My salad dressing days

Parenthood: life’s great leveller
June 22, 2008, 10:34 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

Friend #1 calls. She’s worried about her three and a half year old. He’s very defiant. He won’t listen.

Tell me about it, I say. We have four year olds. Who are defiant. Who won’t listen. 

I tell her I have bought a book. It has one of those long-winded titles so beloved of American self-help authors: ‘How to talk so kids listen and listen so kids talk’.

(To be honest, we’re after some more listening from the kids and less talking. But we’re willing to give it a whirl.)

Friend #1 comes over all excited!

‘Will you read it and tell me what it says?’

‘Yeah, OK. But I’m only ten pages in. Don’t hold your breath. After all, I’ve only read six novels since giving birth.’

‘Well, I don’t have time to go and buy it, let alone read it, so just do your best’, says my friend, somewhat impatiently.


We meet some weeks later with Friend #2, who also has a defiant four-year-old with selective hearing issues.

I confess sheepishly that I have bought a pop psych book on the matter.

When I tell her the title, she (equally sheepishly) confesses that she has bought it too.

‘What did you think?’ I ask (hopefully).

‘Oh, I dunno. I’ve only read ten pages.’

‘Me too!’ I squeal.

‘Yeah, well, I just haven’t got the time’, she complains.

‘I know…’, I reply.

(I consider that we may have hit upon the crux of the problem.)


Friend #2 is a clinical psychologist.

There is no hope. For any of us.


2 Comments so far
Leave a comment

“Selective hearing issues” — brilliant.

So you’re telling me it doesn’t get any better? *says the frightened mother of a 2.5-year-old*

Comment by winterwheat

I’ve finally read it! On holiday – how sad is that? Can’t remember any of it now, may have something to do with the amount of cheap French wine consumed whilst reading.

Comment by Friend #2

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