A Conversation With a Slightly OCD Toddler

The Beast and I were in his bed reading books before his nap.  He was looking at a picture book that had several different types of boats on it and we had the conversation below.  I truly wish I were exaggerating, but this is actually an abbreviated transcript because I didn’t want you all to throw yourselves in front of a bus.

The Beast:  [Points to picture of a tugboat.]  What’s this?

Me:  It’s a tugboat.

The Beast:  Tugboat.  [Points to passenger boat.]  What’s this?

Me:  Passenger boat.

The Beast:  Passenger boat.  [Points to tugboat, having forgotten what it’s called.]  What’s this?

Me:  Tugboat.

The Beast:  Tugboat.  [Points to passenger boat.]  Pa —  what’s this?

Me:  Passenger boat.

The Beast:  Passenger boat.  [Points to tugboat.]  Ta  — what’s this?

Me:  Tugboat.

It’s obvious to me that The Beast’s goal is to point to each boat and say what it is without me helping him, and every time he messes up, he starts from the beginning.

Now, I’m convinced he has OCD because I have OCD and I do something similar.  When I watch a movie, I’ll unintentionally memorize a scene or two, and then for several days I’ll replay those scenes over and over again in my head.  And if I screw up any of the lines, I have to start from the beginning.

Now, before you get all up in my mental-health grill, I told my therapist about this and she said it was “normalish” for a person with OCD.  I bet you’ve never been diagnosed as “normalish.”

Back to The Beast.

So, he’s trying desperately to point to and name each boat on his own, but because he has the short-term memory of Dory, he cannot for the life of him retain the words “tug” and “passenger.”  It occurs to me that we could be stuck in a never-ending circle of boat-naming hell.  Nonetheless, we continue.

The Beast:  Tugboat.  [Points to passenger boat.]  Pas  —  what’s this?

Me:  It’s a passenger boat.

Now, at this point I started to become a little more hopeful that he was going to get it because he was at least saying the first syllable.

The Beast:  Passenger boat.  [Points to tugboat.]  Ta — Tu —  what’s this?

Me:  It’s a tugboat.

The Beast:  Tugboat.  [Points to passenger boat.]  Po — Pa  —  what’s this?

Me:  Passenger boat.

The Beast:  Passenger boat.  [Points to tugboat.]  To — ta — what’s this?

All hope is lost.

Me:  Help me, sweet baby Jesus.

The Beast:  A Jesus boat?

Me:  Tugboat.  It’s a tugboat!  Dear God, it’s a tugboat!

A teacher in the stands at The Good One’s basketball game this weekend told my friend that she thought The Beast was advanced for his age based upon his verbal and reasoning skills.  But based upon the genius display above, I’m pretty sure that lady ate a crack muffin for breakfast.

And Virginia Slims Man wonders why I’m usually in the fetal position drooling on myself when he gets home from work.  He’s just lucky I’m not also sitting in a puddle of my own urine.

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9 thoughts on “A Conversation With a Slightly OCD Toddler

  1. 1. this is why I went back to work. God bless you.
    2. I’ve been diagnosed with Generalized Anxiety Disorder, which is about as “normalish” a diagnosis as you can get.
    3. I’m sorry, but I totally laughed at your expense. *hangs head in shame*

    • Well, like they always say, if you don’t laugh, you run away half-tanked and screaming at the top of your lungs.

    • Next time ask him, “You tell me, what’s that?” I would do that with mine sometimes and they knew what the answer was. They just either weren’t sure or were trying to drive me nuts.

      • I’ll definitely try that next time. He was absolutely killing me. It was the most horrific conversation cycle I’ve ever experienced.

  2. Redirect, Redirect, Redirect. The little guy I babysit asks me questions all the time. A lot of WHY questions. I will answer it once, then I ask him a question. Stops him every time. I then started to ask him lots of questions and he went and got his toys and played. Bwah ha ha!

  3. Haz always asks me what the people’s names are in books. Doesn’t matter what book it is, she asks “what’s his name”. So I spout out answers like Bob, Ken, Sarah, Mary. Then she will go back over one and say what’s his name and when I say a different name she freaks out! It is very annoying. The Beast and her will have a great time at vacation 🙂

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