Monday, March 28, 2011

OCD, Yeah You Know Me

A few weeks ago I actually thought that my OCD tendencies were under control after I allowed Mackenzie to put her grimy little paws all over my sliding glass door.
It doesn't even phase me anymore when she slobbers on every major appliance in our house, leaving streaks of saliva in her wake.
The fact that I don't lunge for the Windex with mach speed is a small miracle.
But I don't think I've actually lost my crazy, I think I've just rearranged it for the time being. 

While baby fingerprints on the coffee table no longer leave me gasping for air, the mounds of chaotic paraphernalia that come with a little rugrat often ignite bouts of agita that leave me every bit as breathless. 
A close friend recently observed my post-baby OCD-idness (yes, I obviously just made that word up).  And -- because she's known me long enough -- she decided to call me out on it.
She asked what would happen if I lost one of the 12 stackable play cups I was using to make a really cool tower for Mackenzie (this is how I pass the time these days so I've gotten pretty good at the whole tower thing and take it fairly seriously). 
Somewhat unknowingly, as my friend observed, I obsessed over having the cups together at all times.  As in -- if one cup was across the room, under the couch, or behind the television, I could've broken  out into a cold sweat and started hyperventilating. 
Well... as you can imagine, it's pretty tough to keep the stackable cups STACKED 100 percent of the time when a nine month old is playing with them.  
Now, call me crazy... I know you already have... but they're STACKABLE cups... they're not intended to be thrown across the room, lost in the bowels of your pantry, or smacked together for hours at a time. 
They either get stacked one, by one, by one, or they get placed inside one another, one, by one, by one. 
Mackenzie will take several cups, leave them scattered across her play mat, and move on to another toy within about two minutes (like any normal baby would do). 
My normal consists of gathering all the cups, placing them inside one another, and moving them to a safe enough distance where they'll no longer be manipulated. 
The worst part is that the stackable cups aren't my only triggers.
A few weeks ago I spent twenty minutes trying to find a single pink sock that I was convinced was devoured by the washing machine.  
Twenty minutes I could've spent showering... 
Or doing my nails... 
Or relaxing with my feet up on the couch... 
But no.... I had to spend twenty minutes searching high and low, working up a sweat, to find one damn sock that my daughter will just rip off her foot and try to eat anyway.
I wouldn't have been able to sleep that night had I not found that freakin' sock.
Just like I can't seem to function without putting all of Mackenzie's toys away when we go out for our afternoon errands... This, despite the fact that we'll return an hour later and she'll once again rummage through the toy basket and toss everything across the room anyway.
The clothes in her closet are arranged in a specific order... and yes, I can tell if anything has been tampered with!  
The diapers have to be facing a certain way in the changing table basket... OR ELSE! 
The books on her nightstand MUST remain in the same order... Curious George, Ten Little Ladybugs, Goodnight Sweet Butterflies... 
It's both sad and sick, I know.
The only way I find any solace in the madness is knowing that I'm not alone. 
One friend recently told me that she'd gone into Code Red panic mode after realizing that her kids lost a Matchbox car at a play date.  
I've heard stories about women organizing cross-town expeditions to find a shoe that their child kicked off in either the grocery store, the post office, the bank, or the dry cleaners. 
And several mothers have confessed their obsession with finding that damn blue circle that comes in the Fisher-Price block set that every kid seems to have. You know... the blue circle that always manages to make a clean break from the pack (because it rolls, duh). 
Hunting for these getaway toys only seems to make me crazier... because as I strain to reach for an errant squeaky stacking ring I realize that five lonely specs of dust have accumulated under my couch, and now it's time to get the mop out.
But this maniacal behavior shouldn't come as a shock.
I had it coming all along... 
When I was a toddler my favorite thing to play with was a sponge. 

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