As I was tidying up my son’s blocks, making sure that I had accounted for every last piece and aligned them accordingly into the designated receptacle so that, no two pieces of the same colour were grouped together in a way that would distract the eye, I had a realisation…
‘Is this genetic?’ Or is my OCD a product of my environmental upbringing?
Okay, I’m not that bad…really. There’s nothing wrong with keeping my half of the closet, neatly organised is there? It’s not so unusual to match up pairs of socks, fold up all my clothes, distribute them into neatly organised piles on each shelf, sorted into different categories such as t-shirts, jeans, shorts and fold up my underwear into tucked up bundles…(wait, did he just say ‘fold up his underwear?’).
And just because the shirts, jackets and hoodies hanging in my cupboard are grouped and organised according to length of sleeve and type of material, and that every coat hanger must point in the same direction and certain hangers allocated to particular shirts and jackets…doesn’t make it OCD, it’s just…‘tidiness’.
And just because my usual morning breakfast routine consists of setting out plates, bowls and cups in a designated order and preparing and eating everything in an ordered and systematic approach…doesn’t make it OCD, it’s just…‘efficiency’.
And just because I understand that if I heat the oven first, then peel the potatoes and boil them for approximately (See: ‘exactly’), 20 minutes, I can whack the garlic bread in for 16 minutes, cut up the carrot and zap it for 60 secs before throwing the zucchini in there for another 70 secs so the softness is consistent (but not til the garlic bread has 5 mins to go), and start on the schnitzel at the 10 minute mark, in order to get everything cooked and ready all at the exact same time…that’s not OCD, that’s just… ‘timing to perfection’.
And just because I have a systematic and ordered approach to stacking the dishwasher so that there is an even distribution of water dispersed across each dirty item and am very careful to ensure that everything is positioned without interference, so as to give each item the highest chance of being thoroughly cleaned…doesn’t make it OCD, it’s just…‘common sense’.
And because I make the bed using hospital corners and use a spirit level and slide rule to ensure there is an even distribution of sheets hanging either side, or the fact that the inside of my car (even though I have a kid), is relatively neat and spotless, or the fact that I use exactly 4 squares of TP each time I tear some from the roll, or the fact that I can’t go to bed without ensuring all the blocks are present and accounted for and if not…lie in bed for a good thirty minutes thinking about all the places I didn’t look, only to check those places first thing when I get up in the morning before my breakfast routine commences…doesn’t make it…(okay, you got me there)…that’s a little OCD. Isn’t it?
But then, I was an army brat. My dad used to bounce coins off our bed and I learned to cook, clean and tidy with military precision from a very early age. At the age of 3, I could iron a Leopard Tank so smooth with pleats down the front so sharp, they could slice through a ballistic missile. So, did my environment shape my OCD behaviour or did my inherent OCD compliment the military upbringing?
I have no idea.
But I am vigilant to try and shield our little man from being exposed to as much of my OCD type behaviour…as my awareness will allow. Just in case the apple doesn’t fall too far from the tree and that he gets it from watching me. Or maybe we just keep our fingers crossed that he takes after his Mumma…
Wait…that means two messy wardrobes to contend with…
Indy, let me show you how to fold a shirt…;)