Arabella’s going through a lovely stage. ‘Take me to a psychologist’, she screamed, ‘I’ve got issues’. She didn’t need to add, ‘I’ve got
issues’ because they were glaringly obvious. So having just made the final payment to the orthodontist for her million dollar (almost) smile, we are now giving equally sized payments to a man who is supposedly one of Sydney’s leading child psychologists.
Truthfully speaking, I couldn’t wait to get there. I was looking forward to airing all of my grievances and expected to be able to reach for a box of tissues, have a gentle hand placed on my shoulder with an utter of a comforting ‘there, there’ and then an encouraging ‘well done’ on how I’d managed to hold it all together while bringing a very difficult daughter through her teenage years.
Arabella went in first while I had to stay outside the closed door and sit in a chair facing a TV that was deliberately left on at full volume so I couldn’t have a chance of eavesdropping. She emerged an hour later looking all smug and I couldn’t wait for my turn to tell him how it really is and receive the tonne of sympathy I was eagerly expecting.
So I sat in his office and started to tell him about all the horror days I’d endured and how strong willed she is and how trying and the toll her behaviour is having on the family etc but before I’d even warmed up he cut in with a few sweeping observations and assessments.
Statements? Is that a problem? I had no idea what he was talking about but didn’t want to appear unwise so just nodded like I found him to be very astute.
‘And you roll your eyes a lot’, he continued.
And I noticed there was no box of tissues. And that he was too far away to place a comforting hand on my shoulder. And with his gruff and gravelly voice I was not going to hear a gentle, ‘there there’.
‘And you have been very inconsistent with your parenting. Your husband is too harsh and you’re too weak so it’s no wonder she’s behaving the way she is. The boundaries for her are totally confused.’
It was not going well. And on top of hurling insults he was expecting me to pay him.
Trying to change the subject I said, ‘Well I’m pleased she’s about to turn 17. I’ve heard when teenage girls turn 17 they come good’.
When I was growing up parents were assumed faultless and blameless; children were the problem. Now I’ve grown up and am a parent myself, children are faultless and blameless and parents are the problem.
We left there with Arabella driving me home. She couldn’t get the grin off her face. ‘I like him mum, he’s really nice. He said I can come and see him whenever I like so I’ve made an appointment for next week.’
I rolled my eyes and stated, ‘Whatever makes you happy’.
And now for a snack:
Cost: Affordable right now as avocados are in season
Flesh of 3 avocados
Juice of 2 limes
3 vine-ripened tomatoes, seeds removed, chopped
1 small red onion finely chopped
1 green chilli, seeds removed, finely chopped
1 garlic clove, crushed
A small handful of chopped coriander
Place avocados in a bowl with the lime juice and mash to desired consistency. Gently fold in remaining ingredients.
Make as close to serving time as possible.
Serve with organic corn chips.