Acts of Mercy

The trip to Lindsay's skating competition went just great.  Right up to the point where I realized that the athlete I was rooting for was in the throes of the Stomach Flu.  How, you may ask, did I know?  Well, I didn't really, until I came down with it myself.  But more about that later.  What I want to tell you is that my kid is Tough.  She tossed her cookies, straightened her hairdo, and then skated a first place program.  Then she changed outfits as fast as possible (not all that fast when you are trying not to toss more cookies) and skated a second place program.  Then she collected some medals, smiled for some photos, and tossed her cookies again.  Is there any more helpless feeling in the world than holding some barfy kid in your arms and trying to make them feel better?  On the floor of the skating rink bathroom? 

So I put her in the car, after an agonizing afternoon, during which Lindsay had to decide which was worse:  A.  Forefitting her third event, thereby removing herself from the running for a special artistry award she might have won, or  B.  Sticking it out and tempting the Skating Gods, who are known to punish skaters with stomach flu by inflicting public displays of, well, symptoms.  She ultimately chose A, which turned out to be for the best.  Turns out that a plastic shopping bag from the pro shop will hold way more symptoms than you would think (at least until the nearest rest stop), and my wee heroine survived the two-hour car ride home.  We consoled ourselves with the knowledge that we both learned something:  Lindsay learned what her absolute physical limits are, and I learned that when your kid has a virulent bug and you tell yourself that the dread of catching it is worse than actually catching it, that's a load of crap. 

And In case things weren't gnarly enough, we got home to find that Phillip had the stomach flu, too.  So I told myself that it was only the power of suggestion, and the abnormally high gross-out factor that were making me feel icky as I lay motionless on the bathroom floor that night.  Have I mentioned that my powers of denial are epic?  This is after every CC of liquid in my body has left it with a velocity that is nearly ballistic, and in every direction.  That's right, Gentle Readers:  I'm here to tell you that it's actually possible to vomit out of your eyes.

So Lindsay, Phillip and I are all on our lips in the floor, leaving no one but poor Campbell to tend to the dead and dying.  Campbell, in case you are wondering (and still reading this), had the bug a week ago, and so has been declared immune.  Maybe the worst thing about the stomach flu is that when you have it, you are a complete pariah.  No one in their right mind will come near you, and if there are three sufferers, you might as well just lock all the doors and wait for the undertaker.  Even if your only caregiver is an eight-year-old.  Don't bother calling in the cavalry, because they ain't-a-comin.  Just suffer there on the floor and pray for morning.

But morning, of course, does eventually come.  And when it did, I began to realize that my family and I were not going to be the first casualties of Cholera in the USA in decades.  I'm definitely better than I was, and so are the other two.  Nobody is ready to eat anything more complicated than paste, you understand, but I think we'll pull through.  And Cam seems not to have been marked for life.  By this episode.

Naturally, the first thing I wanted to do when I could sit up was knit.  Here is the knee sock I told you about.  And while I'm on the subject of barf (really? can't just move on?) this poor thing is really suffering.  Check out the bizarre calf "shaping".  Probably okay if your calf has a tumor.  And my groovy hand painted yarn is totally pooling, there at the ankle.  Why, you may ask, do I continue to beat such an obviously dead horse?  Because I clearly don't know any better.  This is my first knee sock, and I keep thinking that something will change if I just press on.  I used what seemed to be a very cool pattern.  But it is only a program of numbers generators, which does exactly as it is supposed to do, not a knitting shaman, for heaven's sake.  I probably entered the wrong guage into the formula or something.  It seems to need negative ease.  And by that I mean it's just way too freakin huge around, though the length seems oddly accurate.  I would have held out to the very end, in order to measure and re-calculate all the areas where things have gone so obviously wrong.  But I'm going to run out of yarn (not surprising, having knitted a grain silo-cozy), which can only mean one thing.  Frog City.  

I am going to measure the bulging calf thing, though, before I hook it up to the ball winder and let 'er rip.  Seems like the least I could do for the poor thing.

If you know the magic formula for the amount of negative ease required for a knee sock at 9 stitches to the inch, kindly weigh in?  I guarantee contact with this blog post to be non-infectious.