Item: We UK infertility bloggers, small Southern sub-section thereof, had a little meet-up.
Item: Thalia is generosity and hospitality personified, her husband is a very nice man indeed, and her darling little Pob has the most beautiful eyes. And says ‘hello’ and waves. Combined with the eyelashes, you can’t help but be smitten. Also, Thalia can COOK. Mmmm. Nummy.
Item: Helen can cook too, and did something most excellent to a chickpea. And Helen’s twins are so perfectly rosy and cuddlesome I was expecting a camera crew and a man on his hands and knees surreptitiously product-placing nappies to follow them about. Helen herself is much as she seems on her blog, wise, witty, slightly warped… which I pinky-swear is a good thing…
Item: I knew Hairy Farmer Wifey could cook. She did not fail us. I took some cake home to H and H fell on it like a half-starved wolverine. I am worried that H will develop a little crush on Hairy Farmer Wifey and go and camp out in her barn, waiting for cake. He had better stay in the barn, because I bagsie the spare room. Harry was beauteous as ever, and let me man-handle him away from his Everest of Choice (the stairs) with no more than a long-suffering look, rather than the out-raged wail I deserved, bless him.
Item: MsPrufrock has lovely, lovely hair. She also brought candy. Good candy. The more-ish sort you end up contemplating divorce over when you realise your husband has been eating them too. When I get to go to a desert island, my luxury will be these ladies and their goody-supplies. And MsPru’s little P has the most enormous blue eyes. You’d have to have the heart of a peculiarly shrivelled demon-weasel to deny anyone who says ‘please?’ at your cake with eyes like that.
Item: Do you have any idea how nice it is to sit in the middle of a mothers-and-toddlers play-date and not feel excluded? I’m serious now. I, personally, rather like small children. I like watching them. I have been known to play and do piggy-backs and let my ringlets be ‘boinged’ (on the days when hair is feeling cooperative and is doing ringlets instead of Longwool Sheep). But, as any infertile woman can tell you, the presence of small children can sometimes be a rather heart-burning trial. I have worked out why, I think, this can be so, at least in my case. It’s down to the parents. The sort of parents who assume you can’t join in their kinder-chatter because you have none of your own. The sort who assume you haven’t had any yet because you’re ‘selfish’ or ‘a career girl’ (I’m a library cataloguer, fer Chrissakes. Career? Ah hah hah hah hah). The parents who, on finding out you do want kids but can’t, err, well, they treat you as infectious. Or somehow morally responsible for your anatomical shortcomings. Or who think you’ll steal their spoilt, pouty-faced maggot-spawn (as if I’d want theirs. I want mine, who will be infinitely superior). Or who try to be nice but have an utter failure of empathy and decide telling you ‘maybe it’s not meant to be’ or ‘it’ll happen eventually, just you relax’ are just the sort of things that will cheer you up because, God, you’re starting to look mopey and pissed off now, and really, I was relaxed when I conceived my third, ha ha, four vodka-tonics relaxed and whoops, forgot my diaphragm, so see?
Item: So getting to admire the babies of four women who get it, and who were happy to have me there, was bliss.
Item: I had been getting into a sort of ‘sour grapes‘ phase, in which I was telling myself I didn’t want children that badly did I, screamy poopy little nuisances that they were – especially the ones at the local supermarket whose parents feed them chips and mars bars – and why the hell was I putting myself through all this idiocy in the first place? And then I watched Helen blow raspberries into her son’s soft neck as he shrieked with giggles, and I watched Pob run to her daddy when he came back, and I watched Harry earnestly clambering all over everything with such an air of concentration, and I played chuck-the-napkins-about with Nora, who gave me a delighted conspiratorial grin, and I watched P do her enormous eyes thing and said ‘thank you’ very politely when people laughed and gave her a bit of cake or banana. And I thought, well, the grapes of this vintage are actually very sweet indeed.