Saturday, May 27, 2006

The moral of today's story ...

I must be some kind of masochist or something. Today, I did a very stupid thing.

A week ago today, my next door neighbour had a baby boy. They came home on Wednesday and I haven't actually been to visit them yet. One reason is the fact that I'm kind of avoiding it a little, but the other significant reason is that I haven't had a gift to take when I do. A few weks ago I saw the perfect pressie, but my SIL persuaded me that it was too expensive and I could make it myself.

Now, as a particularly arty, crafty and generally creative individual, I agreed and decided that I would. The gift that I had seen was a soft-toy snake which wrapped in a coil (for attaching to the handle of a pram) which had been wrapped like a bunch of flowers, with an assortment of brightly coloured socks, vests and washers tightly coiled like little roses inside. Gorgeous. And not too difficult you might be inclined to imagine. If you can find the right snake.

On describing said gift idea to my sister, she decided that the best place to find this toy would be in the BabyZone store on the other side of town (not that far - we live in a small town). Great idea, I thought. No worries about parking stations or fees and a lot less crowded.

A lot less crowded with normal people, sure, but absolutely filled to the brim with every pregnant woman in town. Excitedly investigating row upon row of cribs, prams, activity centres, toys, blankets, baths, change tables and every fucking thing else related to baby were rounded women in pink rubbing their smug bellies. (PLease remind me NOT to wear head to toe pink once I become pregnant!!). Beside them were adoring husbands, gigling girlfriends or patient mothers.

And then there was me.

The only single and non-pregnant woman in the place.

I decided the best course of action would be to continue with my quest for the perfect toy snake, buy and get out as quickly as I could. I went to the appropriate aisle which was, of course, filled with young children squeezing, prodding, laughing and playing. I stepped over them and around them and could not find anything even remotely like what I was looking for. And my eyes started to get very, very hot.

A small child held onto my leg, possibly assuming I was it's mother. Big sister quickly pulled her away, but it was enough. Enough to bring every feeling I have been having over the past few months flooding back. Suddenly the store felt incredibly and overwhelmingly small and I knew I just had to get the fuck out of there. Now!

Once out of the store, I angrily stomped back to my car, wiping away stupid tears wondering what on earth had made me think I could actually go into a store like that in my current emotional state. Who did I think I was? WonderWoman? What right did I have to even be in there in the first place?

I cursed my sister and drove to the closest large shopping centre, went to the filled-with-normal-people K-Mart and found close to everything I needed there. I went home and carefully rolled every small thing I had purchased into a bumpy little rose. The gift now looks beautiful and my normal, calm state of denial has returned. I can easily pretend I'm fine in my normal life, surrounded by non-baby things and activities. But out of that - way too hard!

So the message here for all is:

Woman with infertility must never enter baby-obsessed one-stop shop.

Or have next neighbours giving birth.

Really, it's all just asking for trouble!


At 4:58 am, Blogger sube said...

Oh can I relate, and how. I had my own toy store meltdown not too long ago (see my March archives if you care to read the pathetic tale). I don't know what makes us think going to a place like that is a sound idea. But we learn our lesson soon enough, don't we? Sorry it was so painful for you ... but the gift sounds lovely. You're a good neighbor.

At 11:27 pm, Blogger Thalia said...

It's a shame, I was at a park with loads of children and pregnant ladies this weekend and it didn't bother me that much. Now just seeing a pregnant woman in the street again upsets me. It's tough how sad this stuff makes us.

At 4:54 am, Blogger Rachel said...

You never really know when these emotions are going to pour forth. One moment I'm fine, and the next I feel like I'm going to cry. But, I think I'll take your advice. No baby stores.

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