• AUTHOR: // CATEGORY: 6-12 months, The Baby Years, Thoughts


    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…;)


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17 Responses to OCD or NOCD? That is the question…

  • Bucky wrote on June 13, 2013 at 9:51 // Reply

    And I thought I had a degree of OCD because I sometimes remake my bed before I go to sleep…you my brother [not my real brother] take this to a whole new level!

    • 40YrOldDad wrote on June 13, 2013 at 11:08 // Reply

      That’s just one level, trust me. We won’t even get into which way the spoons need to face in the kitchen drawer. 😉

  • Rory mouttet wrote on June 14, 2013 at 12:11 // Reply

    No way would never have picked you as OCD boy. My cousin is the same age as me and he has the most serious case I’ve ever seen. You can reek havoc by moving his stuff around hilarious. You fold your jocks? Gold.

    • 40YrOldDad wrote on June 14, 2013 at 7:56 // Reply

      My wife used to have fun moving shirts around in my wardrobe just to see whether I’d move them back. And of course, I would notice the discretion from 2 miles away. Admittedly, I am somewhat more relaxed about it (my wardrobe), now that I’m a dad. And although it can sometimes be a source of amusement for both of us, my wife secretly loves that I fold her underwear too. 😉

  • Mike YDad Cbay wrote on June 14, 2013 at 1:01 // Reply

    Wow, man. I would actually LOVE to attain your level of OCD, I mean, efficiency, tidiness and precision.

    I try to keep my car spotless (to the level of waxing the wheels), I organise the kids’ books and toys before I sleep (including rebuilding the little train set), and I stack dishes with tetris and jenga skills hained over the years… Am I just a Wanna.B.O.C.D?

    • 40YrOldDad wrote on June 14, 2013 at 7:48 // Reply

      Sounds to me like you’re a fully fledged member, Mike. Waxing the wheels goes above and beyond. But the true test is to tell me whether or not you will actually remove the toilet paper and turn it around so it falls toward you and not away from you against the wall, when you’re at someone else’s house?

      • MrsCbay wrote on June 14, 2013 at 7:53 // Reply

        Guilty of that last one LOL

  • Ma wrote on June 14, 2013 at 4:54 // Reply

    I think we all have some level of OCD so long as you don’t stay up half the night doing it your’e ok!
    Kelly would not go to bed unless she had found every last block etc of Darcy’s lined up & accounted for but she wasn’t that great with housework & never ironed anything & when you opened a cupboard everything would fall out lol.
    I like to think it was your mother teaching you to take care of yourself & our endless discussions when you were growing up on how to be a good husband one day in doing your share….happy wife, happy life! 😉 It most definitely did not come from your father, we have been married nearly 45 years & the most he has ever done around the house without asking him is the dishes, the odd bit of cooking & his own washing. Everything else in the house has always been done by me. If prompted or bribed he will vacuum, that includes cleaning the car but only if encouraged or bribed!
    That is why I taught u so u wouldn’t expect your wife to do it all. I hope Fi appreciates it even if you are a little or a lot OCD. Lol ….If I had been able to train Dad the way I trained you I would be very happy wifey! I raised you 3 for first 5 years of your lives pretty much single handed because those were the days you were Army brats & Dad was always away training & when he was home you were always in bed when he got home & he would be gone again before you got up in the morning.
    So most of the influences early on probably came from me. After you were all in bed I would be up half the night cleaning & putting your playthings in order ready for the next day so I too have the OCD affliction, not as bad these days!

    • 40YrOldDad wrote on June 14, 2013 at 8:02 // Reply

      Hahaha. Yes Ma, I have noticed your OCD over the years which seems to be mostly associated around cleaning. So, I guess it’s a little column A (genetics) and a little column B (environment). Which explains my baldness. There’s nothing quite as tidy as a shiny, clean bald head. “You taught him well, OB-1”

  • Mum of Five Girls... (@VeronicaNeal101) wrote on June 14, 2013 at 2:21 // Reply

    Hi there….just popping by from a link on Memoirs of the Mind!!
    Maybe you shouldn’t shield your son too much….I have 5 daughters that will be looking for husbands in the distant future….and ones who actually realise that their clothes are meant to hang in a wardrobe will be in high demand….along with ones who can cook, do the dishes and make the bed…!!!

    • 40YrOldDad wrote on June 14, 2013 at 3:50 // Reply

      Hahahaa! That’s hilarious, Veronica. Well, it did prep me in good stead I guess, and I ended up with an absolute cracker of a wife (the scrumptious kind, not the hip-hop Vanilla Ice kind), and although Game of Thrones has wearied my approach to arranged marriages, I might just take your advice and get him well prepped for whomever Mrs Wright may be in the future. 😉

  • Ma wrote on June 14, 2013 at 4:08 // Reply

    LOL what a can of wormy discussion OCD brings, I think it’s a good thing personally because you landed such a scrumptious wifey hahaha

    • 40YrOldDad wrote on June 14, 2013 at 4:19 // Reply

      It’s not my OCD she fell for, it was my HUGE…….heart 😉

  • Ma wrote on June 14, 2013 at 4:22 // Reply


  • Reservoir Dad wrote on June 14, 2013 at 10:15 // Reply

    I just read this and am now struggling to bring myself out of complete exhaustion so that I can complete the random, messy tasks associated with DATE NIGHT. Thanks Kev! And her r sum spelling mistakes to inflaim ur condtition.

    • 40YrOldDad wrote on June 15, 2013 at 8:09 // Reply

      Ahoy there, RD. Hope you still have strength to complete your messy DATE NIGHT tasks, a bit of bi-carb soda and water may be useful with the cleanup. Cheers for your comments. I thank you and maybe ‘Kev?’ thanks you, too 😉

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