March 1, 2004

The scarf heard round the world

Or at least it felt like it was heard round the world. I find it hard to believe that after the scarf fight last night, I could still be contemplating moving to Belize...but nobody else heard it. This innocent looking scarf started it all.

bluescarf

I finished the scarf last night (Sirdar snowflake magic, pattern here) and chaos ensued. Samantha (10) and Megan (12) both want the scarf. "Want" may be to weak a word, for it turns out that both of their lives will be completely ruined if they do not singularly possess this scarf. It also turns out that they may be willing to kill for it, they are at least willing to scream for it, and as this scarf quickly became a symbol for all that is wrong with the world, and their relationship and me.....I was sorry I ever knit it.

Sam feels that she should have the scarf because she has a blue and white coat that it would match, and she has no scarf. Having this scarf would mean that she could stop mooching my scarf, and she notes that I would like that. Sam also has blue shoes and blue eyes, and this proves the "rightness" of her having the blue scarf.

Megan counters with an argument so solid that Sam can scarcely manage an answer. "I want it".

Samantha responds to this by upping the ante and including not just the reasons why she should get the scarf, but also begins a negative campaign which include things like, Megan has two scarves already, Megan is (get this...only in my house is this a possible insult) "a wool-pig" and just got socks a couple of weeks ago, and besides, Megan is less tidy than Sam and Sam will show the scarf the respect it deserves by always hanging it on her hook, while Megan will never hang the scarf up. (As an aside...while it is not relevant to the story I'd like to point out that I'm the only one who is ever going to hang this scarf up)

Megan still argues only with "I want it" but adds the ever eloquent "Give it to me".

It is at this point, when the children are screaming at each other and I'm starting to think about the sunny beaches of Belize that I make my error. I attempt to help them resolve the situation. I try the following:
1. Why don't you two share the scarf? Big mistake. Clearly I don't love either of them. I hadn't realized that I'm being asked to demonstrate my favouritism.
2. Why don't I knit a second one, exactly the same. Bigger mistake, I am not respecting their uniqueness. (As another aside...They want the exact same scarf. They are fighting over the exact same scarf and I'm going up the river for not respecting their uniqueness. Does somebody want to mail me the handbook for this one?)

Both of these elements only inflame the hell-sent upset children, and serve to bring attention to me as a target. Belize is looking better and better as I realize that I'd really rather put the needles I knit the freakin scarf with into my right ear than try to express my love in wool ever again. Samantha brings to the fight to the next level by arguing that If I am even contemplating giving the scarf to Megan than it is all the illustration that she needs to understand that I love Megan more than I love her. Megan has been clearly showered with knitted love her whole life while Sam has received Nothing. Absolutely Nothing. Rejected by her own mother, abandoned to live a life of lonely, cold, desertion...the least I can do is GIVE HER THE SCARF.

Megan responds to the elevated debate style and the inclusion of Tactic 47b (you love my sister more than you love me) by screaming "It's always like this, it's because I'm the middle child", which of course is Tactic 4c. (My life is being ruined because you gave birth to me second on purpose).

It is at this point that I stuff the scarf into the back of the linen closet and employ Tactic 17a. Pouring a glass of wine, picking up my knitting and turning up Billy Crystal real loud. Anybody want a scarf?

Posted by Stephanie at March 1, 2004 10:10 AM