But, On The Bright Side, There Is Always Sherry

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!


16 Responses

  1. Christmas-after-loss is FUCKING HORRIBLE. No matter how you slice it. Christmas Massive-Celebration-Of-Birth when you should, oh you SHOULD, have been giving birth yourself? You may was well roll in vinegar-soused razor-blades all day every day until New Year. My dear girl, I am having a weep for you. I am SO angry and sad on your behalf.

    Harry, bless the little rat-bag, like all over-excited four-year-olds is clearly all about The Limits, I Shall Test Them. But it delights me no end he likes his school and very importantly his school likes him. And that is an impressive bite. Nothing wrong with his dentition, hurrah and alas, ow, bugger.

    Waiting for my period is like waiting for a brick in the side of the head. I just don’t know if it’ll come sooner, uncomplicatedly, and plunge me into fuck-and-alas-why-can’t-I-get-pregnant, or later, complicatedly, and add to the ‘scarred for life’ Album of Doom. I shall hold your hand. There will be other years to do Festive in. This year, you need all the hugs and kindness you can get, and the first person to tell you to cheer up, it’s Christmas! I will personally disembowel on your patio.

  2. Was Turbo due Christmas Day? Oh sweetie, I didn’t know his due date was coming up at this time of year. What a craptastic time. As May says, Christmas after loss is fucking horrible. I wish so much that your Christmas is as good as it can possibly be, with peace and love to you and your family. And I would gladly invite you to come and sit on my sofa under a blanket and be fed coffee and cake and large quantities of gin until it’s all over. The hound might even lie on you if you’re lucky…
    Christmas spirit is overrated in my opinion, anyway. Unless it’s the alcoholic kind.

  3. Eloquent words. I have none.

    Firstly do glad Harry’s school is working out

    But so so sorry that turbos due date approaches. It’s Shit bum bugger wank – my swear words of choice.

    Thinking of you and yours a d wishing you some peace at Christmas and all you wish for yourself in 2012 x

  4. Been there and it was like running a marathon (I imagine), grit teeth, head down and get through, no more……… It was horrible though and the festive photos tell no lies…….
    Hard to believe, but there will be happier, richer Christmases, this I do promise. In the meantime, my heart goes out to you. xx

  5. Forgot to say: absolutely love the word “womblecocks” and shall be using it every day from now on.

  6. I heartily agree with losing yourself in a book…or 10,000. It’s my favorite solution to problems. I prefer the lightest of materials to read right now – I don’t know if I’ll ever go back to the heavy stuff. But, in case you feel the need for a little appropriate Christmas spirit, read The Stupidest Angel by Christopher Moore.


    I know this feeling of fear, hopelessness, general irritability, etc. and I know we never get over it, we just get used to it. Hope you come to that point quickly.

    Harry’s school sounds wonderful, the TA definitely has earned some alcohol. I would bet that they will continue to give him as much help as he needs. Because he’s adorable.

  7. Sorry that it has all gone to shit of late.

    Sounds like Harry’s school is perfect for him. And I want dino pants.


  8. So glad that the choice of school is eorking out for both Harry and you. And would have been worth the grossly excessive airfare to attend the concert and watch the Kingly Roll of Undies Exposure. Sounds like the perfect 21st birthday photo to me.

    So, so sorry for the misery. And the loss of Turbo. And the unremitting darkness that’s dragging you into its maw. And as for the parking womblecocks…well, words fail me. And that’s not something you’ll see often. Take care dear girl, you’re in my thoughts.

  9. I am so sorry that this time of year is a painful reminder of your loss. I do appreciate your being willing to share your intimate thoughts with us, however, and I feel your reflections can bring some good to the world and help those who’ve experienced similar losses to feel less alone (and for those of us who haven’t, to understand this experience better on a more visceral level). How I do wish you had a bouncing babe to share with us instead! I’m also sorry that I wasn’t able to contribute to your Bliss charity — we are simply too broke right now, but hopefully the new year will be better.

    I AM happily cheering on Harry’s thespian accomplishments — sounds like he stole the show!

  10. Lovely to hear from you, and so very sorry that this time of year is Not A Good Time. May I recommend some Terry Pratchett for distraction?

  11. You poor girl. I know you are durable, redoubtable and mighty, I just wish we didn’t have reason to admire these qualities in you so often. It’s so unfair, these realities are so harsh, and I am so so sad for you.

    I wish you much peaceful reading time, while your bounce is regained, as it will be.

    Many hugs.

  12. urgh urgh urgh. I have felt a fraction of this and it was enough to send me sobbing into the gin bottle. I do not know how you manage to keep plodding on with such bravery. Truly, it is bravery.

    I utterly sympathise. No due date on Christmas for me but one very messy and horrific miscarriage which ruined everyone’s christmas as well as my own one year, and that was bad enough.

    I wish you better. I wish you peace in your head. I wish you everything you want in the year to come. I send you love and solace. xxx

  13. I really wish I lived down the road from you. I could at least indulge you with mulled wine and mince pies (neither of which the blasted Americans have discovered yet – waaah). On the other hand, if I did live down the road from you, you probably wouldn’t tell me all this kind of stuff.

    This helps me. I offer it to you for what it’s worth. Take 15 minutes a day. Sit in solitude and quiet. Breathe deeply and rhythmically. Don’t try and meditate, or be mindful, or anything. Just breathe, and picture your breath going down through your lungs into every small cell of your body. If you can’t do 15 minutes, do 5. For me, there’s something about saying “this is MY 5 minutes, and I’m going to do NOTHING” that spills over strength into the rest of the day.

    Virtual hugs, mince pies and mulled wine.

  14. Oh honey, I’m sorry. About Turbo and the rest…you deserved better, and dare I say, deserved it way more than the likes of moaning minnie me.

  15. My dear Hairy Farmer, I was so sorry to read most of this post. Truly the holidays have a knack of kicking one in the gut, even if one didn’t have a painful due date coinciding. Wish very much I could make it better, know I can’t, except perhaps to say that as always I am here listening. And, as always, I hope very much that your near future will contain much more joy than sorrow, grief, fear, dread, et al. However that joy comes, in the end.

    On that note I am so glad that Harry is doing well and is at home at school. His pageant antics sound the sort of thing that subject the child’s parents to a two-thirds portion of burying one’s head in one’s hands, one-third hysterical giggling; while the other parents and onlookers get a full share of the latter. (Having been in many a similar situation myself…)

    Wishing you an enormous turnaround of spirit in 2012, sending you love from an internets commenter across the ocean.

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