the neck warmers. Oy. Now I get to stuff packets of beans for microwaveable warmy-ness. I’ve still got a set of fingerless gloves to finish, a whole other set to knit, a hat and …. a set of geese. Yeah, don’t ask. My hands are on strike.

  97. there isn’t any answer to teenage-supremecy. they’re pretty much the same in their early 20’s–only now, after getting a year’s worth of snarly growls, i get a pretty, floofy, $ christmas card. once thier universe pops & reality shoves in, the snarls do get quieter. lovely socks, btw. jonquil

  98. Teenage response…you might try something elegant with a touch of snark:
    (Nod your head) “We all need something to look forward to. But until then…” (follow with marching orders).
    They’ll discover the joys adulthood soon enough.

  99. When my daughter would say, “I can hardly wait to move out,” I would agree with her and tell her I could hardly wait for her to go. The other day she told me her daughter can hardly wait to move out and she looked and me and laughed…”yes, I did her your voice when I said … I can hardly wait, too.”

  100. Get some earplugs for yourself dearie.
    Yes my kids are 8 and 5.
    And I think I started running away at age 13.
    I’d read more of the comments but the info on the teenagers frightens me πŸ˜‰

  101. The teenager thing is why I don’t have kids. I know they’d turn out just like me and I’m not going to let mother nature exact her revenge upon me.
    I have to say though, I continually find it amazing that you have 2 teenagers living at home and you still do laundry. I did the laundry, starting when I was 8 until I was 18 and left for college, for myself, my two younger sisters, my mother, grandmother, and grandfather. And that included washing, drying, folding, putting away, AND ironing all my mother’s nicer work clothes. I took care of my own for 5 years while I was away at college, and afterwards, when I moved in with my younger sister, I took up again doing her laundry, my own, her todddler’s, and later her husband’s. Hell, when I was in highschool, I had a friend whose family had THREE maids and she did laundry for her whole family (6 kids including herself, mom, dad) AND the maids from the time she was 10 until she moved out at 18. Her mother insisted and I don’t ever remember her complaining. I would think your daughters could at least do their own laundry if nothing else!
    My friend Michelle’s answer to the whole “moving out” teenage rant is the “recorded i told you so contract”. Basically she wrote out a contract stating that she would record (she used a webcam) her daughters’ statements, and they would sign a contract stating that if these absurd statements of theirs actually came true THEY could say “i told you so” to mom but if it was the OTHER way around then mom got to say “i told you so” and received full “i am right for all time” privileges. Kinda funny how fast these statements stopped…. =^)

  102. Any chance you’ll be sharing that sweater pattern? I have three sons ranging in age from 4 to 11 and MAN is it hard to find stuff to knit for them. I have made umpteen pairs of socks and gloves (with and without fingers). I love that sweater! My kids would love that sweater…. I know that probably everyone on here could probably create their own stipey kids’ sweater without even batting an eye, but I am not that knitter.

  103. Any chance you’ll be sharing that sweater pattern? I have three sons ranging in age from 4 to 11 and MAN is it hard to find stuff to knit for them. I have made umpteen pairs of socks and gloves (with and without fingers). I love that sweater! My kids would love that sweater…. I know that probably everyone on here could probably create their own stipey kids’ sweater without even batting an eye, but I am not that knitter. Merry Christmas!

  104. My parents used to pull the “me too” on me when I said that. And it worked REALLY well. But then again, my dad tacked on a believable story about how they were going to sell the house and buy an RV and trek around the country.

  105. “I can’t wait for you to move out, either.”
    This is a variation on an actual event that happened a few years ago. First, I have no children, so of course I am a Perfect Parent. So one day my friend’s teenage son said to his mother, “I hate you! I wish Kathi was my mom!” to which she replied, “I wish Kathi was your mom, too.”

