Anyway. This odd state of domestic peace gives me time to reflect on what I am doing wrong, as is required by law of all mothers. Thankfully Oliver James is here to help me out, as ever. Regular readers will know how much I love it when the sainted Oliver James, Protector of the Preschooler and Fount of All Parental Wisdom ("think of the children! Will no-one think of the children!") tells me what I'm doing wrong (what we're ALL doing wrong), so I was delighted to see he had extended his repertoire of observations on how maternal choices, circumstances and failings damage children to encompass mess and domestic chaos. Oh GOOD. Now that my children are too old to be damaged by, say, nursery, or maternal depression, or shocks in utero or all of the many and varied things I did terribly, irrevocably wrong in the past, it is greatly reassuring to see that OJ has not taken his eye off the ball in making me feel worthless and guilty. No, not for a moment. A chaotic house, OJ wishes to ensure I know, is one in which children feel "less parental warmth and enjoyment and more anger and hostility". Oh, le big fucking sigh avec le big fucking 'here he goes again' eyeroll.
I thought my ability to work myself up into a froth of outrage at Oliver James was ebbing away with age and the clear evidence that my children are not yet sociopathic child-wolves, shaping up for a life of empty violence and anomie, unable to form relationships, clubbing elderly ladies and puppies to death on every street corner for a tiny, fleeting high. But I think I have just become more skilled at avoiding him. The minute I went back to read his recent oeuvre the familiar Jamesean red mist descended once more. That's probably because I come from a broken home, of course, raised by one of those scary "blind feminists". I should channel all this excess aggression into tidying, presumably.
Further evidence of my depravity is provided by a correspondent today, who notes with interest that my blog is now barred in his workplace. He provides me with a screengrab of the reason.
The verdict has fallen. "Violence", indeed. There is only one way around this: I am going to ban myself from everything that makes me angry. I have started to compile a list.
1. Oliver James;
2. Too-small bras, tight waistbands, control underwear;
4. Poor quality "non-slip" rug underlay from Ikea;
5. The UK government;
6. Google Adsense;
7. Loudly sexing on a Sunday night neighbours.
8. Poor bladder control in whippets.
9. Sneakily deposited cards from the sodding postman when you were in all sodding day.
The list could go on all night since, as previously observed, I have many unresolved rage issues from my childhood, but sadly I must now go and tidy my chaotic house, self-flagellating with a Lakeland Microfibre Venetian Blind Duster all the way. Feel free to add your own. If you wish, rather, to be soothed than share your rage, please go and read this blog which is filling me with endless joy. Finding a new blog you completely love is one of those 21st century experiences so particular that it deserves its own word. Unlike the 21st century experience of living on a knife edge of boiler based uncertainty, which is the other defining emotion of my day, and is best expressed with a sort of rasping, wordless ululation.