Wednesday, March 28, 2012

The Little Red Mitten

I am in love with a little red mitten.

This little red mitten is more than just a little red mitten, although if it were just a little red mitten, that would be enough, because the world needs little red mittens.

This little red mitten is the first knit item I have completed on my own at home with the two boys. (I finished an adorable stuffed hippopotamus during the time that Greg, my mother and my in-laws were here helping, which is not the same thing at all.)

This little red mitten means that maybe, just maybe, I can do this. Maybe I can have two kids under two and get something done besides laundry and diapers and making sure no one goes hungry. Maybe I can be the mom I want to be, the mom like my mom, the one who knits not just mittens but sweaters and socks and blankets. That somehow finds time to wrap her kids not just in wool, but in love and their favorite colors. The mom who knits for herself, too.

This little mitten means I refuse to just survive each day, that I will find time for things I love besides my children. That I will do more than just make it to bedtime and start again tomorrow.

It wasn't always relaxing. Sometimes I knit four stitches, picked up the baby, set down the baby, knit another row, picked the baby back up. Sometimes I knit with Andrew in the baby carrier, maybe four whole rows before Will woke up from his nap.

But little by little, stitch by stitch, I have finished one little red mitten. I don't even need this little red mitten this season, it's meant as a Christmas gift for Will, or maybe even a birthday gift so he has it for any chilly November and December days that fall before the receipt of Christmas mittens.

So ahead of time, stitch by stitch, I have managed one little red mitten.

And I am in love with this little red mitten.

Time to start the next one.

The Hippopotamus I knit for a baby shower gift while all my help was here!

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Rescuing Mr. Monkey

I have something important to tell any girl who's not yet married. You need to marry a man who will rescue Mr. Monkey.

Some girls put a lot of thought into meeting and marrying Mr. Right. I've met six year olds who will tell you all about their wedding dress and cake. (It might change. But that's true of some brides ten weeks before the wedding, and not the point.) Those six year olds are the twenty year olds who have a list of "musts" and "would be nices" in their marriage material criteria.

I was not one of those girls.

When I started dating Greg, all I knew was that every time I was with him, it was more fun than being without him. So I tried to be with him as much as possible. Four years in, getting married seemed like a really good way to accomplish that. I never questioned it.

Luckily, I didn't need to, because Greg is amazing. Why is Greg amazing? Many reasons. But one of those reasons is that Greg is a guy who will rescue Mr. Monkey.

Thanks to this unseasonably warm weather, we were out for a family walk and taking some pictures on a picturesque campus nearby, when out of nowhere, our adorable and ne'er do-wrong toddler chucks his lovey over a stone bridge into the water below. (He then points and laughs.)

Will might have been pointing and laughing, but Greg took one look at the shock/horror/loss registering on my face and went running for large sticks to engineer his first of many rescue attempts.

Forget that our toddler wasn't even upset. Forget that we have Mr. Backup Monkey AND Mr. Tertiary We Really Need To Do Laundry Monkey at home. Those things didn't matter to Greg, because he knew that I couldn't bear to leave my toddler's lovey floating down a stream somewhere after all Mr. Monkey has done for us. And maybe Greg couldn't either.

There are so many times when I think to myself wow, I lucked out, because when I said "yes" to Greg's proposal, I hadn't given an ounce of thought to what kind of father he'd be. Turns out, he's the best kind. The kind who spends twenty minutes rescuing Mr. Monkey.

Let me tell you something - if you find a guy who will rescue Mr. Monkey, you also have a guy who will get up in the middle of the night five times to rock a toddler back to sleep. Someone who will empty the dishwasher in the morning and make french toast because he wants you to sleep in and have a good day. Someone who will always come home from the grocery store with a "surprise!" for you. Someone who won't say no when you ask them to change a diaper because you just sat down, even if you know it's not fair because they changed the last four.

So if you're still looking... remember to look for someone who will rescue Mr. Monkey.