Use the Quirk

Eating only the red m&m’s, never reading the last page of a book, washing your ears first, only wearing blue on Thursdays – we all have our quirks. Some quirks are truly interesting while others seem just plain odd. However, whatever the quirk is, they are one of the things that make us uniquely human.

My younger son (SY) is 5 ½ and has a few quirks. In fact, I would venture to say he may have a touch OCD. Remember the Helen Hunt, Jack Nicholson movie – As Good As it Gets? Nicholson’s character has OCD, and it is presented in a comical way. He has to have certain foods, the table needs to be set in a particular way, etc. Anyway, SY must close doors. It doesn’t matter what room he is in as long as the door is closed – other wise uncomfortable/bothered. If you are exiting a room, he will remind you to shut the door. In fact, it is not only the room he is in. If as he is walking to his bedroom, he sees the doors to the other bedrooms open, he will stop and shut them. This seems to have started a few months ago, and I have no idea why.

In lieu of this compulsiveness, I have an idea. Everything is for a reason, and we can make the best of each situation – lemons – lemonade. You know the deal. So, I want my boy to join me in the crusade to save the planet and along the way build up a trust account. Huh? You see I am the one in my family that goes into the empty rooms to turn off the lights or electronics that were left on. Others will walk out of the room and think nothing of leaving things on, so I have taken on the role of electric cop. I am looking to recruit SY. Why not be obsessive about something that is both environmentally friendly and cost-effective? Save money and the planet. Brilliant – wouldn’t you agree?

Look, I acknowledged recently that both of my children are going to end up on the psychologist’s sofa? So, why not harness the OCD in a productive way? Does anyone know how to make a child obsessed with turning off the lights? Behavioral chart anyone? What an original!