  106. I just want to know, how can you clean at a time like this? I mean, sure, it’s a nice thought to have a counter in the kitchen, but the stuff sits on the floor just as well. You are all old enough to hold your plates to eat – pretend you are at a party – so skip the dining table, too. It will all be fine if you just ignore the mess and knit like the wind.
    Did I mention the sweater and felted vest for gifts for my folks aren’t done, and I’ve just realized I need a gift for a friend TOMORROW NIGHT?! Breathe. And another glass of wine, please.

  107. You are obviously knitting much faster than I am. I have done: 1 sweater (maternity size though), three hats, one pair of socks, and I’m working on a scarf currently (although that doesn’t need to be finished until after Christmas – thankfully). I should knit a couple pair of mittens for the kids across the street (my great niece and great nephew), but I may just buy them books tomorrow instead. The house is totally trashed, I’ve wrapped only 4 gifts so far and I still have shopping to do. I’ve only made one batch of fruitcake (but I may do the second batch between Christmas and New Year’s). To top it off my sil’s birthday is January 8th and I’ve promised his wife I’ll knit him a sweater by then and it isn’t even started yet. Once we get by his birthday I need to get seriously started knitting baby garments for the grandbaby arriving in the spring.

  108. Boy I got real excited when I saw Ellen K won a contest but since I haven’t gotten an email I guess I have to assume there is another Ellen K out there! Oh well, so close…
    Thanks for your blog. It always adds something nice to my day!

  109. Wow…..I feel tired just listening about what you have left to do. However, I feel a whole LOT better now about mine! πŸ™‚

  110. Got all my presents wrapped but they’re not knitted things so I earn just half a point. If you can’t do it, no one can.
    I still have to buy the ham which will be my contribution to our annual pot luck dinner so I think you are doing good considering.
    Keep it real.

  111. First of all, I LOVE those socks! Thank you for the pattern link. I have declared January as my month of sock knitting, which in my case may, if I’m lucky, amount to two pairs. I wonder how many you could do in a month.
    Now, as far as the teenaged beings in your home, all I can do is sympathize, one mom to another.
    Could there possibly be something in the air right now? Have our children suddenly forgotten that Santa is watching and will force them to get their own chimneys if they continue on the paths they’ve chosen.
    Last night, Soccer Chick (my daughter) told me that I am a Psycho Mom, and that she can’t wait for two years to pass before she goes to college. At the rate she’s going, I’m not certain that I’m going to finance her move.
    She once pointed to the townhouses across the street from our subdivision and stated that I could just buy her one of them, and she would be happy. I told her that she could go out, get a job, and pay for said house, and that I would be just as happy.
    Conversation was over.
    Good luck. Knit and be happy.

  112. I have a suggestion that may help with time. I’ve started using a lot of gift bags. You don’t have to spend time wrapping, plus I re-use gift bags that people give me, thus recycling and not adding paper to the waste stream. Just a thought.

  113. Tell them to get jobs and pay you rent. Then they can fix their own meals after pay for and do their own shopping for food. Then when they are done with their homework they can do their own laundry. Be sure to let them know the TV is yours they must buy their own while they are out getting their laundry detergent. Then they will be starting, emphasis on starting, to be on the same adult level you are on and can have more freedom and choices. The message is that with freedom comes responsibility.

  114. Ah, Yes, those teenage years. I can remember responding to my boys when they came out with little gems like that!
    “Let’s just see what it would take for you to live on your own!
    Rent, $500.00 (US)
    Utilities, $200.00
    Car insurance, gas, etc., $200.00
    Oh yes, FOOD, about, what? $300.00 a month, since you would eat out every meal?
    You can’t afford yourself, my dear!”
    We actually got out the paper and added the expenses up-they were shocked.
    I just loved that.

