Sunday, May 22, 2011

Obsessive Compulsive Disorder

Disclaimer: I am not a doctor, nor do I have any medical training whatsoever (unless of course you count my days at Animal Medical Clinic, which you probably should not) and so I am completely unfit to make any sort of medical diagnosis here but I am pretty sure Jack has some OBSESSIVE tendencies which just might also be COMPULSIVE.

Now before you come along and tell me about all of the weird things you did as a kid and assure me that you grew up to a be a relatively sane person and contributing member of society (we will get to that later), let me say that I am aware that kids do odd things. I, for example, had a COMPLETE and TOTAL infatuation with the movie Annie when I was six. Because my parents were the go-outside-and-play-with-some-pine cones type and not the here-let's-watch-another-movie variety of parent, my fixation with Annie started with the record.


Anyway, I loved that freckled little redhead and distinctly recall jumping and twirling around the room in some sort of bizarre dance routine I had concocted and belting out "Tomorrow" at the top of my little lungs. I also remember realizing that I could not do my enthusiastic pirouettes close to the record player or else it would skip. Ah, those good old turntable days.


My mom fed this obsession by making me a life sized Annie doll (creepy, yes) AND a red and white belted dress (!!) so that I could be JUST LIKE ANNIE! Oh how I loved that dress. I wore it every day. You think I am exaggerating, and I wish I could confirm your suspicion, but alas, I wore that dress EVERY DAMN DAY. In the winter I paired it with green cable knit tights, as a sort of pathetic attempt at a Christmas theme, and as spring approached I came to the horrid realization that the sleeves were getting tighter and my beloved white belt was gradually creeping to the north.

It was a sad day indeed when the Annie dress no longer fit me. I don't know what ever happened to that dress but it might very well be the case that it disintegrated upon my final disrobing.

And then there was my brother and his obsession with... he will hate me for this... Presidential Rummy. Nick had this deck of cards with facts about all of the former US presidents. Apparently rummy could be played with these cards if one was so inclined, but Nick just wanted to carry them around and memorize all of the informative little tidbits about each president. To this day I bet he could tell you Nixon's shoe size.

So you see I come from a background of kids doing, well, weird kid things and so I should have been more prepared for Jack and his strange new obsessions: Band-Aids and caterpillars. So what? My kid wants to wear Band-Aids? No big deal, right? Except that this morning, when he was already donning two freshly applied Band-Aids, he asked me to take him to the SKATE PARK so he could CRASH HIS BIKE and get a REALLY BIG OWIE with LOTS OF BLOOD so that he could have EVEN MORE BAND-AIDS! I've seen weird before. This is super weird.

And then there is the caterpillar. I blame preschool for this and their whole learning about animals and nature and seasons and metamorphosis and all of those other things that led Jack to decide he needed a pet caterpillar. And so sure enough on our walk the other night Jack spied his victim, captured the poor unsuspecting creature, and brought it home. Brent helped Jack imprison the caterpillar in an empty peanut butter jar and that's when the real obsession began. Jack named his new pet Sluggy and walked around the house clutching the jar to his chest and telling us over and over again about how much he loved Sluggy and how Sluggy would need to eat a lot of leaves to grow up to be a big and beautiful butterfly. He kept insisting that I look at Sluggy to determine if he, in fact, had grown since-I dunno-five minutes earlier?

It was an exhausting conversation. And it started to have a sort of Danny's-not-here-Mrs.- Torrance kind of feel to it, which was quite disturbing in and of itself.

During one of Sluggy's many weigh ins, Sawyer came along and snatched the caterpillar from Jack's hand and ran away cackling maliciously. I thought for sure Sluggy was a goner. But when I caught Sawyer and pried open his clenched little fist, miraculously Sluggy had survived the entire ordeal unscathed. Well, physically unscathed that is. Who knows what psychological trauma might have occurred during those harrowing moments in the hands of Sawyer.

So Sluggy was fine, but Jack was now on high alert and he almost missed a trip to Prince Puckler's because he could not BEAR the THOUGHT of leaving his beloved caterpillar at home and I DREW the LINE at taking a glass jar, a caterpillar, a blood thirsty toddler, and an overprotective four-year-old out in public for ice cream.

Sluggy slept by Jack's bed that night and first thing in the morning Jack was up and at 'em with the Sluggy talk. I suggested that Sluggy get some fresh air and so Jack took him out into the back yard where he could exercise the prisoner without the threat of Sawyer looming over them. I think you know what happened next, but I will tell you anyway. Sluggy disappeared into the grass and Jack came tearing into the house screaming and waving his arms in some sort of dramatic reenactment of the escape. By the time we made it back around to the back yard there was no sign of Sluggy. I did, however, make an ominous and silent observation that the chickens were pecking around nearby. Thankfully Jack did not make this connection and is still hopeful that Sluggy will come to his senses and return home. In the interim he has requested that we find a replacement Sluggy.

