Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Clean Freak

Caleb is a clean freak. Any moment now he will wake up, bound out of his room, pitter patter to the bathroom and use it. Then he will pitter patter out of that bathroom, go to the bathroom with the soap that he can reach and wash his hands as he counts to twenty. He likes to use his first bathroom break to check on us, so he usually goes to the bathroom closest to where we are. But the bathroom that enables him to wash his hands is closest to his room.

He never fails to wash his hands and this has me worried. I pictured myself having to call at itermittent times when he was in college to make sure he was washing his hands, but he seems to have gotten it on the first try. And he tends to be a bit obsessive over it. Obsessiveness that involves action is not a trait that runs in my family.

Obsessiveness of thought does. I worry. It's not so bad. I recognize that this is not only detrimental to my health but also wrong, so I've experienced some healing in this area, but I did spend one day on my honeymoon probably sicker than I needed to be because I was a tad sick and we were in Belize and I did get several misquito bites, so I did think, rather logically I believe, that I had malaria.

I may have contributed to Caleb's handwashing obsessiveness. We've worked on counting and he likes to count. Yesterday he counted to 160 in the car, but he messed up several times around the eighties so he had to start over each time. I'd rather listen to an entire Wiggles album in Cantonese, but right now Caleb enjoys counting. So counting to twenty while handwashing is fun for him. I also told him, and at the time I was really concentrating on how to explain a biological phenomonon in terms a three year old could understand, I wasn't really trying to give him nightmares into his adult years, but I said, "Caleb, if you do not wash your hands with soap then little bugs will eat the dirt on your skin and then poop on your body."*

I may have learned this trick from my father. When we went to see E.T. at the Texan, (The Texan was the movie theatre on the square that shut down after a four plex opened. The four plex was just a better deal. You could see one movie and hear two. Often they had technical difficulty, so then you'd get a complimentary ticket for another movie. Like One and a half movies for the price of one.) my dad told me and my brother we'd better go to the bathroom at the house because cockroaches might come out of the toilet water in the bathrooms at the Texan and bite us on the rearends. From what I remember of the Texan, he was probably making a true statement. I never asked to go to the bathroom during a movie--ever. Even if I was scared, I knew worse horrors awaited me in the bathroom of the Texan. And to this day whenever I go to the bathroom in any movie theatre, I open that door to the bathroom stall with just a tinge of dread.

*I'm not sure if this is what happens or not, but after being asked "Why? Why? Why!"
I've just started making things up.

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