The Scratching Post

Little Dilly: spawn of satan

Dylan Cohen, Staff Reporter

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To teachers who have difficult children, don’t worry.

It gets better.

Genuinely, I don’t know how my parents did it. They answered every call from the principal, picked me up early from every sleepover, and still managed to tolerate me.

Being a demon-spawn has certainly caught up to me.

I can’t get through a family dinner without my brother tipping the first domino with, “remember when Dylan was the worst?”

Don’t worry, I remember very clearly.

We could start with the time we had just moved into our house and I decided to kick off my art career with my canvas, the wall, and my paintbrush, my diaper. It was during our housewarming party, and my dad freaked out when he had discovered my masterpiece. In my defense, though, someone’s got to break in the new house.

There was also the multitude of times where I decided to play impromptu games of hide and seek in public. My parents would watch elevators close and take their little daughter away to who knows where.

There was one time in particular that I ran away during my mom’s doctor appointment. She says that she then frantically asked the doctor if there was any medication she could take for me.

Sometimes I can’t tell whether or not she’s actually joking about that.

I’d also rip the heads off of my barbies, which is an easy giveaway that your child is a sadist.

My peak of evil was, without doubt, elementary school. My parents were recommended by the school to sign me up for counseling. I don’t even remember the woman’s name. Once a week she’d take me out of library time to talk about my “anger issues.”

Two notes on that.

1) I 100 percent blame this experience for why it took me significantly longer to get into reading as a kid. Why couldn’t she take me out of math? I was already a lost cause in the STEM world.

2) My counselor’s only rule was that I couldn’t respond to questions with, “I don’t know,” which is unfortunate, considering that I really didn’t know why I was so aggressive.

Maybe because my brother was just significantly better than me in most aspects growing up.

My parents really struck it out of the park with my brother: he was a cute, considerate, and quiet kid growing up.

Little ol’ me had yearly visits to the principal’s office. I did get to pet her golden retriever before my annual roast, though.

I also had this terrible pastime that developed when someone in kindergarten told me that you can call the police for free on a payphone. That was revolutionary to me.

I tried on nearly every payphone I came in contact with for months, and every time the call would be about the same.

“9-1-1, what’s your emergency?”


“Hello, is everything all right?” And then I’d hang up.

One time, my family purchased a shoe-shaped telephone for a family friend. Obviously, I had to try talking to the police through the shoe. Spoiler alert: it still worked.

Looking back at the literal hell I put my parents through, I think the source of it all was that we couldn’t find an outlet for me. They certainly tried, though.

I was signed up for everything at some point. I did it all, but nothing seemed to stick. I did soccer for a while, but that’s mostly because I wanted to be like my brother. The whole running part of soccer was not really gelling with me, so that had to go.

Next, my mom signed me up for gymnastics. One day, they lifted little Dilly up onto the high bars against her will. That was my last day of gymnastics.

There was a period in my life where my parents signed me up for dance. Here’s the thing about having a difficult child like me: I really liked dancing once I was there and got into it. Getting me there? Nope, no thank you. One time, I went to the park about a block away from our house because I didn’t want to go to hip-hop.

Sorry that sitting on the tire swing seemed more enticing than attempting to do the splits, Mom. Anyways, they called the police (with a real phone, not a shoe), which was a common ending to many of these stories.

There is one story in particular that I know will be passed down throughout the generations –a verbal heirloom.

I walked into the elementary bathroom, and my hair was really not doing it for me that day. I wanted to do something about it.

I decided to use the pink, goopy soap as a makeshift hair gel. My excessive pressing of the soap dispenser had congealed into a gross puddle on the floor. Soon, there was so much soap in my hair that my bob haircut had fully formed into a unicorn horn.

This is the most iconic look I’ve created to date. I put a disgusting amount of soap in my hair, soaked it, spiked it, walked into the class dripping, and was instantly sent to the prinipal’s office. It was gross. It was beautiful. It also got me a call home very quickly.

Yet, though all the calls to the police, the obnoxious yelling, and the fact that I had a ten-year ugly phase, my parents never gave up on me. They’d support me at whatever new activity Mom had signed me up for, until I had found my niche. They’d come to every visit to the principal’s office, until one day, it was because I had won a writing contest. They’d pick me up from wherever me and my Dora the Explorer suitcase had wondered off to, until I found that I was happiest at home.

That’s what makes leaving my family for college so difficult. They’re the only people who can put up with any of the crap I pull.

So, just to reiterate: teachers, if your child is the worst right now, don’t worry. They’ll level out. They’ll appreciate everything that you’ve done for them.

They’ll get better.

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Little Dilly: spawn of satan