Thursday, May 16, 2013

Pretty, Pitfall

When Essie was a year old or so, she put her head through the banister railings on our stairs.  And couldn't get it back out.  When she realized she was good and stuck, she screamed bloody murder.  And even though I rushed over to pull her to safety (it was easier to turn her sideways and work her little body through than to try to force her head back the way it came), she took a really long time to calm down.  It was one of the few instances of true terror I've really seen in her; she's been pretty gutsy when it comes to climbing and jumping from inappropriate objects and other physical things that make me wince to watch.  And even though it was traumatic, an experience she Did Not Enjoy, you wanna know what she did?  After I finally got her to calm down and take a breath and notice that she was, in fact, still in the land of the living?

She went back to the stairs, slowly, almost like she was in a trance. She took hold of the railings in her little hands and started to pull her head closer...and closer...and closer in slow motion.  It was almost hypnotizing to watch.  She just could not stop herself.  So I did.  It's a lot of work to console a terrified one-year-old, and I didn't feel a particularly great urge to do it again so soon after the first time.  I think somewhere deep down she was probably grateful (if a one-year-old can be grateful...maybe not) to not go through the experience again.

So, this was two years ago.  Why am I writing about it now?  Because I suddenly realized I am just like that.  I used to sew.  Somewhere along the line I started to understand something about sewing: I don't really enjoy doing it.  I have been reduced to tears and stirred to rage by my sewing machine on more than one occasion.  Once I sewed right over my finger and had to stop and disassemble my machine before I could pull the needle out.  I've cut myself with my rotary cutter and only narrowly escaped spraying blood all over my sewing project.  I've often pondered whether I might enjoy sewing more if I had a dedicated space for it, somewhere I could leave it all spread out and just close the door on it and come back later when I needed to.  But I've just got my dining room table and the growing suspicion that a separate sewing space might not even make that big a difference.  And yet...I just cannot stop myself.

Remember my goal to do things this year that I really enjoyed?  I was doing well with that, truly, until we bought a set of used bunk beds on Craigslist for the girls and suddenly, like I was in a trance, maybe even in slow motion, I set aside my knitting and my writing (I'm actually well ahead on my read-a-book-a-week goal, so that one's fine), and started sewing!  Because I made a quilt for Millie when she got her first twin bed, and Essie was going to get the same, come what may.

Let me be clear.  I love giving a homemade gift to my girl.  I even love the quilt (or I's not done yet) and I'm glad she'll have it.  From me.  Especially for her.  But someone please stop me next time, m'kay?  Or we'll have to go through all this again, and who wants that?  Talk me down from those stairs, distract me with some other bright, pretty thing.  I'll be grateful.

In the meantime, here is a peek at the (wrinkly, blurry) quilt top.  Still have to quilt and bind it, though (praaaay for that part to go quick, please, if you love me.)

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