Sunday, January 15, 2006

Why I love kids (but have trouble with the parents)

As a knitter I have to love kids. Nothing says "instant gratification" like starting and finishing a baby's hat in an afternoon. Even jumpers and cardigans are time-friendly. It's a great way to try out new patterns and techniques because even if it is a disaster, one is only frogging a few hours instead of a few days worth of work.

I'm currently working on a seamless raglan baby cardigan for Rachel's baby due in about six weeks time. I'm almost half-way through the knitting. I'm making it is 6-ply self-patterning Opal sock yarn which means it will be a little smaller but in a worst case scenario it will be appropriate from birth to six months rather than 4 months to 10 months. I made about 3 of these for little Miss Gabi (now a sturdy 20-month-old who has very definite opinions about what she likes and doesn't like).

My friends with kids sometimes say "Oh it must be so boring for you" when I visit and they may be right but not in the way they think.

I love the kids. I love playing with them and reading to them. They are so interesting. You can see the cogs clicking in their brain as they work out how to do something and I love the way they will ignore an expensive toy and spend hours opening and closing a cardboard box.

Unfortunately the parents are no longer quite so interesting. All they do is talk shit. Literally. When they are babies we hear about the colour and consistency of the shit. And they seem to think they are offering you a great favour by offering you the opportunity to change their baby's shitty nappy.

"How do you cope with the smell," I gasp in agony.

"You don't notice the smell so much when it is your baby," they reply.

Oh yeah???

The next stage is when their little darlings discover how to take off their nappies and leave the shit-filled items in the most inconvenient place while running around the house naked. I realise this must be difficult for parents but must we hear about it in all its glorious technicolour detail?

The third stage is toilet training. Any conversation with the parents is peppered with constant interruptions of "Who needs to go to the toilet?" and the sobbing of a kid "I had an accident".

Not to mention the smell.

It's times like this that I love my cats that are born toilet-trained.

I realise that a cat cannot bring you the rewards that a kid can. But hopefully I do not bore my friends silly talking about their toilet habits.

PS: Any parents who are offended by the above can take great pleasure watching their kid poop all over the clothes I spent hours knitting for them instead of just spending the same amount of money and a hell of a lot less time purchasing something far more practical for them to wear from a chain store.

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