Sunday, February 08, 2009

39. The Escape Artist

My Ravelry knitting group is meeting at the Ike Box a lot these days. It's a coffee shop downtown that's attached to our local YMCA. It's a generously-sized space, friendly to boisterous groups; it has tables and chairs, as well as conversation groups of shabby, comfy furniture. I gather that the place often hosts bands (there's a decent-sized stage dominating the largest room), and serves as a gathering place for many local teens. I can see why, and would have no problem with my own child hanging out there (well, if she were a teenager - spending time there while Mama's knitting is different!). The place is well-enough maintained that I have no issues with my crawler doing her thing on the floors, even in the evening or on a Saturday afternoon (after presumable lots of people and a show the night before). Oh, yes, it's baby- and child-friendly - actually, it tries to be friendly to all ages, and means that literally.

We had been meeting in a side room on Wednesday evenings; large enough for our somewhat rowdy knitters, and with doors that can be closed to contain the various babies (in addition to the Infanta, there's a three-month-old and two eleven-month-olds that make regular appearances). However, yesterday afternoon that room was closed off for some reason, and our group was gathered at a group of comfy furniture to one side of the main room, next to the stage. You experienced parents will see this coming when I point out the combination of a semicircular arrangement of furniture and a determinedly exploring crawler. I saw it, too, and tried to take steps to contain her explorations, but the Infanta foiled those easily, even contemptuously. She was deterred for a time by the combined blockades of a large basket of yarn and a friend's shoes with pink hippos on them (which were apparently fascinating conversational partners). But when the lady working with the yarn moved the basket off the floor, the Infanta suddenly became aware of the vast unexplored wilderness, and set out to conquer. She'd made it almost to the foyer by the time she was corralled the first time; we pulled a couple of chairs from a nearby table in hopes that they would be enough of a blockade. Herself laughed at our pitiful attempts as she raced straight through the gap between the chairs, which happened to be exactly wide enough to admit her. As I pulled her back this time, I brought a third chair over, to solidify the forest of chair legs crossing the gap. Alas, the chairs alone turned out to be inadequate, as the Infanta quickly found that even her slight mass was more than enough to move a chair aside enough to crawl through. As one of the other knitters remarked, she was acting like a cat - if her head could go through, so too could the rest of her. By this time, it was going on 5:30, and time to head home, so I called Josh for our ride and put our things away in preparation to leave. I had learned my lesson, though, and did not let the Infanta crawl free again until we got home.

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