The lying part comes in when I filled out the online form. Not surprisingly, they asked for either a due date or a child's birthday. I don't have that kind of information, although I've had a slew of almost-due-dates. Thanks to the marvels of the internet, you can put your retrieval date into a calculator and get your due date for any given cycle. It works for inseminations, too. So I put November 16th, which could have feasibly been the day my miracle baby from the IUI was born. It was a little early so it was possible that I had just peed on a stick and found out the happy news. Just the thought process that took me to get to the place of typing in a fake due date was a little psycho, not to mention my mindset when I committed to the fraud and pressed enter. I think my punishment for this little act of deceit was that my first issue came the Saturday of Mother's Day weekend. Excellent timing.
But, I have to say that I believe I deserve to sign up for this magazine just the same as any other expectant mother, despite the fact that I don't have a baby or a nugget yet. I need to make my Baby Binder full of page-protected articles on pregnancy, babies, development, and parenting advice. I need images for my still-evolving Vision Board (it's finally up on the wall, it's just not totally filled yet which is quite all right with us because our vision is a little fluid when it comes to our new, slightly fictional family). So why shouldn't I get to have a pre-parenting magazine? I know, there is a magazine for people who are trying to conceive (and not succeeding so much), Conceive magazine. This one is ok, but it has a lot of Infertility 101 type articles in it and I feel a little beyond that. It was great in the first year of the journey, but now I read the articles online that are relevant (on www.conceiveonline.com). I want to focus on the end prize, not what tests I need to determine if I am infertile (I know we are).
Which brings me to a moment where my crazy-lady eyes came out in Barnes & Noble last weekend. At checkout, the cashier asked if I bought a lot of children's books. I do, for my friends' children and for school (and occasionally for my slightly fictional future small children). He then asked if I wanted to sign up for the new Kid's Club, an extension of the regular membership that I already have and pay for. It's free and I get $5 for every $100 spent. Sounded great, so I started the paperwork. And I was feeling great until I got to the bottom, where it said "Please enter your child's name and birthdate. YOU MUST ENTER AT LEAST ONE." Out came the insane bug eyes. "Excuse me," I said, "Do I have to have an actual CHILD to be in this club? I don't HAVE an ACTUAL child. I have FRIENDS' children. Can I not sign up unless I have an actual CHILD?" The cashier looked a little frightened. Bryce looked a little embarrassed but not surprised. "No, no, you can put one of your friends' children down. You don't need to have children." I said, "Oh." I put down my best friend's oldest son and still felt angry that I had to put someone else's kid down, that I couldn't just check a box that said "Currently childless but buy a crapload of books for everyone else so I am totally eligible." It sucked.
Then, this morning I called to update my information in the alumni directory that I always update and never ever buy. The man I spoke to was very friendly, very personable and had a really great radio voice. I was feeling very accomplished when he congratulated me on my two degrees and my teaching career. I felt less accomplished when the email address I had on file was my previous married name ("Ok, I am confused here. Now you are Tennant and your maiden name is Haney so what's this Perez?" I said, "I think you can figure this one out on your own." Not too hard, since I'm not a con artist on the lam from the FBI.). That was a little embarrassing. However, the hard part came when he asked if he could list any children in addition to my spouse. Nope, no children. There was a silence and then he said, "I guess your students are enough for you, right? Am I right?" I laughed a hard, terse laugh and didn't say a word. I wanted to say "NO, actually, that's kind of crazypants to suggest that. And actually I've been trying to become a mom for going on two years now with an intensity that is exhausting in every possible way and I just haven't quite gotten there yet." But that doesn't fit neatly in the alumni directory.
I survived all of these experiences without tears, which I hope means that I'm growing and getting more resilient. Or maybe I'm just growing numb. Or, maybe I've realized that I can't let stuff like this bother me every single time because it will happen, over and over and over and I just can't stop it. Maybe it's just because when these things happened I was much more balanced emotionally having had 6 months since my last truly