What in the festering fistful of frig is this? Skulking through The Times last Friday I found myself being assaulted, on page 21, by some of the most enraging column inches I have ever read. See, the paper reported on a survey of 1000 children by Littlewoods.com about what makes the “perfect mother”. I know, I know, my brain went straight to the Defcon 1 of bullshit alerts too. And it gets worse…
Now said survey badgered 5 – 11 year olds about what makes the mythical perfect mother and discovered that most of them wanted one who could hug like Davina McCall, read stories like J K Rowling, sing like Beyonce, dance like Darcy Bussell, bake like Mary Berry and – oh dear fuck, spare me – be as pretty as Myleene Klass. In fact Littlewoods.com did some sort of Weird Science mock up and concluded that this creature would be 32 per cent McCall, 25 per cent Rowling, 25 percent Berry, 13 per cent Klass, 3 per cent Beyonce and 2 percent Bussell.
In fact, the company’s retail brands director, a bloke called Gary Kibble, added, “I am sure mums will be breathing a sigh of relief to learn it’s simple things like baking cakes and telling bedtime stories that keep kids happy.” Readers, I’d give you further details but I can’t because it was at this point that I started slamming my head against broken glass.
Is Littlewoods completely and utterly out of its bloody mind? Now before I go any further I understand that the survey questions were probably skewed. Kids on the whole do not stare darkly at their mother wishing that she was Divina fucking McCall. Instead they get asked questions, by people who run surveys, that read something like, “Would you like your mum to hug like Davina McCall or Myra Hindley? Now be honest!” Which is why I don’t blame the kids for this giant bollock, I blame Littlewoods.com.
I can’t get my head around why some wank-handled spaff-head decided that, in 21st Century Britain, it’d be a clever idea to create the “perfect mother”? You have to wonder what Littlewoods.com trying to achieve, because if it’s trying to make modern, struggling mothers feel like even greater failures it’s doing a magnificent job. Stuff the fact that you couldn’t manage to breastfeed or lose that baby-weight, can you do the Single Ladies dance while reciting Yeats and knocking up a soufflé? No? Then what kind of mother are you? Does Social Services know about your shit rhythm and lack of egg whisk?
It’s as if Littlewoods.com took all those subtle pressures to be the perfect mother – the strangers’ tuts, the glowing nappy ads – and distilled them in a damp lab until it came up with this survey. Hey! Society! You no longer have to bother yourself with making mums feel like shit! That’s right, Littlewoods.com has agreed to do all the work for you!
Well in this house Littlewoods.com and Kraken Junior, my own vaginal produce, are shit out of luck. I dance like a stunned Diplodocus, sing like I’m giving birth to a clump of stinging nettles and bake like a meerkat that’s been presented with its first bag of flour. In fact I have as much intention of being a McCall/ Klass/ Berry/ Rowling/ Bey/ Bussell hybrid as I do of letting Ronald McDonald remove my wisdom teeth.
You never know. Perhaps I’ve got it all wrong and Littlewoods.com is this close to announcing that the perfect father is a Beckham/ Ant/ Dec/ Jay-Z/ Rosen/ Tumble mash-up. Or perhaps it’ll announce that it understands how mothers come in a thousand different flavours and that there is no such thing as “perfect”. Fuck knows, though. I no longer understand what makes Littlewoods.com tick. In fact I’m not even sure I want to.
Mind you, Littlewoods.com has achieved one thing. It’s made sure that I’ll never, ever fumble though its catalogue again. That’s because its survey is 56 per stool-water, 23 per cent gravel, 12 per cent unhinged and 9 per cent decomposing arse-noodles. In fact, to use it’s own twisted unit of measurement, it’s 100 per cent perfect bullshit.