Gnomes, Girls and Knit Night

G. (Garden) Gnome continues to make the scene around Long Island. Dude is hip and happening. Here he is going to Michael's with the girls and me:

This picture was taken right after my beloved children had a pitched battle right there in the parking lot while we were holding up traffic to get the photo over who got to hold the Gnome this time and who had held him more over the course of the Gnome Project. My head may have spun around like that woman in The Exorcist.

I am SO. Tired. Of. The. Fighting.

You know how some people refer to the Summer of Love?

Well, if anyone does that in my presence, I am going to KILL THEM. Because we are having the Summer of...not HATE, exactly (because we Southerners do not use the word "hate" which is a terribly strong and, well, HATEFUL word) but the Summer of Bicker. The Summer of Nag. The Summer of Whine.

The Summer of Incessant, Panties In a Wad, Milk Curdling, Joy Sapping, Soul Sucking PICKING AT EACH OTHER UNTIL MOMMY GOES SMACK OUT OF HER MIND AND STARTS DRINKING AT 9:00 AM FIGHTING.

This morning, on the last morning of camp, after the initial slings and arrows of who wrote in whose book and messed up whose iron bead...thing, Ana told me that she would really rather just stay home. My voice dropped into that register that Sigourney Weaver uses in Ghostbusters when her body is inhabited by a ghost and Bill Murray says, "My, what a lovely singing voice you must have."

"Oh, MISSY, you are SO going TO CAMP. You CANNOT stay home. Because. BeCAUSE. Because I CANNOT TAKE YOU staying home with me."

There's some good parenting right there.

Anyway, by last night at 6:00? I was standing on my front porch step, showered and packed up for Knit Night and waiting for my husband to get home.

I took G. with me. Naturally, because these are SO my people, they didn't even hesitate. Immediately, G. was decorated with the knitting he so richly deserved --very few questions asked. In fact, the few questions that were forthcoming were accompanied by this excited and admiring look --like I was the most clever woman in the world to even take such a thing on.

And dudes, some of my new knitting friends? Are totally into the blog. I'm so flattered that I actually BLUSHED when I figured out that there was at least one avid reader at the table.

She asked me about my foot and I got really sad.

I have really been trying to keep my glass-half-full outlook right out in front but I don't know, maybe it's the kids and the fighting but I was just sort of worn down. I got sort of teary.

So we had quite a long discussion of what I could try and what I have tried and I talked a little bit about how my life is utterly transformed by this one thing and how disconcerting it is. They really listened. They didn't judge.

And when we were leaving and I was apologizing for having talked about myself so much, one of them said, "Oh, cut that Southern crap."

I laughed.

They love me.


hokgardner said…
Our summer is definitely the summer of bickering. It amazes me how quickly the girls can go from getting along to a full-on slap fight over nothing. And the tattling is wearing me down to the point where if I weren't pregnant, I'd be joining you in a glass of wine first thing in the morning.
Oh, I love that line from Ghostbusters. I use it all the time.

But bickering? and whining? Really? Oh, my children would never do that. You must be doing something wrong.
Um, the last line of that comment? Was a joke. So don't yell at me for picking on Barb.
Have the girls alternate holding G. for photos. Or put him on the ground and have them stand beside him. Everyone would be sad if their fighting caused a 'fractured' situation.
Anonymous said…
You SO have got to rent Lars and the Real Girl. See, you would be Lars and G. Gnome would be the real girl....and your friends from Knit Nite would be! It so works.
N. Maria said…
I absolutely LOVE your blog and tell everyone about it!!
Barb, your kids are normal. :) I was the oldest of 3 girls and we fought so bad...or is it good? It's a wonder my mother is still sane....and that was, uh, 40 years ago!
I also love your new knitting group! They are so lucky to have you there.
Oh! Did you know you can get the coupons, from the paper, at your Chamber of Commerce? So, go get several Michael's coupons....for FREE!
Hugs and I raise my glass (if I drank),
Mrs.Q said…
I now have a voice in my head: "YO! 'Sup, G?" Coz, you know, the gnome looks like such a gangsta.