  115. I love to clean. If I lived closer I’d come up and keep order for you while you get your knitting done. Don’t ask me to cook though! Have broom, will travel πŸ™‚

  116. Teenagers ? who would have them … oh right we all ( mostly ) do. Personally i think teenage girls are the worst. I have this rule in my house that goes something along the lines of this ” you live here so you can help keep it running” which basically means they are all responsible for one major cleaning chore – one does the vaccuuming another does the bathrooms the other does the mopping, they also take turns doing dishes. They are all responsible for at least one meal a week. Do i get the “i can’t wait till i move out” ? of course i do, to which i promptly reply “me too… and i will know that you are perfectly capable of both feeding yourself and cleaning up after yourself too, in the meantime .. “.
    Every two years my three teenagers go to their father’s for christmas for two weeks. They are always glad to be home, even if it does mean they have to do chores here πŸ˜‰ Those two weeks are heavenly to me.. uninterupted peace and quiet with no teenage angst πŸ™‚
    Thanks steph for the blog it has filled my year with hope, joy and much giggling πŸ™‚
    P.S. I hope sir washie has rested and will be in top form again soon.
    P.P.S. as it is summer here i am in a quandary .. do i give people socks for christmas ?

  117. Wow–first of all, the hedgerow pattern had me breathless. I am, as you, charmed. Second of all… well, mostly, good luck Steph. I’m sure you wish me the same!

  118. You can always use my mother’s line: “Believe me, I can’t wait either. Did I tell you I already have plans for you room?”
    And I may not have been paying attention to the prize factor for the giving…I donate monthly. Am I supposed to put that in the comments? (ps- tell Tina that if she finds another BMFA sock club in her pocket somewhere I’d be happy to have my name thrown in…ahem)
    K, gotta go- this hat(s) won’t knit themselves…

  119. Okay, am I the only one amazed by how much you can actually knit in a short period of time? How long do socks take you? For me, they are a PROJECT, not a quick gift. I just did the final bind off on my mom’s sweater. The sweater that was supposed to be her Mother’s Day gift, then birthday gift, but finally, finally, becomes her Christmas gift. Gotta run, stressing on the other knitted gifts that are no where near done. Never again. Till next year..

  120. Steph, honestly, how do your fingers not just drop off? I’m so done with Christmas knitting that I’ve … well, I’ve put the needles down and called it done. For better or worse. As for daughters and independence??? It’s a journey, that’s all I can say. Mine is almost 24 and I’m still working motherhood/daughterhood thru. Hang in there. And have a merry, a really merry Christmas.

  121. When she was a teenager, my daughter fell in love with this bumper sticker: Hire a Teenager While They Still Know Everything.
    I forced my daughter to pick up dog poop in the yard before the bus came or no lunch money. It actually worked.

  122. I’m going to be hideous and suggest “the Hour of Cleanth” which worked for my family when I was a teenager. The idea is that there is a set time each week for the Hour (and it is an hour, and in our house it used to be on Sunday afternoons). Everyone (adults and kids)agrees to be home, the tasks are divided up into jobs that can be done in an hour, the person who does the vacumming gets to choose the music (within reason) which gets played very loudly and everybody cleans for the length of a CD. Any jobs not done in that time aren’t done. We used to change the jobs around, so no one felt they were doing the same job all the time.
    I love your blog, and those are very beautiful socks!

  123. Oh dear. Now I’m all drooly over the Rockin’ Sock Club ’09. How I wish I could afford it … but it’s either that or a camera after my old one bit the dust last week. Who will photograph the yarn if I don’t?!
    As for Christmas knitting, I think it’s time to whip out the Screech.

  124. Retirement. That’s when you get to do what you want to.
    I still have to cook and clean, but even the arthritis is worth not having a boss to answer to.

  125. Being an Aunty, I got listened to more than a Mom did when my friends’ kids were young. They all liked hanging out with me. But,I operated as a Benevolent Dictatorship – I paid so I made the rules when I looked after them. Period.
    Rent the child a room & move her stuff into it just before Christmas. She will come to appreciate the comforts of home. Hahahahahhehehehhahaha!

