Tag Archives: weird rituals kids have

Oh Say Can You OCD?

Look, I don’t mean to make light of a serious condition. I just want to ask: does it seem normal that, of all the kids at her school, MJ is the only one who insists on washing her hands at a sink off on its own in the art area because she hates the “foamy soap” offered in the kid’s bathroom? (And, for that matter, white soap of any kind?) Or that, even if I brought, say, an orange soap into the latter area, it would still be unacceptable because of the mere presence of the foamy stuff nearby?

There’s more: With very few exceptions, she’ll only poop in her crib, with the bedroom door propped open, the closet door shut, and the closet light on.

Finally, when I sing her “I Love You a Bushel and a Peck” to put her to sleep (and this is the only song permitted), I have to wait to start the song until she is lying on her side, red belly (her favorite blanket) tucked against her chest, her other five blankets arranged in a precise order on her body. If I start singing a second before this–or if any blanket is not in its assigned place–I have to start over. Once the song is in full swing I must rub her back without stopping for even a nanosecond. God forbid I should sneeze, or have an itch. Redo! Finally, I must pause halfway through the song and inquire whether red belly is ready for the second verse. Then I wait while she answers. Red belly, that is.

And yes, red belly is a she.

What does all of this mean? As for my daughter, I’m pretty certain it indicates that she’s within the range of normal–if barely–for a sensitive, smartish three-year-old.

As for me, on the other hand?

It means that I’m a total nutcase, of course.

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