November 1, 2009

Four Things

1. This was Henry's first year trick-or-treating; he went as a fydah-fydah (firefighter). A very REFLECTIVE firefighter.


It is not a whole lot of fun bringing five children trick-or-treating. There is a lot of playing The Manners Police ("What do you say?" "Do you remember what to say?" "What do you say NOW?" x 5), and there is a lot of fretting that a child will get lost in the dark. But it does mean there are five bags of loot to pick through after the kids go to bed. We searched first for razor blades, unwrapped/opened candy, and religious detritus. Razor blades 0, unwrapped/opened candy 0, religious detritus 2 (1 roll of smarties with scripture verses on the wrapper, 1 tract about "the treat that lasts forever," complete with the prayer you should pray in order to "trick-or-treat at God's door." Jesus: He won't give you cavities! Or get stuck in your teeth! Or get eaten by your parents after you go to bed!).

2. On Friday afternoon, William was tired and kept saying so. He went to bed an hour and a half early. He woke up two hours later with a nightmare, and he was feverish and coughing. Yesterday he was dizzy and had a fever that got in the high 103s whenever the ibuprofen started wearing off. This morning he was around 101 and feeling much better. I have to call the school tomorrow to let them know: they're keeping track of all children and staff who miss school for flu-like symptoms.

3. Rob taught me how to knit. I should clarify that this was probably my dozenth time learning. I don't know why I am learning again, except that Rob was so! keen! to teach me.

I am making A Thing. It started as 22 stitches across and has without my intentional interference varied from 22-28 stitches, mostly 26. It is too wide and short for a scarf. It is too narrow and long for a blankie. But ohhhhhhh it is soft! I'm using Lion Brand "suede" yarn in a pretty variegated color that is a lot prettier when it is not against the backdrop of my berry-colored shirt, and I've almost finished a skein. (I did my first Thing in Red Heart yarn because I'd heard that's a good yarn for beginners, but for my second Thing I chose a yarn I liked.) Rob keeps saying, "NOW do you like knitting?" and I keep saying, "Nope! Still difficult yet boring!" But I do like petting the yarn.

4. The cat has been acting bonkers. She follows me around, making the cat equivalent of yippy-little-dog sounds. MEW! MEW! MEW! MEW! She is frantic. She bumps against my legs, tripping me and getting stepped on. Her food is fresh and full; her water is fresh and full; her box is fresh and scooped; she's been petted and snuggled; WHAT DOES SHE WANT?? I am on the verge of taking her to the vet just because surely it must be SOMETHING.

44 comments:

Anonymous said...

She could be in mourning for the other cats maybe do cats mourn?!?!

Little-Bit said...

That would be my guess, too. They might not be Mourning, but have a sense that Something Is Different, And Not In A Good Way.

Virginia Ruth said...

Okay, as an avid knitter, and fan of people going against stereotypes, I LOVE that your young son is teaching you to knit. Rob: you are officially the coolest. Where did he learn? Can you post pictures of some of his handiwork?

desperate housewife said...

Ah, the religious detritus. None collected here, but I do loathe it. Especially since as a kid I used to be encouraged by our church to pass it out. "Trick or treat at God's door" ?! Gah. This strikes me as downright sacreligious, actually.
Almost as bad as those Hell Houses or whatever it is that churches do instead of haunted houses. And yes, I participated in them as a kid, and yes, I can say that though the original motive may have been "saving" people, there was WAY too much... fun, I guess,m being had behind the scenes by the kids playing the demons and drug addicts and partying drunk kids. The atmosphere was downright festive, right until the tour groups of terrified kids were dragged through.

beyond said...

religious detritus? geez. (i am not a parent. i guess i am simply naive.) i remember our cats always went through stages of being normal cats and being crazy cats, with no other explanations.

d e v a n said...

1 - CUTE!

2 - Sorry there's some sickness! :(

3 - Everyone needs a thing...

4 - Maybe she is sad? Or just being a cat, demanding and bossy!

Christina said...

I personally don't get the religious stuff in Halloween candy. If you think it's the Devil's holiday, just shut off your light and don't participate. We always got them when we were little and even though we were a religious family, my parents angrily sought them out and threw them away. It's just the principle of cramming your beliefs down an innocent child's throat!

My cat does that too, but usually when the weather is changing or we close/open windows. He's an inside cat and I guess the weather change or being able to see/not see outside affects him.

Lippy said...