  126. I love your blog…32 yr old daughter just moved back home with her 11 yr old son…still not moving to help out…I do all the cooking, cleaning, laundry, etc.,…my knitting time has been limited to my bed when I’m supposed to be sleeping…
    I’ve been told that all things will eventually come together…
    Merry Christmas to all…

  127. Holy Moses! You’ve got tons done in the preparation department. The only saving grace at our home is that we’re snowed in, which means that relatives are snowed out. I hope to capitalize on the time by finishing up some objects up through, and possibly beyond, Boxing Day. Love the socks!

  128. My plans went out of the window on Monday morning when I had a cortisone injection in my hand. I guess I didn’t think that one through enough. Hopefully I’ll get back to wrapping up sometime before Thursday but someone will not be getting a finished pair of socks in his stocking. He’ll have to hop for a while.
    Just a thought, you’ve not considered starting earlier next year? Lene could take you in hand in June and then all would be well (or not)

  129. Well done on keeping to your schedule. I’m very impressed.
    In responce to “I can’t wait to move out so I can do what I want” have you tried:
    *Neither can I!
    *Well how about you get a job so you can start saving up now?
    *Make your own meals and do your own washing up then.
    *Fine, I’ll come in your room, make it a pig sty, and leave it for YOU to live in.
    I think I’m going to end up an evil parent!

  130. my comment when my teens say that….”OK- see you later!”- “oh, and while you’re at it, what do you want me to not throw out in your room when you’re gone?”
    Usually stops the bickering in its tracks
    Mary E

  131. Some guys are coming to my house in an hour to cut a giant hole in my dining room wall to put in a door to the outside, and I do not even live someplace warm. Note that tomorrow I will need the kitchen and the dining room, also the living room where all of the dining room furniture is currently crammed. Odds of this being completed according to schedule are slim according to my magic 8 ball.
    I was gleefully happy to see one of the former teenagers return home for winter break, but the most annoying one still lives at home. argh.

  132. Teenagers? They do – eventually – leave home. Meanwhile, the answer is probably gin. And a lot of knitting!! Good luck!!

  133. I can’t offer suggestions on better things to say to said teenagers because I know everything my mother said to me just generally made me madder. But! If your girls are anything like I was, once they *do* move out, they’ll be much more pleasant to be around. My mother and I were at each other’s throats until I was 21 and moved out. We’ve become extremely close since then!
    Good luck with the knitting!

  134. Oh Stephanie, one day they will be gone. Then, being daughters, they will return bearing casseroles with a good part of Christmas dinner and grandchildren. At least that is how it’s worked out for me with one DD and one DIL. Having married into a family where the hostess was expected to do ALL the work, this amount of sharing is a joy.

  135. I didn’t read the comments, so I don’t know if this was covered, but when I get the “I can’t wait until I can move out…..” statement, I remember that somebody once told me that if they can’t get it in seven words they won’t in 700 and I say: Me either, but for now we are stuck with each other and you have to deal. You have five minutes to get used to the idea.
    No sappy parenting on this end. I presume we are more alike than not. Heh.

  136. I don’t have much advice on the “you are lucky to be a grown-up” argument. My daughter thinks I’m lucky to get to go to work. the only day I won that was when I said “do you think I wanted to wake up and clean up dog poop this morning?” I’m impressed by your pace!

  137. YOU CAN DO IT!!! You can do it all… I’m sure of it. Never mind the fact that I ran out of my house like a whirlwind this morning without my keys and scarf because I simply couldn’t find them in time. Never mind that I have ten thousand presents to wrap and ten + hours of driving ahead of me and it’s snowing and I haven’t dug out the car.
    You are our knitting wonder woman, and if you can’t do it neither can any of us! Not to put any pressure on you at all…
    Happy Christmas! <3

  138. knithoundbrooklyn – I’m glad I’m not the only one who hasn’t adorned her Christmas tree. Finally purchased it this weekend, hubby put it in the tree stand and added lights…and that is where it rests. My 7mo daughter will have her first Christmas pictures in front of a tree w/out ornaments. *sigh*
    My list for tonight….make chocolate covered pretzels for stockings, hubby to bake bread for stockings, wrap remaining gifts, hang ornaments. Let us see which is not accomplished. πŸ™‚
    Stephanie – I’m sending “I will overcome” vibes out your way. Peace.

