Wednesday, February 4, 2009


Have you ever seen that scene in The Aviator where a young Howard Hughes is being bathed by his mother and spells the word QUARANTINE over and over, and she tells him, ominously... "You're not safe." The perfect example of germaphobes gone awry?

Well, I am starting to worry that I am raising K. to be a similar clean freak.  

Lately he's taken to announcing things that are unclean in any way, shape or form.  
A crumb found on his high chair tray. 
A drop of milk on his sleeve. 
An errant piece of cat food on the kitchen floor.  
And (my personal favorite) the floor of our car ... 

In fact, the other day he announced, "Mommy, clean car!"  To which I yelled at him: "Get off my BACK, willya?"  Just kidding about that last part, but I'll admit I sort of felt like it.  It's depressing when a 21 month old has to be the one to remind you that you're a slob.

Anyway, while we were in Ohio last week, this manifested itself in a rather humorous way, although I think my mom is secretly worried about him.  My parents have a woodburning stove, and so part of the fun K. had was helping Grandpa build a fire in the fireplace, handing him sticks, kindling and cardboard, etc.  One day my mom took him out to the back porch to bring in some firewood and when they returned, she announced that K. had refused to help her carry in any of the small logs: "DIRTY!" My mom professed surprise to see "a little boy who is not interested in getting dirty".  Which immediately sent me into a tailspin wondering if my mother thinks my son is not demonstrating enough masculine qualities, then chastising myself for even worrying about this, then reminding myself, "Not that there's anything WRONG with that...", then repeating the process in my head over and over.  Argh.

Anyway, I'm assuming this will be a passing phase like so many other things we've encountered the last nearly two years.  Although it did slightly bother me that he didn't want to walk on the sidewalk outside of art class today because the brick walkway was "too dirty."  But then, he went on to say that the sidewalk was also "too leafy" and, finally, "too bumpy".  So I'm a bit relieved, thinking that this sounds more like the echo of one of those "That's Not My ______" touch-and-feel books so popular with toddlers.

In any case, I'll keep you posted... hopefully you won't have to picture me scrubbing K.'s legs raw, forcing him to spell Q-U-A-R-A-N-T-I-N-E to my satisfaction.

1 comment:

CDB said...

This is adorable. I think Charles will emulate my level of OCD soon. I've been trying to hide from him my subtle attempts to clean every speck of dirt off his food tray, pants, face, etc.

Thanks for adding me to the roll!

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Arlington, VA, United States
Maestro and mom to a wee virtuoso

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