The muse has descended, and her name is Little Miss Pissypants.

Despite being in a good mood lately, with the kid stuff going well and Law & Order/Cold Case/ER re-runs firmly established on UK daytime television, I've found myself stopping to think of all the things that annoy me. First of all, yes, I am that cynical and negative. Second, I am so self-absorbed as to think you care enough to read about them.

1) Disease. The past few weeks have been full of holiday cheer - The Dude's grandfather's rapid decline as a result of aggressive lung cancer despite never having picked up a cigarette, and my uncle's recent diagnosis of ALS, a disease so horrible I can barely fathom its equal.

2) Christmas cards. Other than my own blogging Christmas card exchange (naturally), I hate them. By the by, folks getting the cards with the mini photo album- my ass looks great in the hot pants. Anyway, what is the point to giving Christmas cards to people you see all the time? Can't I just wish them a Merry Christmas in person? This Christmas card bullshit was emphasised to me last week when I wrote out the cards for The Dude's family. I worried that a couple of them were left over cards from last year, and I was assured that no one would possibly remember what Christmas card was given a full year ago. Everyone except The Dude's Aunt Rudetta McRude of course. She was very quick to point out that we had in fact given her this very same card last year, and gee...wouldn't we like to invest in new Christmas cards so she doesn't have to suffer the indignity of getting the same card yet again?

3a) Peoples' perception of IVF, specifically, my IVF. As I mentioned awhile ago, I have gradually been edging out of the closet regarding my illustrious reproductive history. Three times now I have been smacked in the face with, "Wow, it worked the first time? Lucky you!" from women far more fertile than myself. Yeah, lucky me. IVF #1 did in fact work, but unfortunately 1 year of trying sans medication, 6 months of Clomid, and 4 cycles of IUI did not. But yes, lucky me indeed. You are qualified to say this to me if you have also been through this shit, but if you got knocked up thanks to a quick fumble after a bit too much wine at the Olive Garden, shut the fuck up. That's all I'm sayin...

b) When I tell you about my IVF, do not express regret at my troubles and then say, "I had a friend who did a couple of cycles of IVF. When I got pregnant the first time we tried (editor's note: this is a completely true account), I felt so bad because I don't have any trouble and it's so easy for me!" Ha! Thank you for telling me this! When someone tells you about something so personal and painful for them, please, tell them how you have had a completely opposite and positive experience. They love that.

4) Clueless men. I was watching a birth show today and a woman in labour asked for an epidural after her contractions became too painful. This woman's husband, clearly an asshole, said to the camera, "I don't want her to have an epidural. I'm disappointed in her. I wish she could just work through the pain." Oh no he didn't. I didn't have any drugs during my labour and delivery, but that was mainly because I didn't think I was going to have a baby anytime soon. By the time my contractions got so painful that I was ready to rip my spine out through my mouth it was too late and P. was on her way down the birth canal, all bags packed and ready to leave the comfort of my uterus. The Dude wasn't there for much of my contractions having been sent home by the midwife, but had he said anything remotely similar to that fuckwad above I think I would have ripped his testicles off with my bare hands.

5) Husbands with no tact. Yesterday I left the house to take P. on a quick walk in her stroller. As soon as I got to the sidewalk, The Dude shouted down to me from P.'s bedroom window about some random crap I can't remember. This is followed by the very loud statement, "Hey! That guy in the white van was just totally checking out your ass! He nearly crashed and everything! I'm not kidding, he was so staring at your ass!" I live in England. In a city in fact. A city with streets that have a lot of houses and apartment buildings crammed in a small space. Given the condensed nature of everything, people walk places. If you shout something like this from a 3rd story window, people will hear. At least 4 pedestrians were lucky enough to witness this event, and no doubt tried to sneak a look at this wagon I'm draggin'. For the record, please do recall my Mom's regular insistence that I have no ass at all. Yes, my Mom chooses to tell me this. All the time. The flatness of my ass is of primary importance to her it seems.

As a quick aside, I will tell you that contrary to my Mom's "Pru's butt is flat" theory, at least three times my ass has been the subject of compliment. The first time occurred when I was 18 and working in a sporting goods shop. I was reaching up with one of those long pole things to get a shirt off a high rack, and the customer I was helping leaned over and said, "Your ass looks really good in them jeans." You can imagine my joy that not only was someone commending me on my ass while I was at work, but it was from a person who would say "them jeans". It was a proud moment.

Time number two was just last year when I was at a cash machine. I was feeling fat, frumpy and like the muffintopping was crazy out of control. As I was entering my pin, some guy walked by slowly and said, "Hey, nice ass." Well, it was probably "Hey, nice arse.", but to-may-tos/to-mah-tos, right?

Point being - Mom says it's flat, but apparently at least some people think it's round.

6) The Us vs Them mentality: IF'ers and The Fertiles. As I'm sure you're all aware, a certain website has chosen to select a few IF blogs to pass comment on. Regardless of what you think on that matter, I was disappointed to see that many of the commenters on that site chose to point out how little infertility matters in the great scheme of things. Additionally, a lot of the commenters who expressed this opinion also saw fit to slag off the irrational nature of the infertile. I don't doubt that many of us would admit to being irrational. I'm sure many of the things I've said in the (nearly) two years of this blog's existence aren't necessarily popular, and I am the first to admit that I'm capable of being completely, utterly and absurdly irrational . However, I do find it strange that infertility is one of those subjects that people who have never experienced it still find themselves suited to pass judgment. For some reason it's still not viewed as a very serious issue, so I think many are quite casual about it. Shame.