  139. I just checked out the sock club… SO TEMPTING. I have only knit one pair of socks… would joining this club be crazy for me? It is pricey… but it looks amazing.
    Thanks for you interesting and true-to-life posts. I don’t have teenagers yet, but this holiday is kicking my butt anyway.
    Good luck with the list! Happy Holidays!

  140. You’ll get the knitting done. I have faith!
    As for the teenagers, all I can counsel is two things. One, remind yourself whenever one of them tries to pick a fight, “Why am I arguing with hormones?” And two, someday they will grow up, turn into human beings again, and say those four little magic words that are music to a mother’s ears: “Mom, you were right.”
    My daughter is 32, and she still laughs and laughs at my reaction when she says that. Pure bliss, I tell you! Hang in there, it’ll happen for you, too!

  141. It helps when they have an older sibling who said the same thing and is now on their own. “yeah, it worked out so well for “x” now didn’t it?” πŸ˜‰

  142. Those teenagers do ultimately realize how “smart” you are, but in the meantime, dealing with their “attitude” can be so frustrating. I love your blog, and am amazed at all the things you accomplish. When I try to know a lot in a day, my shoulder hurts, so I have to pace myself. Stephanie, how do you do so much, without bodily injury?

  143. If you tell your teens that you agree with them when they say that they can’t wait to move out; don’t be surprised if they do move out and don’t call as often as you’d like.
    Tell them that life’s not fair.

  144. I absolutely love your books and your blog… makes my day! I’ve been a knitter for years and it’s great to see it in the forefront! Thanks for your books and entertainment!! I’m always knitting under the gun myself for the holdiays but this year is an exception….no knitted gifts! Next year it’s socks for all……once I figure out how to knit them!!
    Happy Holidays!!!

  145. I feel stressed for you. Recognize that you do have limits, it might not all get done, while out buy a Rubbermaid bin for the paper in the dining room (Joe will have to sort it New Years), and BREATHE.

  146. You can do it! You can do it!
    And, speaking as the 32-yr-old daughter of a mother who heard MUCH worse things come out of my mouth – “this too shall pass”.
    Our pediatrician told my mom when we were “tweens” that children’s brains are sucked out via the telephone (figure it’s the Internet today) and not returned until sometime in their twenties. It was true.
    Hang in there.

  147. Already we get that speech at age seven, and I am a big fan of Parental Speech #4, “TYes, I can see why you’re looking forward to that.” Then I leave the room.
    Please don’t tell me it stops working by the teenage years, because there’s only so much I can take, and the winter holidays have only just begun.

  148. It confounds me why you persist in calling that a “little sweater”. Or perhaps the camera magnified it times ten?
    (I do not know if this has been mentioned previously – I haven’t read through the previous comments as I usually do.)
    Good luck on completing your Schedule. If you have any time left over, please can you send it my way?
    The medication I started on last week forbids the intake of coffee, spicy foods and something else that I can’t remember … due to lack of coffee!
    Happy Holidays,

  149. Ah yes, a scant 10 years ago I was a teenager and looked forward to doing “whatever I want” when I moved out. Nobody told me that in adult life you actually have very little time to do what you want, as you spend most of your days going to work, buying groceries, doing errands and generally having no time to indulge (or knit). Good luck, and you can do it! And if something isn’t quite bound off on Christmas morning, the world will go on.

  150. In Regard To:
    If someone experienced in these matters could stop by and offer a better answer to the teenaged statement “I can’t wait to move out so I can do what I want”…………
    Try maniacal laughter. Might be more effective if you do so when covered in paperwork, while working on the taxes or balancing the checkbook.

