Most weeks, I meet up with a fairly excellent bunch of women. We drink tea and coffee, we eat lunch and cake (not necessarily in that order), and we talk. We rant together about the ridiculousness of the petty stresses we shouldn't have to deal with, about the unreliability of feeding pumps, or the utter hideousness of tidal waves of mice in the shed. And we laugh. With each other, and at each other. A lot.
Sitting alone, I might find the endless round of cleaning up different varieties of bodily fluids deeply depressing. With friends, friends who have all done similar things, the retelling becomes an excuse to repeat all our top "Code Browns", and each becomes funnier than the last. And when friends like these get together in the middle of January for a big post Christmas Christmas (because Christmas itself got too busy with sick children and busy families and just life generally), and when the code brown conversations are combined with a presents of prettily wrapped bath smellies, well, then you know you have friends who knew you'd appreciate them even before they read your blog. That or you can worry you really do smell quite bad quite a lot of the time.
And then when friends swap presents for their families too, you get to spend a peaceful Saturday watching this
and loving this
and relax and read a book as one child spends an entire afternoon with an etch-a-sketch and a Peppa Pig album, and the other insists on modelling her first outfit straight away, and giggles for the next three hours when she sees the NEW CLOTHES. And enjoy the fact that both girls have things they want to wait to do with Grannie and Grandad too.
This friendship is special. We all have children who are vaguely Mog-like in their disabilities and unpredictabilities. We all therefore have more or less accessible houses, and remain unfazed by empty catheter wrappers left glued to the bedroom walls after a visit. There's a short cut in the conversation (although you wouldn't think we'd left much out, if you were sitting at the next table) where you don't have to explain the short night or the need for the telephone to be on and fully charged and sitting by your elbow. We can celebrate one child's smile whilst worrying about an other's "not quite right-ness". And we can recognise the subtle seizures, and poke and prod at each others' children, and all be mightily entertained when small children do silly things like falling off their chairs. Comedy is tragedy postponed and shared with friends.
And, for something completely different, howzat for a Toad in the Hole?
Which has absolutely nothing at all to do with this post. I'm just chuffed to have finally beaten Yorkshire Pudding Batter into submission.