Parity

It’s a double-edged sword, this blogging business. Truly.

Despite being a long-time reader of Julie’s wonderful site, it never actually dawned in the dessicated pellet I term my brain that there might be… others. How I managed to miss checking out her sidebar for all that time, I really dunno, but there you go. I only properly discovered the big old blogosphere pond earlier this year – and promptly jumped in with both feet, wittering happily away as if I’d lived here years.

Had this monumentally pleasing discovery been at an earlier time in my life, my blogging material could have been rather wider in scope. Two uteri. IUI. IVF. Miscarriages a plenty. Pregnancy teetering on edge of disaster. NICU. SCBU. I was infertility content-rich! My misery was simply jumping up and down to be spread around a little.

My timing has been inauspicious – I formally joined you all in April this year, replete with baby. Still traumatised as buggery-fuck by it all, mind you, but nevertheless, I was indisputably a little way past the nail-biting stuff. I was sufficiently conscious of this potential paucity of my personal contribution, to title my blog The Hairy Farmer Family, thus widening my legitimate subject-target to all three of us.

Now: at 16 months old today, Harry is not yet in a position to lambast me for putting photos of his runaway dumps on the internet. He will no doubt hold me accountable for these numerous breaches of his privacy before he reaches his majority, but for the present, my maternal bloggy treachery is blissfully unknown to him.

illiteracy-rocks1

On the other hand, the Hubby can read just fine.

He can’t write frightfully well. During the mid 1970s, his primary school considered teaching children to form their letters properly and consistently to be over-conformist for the little darlings. His handwriting, put bluntly, is shocking.

And that’s just the kind of statement that winds him up when he sees it in print. You see, Hubby doesn’t appear here in a rounded dimensional format. I recount snippets here and there as and when they please – or amuse – me. I’m not the bloody BBC. I do not have a constitutional obligation to appear impartial and emotionally unattached to either side of the argument. When I tell you that Hubby has useless handwriting, I do not feel a moral urge to insert a disclaimer telling you that, whilst his numbers aren’t always legible – even to himself –  they are always sodding right, because the man is a mathematical natural. But it would probably seem to Hubby  – and doubtless will when he logs on tomorrow morning, despite my caveats – that I have simply dissed his handwriting  – and consequently, of course, his intellect – to the entire internet, albeit my small and extremely select (hello!) corner of it.

In short, he feels he often comes off badly on here, as I naturally tend to cherry-pick the juiciest episodes in our lives to blog about. You will be aware, of course, as you are presumably a regularish reader (hello!) that, in this corner of rural Warwickshire, a juicy topic has to be defined pretty loosely. An interestingly musical fart could easily make the cut, some days. There’s not a whole lot happens to me. I don’t have a paying job. I don’t actually see all that many people who aren’t family or other mothers. So, when your Hubby, who began driving farm vehicles so young that his short little legs (NICE legs, ok? Grew up to be sexy legs!) couldn’t actually reach the pedals, drives smack into a bloody ditch one morning, and has to ring the wife in order to be towed out… well, you can’t really blame the wife for thinking she has struck bloggy gold for that week. I have, like Lady Bertram, formed for myself a very common-place, amplifying style. I am fully aware that this blog will not win me the Journalistic Golden Pen Award – because any clever joined-up thinking I might once have possessed departed along with my placenta – but it’s mine and I love it. I love the friends it has made me. I’m excited by the friends it will make me in the future. I value the words I read in return.

However. I appear to keep getting into deep domestic wifey shit about what appears here. Offence has been, occasionally, taken. I read my good friend May’s recent posts with awe. Not, on this occasion, purely at her erudition – although she is, as ever, a profoundly talented writer – but at her subject matter also. I could not get away with writing thus, I feel. I do not even dare to comment, in fact, just in case I transgress badly.

Now, before I stir the situation up even further, let me assure you that Hubby is far from a Controller. Although vaguely irritated by the hours I spend blogging and blog-reading (hours that could more profitably, he thinks, be spent having wild monkey sex with him) he is generally a genial, extremely laid-back chap – who, moreover, laughs at my jokes, rips the absolute piss out of my mistakes, and pays my unforgivably high credit card bills with quiet resignation. Our marriage has admittedly taken some telling hits since the birth of our child – and that’s a whole other post I’m not sure will make it to Publish – but in essence, when not savagely hissing parenting or abrupt departing reproductive advice at one another, we potter along together beautifully. But blogging niggles him.

In the past, I have suggested unto him that he is far too damn touchy, and to start his own sodding blog if he wants to control his public image, and how he is perceived by my tiny band (hello!) of readers. I’m not going to put an update on the bottom of every post, detailing the specific items (Harry’s actual height in relation to growth centile charts was a good recent example) that I have apparently got completely and unforgivably wrong. This is my patch of internet, where I blather talk. I will not self-censor. Bugger orrff!

Except… it isn’t that easy, is it? No-one likes being made to appear at somewhat less than their best, particularly by someone you love. If Hubby wrote or uttered something that put me in a bad light, offended me, or did not do proper justice to my wifely talents and abilities, I would most likely have a spectacular attack of the sullens. I’m vain enough to like hearing myself talked up – although untalented enough to ensure it hardly ever happens.

I have to admit, after some mulling, that he does have a fair point. The poor chap isn’t able make a single minor gaffe around here without me making maximum internet capital out of it, and, short of hijacking my comments column, he has no right of reply. In short… it’s not particularly polite of me. 

So, whilst I am in the mood to take notice of spousal angst and print retractions, let me say that John gets particularly gets hot under the collar when I suggest, through comic implication, that he is a hapless or unconnected father to our son. Neither could be further from the truth. There is an enormous amount of mutual adoration and Hubby makes significant sacrifices – my credit card bill and his own business profit margins are good examples – to ensure that Harry has the best quality time possible with both his parents.

Hubby is, in short, a fabulous individual who has had the questionable luck to have married a girl (yep, 34 next birthday, just go with it, yes?) who likes to write – but lack of material has rendered everything fair game.

Now, I’m not quite certain where all this is taking us. I would happily offer the Hairy one an occasional guest spot in order to write about our lives from his perspective – and he would doubtless decline. Authorship is not his metier at all, although he has become a reasonably faithful reader of much of my blogroll. So I expect I shall continue to wind him up in passing now and again – although my sense of justice tells me that I probably need to round his character out more on here. It’s not fair of me to let you keep on thinking that I’m the funny, talented, clever one. Cough. 

But I’m very curious, so I’m asking you… how do your partners view your blog? How do they feel about having their quirks and foibles revealed? Do they mind? Do you hide your virtual tracks? Or edit your words before hitting Publish?

Tell me all.

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