O & his OCD

Is it me or do all children have some degree of OCD? I used to think that O must have some kind of genuine condition because everything had to be done in a certain way or in a particular order. For example, when he first started to take an actual interest in the process of getting dressed – and by “take an interest”, I really mean “decide it was an aspect of his daily routine that he had to have absolute control over” – the entire morning would descend into tantrum-filled chaos at the mere suggestion that he put his pants on before his socks – because, let’s face it, socks before pants is just weird. But if I just got sick of the whole messing about of getting dressed every morning, pinned him down and forced him into his clothes in an order of which he did not approve, I would find him five minutes later standing naked in his room screaming bloody murder. Like, sorry I ruined your day, but we’ve been at this for hours and you’re still only wearing one fucking sock.

Usually these things come and go in phases. We’ve had the “I want to do it!” phase where O threw one of those impressive facedown-on-the-carpet tantrums if I dared to close his curtains for him or put the toothpaste onto the toothbrush without his input. Shortly after that was the aforementioned daily clothing debacle, which meant that getting dressed could, realistically, take about a week. Now we have this thing where he has to win at everything.

If I was late for work in a life before children, I would run like buggery down the stairs and hare out of the front door, throwing myself dramatically behind the wheel of my car and tearing out of the driveway. But these days I have to allow O to go down the stairs in front of me while I work myself up into a state of complete internal panic because if I don’t then he will have an utter fucking meltdown about the fact that he didn’t “win”. This also goes for the following situations:

Finishing a meal first.
Putting F in the bath first.
Walking into any room in the house first.
Getting ready for bed first.


Doing absolutely anything first.

Seriously. If I sneeze first then I’ve overstepped the boundaries because O wanted to sneeze first. I really fucking hope this phase ends soon. I’d like to win at something in life again someday.

I remember my mother telling me once that my brother went through a stage shortly after potty training when he had to use every toilet he came across, which apparently had something to do with the fact that coloured bathroom suites were A Thing back then. This frankly weird obsession very nearly led to a terribly awkward situation in the bathroom section of B&Q. What a great blog post that would have made, eh? So when O throws me another OCD curveball, I just try to remind myself of that and thank every possible deity out there that nothing that mortifyingly fucking awful has happened to us… Yet.

The thing is though, sometimes I still have absolutely no idea how to deal with these OCD phases. The whole winning thing at the moment is particularly trying because, realistically, I cannot always let him “win”. There are many nights when I’ve given O every possible opportunity to get undressed and into the bath before his brother and he’s still running maniacally around the house, riding his rocking horse naked and generally doing everything he can to evade capture, meanwhile I just want to get both children bathed and into bed so I can collapse on the sofa and stare at the wall for the rest of the night. I also kind of want to explain to him that there will be times when he will not win and that he will find life very disappointing if he believes that winning is everything. And that, in fact, it’s really okay not to win all the time. But I rationalise it by assuming that it’s just a phase and will pass eventually like all the other phases (even though this particular one has been going on forever). Knowing that doesn’t always make it easy to deal with though, and sometimes I am just really fucking late to work and need to get down the stairs first, so I have to leave poor N to deal with the epic tantrum that ensues when the door slams behind me and the screaming is lost in the screech of tyres as I gun the engine out of the gates.

So I’m just kind of wondering… Is it just us, or do you have a small person who insists on turning out the light every night and hates being the last one down the stairs?





  1. Coombe Mill · April 23, 2016

    I can see your frustration but have no idea how normal it is, I think every child has some form of must be first. Mine rave a race to the car every morning to “dibs” the front seat, we can have serious meltdowns over who got there first and who pushed in. I hope for you it is a phase. #KCACOLS.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Motherhood IRL · April 23, 2016

      That sounds fun! I bet that’ll be the next thing. Maybe it’s just a bit of a competitive streak coming out. It’s quite funny sometimes, it’s just a bit gah when I’m trying to go to work 😂.


