Let me begin by giving some background.
I have three basic options when picking up the older two kids from school. I can walk all the way over (a little over an hour round trip), I can drive over and park a few blocks away and walk in (about half an hour round trip), or I can drive over, get in the pickup line and give the kids curb-to-curb service (anywhere from fifteen minutes to an hour, depending on whether I get there early, late or in the middle of the madness) (I recommend either early, or late).
Two days ago, I drove to the park up the street and walked in to collect Eldest and Danger Mouse.
Danger Mouse was standing right where she should have been. Eldest…was nowhere to be found.
So when she finally wandered up I gave her the talk: you’ve gotta line up with your classmates, if you’re not here I have to just leave you, hup hup hup march march march.
What she heard? “Blah blah blah something about cars”
Today, I didn’t feel like walking. At all. To be completely honest, I haven’t felt like doing much of anything today, and I’m severely irritated that a) I can’t pass multiple parameters in Reporting Services 2000 and b) we haven’t / aren’t planning to upgrade(d) to RS 2005, which can pass multiple parameters.
I will come up with a work-around on that. Oh yes. I will.
But I digress.
I didn’t wanna walk, so I waited for that perfect moment: just late enough that the main traffic would be gone, not so late that I’d be caught in the Big Kid wave.
I drove up, went right on through the line aaaaaaaaaaaand…no Eldest.
Danger Mouse was right there where she should have been.
Nowhere to be seen.
We asked her classmates where she was, and one of them said, “Oh! She’s catching butterflies with Whatzername! Over by the classroom!”
There I was, surrounded by innocent young children.
What could I say, but, “Oh gee whiz, how frightfully upsetting!”
The Pickup Line Cop looked at me mournfully and said, “I’m really sorry, but…”
I’ve got to put it in gear.
I closed the door gently. I put it in drive and pulled around the parking lot, already beginning to flood with the early-arrivers for the Big Kid pickup.
I turned up the radio for Danger Mouse.
And I spewed forth a few choice words under my breath about my beautiful, charming, talented and otherwise wonderful oldest child.
I had to leave the parking lot, which forces you to turn right onto a stretch of road with no parking. Then you get on the parkway, on which there is no parking.
I ended up having to go three blocks up, three blocks over, six blocks back, and three blocks BACK UP to get back to the school.
I got stuck. STUCK! As in, not moving. Not able to move. Able to go neither forward nor backward, not sideways nor byways. Just sitting there.
Because? The Big Kids don’t get out until 3:05. But their parents all show up at 2:45 and then JUST SIT THERE!!!!!!!!!, until they get out.
I had made a grave tactical error and turned back onto the school’s street from the parkway. Ahead of me loomed a never-ending stream of SUVs and pickup trucks, idling away, waiting for the kids to get out so they could swoop in and grab their Poopsies.
Behind me? More SUVs and pickup trucks.
None of us could budge an inch. God forbid a fire truck ever needs to get through that street between 2:15 and 3:15 weekdays.
At this point, steam was coming out of my ears. I made myself let go of the steering wheel, which I was gripping as though I were in danger of falling off a cliff without it. I glanced at the clock. 2:47. It was going to be a solid twenty minutes before any of us went anywhere.
I started counting to ten. Which naturally reminded me of knitting. Knitting! Oh for the love of CARP! I didn’t bring Boo Bug’s sweater, @*^&@ it all to @!&^&! I switched to the smaller bag because the other one was too big and there’s nothing in here but…
…that sock I started at the doctor’s office a couple weeks ago.
I took out the sock and glared at it resentfully. Dog-dang it, I wanted to be working on Boo Bug’s sweater whenever I had knitting time! I only need two more crummy centimeters before I start the neck shaping, and it is going with all the speed of a herd of turtles mired in peanut butter! I am getting literally about a centimeter a day at this point because it is at that point where yarn goes in but no sweater comes out and I don’t have as much time as I want to have because month close starts THIS WEEKEND and I have SO MUCH TO DO AT WORK and…
It was at this point, just when I was about to roll down the window and let out a primal scream of angry frustration, that the sock spoke up.
“Hey, genius,” it said. “Your choices are pretty simple. You can be pissed off because I’m not the sweater, or you can be glad that I’m here to entertain you. You can consider this ‘being stuck in pickup traffic’ thing to be a major hitch in your get-along today, or the Universe providing you with a relaxing twenty minutes to work on a simple yet warmly satisfying thing. Besides. You know you want to wear me to the pumpkin patch this year…”
“Hey, you know what? You’re right,” I told the sock. I smoothed it out and admired it, remembering how perfectly the colors match that favored shirt from Coldwater Creek. Yes. This would be a fantastic sock to wear to the pumpkin patch in a few weeks. And I’m nearly to the heel at this point…maybe two more inches…and unlike a Certain Sweater That Shall Not Be Named, when yarn goes into this project? A sock comes out.
So I sat, and knit my groovy sock, and listened to the radio and chatted with Danger Mouse until the traffic started moving.
When Eldest got in the van, I had downgraded my ire from ‘rip child’s head off’ to ‘tell child I am very, very upset about this and that a low profile is probably her best bet.’
And thus, once again, knitting has saved one of the Denizen’s lives. If only everyone had a sock-in-progress in their purse...
H. L. Mencken
22 hours ago