What’s a mom to do? You see, I seem to have passed down some of my neurotic character traits to my poor, unsuspecting children. They can’t help it that they’re wired this way, and because I share the same tendencies, I feel their pain. I try to humor them as much as is reasonable, and when possible, I try to teach them to compensate.
For instance, my 5-year-old has an awful time with her socks and underwear. Sometimes we put her shoes on her several times until her socks feel right. And don’t get me started with the underwear. I don’t know what it is about them that bothers her exactly, but she has a hissy fit over her underwear not feeling just right. I have gotten to the point that I just leave her alone until she finds a pair she can handle. This means I usually find a trail of discarded underwear in her wake, but I just toss them in the wash and wish them a better fate the next time.
Then there is my 3-year-old. Her biggest issue is with her highchair. We long ago discarded the tray and just push the chair up to the table. At some point, she decided that both arms of the highchair must be flush against the apron of the table. She has a complete meltdown until someone pushes her in so that her chair is just so. I usually anticipate the problem and make sure to push her chair all the way in, but my husband refuses to feed her neurosis. He makes her deal with it not just right. I just don’t have the energy to fight that battle. Besides, I know how I feel when the pictures on the fridge aren’t all lined up at 90-degree angles. (It’s a sickness. I swear.)
The latest issue with the 3-year-old is her pants. She has this thing where she is convinced her pants are falling down. They’re not. She just feels that way when she wears anything that buttons or snaps. She has a lot of stretchy sweatpants and yoga pants, and I put those on her if at all possible, but she has a couple of really cute outfits that I bought before I was aware of this latest issue. She refuses to wear them. I have tried leaving her in them and telling her to deal with it, and she outlasts me. I finally give in and let her change. I can’t decide if this is a battle I’m willing to fight.
Just this morning, I put together the three offensive outfits and told my husband I was going to give them to a neighbor at the bus stop. I will just buy a few more pairs of stretch pants. Who cares. But he said he thought I should make her wear them. And perhaps I should.
So I take this question to you, oh wise internets. Am I creating a monster by giving into her OCD tendencies, or is it not worth the fight? What would you do?