Tuesday, July 15, 2008


I'm not the most detail-oriented person (one of the reasons knitting presents a challenge and is so fascinating to me), but usually I'm pretty okay with the level of scatterbrainedness I display. I'm learning to buckle down and do the distasteful work when it needs to be done -- Hello, six more Robinson Crusoe papers! -- and redo mistaken knitting without grumping.

But there is a point at which being overwhelmed can be actually dangerous.

Today was day two of Things 3 & 4's swim lessons. Every single day so far one of them announces that they are NOT GOING, and then by the time it's time to go, someone is impatient that we haven't left yet, etc. etc.

This morning, I was cleaning the pit that Thing 1 swore to me was clean before she left, wanting her to actually experience what a clean bathroom would look like, and the time to go to the pool snuck up on me. So instead of leisurely packing the bike trailer with healthy snacks, warm tea for me, a fleece hoodie for the first one to wear while the second one swims, books and toys for diversion, plus my current fiddly knitting project, I got to run downstairs, shrieking, "Get your suits on! Put shoes on! Agh!! The dog knocked the trash over again!" So I cleaned it up, checked that we at least had two towels, put the trash outside, to prevent a repeat of his joyful trash strewing-and-eating, and ran out the door.

It was while unbuckling Thing 4 and hustling her into the center that I realized I had left the kettle on the stove -- in preparation for my tea!

Of course, this was the day she decided that she was not going in the water. In fact, she was not going to sit on the side and dangle her legs in the water with Kyle. She was not, under any circumstances, going to let go of my body. She was willing to hang on and cry as long as it took. With visions of my house going up in flames, I did what I have almost never done.

I pried her arms from my legs, told Kyle, "I left something on the stove, I don't care if she goes in the water," told her I'd check when I got back and if she was still upset I'd grab her away from the pool, and ran.

As I opened the front door, I could hear the kettle whistling, so I figured there was still a bit of water in it -- I'm so glad it hadn't burned out as I like this kettle. In for a penny, I said to myself, and made a cup of tea before going back to thank the friend who had Thing 3 in her care.

Wouldn't you know it, Thing 4 was happily being towed around by her teacher -- in the water, and she made it all the way through without more tears.

Gobs of things to be grateful for, and I even worked a little bit on the welt of the mitten on the needles! But from now on, I'm going to pack for lessons well before time to leave. No sense pushing it -- I not only like my tea kettle, but I prefer not to burn my house to the ground because I'm a space cadet.


bfmomma said...

omg, I am SO glad you remembered the kettle! did I tell you about my mom leaving the house with spaghetti sauce on the stove? Suffice to say, it resulted in an insurance claim...

(((hugs))) and yay on the thing 4 swim class bonus!

Spider said...

I'm back!

allisonmariecat said...

Yikes! I would be in a frenzy getting back to the house.

Glad Thing 4 was a happy swimmer, though!