Sunday, October 12, 2008


neurotic - adj.: affected by neurosis
neurosis - n.: a functional nervous disorder without demonstrable physical lesion

I am functional and do not have physical lesions, but I wouldn't have defined my "condition" as a disorder. That said, I have come to believe that one of the reasons I have three young children is to break me from my neurotic tendencies. And I cannot help but be broken. In a house where my attention is continually demanded, petty neurotic behaviors have no place (and no time to be fulfilled). Let me give you an example.

When my husband and I were engaged, we registered for our everyday china in two complimentary colors. Prior to having children I diligently stacked my everyday china in an alternating pattern... behind closed cabinet doors. (Have you ever seen Sleeping with the Enemy?) I was able to keep this behavior hidden from most; except our occasional friends who would come for dinner only to peak into my cupboard of secrets when reaching for a bowl.

The other morning, I was hurriedly putting the clean dishes away while my coffee brewed. (I knew the day would quickly be in high gear and wanted to start it with an empty dishwasher... can I get a witness?) I paused as I realized that two blue plates were stacked on top of one another, and three yellow plates were likewise touching. What had happened? And when? I fought the inward pull to rearrange the entire shelf and felt a sense of pride as I closed the cabinet door without giving in. It was the same feeling I felt when I called my sister just to tell her that I had allowed my daughter to mix the play dough colors. What freedom. What rebellion.

So have I overcome this nervous disorder? Not completely; but there is hope... one plate at a time.

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emily said...

you're so funny. now we know where hailey gets it from! i can definitely tell a difference from when you first got married. congratulations on overcoming the slightly obsessive compulsive behavior ;-D

Amber said...

I just transferred mine. Now instead of being OCD about my things, I'm the same way about the toys. I count the hi-ho cherrios, sort the play food, separate and fold the doll clothes, organize the books by subject, etc. The crazy part is, it's genetic, my kids do it, too. At least there's company in my craziness :)

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