I want to learn to knit or crochet. I envision myself making hats and sweaters? But would probably end up with a Thing. But the yarn is so so pretty. Maybe the Things could be little lovie blankets for kids ( or grown ups). One of our cats likes to sit in the hallway and meow really loud and long. I think she is just ass. Yours might be grieving, we have had cats do that.

Gina said...

The cat might be grieving, like others have said. My cat has done it. Of course, he has also acted like that when there was a mouse/critter nearby, too.

Anonymous said...

My cat goes nuts and is all up in my business before and during a full moon.

Believe that stuff or not, I have a cat who made me a believer. She cries all the time. If it makes you feel better, the full moon is tonight I think...so if thats the reason, she should stop soon!

Hotch Potchery said...

My cat is just plain annoying and whines and mews all.the.time.

I do.not.miss. Trick or Treating, and I only had TWO. yikes...but that is a cutie fire fighter!

the new girl said...

I have NEVER in my life seen nor heard of Religious Detrius in the Trick or Treat bag.

THAT is it's own brand of blasphemy, I say.

Fran said...

We didn't get any detritus this year. Just a very nice lady who in addition to candy, gave us an invitation to her church's Fall Festival next weekend. The pic on the invite was a pug in a Darth Vader costume, so I didn't mind it too much

Paloma said...

Is your cat, um, intact? I've only had knocked-up former strays or neutered girl kitties (with one becoming the other immediately after kittens were weaned), but I hear they go bonkers when they are in heat.

Also, your fydah-fydah is probably the cutest thing I've ever seen. Oh my goodness!

Anonymous said...

I think your cat wants a kitten.

Swistle said...

Cat is long-since fixed. She went into heat once before she had the surgery, and it was grosser than this. This is more...perky and like going into a second kittenhood. (She's 14.)

Swistle said...

Or like being hungry and waiting to be fed, more like. But there is food IN HER DISH.

Stimey said...

Yeah, I do a lot of yelling on Halloween every year with just three kids. I saw a woman with a two-year-old all by themselves and I was kind of jealous. I was smart enough this year to dress my kids all in black and dark brown from head to foot.

Nowheymama said...

I have several "things" I've knit. Fold it in half and make a pillow cover?

clueless but hopeful mama said...

Oh, after my crappy, crappy day I am so happy to gaze upon the reflective firefighter and laugh out loud at the "still difficult yet boring!".

(Sorry about the fever/crazy cat bizniz. Hope you all stay well and,uh, uncrazy.)

Katie said...

Wow! Henry is getting SO BIG! He was just a baby... what, only a few months ago?

Kelsey said...

I grew up in a fairly conservative, religious community and we live in a fairly conservative, religious community now, and I have NEVER had holy trick or treat items. I think it's actually a little funny though. They don't celebrate Halloween at the local elementary schools because it was a pagan holiday according to some parents who didn't want their children practicing devil worship during school hours. So maybe they just don't participate?

I hope Williams feels better soon - I HATE high fever sickness (also vomit sickness and so congested as to not be able to sleep sickness) for the kids.

Loved the fireman costume - trick-or-treating w/ five children - was there vodka involved? At least once everyone was home safely?

Marie Green said...

I've learned to knit before too, but never committed it to muscle memory, so for me it's hard yet boring too!

Also, I think you cat wants a baby sister or brother (cat, not human variety). Possibly?

Jen said...

I am deeply curious as to what the other Swistle kids went as?
The Thing is very pretty. I'd display it on my coffee table as a centerpiece under a candle or bowl when it's done.

Heather said...

I would turn it into a cushion cover, that way you can feel it as much as you like lol.

My guess would be that the cat is lonely.

Anonymous said...

It's a thneed--everyone needs a thneed! (I love The Lorax;)

ComfyMom~Stacey said...

Interesting Thing. I've knitted several myself. I only ever manage to make useful things when I crochet for some reason.

My kitten talks constantly.I think they just want reassurance you are listening. Like kids who say MOM MOM MOM MOM MOM MOM MOM MOM all day long. I say "oh really?" and "then what happened?" and "I see." and usually she is satisfied and goes away for awhile

Swistle said...

Jen- Rob was a clown, William was a pumpkin (old costume from kindergarten, don't know why he suddenly wanted it), Elizabeth was a flower fairy (basically a princess with wings), and Edward was a bunny.

Mommy Daisy said...

Aww, Henry is so cute.

Love knitting. Started about 6 months ago. It's totally addicting. And yes with the yarns. Also, I buy them, make one thing, then have lots of leftovers sitting around. What will I do with all this extra yarn. Occasionally I make baby hats. That's fun and doesn't take much yarn. Here's an easy pattern you can make with some cute soft yarn. http://www.bernat.com/pattern.php?PID=3654

Sarah said...

