Two tuts and a cucumber sandwich

It’s been a busy few weeks, work- home- family-wise.  Not done a serious stroke of OU for three weeks so that makes six weeks behind, with two assignments due next week.

Have attended two tutorials though.  First Language dayschool was good.  The tutor looks far too diminutive in her avatar, but is much more authoritative in real life.  She gave us a good overview of the course and what she expects from our assignments.  It was a nice group, and apart from when the stunning Asian Russell-Brand-Doppelganger lady was speaking and I drifted to imagine her watching videos of him and synching hand movements, I think I acquitted myself fair to middling.

Then last week we went for a few days away with my brother, a sometimes bizarre experience.  Like when I asked what we were having for lunch.  Two pairs of eyes shot towards me and skidded to a stop aimed at my very soul.

“We don’t say that word”, said my sister-in-law, jerking her head towards my brother, who was shaking.

Brother: It’s dinner.

Me: But it’s lunchtime isn’t it?  I mean, the only person who says dinnertime is the big bad wolf, right?

Brother: (reaching out for wife’s hand) It’s dinnertime.

Me: OK… what are we having for dinner then?

Brother: Don’t make a fuss about it.

Me: I’m not making a fuss, but I’d like to know what you fancy for dinner. Sandwiches?

Sister-in-law: (with a tolerant smile) It’s just his thing.  Isn’t it lovey?

Brother: And you say the word just like Mum.

Pause.  Intake of breathes all round.  Swords drawn.

Me: Would you like soup for lunch?

Despite being Welsh, my sister-in-law is lovely, but she’s a mental health worker and seems to have taken our family on as part of her caseload.  I found myself being CBT-ed while making the sandwiches.

“Tell me, Rachel”, she crooned reassuringly, “what would happen if the cucumber slices weren’t spread exactly evenly over the ham?”

Oh, it was a nice break really.  Then came home and discovered that my daughter had been hosting parties at the house of her father, who is off looking for himself in the placid waters of the Maldives.  The sort of parties that over-fill two bins and where you have to chuck away hair clippers because they’re stuck up with pubes.

The next day was the Creative Writing tutorial.  It was good to catch up with tutor and the group but I think I was borderline hysterical; all I remember is me as baby bird, constant meaningless squawking.  Ah me.  Maybe I should give sister-in-law a ring.


2 comments on “Two tuts and a cucumber sandwich

  1. Lisa says:

    Loved this, and thanks for the laugh. I worked in a mental health agency and this kind of stuff went on all the time. Some people just can’t help it. It’s like how I can’t help, when I see someone reading a book, asking what they’re reading, do they like it, what it’s about…It’s all about the question for me or for the mental health practioner. I remember watching a new therapist with a nine year old client who had climbed dangerously high in a tree and refused to come down. The therapist: ‘don’t you think it would be wise to come down?’ The boy tosses a pine cone at the therapist. I come out and use my fire department/EMT/mom voice: ‘Get down out of that tree NOW!’. The boy scurries down. End of questions.

  2. Haha! I guess he was used to a way of being spoken to and it was your change of register that got through. I think a lot of the time kids do crave authority, to feel that someone else is in control; being in control is scary enough when you’re all grown up!

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