Family: feels like a dream

Mum's the Word



What shall I write about you this week?” I ask the kids.

“My dreams last night,” says Middle. “I had lots, recurring, and in each I had muscle spasms and couldn’t speak and…”

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A bewildering mindscape of Inception/Memento style cascading loops and scenarios follows, involving “all round leg failure”, cured by a glass of water administered by me or his brother.

“And in each dream I could remember the previous one so I knew it was a dream and that it was recurring and…”

“Glasses of water,” I interrupt. “Maybe the meaning is that you were thirsty?”

“Yeah I was. I was too hot because I was using Youngest’s duvet and furry cover.” (Youngest being at Other Parent’s and unable to object.)


“Because I spilt protein shake all over mine.”

That’ll be why he asked for clean sheets a couple of days ago – still piled on the stairs.

“So, how about changing your sheets?”

“Gotta go.” And like a dream, he’s gone.

I try Youngest next, on her return.

“Write about my school turnaround,” she says brightly, sooooo pleased with a recent rallying in the face of looming exams.

“Really, wouldn’t you mind? Pressure, intrusion...?”

“‘Course not,” she says and smiles.


“Oh no, don’t. Cos it’s probly tempry, and I’ll just look stupid.”

“OK, I won’t.”

“OK, do. I don’t care.”

“Did I say I’m proud of you?” I say. “I’m proud of you anyway. If you fail every exam you ever sit I’m still proud of you. School’s only part of life you know.”

“I know that,” she says. “Do you like my new jacket?”

“Yes. Can I borrow it?”

“No,” she says, pulling it tight and departing. She’ll give me it eventually.

Eldest rocks up, returned from a weekend long party in Dundee.

“How was it?”

“Awwww. Amazing...”

“What was...”

“Going for a sleep. Wake me if there’s food…” And he’s gone.

But Middle’s back: “... and in the very first dream, Eldest was saying ‘this isn’t the first time you’ve had these muscle seizures, it’s happened loads’, so it goes back and back and back... it’s all a big loop, do you know what I mean?”

Strangely, I do.