I'm on a mission. Curly has an Irish dancing school jacket with the school's name across the back. Every time she goes to a big competition she gets a patch. Organized dance moms promptly sew these patches (or hire someone to attach them) on the back of their kid's jacket.
Me: (stands to the side, hands behind back, whistling, looking towards the sky, tracing an arc with her toe . . . finally faces my readers who are glancing at me with a look of disbelief . . .) 'I was busy, damn it'.
The older kids didn't dance in as many 'big' competitions - typically one a year versus Curly's three a year. We have some patches from the older guys' dancing days. We often have 3 or more copies of the early-day patches, because I had several dancers at once.
If you ever want to see a frazzled woman: follow a dance mom of 5 dancers around a HUGE venue trying to get each kid to the appropriate stage by herself. Nightmare. I once put Curly's number on Reg. Oops. I could go on and on with my stage-side mishaps.
Anyway, I have a drawer in my laundry room that held the patches. I never sewed patches on a jacket . . . Ed started dancing in 2008. Maybe I was waiting for the kids to grow so I didn't have to move all of the patches from a small jacket to a big jacket following a growth spurt. Maybe I was waiting because I thought we might change schools (we are on our 3rd and final school). Maybe I just didn't bother.
Translation: I wasn't the crazy dance mom that I am now. There, I said it. Happy?
So, I have a ton of patches from the early years. Curly was still in diapers. I asked her if she wanted me to sew the unused sibling patches on her jacket too.
"It'd look as if you started competing as a prodigy at the age of 2 or 3."
I may or may not be considering sewing the extra patches, even those in triplicate, on a jacket for myself just to show off my 'been-doing-this-longer-than-most-of-you' status. Please feel free to weigh in on how ultra-cool you think that might be. And if we're going there, we may as well envision me cutting up the dancing dresses that hang in my closet. They cost a small fortune but I haven't been able to resell because of constant changing fads (blood pressure rising rapidly). What'd ya say I use the cut up pieces of now-outta-date-dresses to fashion a fancy long trench coat for myself. Can you see it "Ernie and her amazing Celtic technicolor coat"?
Anyway, I lined up Curly's patches. Pinned them in place. Re-pinned them if I didn't like the spacing. Allowed room for other patches from upcoming competitions that we aren't sure are going to happen - even though I hope that she retires soon, early retirement will now leave the patches all lopsided. Trying not to get obsessive, but this is a work of art. It's tough to plan for other patches when we just don't know how many patches she'll end up with due to pandemic AND as-of- yet unspecified retirement.
Then I gave my brain a break and started sewing.
You know what's fun? Trying to jam a needle through an embroidered patch. Yes, I'm using a thimble to complete the grandma persona I've previously painted for all of you. Still, not an easy thing. Then I try to reach under the jacket to
find the needle stab myself with the needle as it comes back through. In this 'feeling-for-the-needle' mode, I inadvertently run my hand across the protruding pins from the other positioned patches.
Have I told you about my incredibly low threshold for pain? It's a thing. Not sure if there is a label for my 'condition' other than wussy.
If anyone needs to test that I am indeed O negative, come over. I'm leaking bloody droplets all over the place.
But damn, isn't her jacket fabulous?
I think Mini still has girl scout patches that I never sewed floating around her mudroom locker. Weird because I know how to sew. Yes, I suck.