A Child Called It’
A Child Called It’ is the story of a young boy who, in order to survive, must triumph over the physical, emotional, and medical abuse created by his mother. The exploitation of alcohol plays an important role in the abuse by the mother and the neglect to see and the courage to intervene the problems by Dave’s father. Dave considered the abuse he endured by his mother, games’. But he always tried to be one small step ahead of her.
Like Death From Child Abuse . . . And No One Heard, the outside world does nothing to help out a small child suffering from various forms of abuse. The few people who took notice were David’s teachers and the school nurse. Yet it took them a considerable amount of time to finally build up suspicion and finally report Dave’s problems to the proper authorities. I find the unreported instances observed by the public to be just as substantial a crime as the child abusers themselves.
One of the things I enjoyed and always found myself grinning about was the spunk that Dave had. He was crafty enough to stall his mother’s efforts of physical and emotional cruelty just long enough for his dad to arrive, and he would not receive the most severe option of the abuse. When his mother attempted to make him eat his brother’s stool, he held his head away just long enough to get it taken away at the last second as his father drove up from work.
The games that his mother would make him play would turn deadly. He had to fortunately thank God that she was a former nurse. For example, she told him that she was going to kill him, and played with a knife as if she was going to. The knife slipped out of her hands and struck him around the chest area. He bled profusely and she bandaged him up and nurtured him for a little while after until she saw he was able to support himself again. Soon after, Dave would have to take care of the wound by himself, like when it became infected, and he had to squeeze the puss from it.
Another game instance is he would be timed when it came to doing his chores, if not done quick enough (faster than an adult human could wash and dry the dishes) he would be subject to more, and more severe punishment. And even if he did accomplish his tasks in a reasonable amount of time, his only reward was to eat the left over food thrown in the garbage.
Emotionally, she never referred to David as her son. She always knew Dave as the boy’ or It’. As his father would try to intervene to help him out, he would be caught by the madness of his wife in calling him, the boy’ and It’. As much as his father tried to comfort Dave, he did not have the will to stand up against his wife.
Most likely, the abuse stemmed from alcohol abuse of his mother and father. They just both handled their addiction in different ways. His father was passive, but still loved his son; his mother became violent and took her frustration and madness out on Dave. Not that alcohol is an excuse, but it was the key to the ignition of that family’s child abuse problem. Alcohol in this case brought out the violence and was his mother’s way of release, her savior.
All in all I felt the book was very compelling. I did not feel it had the same impact as Death From Child Abuse . . . And No One Heard, because of the style that it was written; I enjoyed hearing Ursula’s thoughts. Still, the torture that Dave tolerated was more than any child should endure or ever have to endure. He was strong, intelligent, and crafty child and found a way to postpone and survive the punishment. His determination to overcome this unnecessary adversity was amazing. My hat is tipped to his courageousness as he finally beat his mother at her games and realized his dreams.