There is something which exists alongside The Talk and it is called The Telling Off. It doesn't happen as often as The Talk but it is a much more powerful force.
The United States Armed Forces use a warning system called DEFCON for states of alert. It is controlled by The President, but in our house it is controlled by The Husband. DEFCON 5 is the least severe and DEFCON 1 is the most severe. I'll explain:
DEFCON 5: Dog poo has been found in the garden.
DEFCON 4: The Toddler has been allowed to eat his dinner while riding his bike.
DEFCON 3: The Tweenager has spent eight hours on the computer.
DEFCON 2: "Get a job? How is that even possible?".
DEFCON 1: I have managed to spend £500 in two weeks on absolutely nothing.
It usually takes about fifteen minutes to get from 5 to 1 by which time I have no idea what has just happened except I have been given a serious ticking off. The Husband's intentions remain classified.
I've been thinking about this because for the past week or so The Husband has been cross - really cross. I know he is having a hard time at work (well, I think he is having a hard time at work, I haven't asked and even if I did ask I wouldn't stick around to wait for the answer). His work stress is becoming all mixed up with home stress. He has had to fire someone which I don't think he minds because it makes him feel important, but he really wishes he could fire me. For gross misconduct probably.
He says I am "treading water". I say "I have no idea what that means, darling". He wants me to come up with A Long Term Plan of where I am heading, which DOES NOT include Starbucks.
The Telling Off is horrible because at least with The Talk he is very gentle in his approach. The Telling Off is downright abusive and I am not allowed to argue. The Husband has a scary face and can twist&turn words in a way that I end up tongue tied, apologising to him for being a Bad Girl.
The Telling Off exists only to make me feel really really rubbish about myself and that I am wasting my life. Which I am, but The Husband isn't supposed to comment on that.
I write this as a Cry For Help because I know The Telling Off is due very very soon. There are poos in the garden, shepherds pie on the carpet and I seem to be mysteriously 300quid down. Ministry Of Mum is at DEFCON 1 - war is imminent.