Daffy Duck Syndrome

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Daffy Duck Syndrome
Karen was looking forward to an afternoon of sewing. After she finished Bailey’s dress she could start a blouse for herself.

“Mom, can you teach me to sew?” Bailey, her 11-year-old daughter, hovered over the machine.

Karen frowned. Lord? Isn’t it enough to learn patience through teaching her to cook? I don’t have to teach her to sew, too, do I?

Her husband Mark was nearby. “You should teach her, Karen.” He laughed at Karen’s scowl.

Heaving a sigh she prayed Bailey would tire of it in 15 minutes. “Sure. Go get that scrap fabric you had earlier.”

“Yes! Thanks, Mom! You’re the coolest.” Bailey raced off.

“Mark, you’d better pray she doesn’t sew her finger, and if she does you better be here because I’ll throw up!”

“She’ll do fine. Just give her a chance.”

Bailey ran back in. “Here. Now what?”

Karen got a ruler and drew a series of spiraling lines. “Ok. Sew on the line. When you come to a corner put your needle in the corner, lift the presser foot, turn the fabric and sew the next line, working your way to the center.”

Bailey sat in front of the machine and stepped on the pedal. “Aaack!”

Gently step on the pedal,” Karen instructed her.

Bailey eased her foot down, moving slowly and almost staying on the line. When she came to a corner she followed the directions and executed a perfect turn.

Karen glanced at her watch. Thirteen minutes to go and hopefully she’d be tired of it. Moving away, she started pinning the blouse pattern on the fabric.

“How’s it going?” Karen leaned over Bailey’s shoulder and was glad to see she was almost done. Just a few more minutes and she could get sewing.

Bailey paused in her sewing and looked at Karen. “This is fun, Mom! What do I do next?”

“Next?” Karen looked at her watch. “You’ve been sewing almost 20 minutes. Aren’t you ready to head outside?” she asked hopefully. Hearing the sewing machine was making her antsy to sew.

“No way! I want to keep sewing, Mom.”

Karen groaned. She pulled out a wavy ruler she used for scrapbooking and set to work on another practice piece for Bailey. “I’m a big girl,” she thought. “I can handle letting her sew for a few more minutes.”

“Here, work on this while I cut out my blouse.”

Fifteen minutes later Karen was working on not gnashing her teeth. Ok, Lord, I need help here, but not like I thought I would! She’s doing great but I’ve got a bad case of Daffy Duck Syndrome.

“Look, Dad!” Mark came in and Bailey jumped up to show him her work.

“Hey, that’s great, Kiddo! Have you been working this whole time?”

“Yes, she has.” Karen’s voice was strained as she eased in front of the machine and ran her hand along the top of it.

“What’s next, Mom?”

“Nothing. It’s my turn now.”

Mark laughed. “What’s the matter, Hon?”

Karen winked at him, bent over the machine and wrapped her arms around it. “Mine! Mine! It’s all mine!”

Bailey’s eyes rounded. “Mom?”

Mark burst out laughing. “She’s got a bad case of DDS.”

“What’s DDS?” Bailey asked.

“Daffy Duck Syndrome. That’s what we called this behavior when you were little. It’s about killing her that you’re sewing and she can’t.”

“Umm. I don’t think she’s watched Daffy Duck any time recently.”

“Why’s that?” Mark asked.

“He isn’t exactly what you’d call a happy duck.” Bailey said, warily eyeing her mother. “In fact, he’s so selfish he’s miserable and ends up hurting himself with his selfishness.”

Karen wilted back into the chair and moaned. “Oooh, you’re right!” She looked at her daughter, humbled that she had seen something so many people miss. “Ok, here’s the deal. I’ll share my sewing machine with you, but it’s my turn now; I really do need to finish your dress for Sunday.”

Bailey laughed and gave her mother a hug. “I knew you were just playing with me, Mom. You’re not a selfish person.”

Karen swallowed around the lump in her throat. Lord, help me learn this lesson. Both You and I know just how selfish a person I am and Bailey’s right, I’m only hurting myself with it. Take my selfishness and replace it with Your love for others. Thank You for this daughter You’ve given me and help me learn from her as she learns from me.

Daffy Duck Syndrome is something I've joked about and laughed over for years--because I often seem to have it. Seeing that selfishness as DDS has helped me see how ridiculous I'm acting...and work on making changes.

I wrote this story two years ago--time sure flies when you're having fun, but I can't believe that it's only been two years. Wow. God is so good!!!

Be sure to join us at My Heart's Dee-Light for links to more Fiction Friday!


  1. Loved your characters and the wonderful lesson!

  2. Soon as I saw the title I smiled. One of your wonderful ones, dearest Peej! A lesson we ALL need to learn!! Great stuff, dear Ms. FF ;)

  3. Loved this story!

    I'd never heard of DDS, but fear I've fallen into that syndrome myself at times - unfortunately. God's been working on me for several years now and sometimes I have to repeat - "It's not about me. It's not about me. . . " :*)

  4. What a wonderful, heart-warming family! I loved both the character development and the message.

  5. DDS, eh? I'll have to remember that the next time I have that "feeling" wash over me! Great story, Peej.

  6. Daffy Duck Syndrome--what a descriptive label! Great story!

  7. I had to laugh at the DDS. Creative, clever and a great lesson in this story. I need to work on DDS too.

    *psst--we both had a duck and a syndrome in our FF :)*

  8. Oy, this is a good reminder. Very well done.

    Patty,I wanted to let you know that I listed your site as an award recipient on my blog. I really enjoy your stories and I am so grateful that you started Fiction Friday!

  9. Another great reminder not to be selfish comes from the movie, Nemo - the seagulls - all they could say was, "Mine! Mine! Mine!" My hubby and I use that one when it's obvious one of us isn't feeling like sharing!

  10. This is a good story with a great message. I remember sewing lines on notebook paper many many years ago:)


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