September 27, 2007

OCD Much?

I'm all for being clean, but my toddler is on a kick lately. Pixie doesn't want to eat foods that are messy. She doesn't want to use a spoon or fork that have food on them. She doesn't want to use her hands to eat food. If she knew there was such thing as an i.v. she'd insist I hook her up to one. Lately all she wants to eat are power bars and granola bars because they leave the fewest remnants on her hands and face. I unwittingly ruined the chicken nuggets I served for dinner last night by squirting ketchup on them. I ended up placing tiny pieces of them carefully into her mouth so that she didn't have to touch them or get ketchup on her lips with her scrubbing her face with a dishrag after each bite. (Yes, I realize my accommodation is half of the problem, but some days I just can't handle the sound of her screams.)

This morning she went outside her comfort zone and asked for oatmeal. I whipped some up, placed a spoon in the bowl and handed it to her. "The spoon is all messy!" she shrieked. "I'll get oatmeal on my face!" She refused to even touch the bowl. After trying to reason with her for a few minutes I finally caved and passed her oatmeal to our 5 month old and poured Pixie a bowl of cheerios. I put the spoon BESIDE the bowl this time. She was happy and took a big bite. Then another shriek. "The spoon is yucky!" she said, indicating the milk dripping from the spoon.

"Honey, it's just your cheerios," I sighed.
"Can I have a clean spoon?"
"Just use this one."
"I need a CLEAN one!"
"How about I give you a napkin and you can wipe the spoon off?"

I then gave her a stack of napkins. For the remainder of the meal she would take a bite, the nervously wipe her face and her spoon clean after each bite. By the end of the meal there was a rainforest's worth of crumpled napkins beside her cereal bowl.

Somehow having snot dripping from her nose all day doesn't bug her. Somehow peeing in her crib twice a day doesn't bother her. Somehow bringing handfuls of dirt into the house and rubbing them into the carpet doesn't bother her. But milk on her spoon? That's just disgusting.

Where did I go wrong? An OCD toddler and an infant with an outtie belly button? I just don't understand these people. I'm surrounded by traitors. And for some reason I accommodate them. I guess we all have our issues.


Nancy said...

An infant with an outie belly button? You must be a bad mother!

OCD runs in my family, and its usually a bit more... hmmm... consistent. If messiness was really the enemy, she'd mind the peeing in the crib, the dirt in the floor and the snot on the face.

So congratulations, she's not crazy, just a two-year old going through a phase.

Hollywood said...

Thanks for the comment, Nancy. But I hate to say it, it's small consolation to hear that it's a "phase" since she's currently going through her willful phase, her screaming phase and her possessive phase. All these phases end up running together and leaving me just plain exhausted.

Susan M said...

I remember when I was taking early childhood education classes learning that toddlers go through stages they called equilibrium and disequilibrium. They alternate back and forth. When a toddler has mastered new skills they feel confident and happy = equilibrium. Then after awhile they realize, wait there's a whole bunch more I don't know = disequilibrium. They're learning and growing so fast, these phases can swap every 6 months or so.

I remember my kids being on top of the world when they were 4. They thought they had it all dialed. Then kindergarten and suddenly, uh oh, there's a whole new world out there, and they became very difficult.

I swear sometimes my 13yo still goes through these phases, but I'm hoping he's just bipolar.

This was probably no help at all. My best parenting tip: redirection, redirection, redirection.

Sue said...

Power struggle, power struggle... I love that you gave her the napkins. tee hee

Hollywood said...

Don't worry, Susan - I'm not looking for help so much as just an outlet to whine. Sorry to rant to you guys. I've heard about that six month cycle thing and I am a big believer!

Marie said...

Reading your mommy postings -- sometimes I want a naughty little imp of my very own and sometimes I want to sign up for sterilization. I guess I'll have to keep reading for the next several years to find out which option is best. Hopefully you'll still be blogging when Penny turns 13.

You sound like a very patient mother.

Nancy said...

Wow, that's rough. I can't say that I'm looking forward to the willful toddler phase.

Colleen said...

Elijah isn't quite two and he probably goes through ten napkins a day. Let's just consider them very well-mannered.

CACKEL said...

yes, it seems like 2-year-olds just want a chance to whine and make themselves feel like they are in charge.

when lily starts ordering me around at mealtime and i just can't stand it anymore, i leave whatever i think she needs to feed herself, and i just get out of there. most of the time i come back and she's managed to eat the cereal even though i poured the milk wrong on it.

look on the bright side, at least she isn't getting her fingers messy and leaving sticky fingerprints all over your furniture and walls.

aubrey said...

wow, this sounds SO familiar. BOTH of my kids are OCD particular about their bedtime routines. the fan must be on, the nightlight must be on, there must be no obstructions in the way of the shaft of light coming in from under the door. it's really annoying. but it's not nearly as bad as what you're dealing with right now. that's gotta be rough.

california dreamer said...

Maybe if she had a yard to play in she wouldn't spend so much time playing with your head.

Hollywood said...

we're not even going to go there, dreamer. If only I had a yard... children would be polite thighs would be tones complexion would be olive life would be complete

Let's save that particular train of thought for a day when I really want to whine to you guys!

Ang said...

A friend of mine's daughter named Sarah went through the same kind of thing. She hated her hands to be dirty--food dirty, anyway--apparently other dirt was okay. That was about the time she started wearing the same pink ballerina dress every day. Wonder when Penny will pick her ONLY outfit?

Amber said...

I had a toddler like that- who's grown into a 3 1/2 year old who enjoys folding laundry and does a better job at it than me (and freaks out when I fold her clothes because they don't stack correctly. Really? It's worth it.

Also? I believe the bloggerland rule is if you use the word Cheerios in a post you HAVE to link back to me. Just sayin. (Don't verify that with GM)

Hollywood said...

Oh, Penny has a favorite outfit. It's her rainbow glitter Sunday shoes and her sleeveless purple princess dress with the feather neckline. She wears that outfit every day at home and out.

Amber, I have linked up "cheerios" to your blog and will continue to do so for the rest of my existence.

Amber said...

Thank you for conforming with internet regulation 4294.394.

You totally made my (going to be very long) day today. ROFL!

evanna said...

My word! Does your post ever sound familiar!?!? My girlie has OCD ... honest-to-goodness-diagnosed OCD. It IS exhausting. She also has sensory integration dysfunction and there are inconsistencies. Maybe just to keep Mom off-kilter?? Quite possibly!! :-/ Had to smile at the oatmeal story. When my daughter was probably 4 - 5 she would eat out of the middle of the bowl ... thus creating the ability to see the bowls bottom. Then she would scream and scream that there was a hole in her oatmeal and naturally one simply can NOT eat oatmeal with a hole in it!!! Oh the stories I could tell. Sounds like you can, too. :-) The OCD definitely still exists, but the issues change. When you finally have a break through in one area it seems to get replaced with another one. I guess I should be thankful for an interesting life, huh? :-) Hang in there.