I feel I should include some sort of *aROOga!* alert here at the beginning. I am keen not to inadvertently pop anyone’s festive bubbles, simply because my usual Christmas cheer seems to consist, this year, of undiluted Scrooge. I usually emanate something genuinely fairly cheerful, but the whole dark aura of despondency thing has got me by the heel, and my upbeat public persona is a thin veneer that breaks down quickly at home. It’s no one thing in particular, but among the reasons scrabbling hardest to the front to be heard are A) money – its lack, and its difficulty to earn, and B) although I do love carols, feeling, as I usually do, such (as May so beautifully put it) peace and hope in the dark places, Christmas delivers hard and bitter agony for those who have suffered a loss. It is difficult not to be constantly, painfully jolted into recollection that this year, I, too, had a boy child due Christmas Day.
And, of course, when one is already feeling a bit downtrodden, all the daily petty irritations loom far larger than they should. Your son casually breaks the old glass Christmas baubles he’s been told countless times not to go near, because they are Mummy’s special things. Buses pull off just as you scurry breathlessly level with them, every bloody time. You are late. You have been given two parking tickets by
womblecocks heavy-handed wardens that you just cannot afford. You have a cough that belongs in a badger colony. Your extended family situation in re Christmas and Boxing Day logistics, is not unproblematic. Your son brings a heavy 15ft curtain pole down on himself, breaking it in several places, despite being told countless x2 times not to tug on the blasted curtains. You think you’ve ovulated again, and spend days minutely scrutinising blank, disappointing peesticks. You’ve felt too stressed and anxious to attend some Christmas parties, and may have given offence thereby. The three nights that your period pain is bad enough to keep you awake and savage-tempered until dawn, are the three nights your son wakes for the day just as you doze off. The thing most wanted is the thing left on the supermarket shelf. Your already-on-final-warning serpent’s tooth son gets volcanically over-excited after a Christmas party and, for no reason he can proffer, bites you hard in the goddamn arm.
So, as I do whenever I am feeling bludgeoned and battered, I simply take refuge inside the covers of a trusted book, and pretend that none of it is happening. I’m in there, not out here, because out here they’re all out to sodding well get me.
My lost post from last week (main PC died, taking my emails and patience down with it. Laptop/Wordpress: mutual hatred.) was primarily a rambly one about Harry’s nativity and a good recipe for ginger cake. I will sac up and re-type the ginger cake one over Christmas (I promised the lovely Wombat!) but I suppose I had better just mention that Harry’s King portrayal was notably chiefly for its unorthodoxy. The kings were due on at the very end, and he fell asleep on the side-stage bench in both performances and had to be removed by his TA. The first afternoon, he dropped his box of myrrh (glittery, fancy… and empty; immediately upon receipt of it, he had ripped the lid off and displayed the box to the audience like a smug magician’s assistant) as he negotiated the big step up onto the stage – prompting much head-down-tail-up furraging by several horses and shepherds. He then proceeded to perch on the Very Edge of the stage, with his back to the audience – from which precarious position his long-suffering TA (this reminds me, I must deliver her Alcohol) removed him again. Despite arriving onstage a mere half-minute before the curtain, his attention span failed after some 20-odd seconds – whereupon, he proceeded to lie down on his back, at the front, legs towards the audience, pull the (itchy, ‘mittedly) tunic up above his waist, and wave his legs in the air. Well apart, and in the air. Thus exposing to oh-so-public view a pair of (dry, unusually) red dinosaur pants.
There IS a photo of this moment, but I am Not Allowed to post it. It does rather detract from the whole dignity-of-the-individual thing.
Harry is getting on fairly well at school, and, although schools are never perfect, I feel sure that we made the right choice in terms of Which One. Harry’s difficulties have led to him being quite socially immature, but as he is an extremely physically affectionate child (when not biting like a double-dip recession, the bugger.) he consequently has become the school baby. It’s a very small school, and the older children are encouraged to mentor the younger ones; hence, he has had an influx of Christmas cards from the older children, especially the girls, all of whom, apparently, adore The Cute. He certainly cannot cross the playground at hometime without cries of ‘Harry! Gimme a HUUUUUUGGG!’ coming thick and fast. The playground is beginning to take the shape of People I Know A Little as opposed to A Crowd, and the place just feels right, somehow - which is one less thing for me to worry about. It IS a very ambitious school academically, though, so there is a good deal of emphasis on early reading and writing – which, of course, Harry’s particular difficulties mean he struggles with. However, he has one-to-one individual TA support (which am I dreading him losing next academic year. He does need more monitoring than his peers) and although he still isn’t toilet trained, and we’ve had a initial hiccup or so with the school not realising that a sore-legged Harry was choosing to sit in wet pants for hours rather than change himself (and the daily grind of washing 5-10 lots of urine soaked clothes does, occasionally, get me proper down) he is happy, engaged, and taking great enjoyment in his schooling. More, currently, I do not ask.
Except the chance to do it all again with another one. I am stood on a precipice of Difficulty.
I am distraught by what has happened, upset by what has not happened, and fearful of what might happen. As I move towards and beyond the due date that is not, the thought of more pregnancies entirely suffuses me with cringing terror and dread; the thought of no more pregnancies consumes me with panic, grief and misery. There is no room left in me for laughter.
I do, however, very much wish you and yours all the festive cheer and peace that is, just now, neatly eluding me. I am a durable type, and will recover some customary bounce soon. Merry Christmas, all!