I Hate Being Late

I have about 10 hours left, give or take, until I it is officially my due date. And then another 24 hours until I am past it.

This is not a bad thing per se, since as we all know, gestation time is officially anywhere from 38-42 weeks and the 40 week mark is simply an estimated date based on….

Oh screw that.

It sucks.

Although I will say the relative suckage does not nearly compare to the suckage I experienced when Thalia was overdue a whole ten days, two years ago. This put me smack in the middle of a July heatwave, so bloated and cankled and miserable that I could hardly move my fat ass from the ugly glider chair that I enigmatically purchased a few weeks before. And so my mother graciously came over to keep me company on my due date, June 26, to help me bide my time with something more productive than logging onto pregnancy message boards and coming up with snarky responses to questions like OMG I accidentally got a drop of Ben-Gay in my mouth! Did I hurt my baby?

My mother–along with Nate–decided that what I needed was a hobby to occupy my hands and time in the coming weeks. Something simple, calming, productive.

Together they concluded I needed to learn how to knit.

(Please hold your laughter, those who know me and my astounding lack of craftiness, dearth of small motor skills, and pathetically infinitesimal attention span.)

I always envied those who could while away hours with the meditative, rhythmic click click click of the needles, who seemed to experience some sort of inner peace along on the way to a beautiful little set of handmade alpaca baby booties. My sister-in-law is awesome at it, as are my mother and my grandmother. So I figured, it’s in my genes. Why not give it a shot.

How hard can it be if it’s the preferred hobby of arthritic centigenarians worldwide?

My mother presented me with some beautiful yarn to get my imagination flowing, along with some wooden beginner needles. I started to imagine the pride with which I would tell strangers on the street where my newborn daughter got that beeeeeauuuuutiful hat or beaeeeeeuuuuutiful sweater. I would attend those hipster knitting classes in the Lower East Side! I would make new knitting friends! It was all just too perfect.

And then I tried to cast on. Which is knitting-speak for tie a freaking knot on the needle, all except you, Liz, who is not capable of such a difficult task.

90 minutes later–I do not exaggerate–I had not yet cast on.

We looked at websites, we tried animated demos, my mother attempted a dozen ways in which to communicate exactly which way to pull the yarn through the loop so that when I did, it would actually remain on the needle. None of it worked. And just when my frustration was reaching a peak, Nate, who I thought was merely watching this all quietly from the corner, holds up a pair of needles with a stretch of yarn dangling elegantly from it and says, “Look. Like this.”

If there ever would have been a time to justify stabbing someone with the pair of 4″ embroidery scissors that lay at my feet, surely that was it.

I finally threw up my hands in exasperation and allowed my mother to get the thing started for me so the day wouldn’t be a total waste.

The stitches were a bit easier. I did a row, then another. Then another. Knit one, purl one, knit one, purl one. Suddenly it seemed…can it be? Is it possible? I was knitting!


a dropped stitch.

And another.

The realization that the only remedy was to undo an hour of work and go back to the wretched bumpy bit of yarn.

Redos. Redoing the redos.

Finally, holding up my handiwork to see exactly what I had been working on for the past several hours.

With God as my witness, I will never go knitting again.


48 thoughts on “I Hate Being Late”

  1. If you’re worried about being past your due date again, try acupunture. I was over due with my daughter (and my OB did not believe in inducing) and on a Friday night I had acupunture done and Sunday I was in labor. The woman who did my acupunture said that she had only had 1 pregnant woman who needed it twice before going into labor.

  2. Thank you anon! One of my dearest friend is an acupuncturist and I wouldn’t hesitate for a moment if it came to that. I’m a big fan of the needles. Just not knitting needles.

  3. No offense, because I know how much you wanted to make those booties; knitting sucks.I say this only because I can’t do it either.I once tried to latch hook. That was as fun as poking my own eyes out with a box cutter.

  4. hey, if you find yourself desperate to get #2 out into the light of day, try moving furniture. i was three weeks late (!) and finally my mom got so fed up she started rearranging her bedroom furniture, shoving heavy dressers around until her water broke. she claims she threw her hands up and said, “finally!” before calling my dad and going to the hospital.what can i say? i don’t like to be rushed. 😛p.s. i’ve decided you should name your daughter Jorge. it has a delicate ring to it, no?

  5. I’m impressed you could purl…I’m a knitter, but only the knit part. So I only can make scarves, and they all look the same. And if hell freezes over and you once again pick up knitting needles, get the big fat, 11 cm needles to learn on-MUCH easier.

  6. If it makes you feel any better, what you knitted is the PERFECT yarn rendition of a squished spider! I’ve never seen a better one, as a matter of fact. Assuming that’s what you were going for, of course.Ahem.Snap to it, kid! Your mother is knitting, for pete’s sake!

