Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Latch Hooking


Today was the first day of my final week of training for the online TA job. My feedback from the training team was fine . . . a couple easy corrections to apply this week. I’m doing a better job of juggling my odd jobs. I’m back to sleeping and have an edge on the chaos in the house. But I’m not back to cooking. It’s all about picking it up, heating it up, or eating what my husband makes.



My kids are a little bored with my lack of domestic superpowers. I don’t bake. I don’t sew. I don’t garden. I’m not crafty. Daisy and Violet tell me about the cupcakes and cookies other moms make in a challenging tone. I see nothing wrong with Costco cake (despite the way those kids mad-dogged Violet’s birthday cake, they seriously devoured it). I used a sewing machine in 8th grade Home Economics, but never since. The most sewing I ever did was when I made more than 20 pillows by hand as a high school sorority pledge (I had to do it all myself, unlike OTHER pledges whose mothers whipped up the pillows for them . . . Bindy). My domestic focus these days is on household shopping, cleaning, laundry, and keeping things somewhat organized. Everything living outside the house is optional in my mind, so my husband chooses to be the keeper of the plants and yard. I would probably have a xeriscape at this stage if I could. I occasionally do crafty things, but the results often look like the best efforts of a preteen, if that good.



I’m not sure if it’s a genes or environment type of thing but my mom is the same way. Not to say we’re not creative in other ways. My mom can tell a good story. She held her own in macramĂ© in the 70s. She’s had her successful dishes over the years (Chicken Ole anyone?). But like me, she isn’t the kind of mom who makes the holiday dinner or bakes or knits. I found her example to be freeing, as I was free to be creative in other ways. Like when my parents threw a roast for their 50th birthdays . . . I made a photo album out of a combination of family photos and magazine pictures telling their “life stories” that I presented at the party. It got some laughs. The last page was a photo from a perfume ad, featuring two naked models riding away on a horse. I pasted my parents’ heads onto the models. Killed the crowd. This was a few years before my first kid was born, but it’s not the type of thing that would get a glowing report from a kid anyway.



Recently, Violet came back from making brownies from scratch with her best friend Wowo’s mom, Lori. Daisy was there too, but Violet was particularly taken with the experience. Shortly after the girls returned home, Violet earned a time-out for bad behavior. She announced that she wanted a new mom and dad, and SHE KNOWS WHERE LORI’S HOUSE IS. She kept doing an exaggerated tip-toe toward the front door, which gave away her intentions every time (why does she think that works?). The part that stung was that she didn’t even eat the brownies she brought home but talked about making them for days. Guess I should pick up some brownie mix next time I’m at the store.



Daisy looks longingly at the mothers who have sewing machines and know how use them. She asked me recently, “Do you wish you knew how to make quilts?” Um . . . no. To make up for my lack of motivation, I did take her to the craft store. We looked around for project ideas. She seemed interested in those latch-hook rugs. Now that is something I can do. I bought her a candy-colored butterfly latch-hook kit, which I gave her just as her sister finished opening her pile of birthday presents on Sunday. My only latch-hook experience was when I was a little older than Daisy, maybe 7 or 8, and I did a latch hook of a monarch butterfly. I was so tired of orange, black, and white by the end, but I finished the damn thing.



When Daisy first attempted to latch hook, it wasn’t happening. I was rusty when I tried to show her how to do it, and she became immediately frustrated and quit. The second time I showed her, she got it. She was a little slow and awkward but she could do it. She asked me to take a turn and watched as I latch hooked faster and faster. It was totally coming back to me. I glanced at her and caught a look of adoration on her face. She said with awe, “Mom, you’ve been latch hooking all your life!” I never knew words that sounded so wrong could make me so proud. Next time I have to fill out one of those forms that asks about hobbies, latch hooking is definitely going on there.

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