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Thursday, February 08, 2007

Other people’s irritating habits

I feel that Obsessional Compulisve Disorder gets a bad press. General opinion would have us believe that the behaviours that manifest themselves as a result of this condition, are immutable, whereas this appears to be very far from the truth.

With luck, it soon becomes apparent what these kinds of behaviours are for any one individual. Whilst they will play havoc on your daily life that’s not the end of it.

Having identified the issues and developed coping mechanisms, you may feel that all is well, that you have achieved ‘steady state,’ or equilibrium. Although they’ve not been eliminated, they’re under ‘loose’ control. This may lead the unwary parent into a false sense of security.

I hoover [translation = vacuum] with the thoroughness of an American dental hygienist, prior to the arrival of the new sofa. I am careful to wind the cable back neatly on completion, so that it is all ready for next time, especially when ‘next time’ may be only minutes away. Due to the inferior engineering standards in America, I threw caution to the wind, and purchased Superhero Hoover. Although I am mathematically challenged [translation = thick as a brick] even I managed to work out that the annual expenditure on a hoover to replace the broken hoover, was not a sound investment.

I find it interesting to note that for the past few years, I was prevented from using this domestic appliance when junior was in the vicinity. The noise would send him into apoplexy. Hoovering at night seemed like a solution. It wasn’t, which meant that this domestic job was limited to junior free hours only. Since he was the youngest, that was infrequently.

It just goes to show how far we have progressed, into a whole new era really. As long as I warn him first, get the eye contact, hunker down on bended knee before my six year old, he grants me permission to hoover. Now, having given him this warning, ‘mister clean’ has sufficient time to go and was his hands and then hide in his room. Curiously, he no longer hides from the noise. Instead he hides himself from the mental image of the contents of the hoover cylinder.

I knew it was a mistake to tell him that most of the dust was really skin cells, but that’s progress for you.

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