Thursday, 27 February 2014

Gritted Teeth



There is only one person I have made angry enough for them to speak to me through gritted teeth.  Which is enough people for me to know that it is really not a pleasant thing at all, and that that person really had to be very angry.  It’s a funny thing, I can remember the time, I can remember being spoken to like that, and by whom, but I can’t remember what it was that I did.  This, unfortunately, rather suggests that there were multiple occasions when it could have happened, which:
     a) Is true

 And

     b)   Might suggest that N’s current phase of pretty consistent misbehaviour may not be quite the hereditary anomaly that I have been trying to persuade B that it is.



But let us get back to the topic in hand.  Teeth gritting, in my experience, is invariable an expression of intense anger or possibly loathing, directed at another person.  So imagine my surprise when I came home one day to find N lying in the lounge with S, practically hissing at him through some of the angriest gritted teeth you could possibly imagine.  The anger emanating from her was palpable as she addressed him in the sort of way that is usually reserved for a villain in a movie as he realises that his cunning, and ludicrously convoluted, masterplan has been foiled by the hero accidently pulling a plug out of a socket.  There was the feel of real malevolence coming from her as she spoke to him.

I would have been worried except for the arrival of B who claimed breezily, “Oh yes, she’s been talking to him like that all day.”

It turns out N’s preferred method of addressing her new little brother seems to be half predatory, half pure malice.  Of course, if I had actually listened to the words, rather than being terrorised by the mere sound of them I would have realised that N was being really nice.  Which makes the whole spectacle even more jarring.  It soon becomes clear that whilst the voice is the voice of Sauron, the words are the words of Tom Bombadil, mostly sing song nonsense with a little spattering of comforting friendliness popped in for good measure.  As far as we can tell she thinks that she is speaking in a soothing baby friendly way whilst all the time what she is doing is building up a lifetime of nightmares for the poor little chap.

So, if you ever happen across a little girl, with a big smile on her face, talking to a small boy like she wants to do it immense and painful damage, please don’t be alarmed, she’s just being nice.

1 comment:

  1. Brothers can be a real pain. Perhaps she's adopting/adapting a "grin and bear it" technique.

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