I’m so excited and I just can’t hide it

I’m about to lose control and I think I like it…

To steal two lines from a Pointer Sisters chorus! About what I hear you ask…

Socks! The knitting of socks. And I have my daughter and Tin Can Knits to thank.

Did I say I was excited?? I have just finished my first ever knitted sock. I am SO proud of myself. Back to the start, and heed this advice to avoid my predicament, “don’t ask an almost five year old what they want, and if you do then don’t listen”!! My daughter sees me knit, and she is starting to show some potential interest herself, and very recently she actually asked me to knit her something. I of course being a generous foolhardy mum asked her what she would like, “socks Mum” came the reply. Where the *insert swear word of choice* did that come from? Now I have had a desire to try knitting a pair of socks; indeed I bought a ball of wool and some double pointed needles at least a year ago to embark on this adventure, the afore mentioned wool and needles languishing in the cupboard hidden from sight, untouched by my hands. I half heartedly tried the, “I have never made socks” line on my little girl, to no avail. Mum clearly can do anything. What is more she wanted me to use her rainbow yarn. This girl knows what she wants.

How to get out of this dilemma? Tin Can Knits to the rescue. I had stumbled upon them quite some time back, and quite fancy more than one of their knits. Their whole seamless approach to knitting has great appeal (translation: I think I would almost rather lose a limb they have to sew up my knitting!). And in hunting for a sock pattern for a child I stumbled upon their Rye pattern (here) and the words learn how to knit socks. For some reason I took the plunge. All I can say is if you have never knitted a sock before I utterly recommend this pattern. The instructions, particularly all the additional links you can click on, are fabulous. I feel like I am being enabled to tackle other patterns and knit more socks. My poor other half, he has been subjected to me going, “look at this, look at this” more than once through the course of the sock. I was so taken by what I was doing that I actually took the knitting with me to a venue, it initiated a conversation with a lady who worked there, and I gave her the pattern.

The other reason I may become hooked on knitting socks is this will be the fastest I have ever completed a knitted item…socks are small…I sense more socks in my future…I am about to lose control…

Finally the verdict of the small person who triggered such dilemma followed by such joy. Let’s just say the one sock is already being worn. I am happy.

And to really show I am approaching my dotage… I recorded the song this blog post references on a cassette tape off the radio!

Innocence of our children

There is something about childhood, innocence may be the right word.  Or carefree and without worry.  Certainly that ability to say it exactly as it is.  It is a shame we grow up, or in growing up that we lose some of that carefree-ness and inhibition.

What I am reflecting on today is whether I am already taking away some of that innocence from my daughter, unintentionally.  With the change in my working routine such that I take every second Monday off to have a day with my daughter I get excited and talk about this day off.  Indeed even before that I would often and still do say on a Friday night, it’s the weekend – yay.  And I have noticed that my daughter reflects this.  I say to her I have a day off work and you have a day off daycare, with a bit of celebratory squeal and raising of the hands and arms.  She has just started saying, unprompted, I have a day off, yay.

Is it sad that she already recognises the difference between the week and the weekend, being at daycare and having a ‘day off’?  Perhaps I am over estimating her comprehension – she is after all not quite three and a half yet.  And really what I may be seeing is my little sweetheart mimicking something that she sees her mother delighted about.  I am going to go with that – otherwise I will be taking on mother guilt and that will diminish the joy I have from changing to 9 working days a fortnight, and make me feel that the next step I am about to take – asking to go to 4 days a week is not enough.  When it will make all the difference in the world to me, and hopefully to her.

Innocence

Shrug – clothing and shoulders!

I am knitting a shrug for my little girl.  I also have to admit to a bashful shrug of my shoulders.

I have been knitting on and off for decades now, as in plural  But, and here goes, I have never been a strong fan of actually sewing up knitted items.  And even more put off by the idea of having to pick up stitches and knit edging and the like.  (Imagine bashful shrug of my shoulders here)  I know, two pretty basic techniques for knitting, how on earth can I really call myself a knitter?!  After putting in all the work with the actual knitting, I just do not want to ruin it!  Hence I knit a lot of scarves. Continue reading

Current definition of bad mother…

…I let my little girl watch The Big Bang Theory tonight.  She is the daughter of two science trained parents, so technically may just be preempting a possible future outcome!  Though I was quite surprised she identified when two folk were kissing.

However I managed to negotiate with ease for her to go to the toilet and get into her night time nappy (we are are in toilet training) in the first set of ads, and do her teeth in the second.  Hopefully no harm done in one night, and damn cute when she said big bang – I will only worry if she asks for it again tomorrow!

Christmas all round

First up the sins of the parents… Or put it this way we have brought the following on ourselves.  It would be fair to say that we are partial fond of caffeine.  For a relatively recent birthday I gave the other half a home barista course.  The deal being that if we wanted a manual machine it would mean that he would have to always make my coffee for me.