  2. Sherilyn Nicole · April 24, 2016

    I also don’t know how “normal” it is by at the same time what tiny human is normal anyway? I did want to say I laughed hysterically at your post because I can relate to just wanting to stare at the wall 😂

    Liked by 1 person

  3. The Mama Nurse · April 24, 2016

    This sounds very familiar to my daughter! She has always been very particular – I remember when she was a toddler she wouldn’t let her Grandpa play crochet with a mismatched ball and mallet – everyone HAD to have a matching set or would have to suffer the wrath of Madeline.
    You’re not alone!
    Thanks for linking up with #KCACOLS. Hope you will come back again next Sunday!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. jeremy@thirstydaddy · April 24, 2016

    my daughter is exactly the same way. Unfortunately I know exactly where she get it from and am hoping she doesn’t end up quite as bad as me! #KCACOLS

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Michelle G · April 24, 2016

    I wonder if it’s about gaining some control in a world and at an age when they feel they don’t? Lots of my friends talk about this kind of thing with their little ones so I think it is quite common, especially the competition. Sounds like you’re managing it wonderfully x #KCACOLS

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Rainbowsaretoobeautiful · April 24, 2016

    Wanting to do stuff independently and wanting to be first at everything I think are fairly common stages for a lot of kids. When it’s beginning to stop other stuff happening though it can be a real frustration. My boys are both on the autistic spectrum so when poor little daughter wants something just so she often has to do without!

    Sometimes a good trick is ‘now and next’ or ‘first and then’. Or first David can win, then next time you can win. Or ‘now it’s my turn, then it’s your turn.’ It sets definites which are better understood than just saying you can’t always win. It’s also best introduced when it’s instant to start with.

    If it’s still a major issue after a long period you could mention it to your health visitor if you are at all worried about it.

    Sounds like it’s keeping you busy! #KCACOLS

    Liked by 1 person

    • Motherhood IRL · April 24, 2016

      I’m not really worried about, it’s just making everything take SOOOOOO LOOOOOONG 😂. He got really bad at one point and would scream and scream if somebody switched off the light when he wanted, for example. But he’s starting to accept that he can’t have control over everything now and we are gradually getting around the clothing issues by encouraging him to dress himself with a little help from us. He always has to win going down the stairs though!


  7. We have the opposite side of the coin here! Pie wants me to do everything, not easy with a new baby on the scene (altho I am sure this is why). Still he can be pretty OCD about alot of things and sometimes these little quirks come from nowhere and with no warning. One minute everything is fine and next I have put the raisins in the wrong section of plate… Like you say its all just a phase an in a month or so you will have moved onto the next one, hich will be equally as irritating at times but it keeps life exciting right?! #KCACOLS

    Liked by 1 person

  8. justsayingmum · April 24, 2016

    aww this is what I love about the blogging community – we don’t have to feel alone in our worries and concerns. My daughter went through exactly the same but as I wasn’t blogging then – I had no one to talk to about it or discuss it with so I sought the help of a Psychiatrist as was so ridiculously worried. But, that stage passed and she has grown up in to the most wonderful young girl at 16 who I am ridiculously proud of and all OCD traits totally and utterly under control. The Psychiatrist, for her worth, did explain that OCD was a way for my daughter to express her control in a world that was so alien to her – this was when she started school – she needed to find some way of having control again. It does pass though, I promise x #KCACOL


    • Motherhood IRL · April 24, 2016

      Same here! It’s so wonderful to be able to talk honestly about this kind of thing and find that, actually, it’s not just us and other are going/have been through it too :). Thank you so much for stopping by with your reassurance! This too shall pass! X

      Liked by 1 person

  9. thesingleswan · April 24, 2016

    Yep, I know how you feel. Cygnet is now 20 months old. He has to take both slippers off before putting both shoes on, he cannot do one slipper one shoe, second slipper second shoe. He goes round the house picking up bits from the carpet and insists on putting each bit in my hand (I think that Grandma may have taught him this to try to get me to vacuum more often), he loses it if I try to put on a different episode of In the Night Garden before bed. The list goes on. Pen x #KCACOLS

    Liked by 1 person

    • Motherhood IRL · April 24, 2016

      I forgot to mention that he has this thing about not messing with the bubbles in the bath too. Like, he collects them all at one end and is like DON’T TOUCH MY BUBBLES! Which is cute, but also really weird… X


  10. Something Crunchy Mummy · April 27, 2016

    I think every child has some degree of ocd it’s just to what extent. Thanks for linking up to #justanotherlinky xx


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