I’ve taken care of a lot of people throughout my nursing career, and I’ve learned a few things about the laws that govern the universe. I’m especially fond of the Parental Law of Stupidity. It states that we reap how we sow, and the fruit doesn’t fall far from the tree.

The Parental Law of Stupidity plays out every day on my psychiatric unit in the form of the King Tut Syndrome. This syndrome shows itself when a misbehaving prodigal son is dumped onto our unit. Little King Tut comes from a dysfunctional family. The father is an entitled jerk, the mother is a queen bee, and King Tut is the center of their universe. They expect the world to bow before them and they really get pissed off when they don’t get their way.

Here are some signs and symptoms of King Tut Syndrome:

Little King Tut hits on every female patient on the unit. He even hits on the older ladies because he thinks that he is so darn hot.

Little King Tut’s father gets really rude when the nursing staff tells him that he can’t take his son off of the unit so they can go joyriding together in his new sports car. He gives the nurses the evil eye when he is informed that the hospital’s rules and regulations apply to them, too.

Little King Tut holds court in the patient lounge every afternoon. His family and buddies drop by and try to sneak contraband onto the unit. After all, it’s not fair that Little King Tut can’t have a doobie whenever he wants to light up.

Little King Tut’s outpatient follow up plan includes a trip to a very exclusive therapeutic wilderness camp that was highly recommended on a popular daytime television show.

And the list goes on and on. There is no cure for Little King Tut Syndrome. The universe has a way of getting back at people by giving them children that they deserve. There is validity in the Parental Law of Stupidity. We really do reap what we sow, and the fruit doesn’t fall far from the tree.