Do you remember that old saying, “Spare the rod and spoil the child?” You know where I’m going with this, don’t you? There are nights when I just want to scream, “Hey, Mommy and Daddy, get a clue. There isn’t anything wrong with your child, it’s just that your kid is a demon seed, and that you’re too stupid for words.” I’m sorry if I not sounding compassionate, but after this weekend, I’ve come to the conclusion that some people shouldn’t have children.

The phone was ringing at the desk as I was admitting a new patient to the unit. We don’t have a unit secretary on evening shift, so I excused myself so I could answer the phone. The first thing I heard when I put the phone to my ear was screaming and crashing furniture, and then I heard a woman pleading with someone not to hurt her.

Me: Hello? Hello!

Woman (crying): Is there a doctor there? My daughter, (former patient’s name), is out of control. She lives with me and I’m afraid for my life.

Me: No doctor here. You need to call 911.

Woman: Please, put down the knife! No, no…. The phone goes dead.

With my new patient standing at the nurses station with his mouth hanging open, I once again excused myself while I went into a private office to call the police. I called 911, and I identified myself as a psychiatric nurse. I told the police dispatcher about the phone call, and I asked him to send an officer out to the mother’s house to make sure that she was all right. The police brought the patient to the ER, and I found out later that the patient had destroyed the inside of her mother’s house because mom wouldn’t let our former patient drive the family car. Guess where she went after she was released from the hospital. That’s right, mama took her devil child back into her home because she didn’t have anywhere else to go. Silly me, I guess I’m just old fashioned, but I always thought that people who destroyed private property and threatened to kill others usually were sent to jail. Oh my, what was I thinking? I guess I’m just being a drama queen.

About three hours later, I received another phone call at the nurses station from a parent who was dissatisfied with the care her child was receiving on our unit. The problem? We have tile floors on our unit. She admonished me for the hospital’s stupidity. I asked the outraged parent what she had against tile floors, and she said that her darling had just threatened to beat his head against our “bad” floor tile if she didn’t immediately come to the hospital to take him home. I suggested that her son was merely trying to manipulate her, and that he was safe on our unit. She started screaming at me that her “angel” wasn’t a bad boy, just misunderstood, and that he would NEVER try to manipulate her. Ok, whatever, Stupid Mother. What do I know anyway? One day she’ll be telling a judge that her child is an angel and that he is misunderstood as he is being sentenced to jail.

There is an upside to having dumb parents raising evil brats. I’ll never be out of a job, and Jerry Springer will never run out of dysfunctional families for his show. Thank God for job security.