I had the pleasure of accompanying my best friend and her adorable two-year-old daughter Princess M to Knitting Arts last night to look for ribbon and fibre to bind the cool wedding programs she is designing. I must commend the wonderful staff for not only their yarn-hunting expertise (we ended up with some great stuff to complement the green sparkly paper), but also for their patience with an over-tired two-year-old! S was brave to bring Princess M along anyway, but as a single mom she often finds that she must run errands with the little person in tow.
Children in yarn stores are less dangerous than, say, children in china shops, since the things they are throwing to the floor and bringing to show you are pretty much unbreakable. PM had a swell time at first picking up pretty skeins and balls: "Look, Mommy. Look, Ah-Becca. Pretty." Then she spotted the spring storefront display, which was of little parasols in vases, set on a ledge at perfect two-year-old height. PM saw them and rushed over to pick up a tiny parasol, just her size, and hold it over her head. "Brella. Raining," she told us, holding her hand palm up a la Gene Kelly. Fearing for the fragile parasol, S quickly put an end to that activity, but PM was hooked and just wouldn't stop playing with the parasols until S picked her up and held onto her. She then started that fake-y two-year-old crying, that isn't really crying but more an announcement of the unfairness of the universe.
Luckily, an attentive Knitting Arts employee appeared with one of those measuring tapes that are all the rage right now, with a little animal's tail coming out of a patterned square box, and a little button to make the tail snap back into place. This provided at least five minute's happy diversion, and we were able to focus on choosing some yarn.
The inevitable melt-down occurred, however, with hitting and yelling and yarn-throwing. We had a few moments of that sort of multi-tasking that modern mothers are so brilliant at. "So, how about these two together, just a second, sweetie, Mommy's looking at yarn, do you like the brown or the blue, okay, put that down, do you want a time-out?" Miraculously, we got five skeins chosen before total chaos set in.
And at the end of it all, the salespeople were still smiling. AND saying that they loved kids. Who knows what they said after we had left (and I certainly wouldn't blame them if they expressed other sentiments), but you gotta love that sort of patience.