Wednesday, November 1, 2006

Making it up as I go along

A dear friend and I have been talking about how we compose our lives, often pushed by forces outside of ourselves. I deal with that as I can. One way I do it is not taking advice much from "experts." I have completely stopped reading parenting books, only asking trusted friends when I have specific questions or confusions. I also try to quiet the "shoulds" that peek over my shoulders and shout in my ears seemingly all the time. Part of being a real grown-up, I guess, is taking responsibility for what I do, and not taking responsibility for being or doing what others think I should do.

Sometimes it works really well. Sometimes I just sort of patch things together. Sometimes I do things that don't seem "responsible." I overheard a neighbor last night telling her children that they could each pick out one piece of candy to eat before bed. I laughed. It's not a rule that works for my lively bunch.

I did tell them that Thing 4 doesn't get candy (aside from the pieces she's prying up off of the floor and various furnishings), and that they had to brush teeth last night and eat breakfast today, and that's what works for us. I just heard Thing 2 say, "The day after Halloween is great!" After doing a long ToT with her similarly-dressed friends, Thing 1 is sick with the same thing we all seem to have -- a shattered-glass sinus headache plus runny nose -- but the middle ones are in full hue and cry. I'm hoping to tempt them to play outside for much of the day today.

Sometimes making up your own rules every single day is too exhausting. Sometimes I give myself a day off, sometimes I go for more structure.

It's kind of like knitting. I've lost my current patience for the Schaeffer lace after the last six rows I yanked back (thank goodness it's a tough yarn that doesn't show these re-dos!). In retaliation, starting a new sweater seemed like a great idea. So I looked through some current patterns -- structure, you see? I want something I can knit on without too much thought, that won't make me upset like the lace, but something not mindlessly boring. "Everyday cardigan" seems to be the idea in my head.

I love the sweater in Inspired Cable Knits, but not enough to truly follow the pattern. Saddle shoulders, though, I very much like. And seams will give structure to a fairly floppy yarn, I'm thinking. I like the cable on the arms of "Mariah," from Knitty, but again, not enough to follow the pattern. The colors remind me of chocolate and cherries. It's Knitpick's Main Line, and I'm a little concered about the splittiness.

I've vacuumed and mopped and now I'm going to collapse on the couch. Maybe.


Charity said...

I think it's great that you've found what works for your own family, and you do it! Not everyone is so brave, or willing to step outside the "norm". And seriously, ONE candy, how much fun is that?

We're obviously on the same page, knit-wise. I spent a huge chunk of time yesterday surfing on the net and through magazines for the perfect cardigan for myself. I have this grubby old grey hoodie I wear constantly, and would love a replacement. Mariah is one of my "narrowed down" pattern choices, but I'm still not sure. I haven't found The One.

BTW, my email is stuart434 AT shaw DOT ca
If you'd like to "chat", please feel free! And I'd love to have your take on the Arucania Nature Wool - I was thinking that might make a heck of a cardi?

sewingsuzee said...

Gosh, your kids are lovely. That T1's facial oughta get her an agent.

The sinus thing, she probably got from my guy, or one of the buds. It wasn't bad, except for those headaches...ouch!

Your flexibility is wonderful. Your kiddies are very, very lucky. Someday, they might even NOTICE that! :-)

Rain said...

You have four beautiful, happy, healthy children so you must be doing something right! From here it sounds like you're doing a wonderful job.

Hope the sinus thingy goes away soon.

The colours for the sweater are very pretty.

Alisha said...

I am in your camp of doing what works for you and sometimes being flexible goes a long long way when raising a family.

I can't tell you how many people have said to me don't do that or you should do that as we have raised our girls....funny how our way seems to be working better then their way.

p.s. mine ate candy all day too!!!!

Lara said...

Your kids are so cute!

Yep, ya gotta make your own rules. How else are you going to defend them when the kids unfailingly question them?

I knitted the Mariah cardigan and actually finished it over the summer. I put the zipper in the night before my youngest's pumpkin patch field trip because I thought the cranberry red I used would look so good with the orange pumpkins. LOL. I love it and want to wear it every day.

Fiberjoy said...

"...taking responsibility for what I do, and not taking responsibility for being or doing what others think I should do."

Isn't that a hard one to learn! Each family works best when they develope the structure, rhythms, and boundaries that is true to their personalities, attributes and principles. Yep, for the most part toss away the books by the authorities and go with what common sense suggests. From what I read, you're doing a terrific job with your children.

Hope the colds/misery quickly run the course. Fresh air and some activity can do wonders. :-)

allisonmariecat said...

Aw, all the Things look happy and adorable, so you must be doing something right :)

I love the yarn colors. I'll be interested to hear how you like the Maine Line.