We need to talk about Kevin … and number twos

“In this adaptation of the best-seller, what turns a woman from a fun-loving globetrotter into an emotional wreck? Maternity…”

I admit this little blurb for Tilda Swinton’s new film gave me a thrilling shiver of self-satisfaction.

“That’s what you get for having babies – a serial killer for a son!” said that inner part of me that I really should be ashamed of. “And naming him Kevin – what did you think he would grow up to be?” the voice insisted, delighted with itself.

Yes, Poor Tilda, in the adapation of the Lionel Shriver book, has to deal with her son’s decision to commit mass murder. 

Bleak stuff and that increasingly bleak voice inside my head responded to it in a twisted way. It was just so nice – such a relief – to read something awful about motherhood. I think I need more of that to kill off some of the sadness at this drawn-out, hormone-pumped, hideously expensive IVF ride we’re on.

Which reminds me of a fantastic, true-life horror tale of motherhood from one of my oldest friends. Last month she went to her daughters’ preschool for some event or another (not the interesting part). All went well and then she headed back to her car, reached into her handbag for her keys and stuck her hand into a great big poo. Someone had done a number two inside her handbag.

This woman is a teacher by profession and had thought she’d seen it all, but she admits she was horrified, almost in tears, and only later that day returned to the school to talk to the teacher.

The teacher promptly walked her up to the headmaster (anyone would think she had done the poo). It turns out that that very day the school zeroed in on its chief suspect in a strange series of number 2 placements. Someone had been crapping all over the school, in very public places, for weeks. Cornered, as the powers-that-be closed in all around him, the five-year-old culprit had taken his latest offering and hidden it in the nearest available vessel – my friend’s handbag.

So she hadn’t even put her hand in her own kids’ poo. Even more gross. Although I expect she is pleased that her daughters are displaying any tendency to crap in inappropriate places.

The sad thing about all of this is, of course, the little boy would not be acting out in such a way without having some serious problems at home. I hope that gets sorted out.

But in the meantime, the poo story has had me giggling randomly ever since I heard it. So thank you universe, on behalf of all the frustrated wanna-be mothers out there who are having a hard time, for reminding us that some of the women we are jealous of are having a truly cruddy time as well.

PS – The school gave my friend a voucher for a new handbag.


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