Monday, March 12, 2007

as joy says, crack

I am writing and rewriting and trying to unearth my next column from the writing and rewrites. I even sat down and wrote a 'goals/methods' note to myself as a sanity check - what is this column really going to be about? Is it going to be me as the Mama Bear, don't mess with me advocate for my children? (I would love to turn that whole sentence into links to various posts of heroic maternal nature, but I'm wayyy too lazy to go check for more. Take it as a gesture of tremendous arrogance and self satisfaction - I certainly intend to - and ignore me.) Is it going to be about the ways we handle anxiety and difference? The ways we fail to? I dunno.

Somewhere in there, a column is fighting to get out. I hope it makes it, I truly do.

In the meantime, I give you this: weaving.

The Eldest has been weaving on a hand loom for some months now, starting up and stopping again when he loses interest. Today, I went to Target and while there, we bought the Toddles some pop-beads (you know, the absolutely boring battery-free, won't get your kid into Harvard kind of toy). The Eldest, scenting parental blood, pointed out that surely, he should get a toy too?

Okay, I told him, scenting a math moment, The pop-beads cost 4 dollars. You can have something whose first number is a 4, but not if there's a number before it or after it (and I pointed out the decimal point, to be quite clear). It has to fit in the budget, I said firmly, and ignored the mental voice that disagreed with the likelihood of this (oddly, this mental voice sounded a lot like the Man. Odd). The Eldest considered, then agreed.

We walked up and down the toy and sports aisles for about twenty minutes. I was delighted to see the Eldest pointing out things that looked desirable, while noting himself that they were not in the budget. It was a splendid lesson in limited consumerism, dented slightly by his affection for things that launch themselves/other things/liquids at a target (preferably human?) at top speed. Sigh.

Finally, the Eldest found a friendship bracelet weaving kit, on sale and reduced yet further. And so tonight, he carefully braided six strands together to make a bookmark.

Weaving seems to be much on my mind as well, as I stare at the bounty of woven fabrics that people are wrapping babies in. This is a far, far cry from the idiot-proof Baby Bjorns that the Eldest and I started with. But with the growth of the Toddles, my beloved Kangaroo Korner fleece pouch is not quite right. The problem is one of weight distribution: the pouch puts the weight on one shoulder, while distributing the weight on two shoulders and back would be far, far better. Woven wraps, or German style wraps do this well for toddlers, while doubling as your baby blanket/sunshade when not in use. But possibly hot and sticky, come July? Must consider.

Wondering if I'm ogling giant blankets, to be worn around myself and my heat-producing Toddles in the New England summer? I wondered, too. Take a peek:
Looks nice to me...

Must consider this: hm (the Maija is a quiet, almost copout fabric, considering the yowza whoa nellie fabrics out there for the woven wraps!))
and this:oh, my (I'm a little nervous about the colors, but the Uilli is lovely)
and ooh, oooh this: lustlustlust (look at the Freya! but the gauze ones can put fail to distribute weight as well in the hands of novice users - aka me)
and this moderately priced object sensible? me? this is consumer fantasy moment! bah, ye sensible
And don't think I'm actually going to pay that for any of them! Once committed, once the funds are found (o column, my column), I'm going to hunt up used wraps...the ladies on really know how to window shop. My favorite are the many posts asking someone else to buy the carrier for sale, so that the poster no longer has to lust after it...

To put aside the fun with fabrics for a moment, I'm borrowing a Moby wrap (thanks Nome! Thanks, Joy!) and practicing with local babywearers' stash. I do appreciate the loong trial periods offered by the online stores, which is appropriate given the learning curve on wraps, but I think the Man will appreciate it more if I play around in the very very shallow end of this pool for a while.

Splish, splash.


joy said...

Perhaps it is also time to give Eldest knitting lessons. I'd love to help with that and have quite the stash of supplies. There is also finger-knitting and I've even seen crafty-people doing whole arm knitting. It's really cool, though not as functional. Besides, who needs functional when you can make wacky knitted huge things out of "yarn" made of grocery store bags. Neato.

Also, yes, babywearing prettiness. Sigh. Nice youtube. That was quite useful actually, and inspiring that I will be able to haul the wee man around for some time to come, if only I supply myself with the proper wraps. Ha ha ha.

Anonymous said...

Ooooh....if he likes weaving, look at hobby lobby for a "knitty noddy". It's just like that magic barbie knitting machine I got for christmas when I was 4 and broke a couple days later. It knits tubes....tubes make great stuffed animal tube tops, scarves, whips, cat toys....etc.

Column? You should write about what wonderful mentors and wise women you've found online. You should write about how their magic powers and experiences transformed your very being. And you should make sure to pay them and put in a good word with your publisher so they can share their magic powers with the world! :) Barring that, I know you'll pull something out and make it interesting!


joy said...

I think I have a knitting noddy somewhere around here, actually. Hmm...

dykewife said...

there are spool knitting kits (though a wooden spool with 6 nails will do just as well) in hobby stores that your eldest might like. i did that and made little mats. the bigger kits can make rugs.

as to the wraps...colour me biased but i can't help but think that you should be getting a backpack and hubby can carry the boy about. :) that way you get to stay comfy. if you're going to insist on a wrap, go for one with tons of colour and is light (for warm weather) and heavier (for cooler weather). if you can get it in hemp material so much the better. hemp material is as tough as iron and can be nice and soft.

mama o' the matrices said...

Joy, Jill, knitting? With a Y-chromosome? Surely that's against zoning. But yes, tubes rule the world - give me a tube and a couple of buttons, yarn, and I have a puppet that will make even the Toddles put his coat on. (NO! NOOO! NOOOOOOO! *giggle*)

Hey, joy - come on over anytime and show the kid how it's done (same for you, too, Jill. Someday we must meet in person!)

Column's coming along, thanks, but I'll keep that topic in mind. Hmm. Plotting out a column about on-line support already. Hmm.

And dw, yes, the menfolk are there to haul water, chop wood, and...carry the young 'uns. I agree. We have a lovely backpack for just this purpose, allowing family hikes with one person carrying toddler, diaper/first aid/factor stuff and lunch in one swell foop.

But it's bulky and unpretty, and much too clunky to take with us when we go to visit family in May. Soo, next option!

mama o' the matrices said...
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