Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Little Raggedy Kid Syndrome

There's a syndrome, I don't know if you've heard of it, called Little Raggedy Kid Syndrome (LRKS). You may even know someone who has it. The symptoms appear more often in the young. LRKS sufferers are the little kids in your neighborhood whose parents leave them to fend for themselves. The kid usually has a runny nose and sneezes all the time (kind of like a feral cat). They will push themselves in where they are not welcome, out of necessity. At neighborhood events, they will eat more than their share of food and will always stay for dinner if asked. They might even wrangle themselves a reluctantly given invitation. There aren't many options for those with LRKS. In severe cases, they will even try and get more hugs than they have coming to them by being inappropriately affectionate.

You can grow out of the syndrome, but it still hasn't been determined if you can actually be cured. Although LRKS doesn't usually affect adults as severely, some of the tell signs of a relapse include: always being the person to initiate hugs, calls, and visits; asking people for food and letting people pay for food; and always being the last person to leave the party. A cure may be a ways off, but viable treatments include earning enough money to buy food at restaurants, paying for massages, and most of all, accepting that you are too old to ever find the having-parents-take-care-of-you situation. Alternative treatments have been proposed, but as yet have no clinical data to back them up, they include: asking people for help with no expectations; not asking for help from people more needy than you; taking care of yourself as if you were your own good parent; and sitting in the lotus position with your hands held in a gesture of surrender.

There are always rumors of a possible cure, but the ingredients are so rare as to be untenable for most sufferers. The proposed cure includes many of the above treatments with the addition of a loving, open, affectionate community, plentiful food, and several years of being held and kissed every night by somebody who really loves you.


Laura Moncur said...

I love this entry. May you receive hugs and kisses for the rest of your life. I have encountered many children with this syndrome and I never know what to do with them. I'm just a strange grown-up. I really shouldn't hug them back.

Braidwood said...

Hi Laura,

Thanks! I like how it turned out too. You know what I think? I think you can give those kids hugs. Most of all they need someone to look at them and speak to them kindly and with respect. It's amazing how nourishing even crumbs of love can be to those suffering from LRKS, or so I've heard.