  7. Seriously one of the reasons I am not so sad about having to have c-sections is that I have a firm date past which I know for a fact I will no long be pregnant. Hang in there!!

  8. A former friend tried to teach me to knit while I was going through my divorce. Notice I said ‘former.’ She knits sweaters for her 3 dogs every year and takes a Christmas card picture of them. For real.

  9. I was 18 days overdue, it’s a miracle my mother didn’t kill me. She did try shoveling snow, but even that didn’t stir me.But I hate cold, and it’s nice and warm this time of year, so hopefully everything will move along quickly for you!

  10. Hey, Number Two?You’d better come out into the light soon, cuz your mother’s freakin’.Just saying.Chinese food for dinner. That’s what convinced Ben to emerge, on the morning after his due date.Jack? Two weeks early. Which would have been fine, except that because of his antsiness, I very nearly spent Christmas in the hospital.But seriously? I’m thinking about you and hoping it all goes so, so smoothly.

  11. Both my kids were 5 days late. Its pure torture…I don’t know how people live until week 42.

  12. How can you do crafts at a time like this?Desperate Housewives played in my delivery room while I waited and I could barely focus on hating Terri Hatcher.

  13. I, too, was ten days overdue in July of 2005. My nana tried to teach me to knit when I was five. Don’t worry, I’m not going to tell you that even a five year old can knit. I wouldn’t do that to you. And it wasn’t true in my case, anyway.

  14. That will make a lovely blanket for the Polly Pockets your daughters may some day acquire (and if you poo-poo them, I will be the one to sneak them into your home to drive you crazy). I went to a ‘gathering’ at some woman’s house where they tried to teach us how to knit. I couldn’t do a friggin’ thing either, so I just drank lots of wine. You know, for every gorgeous hand-knit baby hat, there are many, many fugly sweaters and potholders too.

  15. Knitting is so not my thing either – but look! You knit a little navy blue beetle…or something!Liz…walk, walk, walk, walk. I’d walk with you but I’m like 10 hours away.

  16. Semen. You don’t actually have to have sex, because…we all know how appealing THAT idea is when we are harboring a fully formed human being in our guts. But, if you can somehow contrive to get the semen into contact with your cervix…well, it helps. The prostaglandins in the semen are what do that trick.Erm…ingestion works too. I’m just sayin. Orgasms are good too. They stimulate contractions. Sometimes they are strong enough to kick things into gear. GL. Mine weren’t late, but my youngest was born in July too. It SUCKED.

  17. I apologise for laughing out loud at your knitting.I do love the disdain with which you seem to be holding it though.

  18. My girlfriend’s due date is also today. Spoke to her about 4 hours ago and nothing brewing. Good luck to you!

  19. I was in the same boat. LA Toddler was late so I had to find something to do. I’d already painted the nursery and then went on to repair everything in the house. So, I decided to create a miniature meth lab in the garage… just to see if I could do it. The recipe is on the Internet, ya know. They look at you funny when you buy a lot of Sudafed at the pharmacy.

  20. I was two weeks late, but it was January/February, so no heat. Although you ladies are making me nervous with the heat talk since I’m due August 21st, in Atlanta. Ick.

  21. I was 10 days late with Emily (#1) but only 3 days late with Thomas (#2). I wish similar math for you, too. Or better really.

  22. What is it with motherhood and wanting to knit? My mother knits beautifully, so I decided to have her teach me. After a few hours of having her yell at me coldly in German, I gave up. “Jhou have do relax jhour fingerz. Relax zem. RELAX! Jhour not relaxing!!!” Jeezch. Why not? Sending labor waves your way. I’m actually hoping to stall because the little bugger moved sideways again, so if he doesn’t get head down soon, they are talking “C”. A friend actually told me to shine a flashlight up my butt. Um…

  23. Thank you, for showing a tiny chink in your armor 🙂 I just recently found your blog (and even read alllll the way back, like a nerd). I have also just recently had my first child (yay!) and was wondering “sheesh, what *can’t* this super-lady do?”. I don’t have a fraction of your awesomeness, but I have never been so happy to be able to knit as I do today. So thank you!

  24. Well, Cordy was a scheduled c-section, so I have no idea how late I would have gone with her. This one I’m not so sure about – I’ve started having the random bouts of contractions here and there, but nothing painful and nothing regular or consistent. If you’re tired of waiting, go for the acupuncture. I can knit, but only basic items. And hey, if Nate can cast on, then hand the knitting needles over to him. Then you can still brag when someone asks where you got that adorable knit hat.

  25. I am a knitter, and my first time was a lot like yours (and that was without the purls)! You should NOT be attempting to learn to knit at this time. I am due in 9 weeks, and I can’t finish knitting a blanket I started before getting pregnant. Yes, knitting is calming. But, damn, it doesn’t have xanax in it, nor is it calming to learn!! Don’t be so hard on yourself. And your Nate and my husband are cut from the same cloth. My hubs all but taught himself to knit when he found out we were expecting a baby. Bastard knit a perfect baby blanket in about a week. I agree with the other commenters–go move furniture or get acupuncture and get that baby moving. Because the last thing I need to read and worry about are babies being late!!Best of luck!

