Things I am trying to do

Clean my house. This is a mammoth rolling project, always several years behind where it should be. I comfort myself – everytime a visitor has to pick their way to the toilet over the abandoned baby gate, heaped sacks of dog & hen food, a straying feral hostess trolley, 3 brooms, a bucket, a ragged boilersuit, and whatever toy du jour Harry has strewn underfoot – with the knowledge that people rarely die wishing they had spent more time dusting.

Organise my annual Bliss charity coffee morning. I am thinking Sat 5th November. I need to do rather more than think, and pronto.

Practise my guitar, banjo and ukulele more. Actually, just some would be an improvement.

Bring the tortoise in for the winter. She has been in once already, and was boomeranged straight back out again to enjoy the indian summer. She is a teenage, sulky tortoise, and prefers reptile junk food from a pet shop to actual Fresh Greens, so she is probably buried half-way into the ground, unimpressed with the unfairness of life.

Sew name tags in Harry’s school uniform. Then buy more school uniform and sew some more. The washing machine and its operator cannae take n’more, Captain.

Clip my supersized spaniel, who has somehow managed to grow into a hybrid of Cardinal Richelieu and a mike wind jammer.


Squeeze the pirate treasure map, that I unearthed for the school conker fayre, back into the garage.

There is already a quart of junk in the garage’s pint pot, rendering the operation fraught with annoyance. Dad made the map, painted the ship and roughed out the island shape and a couple of features; I spent a recent long evening adding various badly-executed extras. The parrot in particular drew unconstructive criticism,

and I have to admit that its beak is really not quite the thing.

(For the same conker fair, I seemed to be responsible for introducing Maggot Racing to the roster. A fellow parent made a stupendous race track;

I named the runners. Greb Coe & Linford Chrysalis were prompted by FB and random googling, Red Rot, Fester Piggot, Usain Revolt and Crawler Radcliffe were all, alas, my own work. I am unsure quite what a loss to tabloid journalism this makes me.)

Turn the bulging bag of Bramley apples from our tree into frozen apple pies.

Doctor the hens. I am winning the Scaly Leg Mite battle, but the cockerel is looking decidedly sorry for himself in the plumage department, and I have no idea why. Also, work out why some of the hens are refusing to be shut up at night, preferring to lurk in the undergrowth instead. I have repeatedly told them that the fox has A Working Nose, to no avail. Black hen – the only one to boast an actual working personality – toppled dead from her perch last week, and was only the second hen of the ManyManyLots I have owned, to have died of seemingly natural causes. Foxes, dogs or rank bloody stupidity have polished off the rest. John thinks I am Just Not Meant to own hens. He may be right.

Decide whether to invite Harry’s arch-nemesis (‘A says he doesn’t want to play with me anymore! But B and C still like me…’) for a playdate and making-up session… or give way to the set of altogether more juvenile impulses I had when I saw him push a hail-fellow-well-met-all-past-sins-forgotten-Harry sharply away this morning. The (unspecified, but that I suspect was triggered by an over-tactile Harry) incident yesterday that led to A’s dudgeon was, I am told, absolutely six of one and half-a-dozen of the other; a fact which I cognitively fully accept – before suppressing it firmly under the visceral maternal rush of channelled Tiger. And I could weep: until yesterday, Harry’s scales of reference were completely innocent of any like/not like divisions, and he’s never held a grudge longer than an hour in his life.

Worry about Harry’s first school coach trip to a museum 25 miles away next week. Harry should have been christened Lord Lucan, and I was sufficiently worried about the possibility of him straying to speak to the school; they promptly asked if I wanted to go too, and I accepted with alacrity – but when I had heard nothing and asked again last week, they had apparently decided that I needed a CRB check, which takes weeks. I am a little put out by this uncommunicated change of mind; however, I have highlighted the fact that he is a Vanisher, and feel I can do no more, short of stalking the school party behind dark glasses and a large paper. He will most likely stick to his friends like glue, in any case. Probably. Hopefully. Perhaps… I’ll have another word.

