Thursday, February 28, 2008

War is Hell

I swear, in all the years they have been alive, not one of my children has ever, of his/her own will, turned off a light. I'll go upstairs and find it devoid of people, yet with 3 bedroom lights, one hallway light, and one bathroom light, all on. I think it's all part of their NILE initiative - No Illumination Left Extinguished. Just a few people's effort to make their tiny corner of the world a little brighter....

And in this (bright) corner of the world, what makes the front page of major newspapers (print edition) are school redistricting fights. That's right, there's the war in Iraq; but there are the more important wars here at home, such as whose child gets to go to an AP school versus an IB school. Though these differences seem trivial to outsiders, they spark internecine violence, such as fistfights among parents at school bus stops (please, people, the children! Spare the children!). Irate homeowners storm the offices of local realtors, who made unkeepable promises regarding specific school districts. Longtime friends and neighbors stop speaking to each other. It's brother against brother, the north side of town against the south, angry mobs sniping at each other at neighborhood yard sales...

People wonder why I home school. I tell you, it's because I don't like to take sides. Can't we all just get along? And put something more newsworthy on the front pages of our newspapers? Geez, no wonder print is dead....

I sat next to yet another spinning fanatic at Knit Night yesterday evening. She looked normal, but then she started talking about her spinning wheel that she had bought in Vermont; and the woman on the other side of me chimed in about the wheel that she might just pick up in Poland (apparently the Stradivarius of spinning wheels lives there); and I realized I had entered the Twilight Zone. What's wrong with these people? Don't they realize that we live in way too rushed a society for them to sit there and spin wool into yarn, and then knit a sweater from it? I mean, by the time you're done, you've frozen to death, right?

It's now that point in the afternoon when the sound of my children's voices puts my teeth on edge. Anna is out babysitting (apparently, she is much nicer to other people's children than to ours) and Theo has decided he wants to get all this high school nonsense out of the way and is studying non-stop. David is busy trying to make some sort of astronaut diorama out of those little marshmallow Peeps and some tinfoil. (What is it with that kid, anyway?) But that still leaves Brian, Rachel, and Susie (piping shrilly away on her little plastic recorder) to drive me insane. My only hope is that our next-door neighbor's children come over and distract them. You'll just have to take my word for it, it's way easier to watch 6 kids than just 3. One of those paradoxes of parenthood.

Oh, and I'm starving. Not losing weight, though; just starving. We wouldn't want all this suffering to have a purpose or anything...

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25 comments:

  1. When they start making their own soap and dipping candles - run like hell!

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  2. Spinning wool into yarn? For rea? Maybe they lost a bet with Rumplestilsken or something.
    KEEP BELIEVING

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  3. It sounds like you're all the way better, though - so that's good, right?

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  4. I was briefly dragged to sewing group - but twas not for me - it was more like Stitch and Bitch...and that was just the vicars wife!

    MMM, THAT time of day - I know it well!
    As for the recorder - are you bonkers? - insert cheese in your ears and drink a LARGE glass of wine!

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  5. I too have always wondered about people not understanding that a playmate for each child is ideal--that way nobody needs YOU!

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  6. Be careful of those spinners. Pretty soon you'll be sucked in and spinning yourself. Wool, that is. Not your head.

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  7. Oh no, not the recorder. Just how many times can a homeschooling mom listen to hot cross buns?

    My sympathies to you and yours.

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  8. But 6 psyches to fret over!? The watch part seems okay but the Big Picture would scare me. The odds of creating a sociopath seem so much higher.

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  9. I really want to learn to spin, but there's just no time. And I only have one kid! I have no idea how you even find time to eat, let alone knit. (Although I do love that you have a big family. It's a secret ambition of mine... just don't tell my husband!)

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  10. Spinning. It's not just for hippie chicks anymore. I am currently debating whether to get the Pottery Barn console with the map drawers, which will lovingly cradle my decrepit oversize books of quilting patterns, or a new spinning wheel, after a hiatus of 17 years.

    Yeah, I can dip candles with the best of them, and I just learned how to make my own laundry detergent, and I can milk a goat and make some of the best cheese you've eaten.

    [And drive a stickshift, and switch over from Explorer to Firefox, and design an Alice-Starmore-worthy Aran sweater from scratch.] Don't hate me because I'm multi-craftual!

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  11. Yes, I like to starve all day long and then gorge myself silly every night. Just to ensure that the hunger part is absolutely pointless.

    Thanks for the link yesterday. You know JUST how to cheer me up ;>

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  12. Spinning wool into yarn? Do they churn their own butter as well? Beat their clothes on rocks?

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  13. I grind the wheat and bake the bread. Does that count for weird? I don't grow the wheat.

    I didn't homeschool and wish I had but I just don't have that talent. I admire people who do. If I had a hat it'd be off.

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  14. Hey -- my kids are part of the NILE initiative, too!

    Heidi

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  15. I second what Karen said - it's a slippery slope, first your spinning and popping off Poland for a better wheel....next thing you know you have your own herd of sheep.

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  16. "Just a few people's effort to make their tiny corner of the world a little brighter...." That is FUNNY.

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  17. Hey, they sounds creative! I kind of wish I could homeschool.

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  18. I had no idea you homeschooled! You're a strong woman, lady.

    I really should learn to sew and/or knit -- after all, my mother and grandmother knew how. Of course, that was before the days of globalization and cheap Target clothes.

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  19. I can't tell you how many times I go downstairs in the morning to wake up the kids, and find all 3 of their bedroom lights on, plus the lights in the bathroom, the family room and the hallway.
    At least I know we're not raising vampires.

    I'm feeling some sympathy for you over here for the recorder torture.

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  20. I always tell my friend I'm going to start raising chickens and make my own maple syrup. Back to the land, Baby! It freaks her OUT.

    Funny how the numbers with children are so counter-intuitive, isn't it?

    Mine won't turn off lights either. makes me NUTS.

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  21. Because they're not aware that there are stores that SELL yarn? You should tell them. Or not. Since if they weren't off by themselves spinning wool into yarn, they would be out among the rest of us, probably annoying the hell out of me.

    Was that unkind?

    My kids don't turn off lights either. I'm considering a fine.

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  22. Before I had my daughter, I was terrified wondering how I would manage two. Now I don't know what I'd do without her there to play with her brother. And I have no dread at all over the third on the way. Should I? :/

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  23. I once went to a friend's mom's house to buy some wool yarn for knitting wool socks. She has several spinning wheels, and although at this point in life it is so not me (I'm unfortunately also a victim of the mindset, "For crying out loud, just buy the stupid stuff and use your time on something more sensible, like...something, I'm sure would be more time-efficient that spinning your own yarn!!!")I was impressed at how relaxing it looked! It almost made me want to spin!

    AND, I'm so with you on the "It's easier to watch six kids than 3" theory.

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  24. Of course it is easier with more. By the time you have the 6th or higher number child, the oldest is able to be helpful.

    Until they decide, at age 18, that they are tired of being the oldest and move out...

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  25. NILE intiative? Too freakin' hilarious!

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