And remember, 9:00 AM for you is after noon somewhere in the world....who says you need to stick to your own time zone when it comes to a much-needed glass of medicinal wine?
Unknown said…
good friends are awesome!
Tenna Draper said…
I used to have a friend who had two daughters who were very close in age to yours, and often, they would get into those nit-picky tones and bicker with each other, etc...

Her parenting method was when it got to name-calling and the like and she couldn't take it anymore, first, she'd send them to their rooms, and then she'd make them come back together and this is the weird part...

She'd tell them that they couldn't have (whatever it was they wanted) until they made up and

weird part...kissed each other's butts.

ya, I know...there's some real dysfunctional stuff going on there...but I digress.

Or you could pick the one who's getting the worst of it and tell both that so and so gets the gnome because so and so isn't complaining, tattling, freaking out, etc...

and that the other one doesn't get to hold gnome until she does something really nice for the other one.

Turn G Gnome into the reward for good behavior--it would appear that they enjoy being part of your blog.

As far as your foot...well, put a sock on it...oh, got to tell you this sign I saw on an said...

We have black bears and grizzly bears in this woods. Please wear jingly bells and carry pepper spray in case you surprise one on your hike....

It will also help if you learn to distinguish bear scat--so that you don't wander into a bear's territory by accident...

Black bear scat has berries in it, and is much smaller than grizzly scat.

Grissly scat has jingly bells in it and smells of pepper.
Hannah said…
I'm glad I'm not the only one with bickering kids! I have to tell you, it's good that you let us know about this so honestly because from the pictures you've been posting, the girls look so happy and cozy together. LOL! O how photos can lie!
Miri said…
I tell my girls that their bickering will lead to progressively larger vehicles (so as to make it that I can't hear them while we're on route). Don't be surprised if I'm next driving a school bus.
ann said…
My children never bickered as children - they are now in their 20's and they FIGHT - ugly, name-calling, never speaking to you again FIGHTING. So... I would say that they will grow out of it, but - no guarantees.
MadMad said…
Ah, the power of a good knit group. I'm happy for you!
Ann in NJ said…
My brother-in-law, who gives the first impression of "yuppy snob" (works on Wall Street in NYC) spent an evening doing perler beads with my kids one Christmas. It can be very soothing.

Crafty groups can be the most supportive people. My rubber stamping friends are always there for me. Who says East Coast people are cold!
Ann in NJ said…
My brother-in-law, who gives the first impression of "yuppy snob" (works on Wall Street in NYC) spent an evening doing perler beads with my kids one Christmas. It can be very soothing.

Crafty groups can be the most supportive people. My rubber stamping friends are always there for me. Who says East Coast people are cold!
Ann in NJ said…
Ack! I don't know why it posted twice! Sorry!

And my mother-in-law frequently notes that "it's 5 o'clock somewhere!"
Marie said…
Barb, I love your blog too. It is so cool that you have a following. You deserve it!

The bickering? It just drives you insane. And after four kids, I have no suggestions on how to stop it except to ignore it as much as you can. Which is easier said than done.

My Elizabeth was the WORST about getting into a snit. She was about 10 when we went to Washington for a few days and she's got her arms folded and is frowning in every picture.

Then I took them to England. We're in freaking LONDON and she's got a puss on because something didn't suit her.

For a while I thought about just zapping her with a cattle prod every time she was a pain in the ass. But I figured I'd get in trouble for that. :) Of course I also didn't actually have a cattle prod either.

But I found it soothing just to contemplate it. lol
LaDonna said…
OK, must be something in the water this summer...your girls, hokgardner's girls and mine...yes, I have the Summer of Bicker going on here too. One who doesn't know when she's taken a joke too far and the other who can't TAKE a joke very well. (SIGH!) Only 4 more weeks until school starts!