  151. If your kids are like me, they’ll be about 26/27 when they care (well, to be more specific, actually realize, and therefore care) that you do everything with no help. Until then you’re pretty much screwed, sorry.
    -Someone else’s daughter

  152. Trust me. Kids are great until Junior high. Then someone obviously drops them on their heads causing all kinds of personality disorders. I don’t know when they “wise up”. My daughter is 26 and still thinks she knows way more than me and has experienced all sorts of things that I haven’t already (sure…..). I’m thinking 30 is about right (here’s a juiced up egg nog to “hoping so”).

  153. you are a beacon of christmas knitting miracles! i only had 3 knitted items in the christmas queue this year, and i am still not done!

  154. Your blog is such a delight to read. Thank you! and congrats on the Blog awards…you are so deserving.
    Good luck on all the Christmas knitting…not that you need it…I am sure you will finish it all!
    Merry Christmas

  155. I don’t have children, but I remember the I can’t wait to move out thing…and there are days I’d still like to runaway! As I type this, it sounds a little tame, but how about responding, “Really, I’d like to move out, too! Where should we go? Why don’t you tell me after you’ve done x (insert request).”
    Good luck!

  156. “I can’t wait to move out so I can do what I want”
    Ah, teenagers. Can’t live with ’em, can’t shoot ’em!
    My mother’s favorite response to the above statement was: “Me too. I’ll help you pack.”
    My favorite response was: We’ll miss you. Don’t let the door hit you in butt on the way out.”

  157. Kinda sad today. I’m on the other side of this–got a perfectly done-up house, and hardly anyone to enjoy it with. I’ve worked so hard to get the house ready for the holidays. We’ve been married only a year. But I’ve loved him since I was 17. (we’re almost 50 now). I had wanted this year to be–if not perfect–then at least special. I have RSD and the dystrophy portion means I might not be able to walk next near. We invited guests. First a dinner party for a friend’s birthday/promotion. Sick kids, cancelled early Dec date. We rescheduled for this past Sat. Sick parents, cancelled again. We were supposed to have my sister’s family up from out of town to stay over. They cancelled. I had really looked forward to sitting around, playing games, eating, talking smack, and seeing my teenage niece and nephew a last time before they’re out of the house. And we were going to have a New Year’s Eve Party for some old friends of my husband’s, a small, intimate gathering so I could get to know them better, in part. Most all finally rsvp’d not coming.
    It’s not the amount I’ve spent on food, drink, decorations, or the physical energy I’ve spent that I don’t have, on working on things as I toddle around on two canes for the past 3 months getting ready, but it’s just the feeling that I’ve somehow let my husband down. And that no one wants to come over. So yeah, just down today, looking at the decorations that I wanted to make people happy with. Ironic, I guess.

  158. Okay – I feel stressed just reading your entry. Don’t worry about blogging and try to remember, this is supposed to be fun. Fun, remember that word?
    And, Ro – you and your husband will enjoy the beautiful house and holiday together. He’ll love it. And having you all to himself.

  159. My god! Your house is trashed too? You are not alone my dear Stephanie! My youngin’s have been bouncing off the walls since the last day of school. Mr. Resistor thinks coal is not a popular fuel these days and insists he won’t be getting in his stocking, no matter how unhelpful he is. That’s 11-year old logic in action….hmph!

  160. You are a knitting goddess! I am honestly in awe of everything you are making!
    I’m with Michelle on the have-no-children front, but I also remember feeling that way about wanting to move out. My mom and I just duked it out when i was in high school, and I think I’d have been so happy if we’d sat down and talked, letting go of the pent up anger and frustration. of course, I’m probably imagining that it was possible to do such a thing…

  161. Amazing! I can’t believe you can get ready for Christmas and knit all of those beautiful gifts. I’ll quit complaining. As for teenagers, time cures all. When they get to be about 25, they will think you were/are so smart! Hang in there.