In other news, want to see something gross? Of course you do!

This is an egg without a shell that our Golden Sexlink (yes, that's really what they are called), Hazel, deposited on our deck while we were sitting around drinking beer and eating pistachios with a friend. So see? Come to my house and a chicken might land on your lap at the dinner table or you might get to witness the laying of a freaky shell-less egg. The fun never stops around here! Friends with chickens, have you seen this before? Is this some sort of omen?

A Sunday morning bike ride near the river:

This is how he wears hats. It suits him.

Sawyer mentally prepares to run his first marathon. And he's off!

To be fair, Jack is not the only OCD candidate around here. I think you know how I tend to get kind of ... um... excited? about food and eating and I freaked out last weekend when Brent brought home a loaf of chocolate cherry bread from Eugene City Bakery. OH MY GOD. So incredibly delicious. I've been thinking about this bread ever since then and wondering how I could replicate it so that I could sneak into the kitchen and make it in the middle of the night and eat the entire loaf all by myself. Oops, I mean I've been wanting to make some because it was so good. And then I could share the recipe with you all and stuff. So yeah, chocolate cherry bread, who has a recipe?

I made chocolate cherry brownies this afternoon as a sort of prequel to the chocolate cherry bread. I WILL find this recipe. The chocolate cherry bread will be MINE!

Obsess much? The apple does not fall far, does it?

And so, in the spirit of over disclosure, I wonder if anyone wants to share about a weird childhood obsession- your own or your kid's- so that my Jack might seem a little less eccentric and that I might be reminded that his particular whims are a perfectly natural part of childhood.

Also, if you've got a recipe for chocolate cherry bread, I am all ears.



    I guess it's a video.

    I saw a Rachel Ray Version but the reviews said it was horrible.


    Your Cousin Nicole

  2. In pic #6 Jack looks like he is about 24. :)

  3. I was obsessed with always being right. Of course, I've never really grown out of that. ;) You and Brent have really great teeth. Just sayin.

  4. Ha ha- thank you for noticing my pearly whites, Aber! Three years of braces, some veneers, and thousands of dollars later I have decent teeth. Brent, on the other hand, was born with his perfect smile.

  5. Have you ever been on ? I love this website and you can search for recipes. It is where I go when I need food inspiration...maybe they will have what you are looking for!

  6. Okay, it is time for me to comment on your blog! I'm afraid that OCD in some form or another runs in the family. When I was little (in the Fifties) my sisters and I were obsessed by anything Western. Horses, Roy Rogers six guns, cowboys, etc...pretty common at that time. But my real love was horses: I drew them, rode them, and collected figurines. This was not your average garden-variety type of horse love however, because I actually WAS a horse. I galloped around on my hands and knees for more years than I can admit. I built many involved corrals of sticks and string with actual working gates, practiced my snorting and head tossing and could whinny with the best of them. These fond memories linger to this day, and as far as I know I have turned out okay! Except that I have extremely bad knees...

  7. oh, cassadie...i truly have been diagnosed with OCD, and take to say i could tell stories all day would be an understatement. also, many of my stories/obsessions would be far to crazy sounding to even mention. :-)
    however, if it makes you feel any better about Sluggy, i had an inch worm as a friend...named...wait for it..."Inchy"! hahaha...i probably was around four years old myself. i kept it in a jar and visited with it truly was my best friend for...well, i don't know how long i actually had it or whatever happened to it. i'm going to guess that it passed shortly due to all of my obsessive "love" i bestowed upon it, or my mother made me set it free.

    i also was obsessed with all things "baby". and not only for babies, but for myself. at around this same age i became obsessed with sitting in a car seat (because in the 80's four year olds weren't sitting in boosters, apparently). so i actually found scraps of wood and nails and (with my dad's assistance, i am sure) made a little seat that i insisted on sitting in in the car!

    i also went thru a phase where i actually carried around a baby bottle and drank out of it...(far past baby bottle age, might i point out).

    so, as you can see...these are just a few of the mild obsessions i had...but rest assured, pretty much EVERYONE has OCD to some varying degree. and unless it is causing disruption to his every day life or stress, it is just fine and normal (and kinda cute, i think!!).

    also, sounds like a wonderfully great imagination!!