When I was learning to knit it helped to have a project to work on, sort of a goal to work towards. That way you get to see progress and it's not just aimless knitting (which is boring, even if you love it). My first project was a wooly hat for my baby. It might help if you have a small class at a local yarn store to get you started (not Jo Ann's). Also, the kind of yarn you knit with can really affect how easy you find knitting. Some yarns can be rigid, or difficult to manipulate, it can be hard to see the stitches you're working with with some kinds of yarns, which makes it difficult to keep track of what you're doing. So I recommend a nice, smooth wool. A sales person at a small yarn store would have good recommendations for beginners.

Can you tell I'm just as determined as Rob to get you to love knitting? :)

Stacia said...

My 2 remaining cats acted pensive for a few weeks after Reggie died, then about a month after he died they started to act WEIRD. It's been 6 months and they're probably never going to go back to the way they were when Reggie was with us. If your kitty isn't acting like s/he is in pain, and if they're eating and using the pan, I wouldn't worry too much.

Firefighter kid is so cute! I love Lion Brand Suede, if I still crocheted I would be using it, but my hands aren't happy with crocheting anymore.

Katie said...

H1N1!! H1N1!!!! H1N1. H1N1!!! RUN FOR THE HILLS!!!!!!! GAAAAAAAAAAH. I am so germaphobic I feel like I need to back away from this website lest it leap through the screen and infect us all. GAH! Where is my hand sanitizer!??

*Deep breath.*


One more thing. That is NOT Henry. That BOY? No. No. No. Henry is a BABY, dammit. A BABY. Do you hear me universe!????

Kristi said...

Cat: possible senility? mine is 14 and does weird stuff like that too.

Thing: A thneed is a thing that everyone, everyone, everyone needs!

HollyLynne said...

Hooray for petting yarn! If you want to try a yarn craft that works up a little faster, you might want to give crochet a shot. Once you get the hang of basic stitches, you can graduate to mesh-y, open lace type stitches that can produce a scarf in an evening.

Snarke said...

I knit and crochet to give me something to do with my hands while I watch television in the evenings. It can be very soothing once you commit the stitches to muscle memory (incidentally that purl stitch is quite the bitch to get the hang of). We now how have a hanger full of scarves because those are the only things I really know how to make (and potholders).

Sam said...

Recently our kitten started being very cuddly and needy. It turns out she needed a MAN. So we took her to the vet and fixed that shit right away. Does your kitty need a man? Or a woman? Or a cat?

Pickles and Dimes said...

Oh, Henry is so cute!

Your knitting looks very good! When I started, I had giant holes all over the place. If you're a visual learner like me, try knittinghelp.com. They have awesome video tutorials that you can watch frame by frame so you can see exactly where to put your needles. I swear I watched one 50 times before I finally got it.

Our cats act like insane a-holes when the weather changes. Hopefully that's all it is for yours, too.

Alias Mother said...

I knit while watching television. It makes me feel like I'm being useful and productive instead of slothlike. Since you love how the yarn feels, I think you should fold it in half and use it to cover a hot water bottle or some such. And try a hat next. It's less boring when you have more to do than straight knit with no purpose in mind.

Jess said...

I find it a little awkward to be handing out the candy to the kids, too, while the parents stand in the shadows at the end of the driveway watching. I feel very OBSERVED.

Secret Mom Thoughts said...

Henry looks great. I want to learn to knit. Maybe Rob can give lessons.

Alice said...

fydah-fydah! SO CUTE!

i think your Thing looks quite lovely! i like the suggestion of using it as a mat for a candle / bowl / etc?

nikki said...

Knitting and I are not friends.

When you get the answer to your cat issue, can you please let me know why mine keeps licking my hair?

Magpie said...

Wow. The idea of scripture on Halloween candy simply blows my mind. Wow.

(Baby hats are easy. I can't get past them, though.)

Sam said...

Yay for knitting! I have recently fallen in love - deep love - with loom knitting. You can get the loom kit at the dreaded Wal-Mart, called the Knifty Knitter. (I got mine at Hobby Lobby, if you have one of those...) I am making hats like crazy - I joined a group who is making them for the homeless in our city, so far we've handed out around 200 + hats. Obviously, everyone in the family is getting a hat for Christmas! I know what you mean about petting the yarn. I have to like my yarn to stay interested in my project!