Thursday, August 02, 2007

Little Mr. OCD

I'm a little worried. Little Guy loves to do all the normal stuff that toddlers love to do - play with toys, kick a ball around, torture our animals by sitting on them...

But lately, he's also been showing some odd tendencies.

For example, he loves, LOVES to wash his hands. But he doesn't just want to do it once. No. He wants to do it 25 times or more. And his ritual is always the same: lather with soap, rinse, towel dry, point to bar of soap and say "bar of soap", point to liquid soap and say "liquid soap."

He will literally sit at the sink for TWENTY minutes doing this over and over again until (usually) I have to finally drag him away.

Frankly, it's starting to creep me out a little bit. I'm all for cleanliness but this is ridiculous. The fact that I have some mild OCD issues in my family doesn't help ease my mind.


Mommy, look, bar of soap! Wow! I know it's the same bar of soap I've been using for the past 20 minutes, but wow, isn't it great?!


The other weird thing is his fetish for shoes. Now, I know that almost everyone has a picture of themselves with their parents shoes on when they were a kid. It's cute, right?



Well, my kid has to take out every single pair of shoes that we own (including my heels) and walk in them into another room until they are all lined up near our couch. Once he's done, he then puts his feet into every pair and again walks them to another part of the house until they're all lined up again. And woe be it to the person who tries to interrupt him during this activity. There will be hell to pay, let me tell you. Because, really, lining up shoes for an hour is serious business. And he takes it very seriously.


This is just a fraction of the shoes that he collects. Eventually, the entire carpet is covered.


So, I ask you, is this normal, people? Is it? Or should I call a shrink now?

Sidebar: 10 pts to anyone who recognizes the hat on the ground in the last photo. (Husband's actually worn it. In public. Ugh.)

18 Comments:

Blogger Pumpkin said...

As far as I'm aware, there is no definite link between OCD and an inherited genetic predisposition to the illness, so even though there may be family history with OCD, doesn't necassarily mean it'll be passed to your wee boy.
Also, even though it can be extremely freaky (especially when there's some family history with it), I've been told by a few folks that kids go through wee phases of obsessive behaviour, kind of like where they're making sense of their world by controlling a particular aspect of it (hence the lining up of the shoes).
I don't know if any of this is helping or calming any fears hun.....you could always just check with the family doctor for a quick opinion.

And just as a light hearted aside..........it's the Virgin Mary Hat right???

12:17 AM  
Blogger Lawyer Mama said...

If it helps, Hollis spends half the friggin day washing his hands. And he has to follow the same ritual every. single. time.

We don't have the shoe issue, but he does (obsessively) line up his toys. All the cars in a row. Then all the Little People in a row. Then all the stuffed animals.... You get the idea. I think it's a toddler thing. At least that's what everyone keeps telling me.

1:14 AM  
Blogger kgirl said...

Sounds completely normal to me. Bee does almost the exact same things, and has lots of other 'rituals' as well.

I'm no child development expert, but I think toddlers really like to compartmentalize as they explore and discover; people are all about patterns, and it makes sense that little kids are like that to the extreme - I mean, they're pretty extreme about everything else too.

Bee will often make up a 'game' to play with us, and we can play it for ages - with absolutely no variation. If we try to mix things up, she gets upset.
Kids know what they like, is what I figure.

5:07 AM  
Blogger Christina said...

We have OCD behaviors here, too. Cordy loves to line up her toys and crayons in patterns. Although she hates washing her hands.

5:09 AM  
Blogger snarflemarfle said...

X-man loves shoes (though he doesn't go to quite the trouble to line them up like your little mister does) but every morning, he wants me to put his blankets and teddy bears on the crib railing in the exact same spot every morning. I never even considered this OCD.

I think it's normal...

5:11 AM  
Blogger ~JJ! said...

Good questions. I'm not sure. Honestly.

I think at this age we always say..look how cute he is...but as his mom, I understand your feelings.

I love shoes too...I do the same thing with them...Line them up. Then, I buy more.

6:25 AM  
Blogger The Flip Flop Mamma! said...

This post is too funny!!

7:26 AM  
Blogger Feener said...

ahhh the ocd question, i had a post about this and it seems MANY toddlers enter some sort of OCD concern area. sass likes to line up books and is VERY upset if they are ruined AND we are not allowed to read those books. she also nees every song sung to the end or tv shows, everything must have a beginning, middle and END.

7:50 AM  
Blogger Kyla said...

Ahh, well, KayTar is KayTar...so I can't speak to the normalcy of toddlerhood. BubTar's has passed me by and for the life of me I can't recall it now that we're living through KayTar's.

8:04 AM  
Blogger Mommy off the Record said...

I am feeling much relieved thanks to these comments. Little Guy has always liked to line things up - he's done it for many months. The handwashing thing was a bit of a deviation, but I guess it's not too abnormal. Pheww.

p.s. Pumpkin, yes, you got it! It's the Virgin Mary hat. :)

8:29 AM  
Anonymous Karly said...

I wouldn't worry too much about it. Kids love playing in the water and maybe he's found a way to play without getting told no? Or is it just me that doesn't let her kids splash water all over the house?

And the lining shoes up thing? Thats not that weird either. My son used to spend hours driving his hot wheels cars from one side of his room to the other and parking them in a straight line just to drive them back to the other side. Your kid just has better fashion sense and plays this game with shoes!

12:12 PM  
Anonymous chelle said...

Becca is all about obsessions. I really believe it is a stage that they all go through as annoying as at all is :)

1:19 PM  
Blogger mamatulip said...

OMG, the HAT! I gotta tell you -- and I tell you with 100% certainty -- that my husband would proudly wear that in public too. No doot aboot it, as we Canucks are known to say. ;)

Oliver likes to wash his hands too and I have always attributed it to his fascination and deep love of water.

5:34 AM  
Blogger Damselfly said...

Well, at least he's clean! And he knows how to put on shoes! What impresses me is that simple things can entertain him for so long!

8:34 AM  
Blogger Lisa said...

I can't get my child to wash his hands, so I'm kind of envious of you.

My son, as a toddler, had a thing with doors. He could sit for quite some time opening and closing a door.

He STILL has to line up all of his Matchbox cars like he used to. He takes great care to organize. Once I pointed this out to my brother and he said, "Well that way you can take inventory of what you have." That made sense to me.

So maybe that's what your little man is doing with the shoes, organizing and taking inventory. I do think its a toddler thing tho.

11:20 AM  
Anonymous my minivan is faster than yours said...

Crusher is constantly realigning all of his toys/stuffed animals in his crib. I already he assume he's nuts since he comes from my husband and me, so I'll hold off on the therapy until he's older and I'm had more sufficient time to screw him up!

Honestly, I do think it's normal behavior, for whatever that's worth :)

1:52 PM  
Blogger Slackermommy said...

Most kids have some sort of OCD like behavior at that age. My oldest does have OCD but showed no signs until she was six. My second daughter had OCD like symptoms as a toddler but has none now. He sounds pretty "normal" to me.

7:21 PM  
Blogger carrie said...

Don't worry about the handwashing thing -- it's totally normal. If you want to conserve water, though, fill up the sink and just let him stand there and wash for as long as he wants (that way the faucet isn't running the entire time)!

And if you get sick of the same washing song, you can teach him "wash, wash, wash your hands get 'em nice and clean - wash those germs right down the drain and listen to 'em scream". Mmmmm, one of my favorites (not).

At leas it's a clean habit! :)

Carrie

12:49 PM  

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