Chase the Paediatrician’s secretary for correspondence.

Chase Warwickshire County Council for speech therapy, as Harry will doubtless fall through the widening cracks inflicted by budget slashes otherwise.

Send my father, who has just texted that they can see the WHOLE bay of Naples from their hotel room, a highly abusive reply.

Go for a wee.

I Hate Thinking Of Titles.

I have just been released from a most unpleasant Entire Hour in the dentist’s chair, and am virtually incommunicado-by-mouth as a result, sporting stroke-victim facial muscle control and a Fudd-level of lisp. Good times. The anaesthetic is wearing off rapidly, and I am feeling sufficiently sorry for myself that I have actually sat down in a comfy chair – while the sun is out, and I am surrounded by dozens upon dozens of things that I could usefully be getting on with. All of which are niggling me, damnit.

Firstly: the IUI that kind of wasn’t. Didn’t work, The End. I’ve had the period, but not the clinic invoice, just to aggravate matters. I am sinkingly despondent about failing at this new, earlier stage, feeling that the greasy pole of pregnancy (double-entendres not really intended) has now treacherously become coated with an extra, uber-slippy slathering of lard – and grown loftier into the bargain. I have fallen painfully from half-way up it 5 bone-wearying times already; this time, I couldn’t even get off the ground.

I know that, statistically, I was overdue for this. I have become pregnant from every previous cycle, even cancelled ones. I’ve even managed it on my own a couple of times – for a given value of ‘own’. A 100% assisted-conception success rate is not sustainable. Yet… at no point did I seriously expect this cycle not to work – for a given value of ‘work’, and I am experiencing difficulty talking myself out of a burning, indignant impression of having been thoroughly cheated. I also hadn’t thought it possible that my sense of reproductive failure could pervade my psyche any further, but au contraire, madame! I live and learn, evidently.

Telling myself that this is a flukish result is only useful reassurance if we extend the data to include a Next Time and try again; this is a horribly sharp pain in the wallet, and a costly way to disappoint yourself. I am, as I have previously mentioned, not currently in possession of very much of an income (although I am an expert in mighty wielding of a visa card) but until I know that a second child is irrevocably off the agenda, I feel miserably incapable of a re-focus in any direction labelled ‘career’ or ‘serious earning’. I recognise the need to work now that Harry is at school, but I want something with zero stress that I can walk away from at any time – hence the seasonal bookseller post. The only snag there is that Seasonal + Temporary ≠ living costs, let alone ongoing IUI costs. Which is a bugger. 

I also can’t rid myself of the sense of how pregnant I should be by now, which is something I managed to cognitively sidestep on miscarriages One to Four. Five is biting me hard in the bum, particularly as every drop-off and pick-up at school is essentially a running of the pushchair gauntlet – all Harry’s contemporaries have either an elder sibling or a toddling younger version of themselves. I’m not resentful, as such, merely… reminded. Every day, I am reminded of how fucking ridiculously easy it is for everyone  -for a given value of ‘everyone’ – else to have the children they want. There are no ‘should’s in this life, God knows, but I do feel most terribly robbed – and I can’t help but contrast their Haves with my Have Not. I do not forget to see the Have I managed to hang on to – who has spent a very happy weekend playing with Shannon’s kids – and if he is the only child we are going to have, then I will close the door on this, re-adjust, and be happy. But until I succeed, or fail utterly, then even this sublime Autumn weather, my favourite time of year, is a visual glory that triggers a sense of beautiful, restless poignancy, as opposed to actual contentment.

And to top it off (I’m not a barrel of laughs today, I appreciate)  my anaesthetic (all four syringefuls) has worn off, and holy-molary, I feel like I’ve been punched squarely by Tyson. My jaw is only tenuously attached to my face, according to my reviving nerve endings. *shudder* Thank God I didn’t let him take my wisdom tooth out while he was there: he wanted to. I have that to look forward to another time. And I feel, in this life, that I need all the bloody wisdom I can get.

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