In Stitches
Marshall Brickeen

Glad I’m not the only one raising a sociopath. When my daughter was 4, she threatened to kick another girls pregnant mother in the belly to kill the baby inside. Then she threatened to kill the girl. When the girl told on her, the teacher said, “Elliot, you can’t threaten to kill people. It’s not nice and it can get you in serious trouble.” So my girl looks back at her and, very calmly, responds with “it’s okay. I won’t get in trouble because after I kill her, I’m going to kill myself.” Now I wasn’t there when it happened but was called in to speak with the head of the daycare about this. And I was shocked but also slightly amused at the whole thing. I think maybe they took her too seriously. She’s not nearly as violent as her mother so what’s the big deal. Her dad is super chill and she’s become more chill over the years. I’m still the crazy one among us. But I remember a time when she was a lot angrier and more violent. It was maybe around the time of our divorce. Later I put her in Hebrew school to appease my Jewish mother and she went around and told all the other kids that there was no god, making them cry. The head of the program called me in and asked me why she did this. I told her I was an atheist but that I wanted my child to have options and to choose her own path. I ended up getting a long lecture about why I should believe in god and how I was a bad mother if I didn’t (how can you hold your child for the first time and not believe? Because 40 hours of labor that’s how!) Eventually, I pulled Elliot out of the program because she kept having issues there (and I wanted to kill the woman in charge). She also learned to curse at a young age. Rather than try to tell her never to use profanity, I decided to teach her when it was inappropriate (e.g. school). My mother always chastises me for “teaching” my kid to curse. Which is very hypocritical of her because I learned to curse from her and my father (in two languages!).

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