  26. Knitting can be a relaxing and rewarding hobby — but it certainly isn’t when you’re learning. It takes a while to learn, and a lot of patience/curse words – and it looks as if your patience is already being tested now as it is!!! I am similarly past my due date, and, although knitting is a lifesaver for me, I agree with a previous knitter/poster: Advanced pregnancy is not the best time to try to learn anything new; especially a hobby that, say, involves pointy sticks. Could be dangerous. It can be great though, or, at least it has been for me – so I’d encourage you to try it again some other time. Here’s wishing you a safe, efficient, and expedient labor.

  27. Aw, honey– learning to knit is hard! I learned for a school play in 10th grade. I got to be this bitchy old lady who rocked and knitted and bitched at people, and for authenticity’s sake, I wanted to really knit and not just clack the needles together.And for serious, I got so frustrated I cried. A lot. And tried to break the stupid needles over my knee, but silly me, they were plastic.But I got it eventually. You will too! Just practice lots and lots on little “doll” scarves. And you’ll get better. Don’t try hats and booties just yet– you’ll poke your eye out. Stick with the basics like scarves and itty baby blankets. A side note– My word verification is “Uzluwnx”. Anyone else think that should be made into a real word?

  28. De-lurking to tell you of a name of a 2 year old girl i met the other day whilst at tennis training. Her name is Taniesha pronounced (Tan-eesha). Didn’t know if you would like it or if you have already chosen one for your new daughter. Kaz, Australia

  29. I had a similar knitting experience when I was about eight. My crowning masterpiece was this messy tube looking thing that, in retrospect, resembled a pink and maroon penis sweater.

  30. Pretty much my experience, too, which is why my 40 things before 40 list includes <>trying<> to knit again…

  31. Seriously, what is it about pregnant women that make people want to teach them to knit? When I was pregnant with Ubergoober, my mom was determined to teach me. I was far worse than you. Really bad. Hope you go into labor soon! I wish I had some words of wisdom, but I went early. Way early. Ugh.

  32. Logged on here Berlin to find out if there was another member of the family — only to find that creating a career, a job, a family, a daughter and a soon-to-be second offspring wasn’t enough – you had to create knititude at the same time! My girl – please. Unless you are at this very minute in labor, put those feet up on the couch and watch some TV. That’s an order,’Love from very exciting Prenzlauer Berg in Berlin. This Berlin neighborhood is, by the way, the highest child/baby birth rate in all of Europe. Like SoHo with 8 million strollers and bikes w/kid thingys attqached behind them and playgrounds all ove the place., It’s so nice to be here in May. You’d love it.

  33. I have finished only one knitting project and I keep putting of the hats my sons want me to make because I’m dreafully afraid of how they’ll look. Knitting is too frustrating a task for you to take up as you attempt NOT to think about being overdue. If only drinking were advisable.

  34. Solitaire. Endless rounds of solitaire.And walking from our apartment across the Brooklyn Bridge and back. With a stop for cannoli on the way. (Just bypass the cannoli.)

  35. I really feel for you on the knitting, I tried knitting a sweater once and just about stabbed myself in the eye to end the frustration. As for getting things going I’d go for the acupuncture – it’s worked for other things that I’ve used it for. I’m sending you vibes of comfort.

  36. Being ‘late’ and learning to knit does not a good match make!By the by, an OBGYN told me that if your first was late/early, then you would follow that pattern. Actually I don’t know why I even mention that because it certainly didn’t apply to my four.Cheers

  37. as God is MY witness, at Blogher I will SO get you cast on and knitting a baby something something. Also. give me your mother. I miss my mummy and I want yours. (actually, mine’s a mean knitter too)and you know this means I MUST knit something for this newbie for the fall. Will buy yarn tomorrow.

  38. That black lump looks familiar, because I made an identical purple one when Chris’ Grandmother tried to teach me to crochet!

  39. i went straight to a knifty knitter loom. you use your fingers to loop the yarn around golf tee looking things stuck on a circle + after the 2nd row you use a hook to pull the 1st row over the 2nd row + you repeat it for about 2 hours + you have an adorable hat (i did it while watching tv, so i felt like i accomplished something).ooooooh i’m so excited for you + your baby!

  40. everyone’s first knitting attempts are exactly like yours! and if they say otherwise, they’re lying. my best friend tried to take up knitting during pregnancy…now each family has a wonderful, handknit xmas stocking—knit by her husband. seriously, men are awesome at knitting! they grasp the spatial aspects of it much faster. my hubby doesn’t even knit, but when i mess up my knitting projects, i hand them over to him to sort out. seriously.

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