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Is There A Therapist in the House?

*photo credit here

My mothering style,
if I have one at all,
could be summed up in just a few adjectives and syllables:
Common Sense
Black n' White...
and if you've been reading this lil' blog at all
I'm sure you've got some adjectives of your own
to add in there.

Being the Momza to seven yahoos,
I am clearly out-numbered
so any cleverness that comes to my mind
has to be as loud as a freight train
for me to hear it,
if you know what I mean?

When their needs exceed my abilities,
I am not ashamed to admit
I look for help
outside my self--
it might be in books about parenting
or scriptures,
it may come from friends or family--
like calling my oldest kids n' asking them to talk to the younger ones.
I use that approach a lot.
And sometimes, it might come from a professional counselor
like when we were in the midst of a 
divorce 13 years ago,
we needed an objective logical viewpoint and a
direction to focus all that energy in.
Hey, I'm logical--
if I can't fix it,
I go looking for someone who can.

SO, when the Caboose started her "pre-teen" meltdowns a few weeks ago--
you know the kind where the tears are just below the surface?
She hates her hair,
changes her clothing 3 times before putting on the same exact pair of shorts
she's worn nearly every day of summer,
and is so full of emotion every which way--
that the only logical explanation is that Madame Puberty is in the house!

Well, one day after giving as much consoling and re-direction that I had
and nothing worked, I said, rather exasperated:
"Your emotions exceed my abilities. Do you need counseling?"

I was not totally truthfully serious.
In fact, I was being sarcastic.
And the Caboose being the way she is--
smarter than the rest of the whole 
family combined--
shrugged it off like I knew she would
but did change her behavior with a fraction of civility.
She now apologizes to everyone after a meltdown.
Because, as I said to her,
it's unfair for us to have to witness her range of emotions.
I stand by that.
It is unfair. Cruel, even.

yesterday I realized just how much the Caboose has been thinking about
the Caboose and Joseph came downstairs for lunch
and announced that they are each other's "counsellors".
"Yeah?" I laughed. "How's that going?"

"I asked Joe to tell me his greatest fears." The Caboose offered up.
I looked at Joseph, who has a slight grin on his face
and as he said to the Caboose,
"You can tell her."
"I can't." She protested. "It's against the confid-confid-thingy--the secret thing between patients and doctors.
You can tell her though."
"Oh", I said. "The confidentiality agreement?"
"Yeah. I can't tell anyone what is said between us." She answered.
So again I looked to Joseph.
"Your greatest fears? Do you even want me to know?"

Now, I'm thinkin' it's gonna have to do with
I was not even close to being prepared for what came next.

"Corn dogs and mustard." he said, with a I'm-just-messin-with-my-kid-sister-look.

The Caboose sat there,
proud as a peacock,
feeling like she had tapped into
some deep psychological well
of her big brother.

I bit my lip n' shook my noggin.
These are my kids.

My kids played "Therapist" all day long.
Joseph was appointed to be The Caboose's
"Anger Management" therapist:
in which he has "taught" her to
"count to ten and take a deep breath"
when she gets mad at anyone.
Especially him.
While Daisie was appointed to be the Caboose's
"mental health and "using colors to heal"-- fashion expert.

I am not kidding.

And I'm a little afraid.
We may all need counseling by the time
this circus train pulls into town.

These are the
that are supposed to
take care of
when I'm old.

Dawn is the Mother of 7, Granma to 2, Doula, Home  Stager, Writer, and blogs it all at Momza's House.

Enjoy shopping for quality baby clothing at

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