Conversely, some of the commenters have a point when it comes to the irrational. Ever since I started reading IF blogs it has driven me batshit crazy how defensive some bloggers and their commenters can be. Post a slightly disagreeable, non troll-like comment about something that was said, and suddenly you have a group of infertiles on you like piranha. The commenter who hasn't kissed ass is insulted, innundated with emails if they haven't posted anonymously, and told how they don't understand. I don't think it really helps this perception of IF bloggers as crazed bitches. If I posted something that invited comments from people who didn't agree with me, fair play. I don't want rabid people jumping to my (or IFers as a whole) defense and thus hijacking my blog to serve the purpose of all the poor, misunderstood infertiles out there. Just to let you know in preparation for my post on the need to behead all women who can get pregnant without the aid of a petri dish.

Ahh...I feel better now. I must go fluff my ass in preparation for my Mom's arrival on Sunday. On with the fluffing.


Lessons learned and eff the man

First off, the card swap is in full swing. For those who didn't want to participate, it's your loss. Now you're going to miss seeing a picture of me in my naughty Santa outfit sucking on a lollipop in a most suggestive manner. Maybe next year.

So yesterday I went to have my hair cut for the first time since May. I had an appointment scheduled for Tuesday, July 18th, but that day turned into labour day rather than get-your-hair-cut-before-you-can-never-do-it-again day. I go to a really trendy hip place, despite being far from trendy or hip myself. My hair was washed by a teeny boy with emo hair, wearing beaten up Converses and some jelly bracelets. While I was leaning back into the sink, the dear boy asked me what I'd been up to so far that day. My response? Without hesitation, "Just looking after my four month old." Silence. Somehow 19 year old hipster kids don't know where to go after that reply. That gap between me and hip & trendy widened to Grand Canyon-like proportions from that point.

The set-up prior to this wasn't great anyway. At my first appointment at said salon way back in the day I aged 30 years just sitting in the chair. My stylist, a woman with a choppy, spiked concoction sitting atop her head, asked what I would be doing on Friday night. Clubbing? Pubbing? Going up to London? "Just a nice night in!" I chirped, hoping she would move on without a second thought as to what a loser I was. I resisted the urge to tell her that my perfect Friday night would involve a big mug of coffee or tea, flannel pyjamas, some Ben & Jerry's, and a made for TV movie from 1990 starring Meredith Baxter as a woman scorned, or a ballerina starving for her art, played by Kelly Martin. The channel featuring these movies, much like Lifetime (24 hours of made for TV movies from the 70s-mid 90s...awesome!) will be my downfall. I am truly old before my time.

Another thing I've learned is that it's never too early for your child to look at you as if you have lost all grasp on reality. I was singing Itsy Bitsy Spider for P. a few days ago, ensuring to make the spider movements with my hands, as well as signalling the rain and the upcoming sun. I'm thinking that I am planting a genius seed in her head so that she will be able to sing the song with ease from 8 months. Instead, she looked at me like she couldn't possibly be any more disgusted with me. It's the look I'm sure to get when she's 16 and brings a boyfriend (or girlfriend) home to hang out and I talk about how cute it was when she was 3 months old and crapped all over me when we were shopping. I've had a glimpse of her parental-induced mortified look, and I don't like it.

Now let's move on to how I'm sticking it to the man. It's more parenting nonsense, so beware.

Pacifiers - a neccessity in my life. My kid was born with reflux and needed to be soothed regularly in a way that I could not provide. She likes her dummy, but she does have plenty of dummy-free time when she's not fussing. At this week's mums and babies meet up some of the other mothers were congratulating another whose child has forsaken her pacifier recently in favour of her thumb. The talk was all about how evil the pacifier is and how thumb sucking is the better option. Uh, que? I know I would much prefer P. to have a pacifier, which she can be weaned off of, versus sucking her thumb, which can be a life-long habit. Pacifiers (to my knowledge) don't mess up your mouth, whereas long term thumb sucking does. I just sat there quietly, pretending that thumb sucking actually is a-ok and that I'm just an evil, careless mom that pops a dummy in her kid's mouth at the slightest hint of a cry.

Following the pacifier discussion was one involving whether we were going to go back to work once maternity leave was over. Yet again, I was the odd one out. Everyone else was either going to stay home forever and ever, or would only go back to work full-time. There were a lot of polite smiles and definite judging going on when I said I intended to go back to work. My Mom went back to work three months after both my brother and I were born. At times she even had two jobs and we turned out just fine. Well, I did anyway. Jury is still out on my brother.

I love P. dearly and I even like her now, but I'm still kind of anxious to get back to work. Call me a freak, but this SAHM business is just not me. I've tried to hack into my work email account just to get a sniff of work-related discussion. That is tragic, I know. I admit, I used to look down on SAHMs. I wondered how anyone would want to stay home with their kid(s), and debated as to whether or not that was considered work. Hell yes it is. Part of the reason I want to go back to work is that it manages to be less "work" than staying home with P. all day. I need a break!

Now if you'll excuse me, I have to go dangle P. out the window by her ears and then feed her some motor oil.


Last chance saloon

This is the last you'll hear from me on the holiday card topic. The deadline is on Wednesday (Dec 6). I need to hear from you by the time I get up on Thursday morning, which, knowing P. will be at about 8am UK time. 18 lovely ladies have signed up so far, so we're not doing too badly. At last count, the countries represented are Australia, US, Canada (1 brave soul!), and the UK (only me. boo).

C'mon...you know you want to...