Münchausen Syndrome by Proxy

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I really don’t like children. With very few exceptions, I find them dirty, sticky, loud, rude, small, and highly frenetic. All of these attributes disturb me.

But yesterday I felt so sorry for a small child that I almost kidnapped him to save him from the terror of being reared by his mother.

This poor little whelp was standing at the sample counter at Trader Joe’s, staring longingly at a bowl full of organic, gluten-free black bean and quinoa chips. With large eyes, he asked his mother if he could try one. The mother snatched up the bag irritably and read the package. The following exchange went something like this:

Mother: “Excuse me. This says that no gluten ingredients are used, but are they gluten free? Are you ABSOLUTELY SURE that they are manufactured in a facility that does not also produce products which contain gluten?”

Server, Baffled, “Er, I don’t see…”

Mother, snatching away small child: “See, they’re not gluten free. You can’t have any.”

Sad child: “Please, can’t I have just one?”

Mother: “No.”

Server, seeing child in distress: “You’re good, they’re gluten-free.”

Mother, reluctantly: “Fine. Use the tongs.”

This mother quite obviously suffers from the disorder “Munchausen Syndrome by Proxy.”

This is how Wikipedia describes the disorder: “… a controversial label for a behavior pattern in which a caregiver deliberately exaggerates, fabricates, and/or induces physical, psychological, behavioral, and/or mental health problems in those who are in their care.”

This poor child has a young life of ulcers and hospitalization ahead of him.

Besides, if I had a small child and it was excited to try something as shady and bull-shitty as Organic, Gluten-Free Black Bean and Quinoa Chips, I would buy it a truck load and hope it never discovered Frito-Lay.

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About pterodactylsamurai

Author of Love in the Time of Dinosaurs (2010), Chiaroscuro (2009) and editor of Unicorn Knife Fight Webzine
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