14 March, 2008

Sock Madness and A Tale of Woe

Bella and I are getting along better now. We've established some ground rules and she's more comfortable now that she knows what they are. She's never had rules before - something I've been told over and over isn't good for a child. She's largely stopped crying about little things like being told to sit up and eat her dinner and started crying about the things that really hurt her bruised little heart.

A few days ago, we arrived at her house and I sent her to do her homework. She sat down at her desk for a few moments, then I came into the room.

"Bella, come here," I said, pointing to the spot directly in front of me. She came over slowly and stood on the spot (progress! Obedience without questioning!), looking up at me curiously. "WHERE," I demanded, "is my big hug for the day??" She smiled and jumped into my arms - all 38.5 pounds of her, the tiny thing - and koala'd me.
"You didn't remind me!" she laughingly accused when she was done with her hug.
"I have to remind you now? You don't want to hug me on your own?" I wailed. She laughed and tickled me, and we giggled together. Then: "Bella!" I cried in mock sadness, with big grin on my face, "don't you loooove me anymore?"
"Of course I do!" she yelled, and buried her face in my neck.
"I love you too, button," I chuckled. Then I realized she hadn't moved her face, and that her little frame was shaking. "Baby, what's wrong?"
"You - you - you thought I didn't loooooove you!!" she sobbed. I was shocked. Somewhere my brain was chiding me for not remembering her utter and total lack of a sense of humor, but the rest of me went into instant Big Sister mode. I kicked off my shoes and carried her to the bed, letting her curl up against my chest and sob.
"Sweetheart," I explained, "I'm so sorry. I was making a bad joke, but I didn't think it would hurt your feelings! I know you love me, baby, and I love you too. Shhhh." And then it struck me. "Bella, honey, do you sometimes feel like people lie to you when they say they love you?"
She looked up at me with huge, watery brown eyes and nodded, still sobbing. "Who?" I asked. Seconds ticked by while she tried to call up a feeling she doesn't examine very often.
"My mommy - sniffle - my mommy never comes home even if she's not working, and she never does what she says."

I have never been kicked in the gut, but I can tell you exactly what it feels like. I think I stopped breathing for a moment. My family's not perfect, and we've had our altercations, but there has never in my whole life been a single second that I seriously considered that my family - all 12 of them - didn't love me. The idea that a little girl could have reason to question the very foundation of the word "family" breaks my heart. 

Poor little dear. Thank god it's Friday.


I woke up early yesterday so I could print out the first pattern for Sock Madness, but it wasn't out yet. Another reason in my long list never to get up early if I can help it! It wasn't a big deal - I had no knitting time in those classes anyway. I swung by the school print shop between classes 2 and 3 to get the pattern. By the time class 3 was over, I had the ribbing and a few rows of the pattern done.

Originally I kicked myself for forgetting a set of smaller needles, but since the pattern grows organically out of the ribbing, it worked out okay. Last night I finished just over 1/2 of the first heel flap stitches and went to bed - probably good, since I have to look up my HPSS3 pal's foot size. The Zombie pattern is wicked stretchy, so I'm not too worried about the leg. Here it is so far:

Zombie Socks by Sheryl Ball

It also just occurred to me that this is the first time in awhile I've had any knitting pictures to show off. Sleeve 1 of the Tangled Yoke Cardi continues apace. As Brie hoped, my length gauge and I found each other; I've got about an inch or 2 of plain knitting to go and the sleeve will be done. Then only one more to go and Tangled Yoke becomes at-home knitting, as it'll be too unwieldy to carry around to classes.

I think it's time for more tea and some Angel, season 4. And some Zombies.


  1. Tika you are going to me a great mommy some day! Bella is very lucky to have you (and I think she knows it!)

  2. Love the color you're using for your Zombies Tika! So, that's what you're doing for your pal this year...cool idea!

  3. The poor dear! It sounds like she's lucky to have you and that she is responding well. I'll keep you both in my thoughts.

    I like the sock - great colour!
    (And how can anything with zombies be ... okay nevermind, I was going to say bad, but ...)