Review: Maternal impulses

Once, tormented by a relentless onslaught of media-mother whingeing about the traumas of “juggling” a job and two children under the age of five (it’s all in the wrist), I asked my mother if having children really was the endless nightmare that mothers who write newspaper columns make it out to be. She thought about bit. “It’s quite tiring sometimes,” she said. That’s it.

I know a lot of people who claim not to like children, but they always have at least one exception to the rule. There’s nothing wrong with not wanting to have kids, but for the love of God don’t go on and on about not liking them. It’s like claiming that you don’t like adults, which is possible but smacks of psychopathic tendencies.

So I have no problem, in theory, with maternal impulses. I often experience them myself, but then I have to put them away in a box marked Unworkable. Children under five are particularly great: like little acid casualty mystics, but without the motor skills to make a peace sign.

My own mother has in the past said many brilliant, mad things such as “This is the kind of cinema a psychopath would attack in” and “The cat is deliberately shitting on the floor because she’s angry we made her infertile”. She also once phoned me to tell me that Rachel Stevens is Jewish, as if this meant that I too could join S Club. She stopped spitting on a tissue and then using it to clean my face a few years back, but I can tell she still wants to.

On a related note, there was once a lioness in Kenya who liked to adopt baby oryxes, which then got killed and eaten by other lions. And for all I know, she lives there to this day.

Maternal impulses: Useful in the wild, as long as you stick to your own species. 8 out of 10.


At 4:06 pm, Blogger HA HA HA said...

whan ur mom says "This is the kind of cinema a psychopath would attack in" shes jsut tryin to rech out an share her intarests. u shuld try to draw her out on the subject. mabe say 'so what kinda atack wuld you recomend?' or 'why do you prafer atackin in this kinda cimena particuly?' er whatevar. its hard for parants to bond whit atdult childaren. i knowa guy spent a whoal wekend makin mailbombs whit his dad an theive had a much beter relationship evar since.

At 4:22 pm, Anonymous Donna said...

I felt very maternal over the weekend. My landlord spent four hours constructing a bed in the flat for one of my flatmates and brought her 7 and 9 year-old girls over with her. I found myself irresistably drawn to the world they were creating in the living room, which included a rainbow tent, a squeaky mouse, a teddy bear's picnic, a jigsaw of dandelions and a Mr Potato head. All of which, I have to confess, were my own, dug up from assorted gifts from PRs/parents/boyfriend! (Does this mean they see me as a child? I wonder.) But anyway it was so much fun. I discovered who each of them fancied, and impressed them with such wonderful feats such as my-tongue-can-touch-my-nose. They even complimented me on my cooking (fish fingers and chips - when it comes to heating frozen junk food I am the queen). At the end of it, they said to their mother, I don't want to leave Donna because... she's beautiful! I couldn't stop myself from laughing out loud but how sweet is that? the one thing about kids, they know how to flatter and manipulate adults...

At 4:50 pm, Blogger bakonbitzz said...

Same species? Say, hypothetically that I... errrr someone... has decided not to have children, but rather just raise pets? I haven't the patience to make a peace sign, as you say (though, when I've been drinking I often don't have the coordination for it either).

Just for edification. :-)

At 6:36 pm, Anonymous eskimo said...

bakonbitzz: personally, the feelings i have towards pets are more paternal than maternal. let us look at the evidence! 1. i find the activities of pets endearing, but confusing at the same time. 2. i do not want to give them any money. QED.

ha ha ha: yeah, maybe she was trying to 'come out' as a psychopath. later, when i asked her to support her claim, she said "the chairs are the same as the chairs they have in mental hospitals"

donna: get off my blog, you paedo.

At 8:19 pm, Anonymous vague said...

I don't think Donna knew what she was getting into over here. Still, one has to wonder about her luring the poor children in with her "teddy bear picnics" and tongue tricks.

Someone should show her over to Ball Bag and Noreen's place; see what she makes of all that.

At 8:52 pm, Anonymous eskimo said...

speaking of emerald bile: what is this mysterious revelation about noreen's true identity? who is the bint?

donna, i didnt mean it. come back.

At 9:35 pm, Anonymous vague said...

I think mnk was implying that she and "Anna," the (former) blogger at, are one and the same.

At 10:16 pm, Anonymous eskimo said...

chunky munky, does this mean that "anna" is That Woman You Mentioned? god, the world is oppressively small.

At 10:38 am, Anonymous donna said...

Guys all I can say is, until you've seen my tongue touch my nose, don't underestimate it!

eskimo: I'm addicted, have no fear.

At 9:41 am, Blogger Emerald Bile said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

At 9:43 am, Blogger Emerald Bile said...


At 3:36 pm, Anonymous eskimo said...

uh... only just saw that message. noreen, did you ever work in a slightly ludicrous office in camden, with a hairy boss?

At 7:11 pm, Blogger Emerald Bile said...


At 7:12 pm, Blogger Emerald Bile said...


At 12:57 am, Anonymous nicedifferentunusual said...

I feel for that lioness. The worst thing about maternal impulses is you end up anthropomorphising your pets against your will, as if by accident. You start by introducing a mewing fluff bundle to "Grandma and Grandpa" to wind up your parents, and before you know it your arms are covered in puncture wounds from a razor-clawed, reptile-eyed creature who's being a meany-weany to Mummy today.

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