OCDisastrous

Since my teens, I have had a touch of OCD. Well, maybe more than a touch, but fortunately, not the level of Jack Nicholson in As Good As It Gets. I am able to control it when I want to (while going crazy inside 😉 ), but only to a certain extent.

It started in high school and escalated during my super-neurotic, overachiever state in college. I had to check all of the door locks every night in a certain order. Luckily, we had a small apartment with only two doors, which were in the same room. I hadn’t yet progressed to checking windows and the stove and oven yet. However, I spent an inordinate amount of time checking those two doors. No matter how long I stared I could not convince myself that the damn doors were as locked as they were going to get. Finally, I would convince myself that I could believe my eyes (I’m not really sure how long that took, but it was about the same amount of time every night.) and go to bed.

This continued even after I moved into an apartment of my own with chains and security bars on the door. (Hey, I lived in a college town. Those are candy stores for predators. I’d already caught a Peeping Tom at my bathroom window.) By then, I had started checking the windows. (Yes, Dad, this is what happens when you tell your children too many stories about how every stranger they see is a potential kidnapper. How even the seemingly harmless older couple across the street could be kidnappers and you should never, ever even make eye contact with anyone you don’t know, because you might disappear forever and meet some horrible fate.)

Now that I am living in a house with my husband and child, my routine runs a bit more smoothly. I do check everything, but I only do it once (most of the time). However, I have added a few weird things. For instance, I always check my husband’s deodorant bottle and container of hair product every morning to make sure he has put the lids back on properly. (I don’t want the cats getting in and eating any of that stuff.) However, I am also a multi-tasking mommy these days. I attempted to check the deodorant a couple of mornings ago while also brushing my teeth and moving my compact. (All after about a month of not really sleeping.) Of course, on that one morning, the lid wasn’t on all the way. The deodorant fell, knocking the compact on to the floor, causing me to take both the Lord’s and his Son’s names very much in vain. Blasphemously in vain. Noting that my prayers might get through faster if I would stop insulting two out of the Big Three, I apologized and prayed that my son hadn’t woken up. He hadn’t. Thank God. (And I say that respectfully.)

You’d think I would have learned my lesson from that incident. Oh, no. Yesterday (Again while Max was napping. I get in to so much mischief when he naps.), I just had to make sure the top was securely on the Tupperware container containing the previous night’s brisket, which was now my lunch. I tested it once. Not good enough. Twice. Still not good enough. A third time. The top flies off and the bowl skitters toward the microwave. I meekly replace the lid and put it in the fridge. No more checking. No more blaspheming. My son stayed asleep. I guess I am learning to let go of my fears and neuroses after all. A few more accidents should cure me completely.

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The TV is your friend

That whole “no screen time for children under 2” thing? Not workin’ for me. Luckily, I talked to my mother-in-law on Wednesday and she said she let my husband watch lots of TV when he was little. Actually, she thinks that’s why he learned to talk so soon. He is super-smart and definitely not a TV addict, so I feel much better now about letting Max stare for a few minutes here and there while I take a breather.

Soothing toy or baby voodoo?

My husband and I recently purchased a Baby Einstein Baby Neptune Soothing Seascape for our son. My sister had one for her son and she let me try it out at her house one week. Max seemed to like it, but he didn’t seem completely enamored of it. I guess it is hard to be soothed when your almost-two-year-old cousin is running around and you are in imminent danger of having your head stomped on.

Tiffany said the toy definitely helped them, so I finally overcame my mommy-brain a couple of weeks later and found one on Amazon and purchased it. When it arrived, my husband found some batteries and we set it up next to the bouncy seat in the kitchen while we ate dinner. Max seemed even less soothed than before.

We have been trying to train Max to take naps in his crib for about a month now, in preparation for moving him back to his room at night. We had had very little success. I would get him to sleep, only to run back in to his room three or four times within a forty-minute time frame to replace the pacifier and soothe him back to sleep. I set the turtle up on the side of his crib the day after its arrival with a little hope still left.

Lo and behold. Max began to stare at the turtle with the most curious look on his face. He looked like he was being soothed against his will. It’s the only way to describe it. He was calm, but looked puzzled by it, with his little brow all furrowed. However, he was asleep within minutes. This miracle has been repeated several times a day for the past week.

After the delight and surprise wore off, I began to wonder. Was I really soothing my baby or does the toy have some kind of baby voodoo that compels them to sleep against their will? And if it does, is that really such a bad thing??

Despite the guilt over my caving in to “mechanical parenting” (Lord, how I wish I had never heard of that phrase.), I have come to know that naptime in the crib during the day is a beautiful, beautiful thing. For a few brief, forty-minute to one hour periods a day, my house is mine again. Plus, it takes surprisingly little time for me to miss that smiling face. Which smiles a lot more when he gets proper naps.

I think I agree with my mom. “Mechanical parenting” be damned. Or, at least, not eschewed completely. As Mom wisely said, “If it makes him sleep, just enjoy it.” Or something to that effect. (Sorry, Mom, anything said to me more than a day ago is usually long gone these days.)

Angus and his Magnificent Tail

My cat Angus is a Maine Coon mix. I am not sure what else is in the mix, but Maine Coon is definitely a large part of his genetic makeup. A characteristic of the Maine Coon is a fluffy tail. Angus’s tail is beyond fluffy. It is Magnificent, Resplendent, and alas, Destructive. Unfortunately, the owner of said tail has no idea of its powers. I have seen this tail clear whole coffee tables with a single swish. I have seen it knock soda cans off of their precarious perch next to our brimming recycling baskets and scare the tail’s owner half to death. He has no idea that HE knocked over the cans, poor skittish darling.

If you are in need of further proof of this tail’s amazing powers, simply consider this quote from a morning last week. I swear this is an actual quote of words that came out of my mouth, “Angus, get your tail out of Mommy’s underwear.” Now see if you can guess what amazing hijinks the tail and its unconscious possessor have been up to now. I will give you one hint. Angus, his tail, and I were in the bathroom.

Yea! My son is sleeping through the night.

Unfortunately, I wake up every morning with the front of my nightgown soaked in milk and yet still feel like my boobs are going to explode.

Proud legacy

Today, my three and a half month old son laughed when he passed gas and almost rolled over for the first time while trying to get a better view of the TV. Oh, yes, he is definitely my son.

Later tonight, he did roll over for the first time (front to back), but luckily, the television was not involved.

I am so tired of …

tripping over cats and shoes. At least I don’t feel guilty when I trip over the shoes, though. No one cares when they inadvertently kick shoes, even if it is the shoes’ fault, since they have a better view of everything and could ostensibly avoid my feet.

Strange phenomenon

That I went around the house singing “Rawr” for a good thirty seconds this morning for no particular reason. It wasn’t entertaining the baby or the cats. I just felt like it.

“Is that hair gel?”

I found one of Max’s boogers in my hair today. It was my first sighting of any kind of baby detritus in my hair and I was weirdly grossed out by it, considering that I have been pooped on.

Luckily, I found it before we went to dinner at our friends’ house. That could have been a real appetite killer. Well, maybe not, considering that we are all parents of young children.

Actual quote from this morning

“Fort, get your butt out of Mommy’s coffee. FORT. BUTT. OUT. OF. THE. COFFEE!!!”

(I actually meant to say “butt AWAY from the coffee,” but in this case, Mommy brain speak made the line funnier.)

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