Monday, 26 September 2011

How to sew when you are home with a sick toddler:

Advisory:  Graphic depiction of parenting.  Reader discretion is advised.  

Call daycare and confirm that you'll be keeping the toddler home today because she had fever less than 24 hours ago.  Get toddler settled on sofa with Toupie et Binoo, sippy cup of watered-down apple juice and an oatmeal cookie.
Pull out previously cut muslin for Pendrell blouse.  Start to read directions.
"I need a douxdoux (blanket)"
Go upstairs and get douxdoux.
Go back upstairs and get green douxdoux.  Start to read instructions again.  Realize how straightforward this blouse is and predict about 2 hours, start to finish.
"I needa go toilet."
Take toddler to toilet.  Read the scintillating Les petits cochons, vont-ils aux toilets? 2X.  Give up and put toddler back in diaper.  Replace on sofa.  Pin muslin pieces together; find matching thread from great estate sale score on the weekend; thread machine and bobbin; start first seam.  Smell something bad.
"Mama.  I went caca.  Too late."
Change toddler.  Remind her that she only gets chocolate chips if toilet trip is successful (yes, I've resorted to chocolate bribery.  For the love of monkeys, she's almost 2 1/2.  I'm sick of diapers.)  Replace on sofa.  Restart Toupie et Binoo.  Finish first seam.
"I help you.  I do this too."  
Make room for toddler next to sewing machine.  Quickly unplug serger as she steps on pedal.  Open button tin as a distraction maneuver.  Toddler finds all the ladybug buttons and spends 5 happy minutes "put them for dodo (sleep)".  Finish sewing fronts to back.  Plug in iron; prepare bias binding; start to pin.  
"Mama, I need snack."
Go to kitchen and find applesauce.  Figure that should be easy on the stomach and the sofa.  

Notice that it's too quiet in the sewing room / TV room / play room / disaster area.  Rush back in to find toddler with glass headed pin in mouth.
"Mama, I find lollypop!"
Install toddler on sofa with bib, dishtowel on lap, and Mighty Machines.  Finish sewing neck binding; decide to add sleeves; gather and set.
Pick up toddler.  Feel burning fever has returned.  Get kids' Advil.  Cuddle toddler on sofa through 30 minutes of Mighty Machines ("YELLOW ONE MIGHTY MACHINES!") before you can convince her to take medicine.  Start to fall asleep with toddler in arms.  Wake up when vomit starts.  Clean up toddler.  Clean up sofa.  Clean self.  


(ps. I did manage to finish the Pendrell blouse after 8 hours.  All in all, not a bad time estimate.)


  1. Oh, ouch! I did very little sewing when my kids were in that age range, now I remember why (I also remember finding a lot of sequins in diapers during one of the few projects I did attempt...)

    Good luck with the toilet-training! 2 1/2 is really not that old, although I know it probably doesn't feel like it...

  2. Yeah, I know 2 1/2 isn't late, but she started well and then backtracked! My son had started training at this age and everyone told me, "Oh, girls are soooo much easier and faster." ;)

  3. Haha! Love your advisory!!
    Oh I remember those days! I think I ended up doing most of my sewing after they'd gone to bed. That's when I realized that sewing when you're dog-tired is not a great idea!
    When my 2nd boy turned 3 yrs old, I found a fantastic book, "Potty Train in 3 days", and much to my amazement it worked! (I think he was ready earlier, but I left it until my older boy started the summer holidays.) PT-ing my 1st boy was, well, an experience I didn't wish to repeat.
    Good luck!

  4. This sounds about like every attempt I make to sew. I have a nook in the living room so that I can sew while baby plays, but usually she just passes me things constantly and pulls things off of the table :) That's okay; slow and steady is still progress!

  5. Oh dear... :(
    It is pretty difficult to get much sewing done when a sick toddler is around. I recall doing most of my sewing during sleep-time. Hope he/she gets better soon.
    I think the fact that you got your blouse done at all is Fantastic!! (I would have shoved it away somewhere, and rediscovered it 6 months later... ) Bravo!

  6. I had to finish it, because I was heading to NYC for the Sew Weekly meetup, and we had a pink/floral theme going on! I usually sew after 8pm too, when all are asleep, but I didn't have a choice this time. BTW, the meetup was SO MUCH FUN. I'll post some

  7. Sound familiar ;-)
    8 hours for the blouse, that's really good with a sick toDdler at home: "bravo"!


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