Arthur and his baby sister Kate are both in the custody of their aunt and uncle, their sister D.W. is institutionalized as a ward of the state, and their parents are separated. How did it come to this?
Four months ago, the Read parents were on the verge of separating due to differing views on how to raise their middle child. D.W.'s behavior has only gotten worse the older she's gotten. Only in kindergarten, she's already been expelled for deafening one of the Tibble twins. D.W. swears it was an accident, but her father and brother don't believe her. D.W.'s behavior takes a sudden turn for the worse when her family doesn't record a Mary Moo Cow special. In anger she turns on the oven, throws a flameable object in it, and lets the house burn down. This results in her grandmother Thora being accidentally killed and her family splitting apart.
This fanfic provides examples of:
- Adaptational Jerkass/Adaptational Villainy:
- D.W.'s self-entitlement has increased heavily and she's much more aggressive than she was at age four. She set her house on fire simply because her parents didn't record a show.
- Mr. Ratburn stole the Tibble's grandmother's identity to buy a yacht. He also attempted to murder Ed Crosswire with Millicent's help.
- Ed is abusive towards his wife.
- Mo's parents are involved with the mafia.
- Adaptational Sexuality: Mr. Ratburn had an affair with Millicent Crosswire. The chapter was written before Season 22 confirmed that Ratburn is gay.
- Dark Fic: The main theme is D.W. turning into an outright Enfante Terrible, but there are also other elements such as the Reads having a messy divorce and attempted murder.
- Deconstruction Fic: The fic deconstructs D.W.'s behavior and personality. She doesn't mellow down with age. She just gets even more spoiled and bratty. It soon turns into a serious problem.
- Disabled in the Adaptation: In canon, D.W. is a Spoiled Brat but not mentally ill. Proper Discipline has her diagnosed with Narcissistic Personality Disorder.
- Domestic Abuse: Ed is physically abusive towards his wife.
- Hollywood Psych: D.W. is diagnosed with Narcissistic Personality Disorder. It's also suggested that she might have Histrionic Personality Disorder. The problem is her age: she's only five. Children aren't diagnosed with personality disorders, and the few that are diagnosed are in their teens. A five year old cannot be legitimately diagnosed with NPD (which generally begins in early adulthood, at that).
- The Mafia: The town of West Falls is virtually run by the mafia. Arthur's aunt Loretta and uncle Ben are even in the mafia.
- Malicious Misnaming: D.W. has taken to condescendingly referring to her older brother as "Artie".
- Your Cheating Heart: Ed Crosswire has cheated on his wife repeatedly. In turn, Millicent is cheating on him with Ratburn.