  162. Are you sure you aren’t somewhere in my house under the piles of toys and yarn? Because it sounds like you are! We’ve been snowed in for four days now and I feel like I am living in a toy store / yarn store after a minor bombing raid. Jeesh!
    Good luck with all your holiday knitting! I decided that I am giving New Years presents this year instead of Christmas to give myself an extra week! πŸ˜‰

  163. Sleeves, socks, scarf, shop, SLEEP! Don’t forget to get some shut-eye so you can enjoy the big day. Getting enough sleep also helps when a teen is pushing all your buttons and you are about to lose it. I don’t have any suggestions about what you should actually say to your lovely daughter. Just remember, she will grow up and this stage shall pass. I guarantee you, it will.

  164. Just donated $35. to MSF, but don’t know where else to post. Couldn’t seem to connect through the blog homepage.
    Can anyone help?
    Thanks and Merry Christmas to all, especially those still knitting…

  165. Sleeves I can see you getting them done – the button band might be something else… Regarding teenagers, my 4 are all grown up with their own kids. I think I have selective memory of their teen years. You wll too, just hang in there. Regarding baking; I just opened a package of Oreo Candy Cane cooking. Certainly better than baking my own. As for cleaning, the people who really matter have already seen your house as it is and they don’t care.
    I love your blog and own all your books. Now people are gifting me with more copies of your books! I’m planning to exchange them for your next book whenever it comes out…

  166. Can’t give you a whole lot of help about what to say to the teens although I do think it helps a wee bit to give them as much autonomy as is possible – which includes their doing their own laundry – tell them they’ll have to do it when they’re on their own so they might as well get the practice while you’re there to answer any laundry questions they might have. They’ll bitch & moan but I think it really does make them feel a wee bit more independent. And I can echo what Arlene said – by the time my girls were in college they began to think maybe I wasn’t such an idiot & shrew after all – by the time they hit 25 or 30, they do start asking your advice (it helps if their friends tell them how cool it is that they can discuss just anything with you & they wish they could talk to their parents like that). My older daughter actually apologized to me a few years for being such an a**hole when she was a teenager. I reassured her that she was a perfectly normal teen – no apologies needed (but it was nice to hear it anyway). And, now that my younger daughter has 3 little ones & has to move over 2,000 mile away from us, she is distraught at the thought of being so far away. As always I am floored by your productivity. This year I did not give anyone knitted presents (although I am knitting socks for the grands, they are not Xmas presents).

  167. Thank you, Cara.
    I managed to get ahold of my sad, and give it a good swift kick. I went out earlier today, and took the money I was going to spend on the New Year’s party, and bought a bunch of stuff and took it to the Food Bank and Toys for Tots. Then I went and found something geeky and special for my husband for a last present, and picked up some champagne, and some nice dinner, and a really fun game for us to play on Christmas Eve. Yes, having him is such a miracle. I got a pair of silly antlers to wear with my nightgown, and a red nose that lights up, and plan to um..ambush him later. Merry Christmas!

  168. When my kids made the “when I’m on my own” remarks, I used to reply “Have patience. That day will come.” And would either go about my business or respond with “And until that time comes I need you to …” After they had heard the “have patience” message a few times it occurred to them that I might just be looking forward to that moment as well. That was news …
    And I love Betsy’s “other answer” too.
    But we got through it. If it’s any consolation, I think that girls take longer to get through this. It doesn’t take long to think up the many reasons why, but the reasons don’t matter. It’s to be lived through.

  169. My parents’ response was always “You sure can! As long as what you WANT to do is pay your own rent, cook your own meals, and clean your own house!”

  170. whenever i hear “i can’t wait til i move out so i can….” i always always always say “you know, i can’t wait either, so i can ….” and i come up with something really off the wall like turn their bedroom in to a shrine to a monkey or something like that and it ALWAYS shuts them up and makes them go about what i wanted them to do while grumbling about how ODD i am and all of that…

  171. Dear Stephanie…thank you for this lovely post. how much fun is a small boy at Christmas? And how funny are the things that they say? Merry Christmas to you!

  172. The only antidote to that teenaged statement is their actually moving out. My 19 year old son came home this week, and actually offered, without my even asking, begging, or hinting, to help out around the house!

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