Monday, 2 February 2009

The Menagerie

I'll be honest and say that this new phase of waiting is getting me down a lot more than I expected. You know, at this point, I really thought it would start to get easier to buy baby presents for other people. I thought I would hear the big announcement ('it's a boy! We've decided to name him Krazy Klingon Kupcake the Third!) and, rather than feeling nauseous with jealousy, and also angry because Kupcake was MY choice of name, I would just swing by the baby store on the way home, buy the obligatory tiny jumper with a frog (or a weasel, or a cat, or whatever) on it, maybe check out the nursery furniture while I'm there and then just happily trot home.

Yeah, not so much, as it turns out. I'm left wondering: when does this start to get easier? When does the fact that we will have a child in the future start to feel more real than the fact that we don't have one today? I thought it would be now. I was wrong.

Maybe it's not just the waiting, though. I just feel like a fool because I assumed January was going to be a great month. Finally, our time to start with all the preparations that normal parents make! It will be a halcyon time of love and laughter! Instead, it's brought wave after wave of unwelcome news: telescoping timescales, family illness, uncertain immigration requirements and a bereavement. All the adoption bad news feels really messed up with other difficulties until I hardly know what it is that I feel sad about.

So: when your head's in a mess, engage in unnecessary craft activities. That's what I'm telling myself. I haven't been a crafter at all for about twenty years until I picked up the kneedles a few months ago. In fact, I had some very unkind things to say about people who crafted. Mostly including the words 'if you wouldn't buy it, why would you make it?' and 'honestly, who needs a macrame duck?' and 'does she really have that much spare time on her hands?' And then one thing led to another and now I've been crocheting too, and sewing - an activity I swore I'd never engage in. And I'm forced to eat my words.

I love the William Morris quote ' Have nothing about you that is neither beautiful nor useful'. I think beautiful is out of the question, at my level of skill, so I probably should ry making something useful, but so far, no. Instead, I've been going crazy making baby toys. I think my subconscious believes that, if I can just make enough toys, a baby will be irresistibly drawn to our house because of the sheer density of playthings.

So. Meet monster.

He was the first thing I sewed (and I had a bit of trouble with the tension on his mouth, as you can see). J finds him a bit mystifying. He hasn't quite said 'face it, Claudia, no child is so deprived that they are going to want to play with THAT' but I know he's thinking it. At least he was made from an actual pattern, which is more than can be said for sketchy lion:

who was loosely based on the monster pattern, but, errr, obviously completely different. Sketchy lion is not just any lion - he's culturally appropriate (check out the dark brown in his mane, like an Ethiopian Lion) and mildly educational (his mane is made of ribbon tags, for little fingers to play with, and the ribbons are varying textures: grosgrain and satin). Also he has a very fetching tail (although due to practical difficulties it appears to be located halfway up his imaginary spine).

And in the interests of finishing before everybody reading this slips into a coma, here is the rest of the family portrait (so far):

Including blue bear & brown bear (brown bear taught me an important lesson - STAY AWAY from fuzzy angora yarn. It's pleasantly soft, but the heartache of trying to find your next stich just isn't worth it) and mini-kevin (who you have already met).

I think that's probably enough, but I've begun to think about finding a good pattern for a penguin. It seems that the aim is, by the time the baby arrives, to have filled the cot with so many random animals that there will be no room for an actual baby. At the rate I'm going, and the rate that the DC.SF is processing paperwork, I don't think that's unrealistic.


  1. Bummer about the sucky January, but your lion turned out great! And the monster - cute!

  2. I'm so sorry you are frustrated and waiting and feeling overwhelmed. I don't know when (if ever) that it gets easier. I truly hope it does though.

    Your description of your crafting activities gave me a much needed smile today. For what it's worth, some of my favorite goodies were those made with love by my great aunt. It's really all about the love. (-; Love the lion, BTW.

  3. I hate all the waiting & frustration you're going through, but I'm seriously going to be commissioning toys from you. Am COMPLETELY in love with the lion. (I'm a Leo, after all.)

  4. Wow! I'm so impressed with your craftiness. You've inspired me to keep searching for that perfect next project! :)
    PS- the waiting does get better. Not that it ever gets easy but it almost becomes such a part of your life that you have to re-adjust when the waiting is finally over.

  5. Oh seriously, you are TALENTED. I HEART SKETCHY LION.

    Sometimes words are finger-lickin' good. I've found.

    I don't know what else to say, I'm sorry you are sad. Can I siphon some of it from you?

    Big hugs,


  6. What is the place called "Essex" in England? Is this a state? It sounds so cool. I want to live in a place called "Essex".


  7. You crack me up, Cindy! Essex is ... how can I say this... not the most glamorous of counties. It has nice bits, but is famous for being not-glamorous. (I think that's safe to say - I don't think anyone from essex is reading this!)

    How about sussex? Only a few letters different, much more genteel :)

  8. I am sorry your Jan has been so hard. I am sending a "hug"...wish we could have a cup of tea together and cry and laugh.

    I wondered the same thing in my journey...when is this going to stop hurting? Even with a referral and a picture...there was still so much loss (carrying the baby, being able to ensure good food for him, seeing him first come into the world, it goes on and on) With D. home I know that this pain of infertility will always be a part of my life and a part of me. Thankfully, it is a part that has brought me closer to Him. I also now know that the pain of being with others and their children is so I have this sweet boy to love and the empty ache is gone. I still have grief and sadness over certain things. Yet I also have this amazing child who I am SOOO gifted to love and parent. It has changed the landscape of my heart incredibly and helped me to reconcile the differences between my journey and experience of motherhood and others. I don't know if that will be your story but I hope you hear you are not alone! We are sisters together in this journey!

  9. oh yeah and I LOVE the Lion - do you sell them?


Over to you!