Scientific Experiment

It all started last year at this time, when my daughter invited nine of her closest friends over for a birthday sleepover.  Everything was going great until the day before the party, when I got a gnarly case of Strep Throat.  Yeah, I know:  I think that one was Mother of the Year award number 6.  Rather than cancel/ruin Lindsay's party, Phillip bravely threw himself on the grenade and hosted all 10 little girls down in the living room, while I convalesced in an upstairs bedroom.  It worked, in that nobody came down with my crud.  It also entitled Phillip to some massive Karmic Payback.

In the interest of fair play, I handled this year's little girl birthday party SOLO.  We had a sleepover at a local hotel (the kind with a swimming pool and breakfast buffet - I may be slow, but I'm not dumb), while Phillip stayed home, grinning smugly to himself.

The girls were very well-behaved.  What you may not know about 10-year-old girls is that however demure and mannerly they may be in their normal habitat, when exposed to members of their own species, they become VOCAL.  And by that, I mean LOUD.  Way. Loud.  And High-Pitched.  There are some 10-year-old girls that only dogs can hear.

When you take the same 10-year-old LOUD girls to an acoustically perfect indoor swimming pool enclosure, you are setting yourself up for auditory discomfort.  When you stay in said enclosure with them for (I am not kidding) 3.5 hours, you are going to experience some temporary ringing at best, and permanent hearing damage, at worst. 

That's where the Scientific Experiment comes in:  As knitters, we are all familiar of the soothing and restorative powers of our work.  I wondered, (around the time my ears began to bleed) could knitting actually distract me from physical pain, as well as irritation?  Could working on a sweater relieve the discomfort inflicted by squealing little girls in a tiled pool room?  What choice did I have, but to try? My Observations:

Hour 1:    Okay, this is not so bad.  As long as I can keep the rhythm of my stitches consistent, the racket does, in fact, recede a bit from my focus.  Drop a stitch, however, and all bets are off.  Man, are they loud.  How can so much noise come out of such small people?

Hour 2:    My prediction was that by this point I would have half a sleeve, and the sound level would have receded from my consciousness to a dull roar.  Instead, I have 1/4 of a sleeve, and a headache.

Hour 3:    Things are looking up:  Either the small mermaids are beginning to tire/become hoarse, or I have begun to experience hearing loss.  I still only have 1/4 of a sleeve, having stopped to serve drinks and snacks.  Feeding them was probably a tactical error, in terms of their energy levels.

Hour 3.5:  I have triumphantly arrived at the end of the party.  Or at least that's what the clock says.  Extracting the reluctant merry-makers from the pool remains to be seen.

Overall, I would say that the party was a success.  The experiment proved that while nothing short of tarmac-approved airport hearing protection would have been appropriate, the knitting did help keep my nerves intact.  As a bonus, while Phillip was still somewhat smug, he was extremely sympathetic to my pain, and even poured me wine when I got home. 

Karmic Debt Settled.

Mischief Managed.

Sorry, what did you say?