After putting the girls on the bus the other day, Tom asked me if I though Olivia was getting more difficult to handle these days. He’d just spend twenty minutes trying to get her to eat her breakfast and it was an effort in futility.
I shrugged and sort of agreed. She has good days and bad days. Actually, she has good moments and bad moments, both of which can take place in a five minute span.
These days she needs to wipe the top of her sippy cup and straw after very drink. She still needs to put the toilet lid down. She likes to have all doors closed and latched if possible.
When sitting in front of our oscillating space heater, she prefers the heater to not oscillate and very much likes to have it sitting perfectly straight on its base.
She feels like she needs to sit on the toilet and try to pee before putting on her underwear even if she’s just peed all of three minutes before I tell her to put on her underwear.
Olivia likes routine. She wants to know where things are and what is happening next. I get that. I’m trying, though, to get her to appreciate the thrill of spontaneity. I know that is a hard thing to embrace when you’re tendency is to lean toward the OCD side of the spectrum.
But since I don’t know how to help her deal with the OCD, I can try and teach her the fun of surprises and mixing things up here and there.
Of course, I do also let her wipe her cup each time she takes a drink and I remind her sister to cut her some slack when she asks three times if she put the lid down on the toilet. I’ve tried to get Alyssa to understand O’s OCD by comparing it to A’s desire to follow rules.
The ‘rules’ that Olivia needs to follow are the ones her sweet brain has created. She has a compulsion to follow those rules. Hence the C in OCD.
Alyssa asked why Olivia can’t just ignore those rules since they’re not really rules at all. I told her that as someone who doesn’t have OCD, I don’t really understand it any more than she does.
But we’re trying. And we’re keeping an eye on Olivia, in case that OCD gets worse. If so, we’ll find someone who can help her more than I can, someone who understands it better than I do and can work with her to let go of some of those ‘rules’ that can often seem to take over rational though and behavior.