Really, this post should be titled:
“I Wanted to Learn how to Knit” or “I don’t think I can do another Chucky Cheese Date”
We often hear in the land of multiples how it is essential that we spend time alone with each child rather than always doing things with both children–or in our case all five of them. “See your child as an individual rather than part of a set” is the advice that is usually given.
And, yes, when I’ve had the chance to go out with one child or the other I’m always surprised how that child blossoms in front of my eyes. Luke, for instance, who is one of the identical twins, and who tends to be quiet, actually talks nonstop when it is just the two of us!
This weekend Maddie and I had a chance to go out together.
I’ve always wanted to learn how to knit. My college friend, Ann, is an amazing knitter and such an inspiration. Even though she lives in the Midwest, four years ago when I expressed an interest to learn how to knit Ann sent me links to all the yarn stores in San Antonio.
So when a “deal” popped up on Amazon Local for knitting lessons at a shop downtown that recently changed owners, I bought a voucher for me and one for Maddie. On Saturday we headed for a two hour class at The Yarn Barn
Usually my outings with individual children are mostly errands and the goal is to complete a specific task. This time though, I was as invested in the activity. And, what I realized is that not only do each of the children need to get away with the parents, but the parents also need that time away with each individual child doing an activity that they both enjoy.
Admittedly, knitting might not have been Maddie’s first choice. But what I love about her is that she is game for trying something new. This might have been a slight paradigm shift in “spending time with each twin individually.” Usually the recommendation is to find something the child wants to do. But, honestly, I needed to ramp it up to include a little “feeding mommy’s creative soul” too.
So with needles in hand and new skeins of worsted weight wool, we both embarked on learning this new skill. The Yarn Barn is located in the outskirts of downtown in a charming bungalow. The owner and teacher, Enid, was the model of patience with both of us.
I loved looking across the table to see Maddie concentrating so hard. I knew she was getting frustrated but she kept working intently. Later she told her Dad that the best thing about learning to knit was seeing Mom frustrated. When I got frustrated I broke into the Hallelujah chorus from Handel’s Messiah.
Actually I was pretty proud of my little piece of knitting, even though there were quite a few hallelujah’s sung for this 5″x1″ beauty.
By noon hunger was making our needles too heavy to do anything useful, so when Enid recommended the Vietnamese restaurant across the street, we decided to check it out. Maddie is an adventurous eater and I like trying a new place, but I have to admit that there was a “hole-in-the-wall” aspect to this restaurant. The owner said she has been in business for 11 years so I felt like it had a pretty good track record.
Maddie and I loved us some noodles. We also found that after knitting, holding chopsticks felt like second nature–okay, maybe that was a little of a stretch.
Later in the evening before the bedtime routine commenced, we both picked up needles and our yarn and tried to practice knitting. I found that I forgot almost everything I learned. I have a goal, though. I want to knit this piece of beauty from the website Purlbee. They say it is a beginner pattern!
What was most inspiring about the day is that Maddie and I just hung out together. She saw me struggle with a new skill. I watched with admiration as she tackled hers with a perseverance that shows how much she is maturing.
The day ended on a high note when I read my fortune. I’m getting this tattooed to my arm.