I Know an Old Woman

I know an old woman who swallowed a fly...
My baby is still colicky after three months. He still does not sleep for more than two hours at a time. All the other mothers I chat with at the gym have babies who are sleeping through the night. Sometimes, I give him a little brandy to help him sleep. And then I take a shot myself.

I don't know why she swallowed a fly...

My five year old just will not behave. He is always asking me to do stuff. It is so annoying. He has no appreciation of how tired I am when I get home from work. I gave him an iPad with lots of games, but he still keeps asking me questions and bothering me. Will I read him a story? Will I take him to the park? Will I bounce a ball with him? Do I look like a woman who has time to bounce a stupid ball with a five year old?  

I know an old woman who swallowed a spider. 

That wiggled and jiggled and tickled inside her.

She swallowed the spider to catch the fly. 

I don't know why she swallowed the fly. 

Perhaps she'll die.

My third grader isn't paying attention in school. He won't do the assigned worksheets in class never mind do all the worksheets for homework. Our pediatrician says that my son is just an active child who needs to go out and play but I insisted that we get a prescription for psycho-stimulants. The pediatrician wouldn't prescribe them but I bought some Adderol from one of the moms at the club. It didn't seem to work though--my son is still hyperactive and inattentive--so I added twice daily doses of Ritalin and Vyvanse.

I know an old woman who swallowed a bird. 

How absurd. She swallowed a bird. 

She swallowed the bird to catch the spider 

that wiggled and jiggled and tickled inside her. 

She swallowed the spider to catch the fly. 

I don't know why she swallowed the fly. 

Perhaps she'll die.

Now my son is in ninth grade. He is acting out like you wouldn't believe. He talks back, is totally disrespectful, his grades are terrible, sometimes he cuts school to drink beer and smoke pot with his friends. I took him to a psychiatrist who met with him for six minutes and prescribed an SSRI, Prozac I think it's called. My son doesn't like the medication, says it gives him headaches or some nonsense, but anyway it wasn't working so I doubled the dosage.

I know an old lady who swallowed a cat. 

Imagine that. She swallowed a cat. 

She swallowed the cat to catch the bird. 

How absurd. She swallowed a bird. 

She swallowed the bird to catch the spider 

that wiggled and jiggled and tickled inside her. 

She swallowed the spider to catch the fly. 

I don't know why she swallowed the fly. 

Perhaps she'll die.

My son is going to turn 18 soon; he is completely out of control. He won't go to school, plays "League of Legends" all day, doesn't speak to me except to ask for money. The SSRIs didn't work so I got him some atypical anti-psychotics and some mood stabilizers. The Abilify doesn't work either. His behavior just gets worse and worse.

I know an old lady who swallowed a goat. 

She just opened her throat. And swallowed a goat. 

She swallowed the goat to catch the cat. 

Imagine that. She swallowed a cat. 

She swallowed the cat to catch the bird. 

How absurd. She swallowed a bird. 

She swallowed the bird to catch the spider 

that wiggled and jiggled and tickled inside her. 

She swallowed the spider to catch the fly. 

I don't know why she swallowed the fly. 

Perhaps she'll die.

I haven't heard from my 24-year-old son in over a year. Somebody told me that he was living in California eking out a meager living from dealing the prescription pain pills to which he himself is addicted. I can't imagine how he got involved with illegal drugs. All the drugs I ever gave him were from doctors or other parents.

I know an old lady who swallowed a horse. 

She's dead of course.

I would not pretend that just allowing an active child to go outside and play is the surefire, one size fits all cure for all learning differences, attentional issues, and family conflict. Dyslexia, dyscalculia, and dysgraphia are all real. Medications CAN be useful and appropriate.  What I am interested in is the escalating human sot of the alleged psychotropic cures and whether or not less intrusive, more effective alternatives exist. If you would prefer to have a loving relationship with your child, at the very least you must consider involving the child in the decision to imbibe brain-altering chemicals. You might even decide that some things are more important than a child behaving calmly or completing worksheets. Here are two examples of what you might consider to be more important than a calm child completing worksheets: a child who is not completely estranged from his parent; a child who is not suffering from addiction to drugs.  

3 thoughts on “I Know an Old Woman

  1. barry

    Deciding to have children is the most important decision in one’s (Parent’s) life. Raising children should be an absolute joy! I truly respect people who decide not to have children.

    Reply
  2. David Saltman, LCSW

    Nice! Although, I would prefer that we not attribute this level of values and judgment to an “old woman”.

    Reply

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