That Horrible Child

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By Sylvia Gerritsen

First of all, I would like to congratulate Kylie on the publishing of this book. Kylie has faced numerous health issues both as a child and into adulthood. This of course does not excuse her behaviour during her childhood, but to achieve the publishing of so many articles, short stories, a book of poetry, an as-yet unpublished novel and now this short story book of events of her childhood makes me very proud.

Many of these stories came to fruition purely because Kylie has a good heart and believes the best of everyone, her love for everyone and everything often delighted me and warmed my heart, it had me randomly bursting with laughter or giggling at work. But as you will see, it often had me tearing my hair out in frustration and fearing for her physical and emotional wellbeing - not to mention my psychological wellbeing.

I should point out that Kylie was rarely just ‘naughty’, nor was she destructive or nasty to either people, animals or property. She was simply figuring things out differently to most other children and getting herself (and me for that matter) into all sorts of randomly strange situations. I’m sure people thought she was being outright naughty but when you asked her to explain why she had done something, her explanations ‘kinda’ made sense - in a weird sort of way.

There were times I wondered what I was doing wrong and I sought help from both friends and professionals but without success. If she wasn’t destructive, rude, nasty or violent then what was the problem? It was difficult to explain to people, if one or two of the incidents had occurred it would have been considered normal or even cute, but living day to day with numerous incidents was very draining to a parent. The following stories are just a few extracts of what we lived with.

To this day Kylie thinks differently to many other people and she has to explain why she does things a certain way, when she does explain her actions it usually sounds logical. (this frustrates me too but now I don’t have to live with her). I truly hope you enjoy reading these stories, I’m sure you’ll get more joy in reading about them than I had in watching my daughter make them.

I love you Kylie,


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