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.
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
Glad you realized you can't win. Have you invested in earplugs yet?
(woolpig?? Ah, classic...)
it's beautiful!! i see why they're fighting over it. i'm making one in silk garden at the present moment. most of the scarves i've made would probably not go over well with the tots, otherwise i'd offer to trade for it. my scarves to have the added fabulousness of being not only from the U Ess of Ay but they're from Florida, no less - home of disney world and sandy beaches, where really, who actually Needs scarves anyway?? Woolpig is fabulous. that's almost as good as yarn harlot!
i can deal with a lack of capitalization, but i must correct the typo that makes me look like a total a**head. that should be "my scarves TOO" not "to".
Perhaps a third-party can draw from a lottery for them, LOL...take you out of the equation entirely! And if they don't like that, then tell 'em, well it's the lottery or nothin'! At least you know your work is appreciated! :-)
hi stephanie. hilarious post thanks for sharing!! :)
First of all, let me say that the scarf is beautiful.
Secondly, as a teacher of third graders in my former pre-mommy life, here is my suggestion for ending the war.
Give them two options. One of them will get the blue scarf, the other will get another one knit in the color(s) of their choice..(within reason..."You can have this yarn or this yarn...not this 20$ yarn over here). You will take this other daughter on a shopping trip to the yarn store just the two of you to pick it out.
Now, here is the kicker...the blue scarf gets put away and no one gets anything until they decide who will get what...They have 1 week to make a decision together and agree (in writing perhaps) or you will give the scarf to Aunt Lola (or whoever). During that week they must work it out on their own...you do not want to hear one word about it! If you do all deals are off!) Alternately, if no agreement is come to, you can force them to do one round of paper-scissors-rock at the end of the week...winner take all, no do-overs. Either way, one week from now it will be resolved. To be honest, I would be surprised if the shopping trip with mommy did not become the more coveted prize. I'd try to knudge(sp?) Megan in that direction (on the sly), since from your description of the conversation Sam does not seem as likely to sway. (The conversation was hilariously true, though...it put me right back in my classroom!)
Good luck...your kids are lucky to have a mom that loves them so much.
I love woolpig. They get a plus for that.
I had the same problem with my boys at that age. I took the advise of my Mom and Aunt.
1. It became mine and I wore it. After awhile I let them borrow it, one at a time.
2. "you love him more than me!" answer, "of course I do!" this answer worked out to be made the same number of times to each kid, and pissed them off at the time but shut them up. It obviously didn't cause lasting trauma as they phone home, visit and always hug me good bye. Not to mention that they shamelessly beg and hint for knitted items for themselves, their girlfriends, their friends babies etc.
3. "go to your rooms before I lose control and kill you both" they usually had enough sense to go away, and resume the argument later. Not a solution just a reprieve.
They grow up and turn into human beings. I'm not sure about the age for girls, but boys start showing flashes of humanity at about 18 and by 21 they are darn good company.
Ah....I don't miss those days!
Haven't got my breath back yet - keep snickering just when I think I'm over it -
Beautiful scarf - beautiful writing!
You made my day! And you made me glad I have 2 boys who would rather die than wear anything mom knit for them.
Just one question - for whom did you actually knit this scarf ? You don't have to answer that out loud.
My eldest daughter at 7 years old warned me (a little too late) that having 3 kids was a bad idea because her sister would become a middle child and that would not be easy to live with. She was mostly right - and yes girls, your little sister is my favorite, gets all the attention, gets away with everything ...pretty much exactly the same as it was for you when you were her age.
But, Steph, my girls have never fought over anything I have made for them, I am envious.
Megan and Sam, good luck. You are both old enough to knit - and your friends will think that's way cooler than something your mom made anyway.
Steph, I'll meet you in Belize.
Wool pig! I love it, a new way of describing myself. Way better than yarn slut! Thanks for the giggle of the day. I always thought I wanted daughters and felt thwarted by only having sons. I feel much better now.
Sicko that I am, I'm actually looking forward to days when my kid is old enough to care about my knitting and is willing to fight over it. Why? Because that means I'll actually be KNITTING instead of THINKING about knitting, which is what I do now. My duaghter is 4 months old and I love her to pieces, but I don't have a lick of free time. So, I just buy lots of yarn and dream.
Love Woolpig and Asshead - two new words for my Monday.
Gee Steph, Invisioned your offspring wrapped head to toe in this stuff. Walking to school and being mocked by others. They see where they are going by looking out of a two tiny eye-holes like that friend of Fat-Albert. The children of yarn. That would be cool.
"Please Mom, can't we try polar fleece?"
Alright, your kids made me go look it up. "Rare Breeds--Endangered Farm Animals in Photographs" Go to page 26, there's a picture of the plug-ugliest creature you ever laid eyes on: the Blonde Mangalitza. The text reads, "The Mangalitza pig is a most unusual animal as it grows a hairy 'fleece' akin to that of a sheep." It goes on to say the only other fleeced pig breed is extinct, and that this one was bred for its high lard content. Lard being out of style, so is the pig.
I'm sure your girls could work the lard part into their next insults!
Loved your blog. Do you realize that my birthday is 1 month from now - hint,hint. I would love to solve the problem for your girls (I just love this scarf to distraction). Wool pig what a lovely description; I can relate to that. Please keep writing you are so great at it - shameless fawning, eh??
Hey, maybe there's a chance for *you* to get something out of it? Maybe get some work out of them? Whoever can ... oh, I don't know, get their room cleaned, take out the trash, get the dishes done (I'm sure you can come up with much better stuff) will earn the scarf?
Does a glass of wine come with it?
Wool-pig is the best thing I have heard in ages, I'm going to use it whenever possible -- to describe myself, of course. Thanks Sam. That's a lovely scarf, I can see why they both want it.
WOOL PIGS OF THE WORLD, UNITE!
Oh. Sorry. That wasn't helpful, was it?
Heh, I kinda like calling myself a Yarn Slut...I've even been a Yarn Pimp...LOL...
Man...can you imagine trying to shear one of those Wool Pigs that Alison looked up? Yeesh!
How lucky you are! My darling daughter (14) only wants hideous creations knitted out of yarns in colors,combinations and yarn types that I can't bear. Icky acrylics and such.
what a cool scarf!
here's what you do.
you sit them both down, put the scarf around YOUR neck and say: "I don't know why you two are fighting over MY scarf."
and walk out of the room.
end of problem right there.
Stephanie--What a treat to virtually meet you, meet you virtually, oh, you know what I mean. Your site is fantastic, as is your knitting (she said enviously). Looking forward to regular visits.
All best, Ann
Okay, I'm dying to know. Who ended up with the scarf??
I love the scarf, could you tell me where to get the directions to make it.
Found your site through blogspot and wanted to say hi
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