Our Christmas present to ourselves this year was a Nespresso machine. We were thinking of wrapping it up and putting it under the tree for our daughter to unwrap for us.  But after being purchased last Saturday it has been in constant use.

Now we have already given our daughter a habit.  In walking to the markets to buy fruit and veg on the weekend we started stopping at a cafe on the way home.  We are regulars now – they simply ask if we want the banana bread (hard to pass up).  And baby chinos are just cute.  It has been fun to watch her progress from eating with a spoon to drinking just like one of us.  Now it is much much worse.  Since Saturday we have been making baby chinos at home.  We of course tell her she is having coffee and recently when we went out for dinner she asked for a coffee.  I swear the waitress looked at us like we were unfit parents!

None of this sounds bad, but I can see a very near future when she shall demand one. Yesterday we had coffee and fruit mince pie at her little table. The day before we gave her one with her cereal.  Can you tell I am on leave?  Of course she can already tell when the machine is on.  Coffee the little voice pipes up.  Her father and her are going to be in a constant tussle over the two espresso cups. Not sure she’ll accept a “coffee” in her melamine cup!

Anyway enough about coffee.  As is the case in the southern hemisphere Christmas Day is a warm affair.  This is our very first time as just our little family.  In marking the occasion we sat outside when it was just the two of us while our little coffee addict had her nap.  As you can see, a Christmas tree dish, a NZ favourite – onion dip – in a dish of the South Island (if you look closely I marked the location of the section we bought this year!), and a heart dish to mark that Christmas is love.  And of course there was wine – a kiwi sauvignon blanc.  And by utter randomness in flipping over the bought Christmas pudding to remove the packaging I noticed it was made in New Zealand.  So a pretty good New Zealand – North Melbourne Christmas.  And in honour of the colder climes and tradition we are having some turkey, it is in the oven as I type – albeit we think we will eat it outside.

So finally in the words of Snoopy, from my favourite Christmas song (Snoopy & the Red Baron), “Merry Christmas my friends”.  See you in 2015.

Haute couture only for my little girl

Well not really.  Translation I have sewn my daughter a skirt!  And while I cannot be 100% sure I am almost certain that it is one of a kind, and I am certain that it is fitted just for her, as I adjusted the elastic to her waist.  So why do I think it is one of a kind.  Well the fabric is left over from a dress my Aunt made for my Mum years ago.

So I think I have mentioned once or twice that my parents have long since kicked the bucket.  And it isn’t that I live in the past.  I recall very strongly that my Dad did not believe in cemeteries, he always said you don’t remember those who have passed away by visiting a grave site, but rather you actively remember them in thought and how you live your life when they spring to mind.  I must tell you how we dealt with Mum & Dad’s ashes another time, because I think it is a funny story.  What I did want to say is that it is really nice to make a skirt from some fabric left over from a dress my Aunt made my Mum.  I have photos of Mum in this dress, and will be able to show my daughter.  There will be a moment when I will be able to make my Mum just a little real for her, to tell her that her favourite colour was red.  And in sewing this skirt my Mum and Aunt have come back to me, which is really nice as we approach Christmas.

The joy of a day off work

It is tough being a full time working mum some days, I know I am missing out on moments that will never occur again.  On the up side I had the luxury of generous maternity leave and return to work provisions – thanks to the sector I work in.  The father and I were in the luxurious position of being able to share the first twelve months of her life together, with the little girl only commencing care when she was one, and it was not until my little sweetheart turned two that I went back to full time work and she into full time daycare (we have no family in the country).

Since returning to full time work I now take a day of annual leave a month so that we have a mother and daughter day.  Nothing particular ever planned, just the joy of a day with her. Today the highlights of my day off have been simple.   On the way back from the shops on Errol St we had to stop at the stairs on a building we pass.  Holding my hand she jumped down every step – and of course had to repeat!  The ever helpful little girl asked to carry the bag – we had been up the street running a couple of little errands.  Here she is bag in hand.  Worth the risk of perhaps slightly bruised Chorizo for dinner!  We are not big believers in TV for little folk, but she is allowed to watch a little on the weekend – a half hour or so on a Saturday and a Sunday.  So an extra little treat of TV time.  Here she is sitting on my lap – look at her legs crossed, just like Mum!

I do both ponder and question working full time.  My heart already knows that I would love to have stayed at four days per week.  And I like to live a life without regret.  However we have some particular lifestyle goals that are enabled by my working full time; that are hopefully going to transform our lives in a way we can only imagine.  So it is very fair to say that me working full time is a choice not a necessity.

I am also hopeful, perhaps wistful, given the number on my life clock, that I will get to be a Mum a second time.  What greater joy than to experience this all over again but with a whole new personality.  And by my hopeful reckoning by the time maternity leave and return to work runs its course I will be able to stay at 4 days a week rather than 5 – it would mean the world to me.

Nevertheless today has been a day of joy, and there is still the afternoon to go – I fancy a tram or a train ride just to ride around could be the adventure to have.  And my next day off work with her is already booked.