Maly and her OCD bed making

I don’t know when I did it, but many months ago I urged our daughter to get into the habit of making her bed first thing in the morning. I didn’t think the idea would stick, nor did I expect the bed making to become a habit, but it did. And what I thought would be a healthy, tidy habit, has turned into a textbook case of obsessive compulsive disorder. There is a process to the making of the bed, and there is an equally intensive process to the turning down of the bed.

She has a select entourage of approximately 87 stuffed animals, each of which having their exact place on top of the bed while the bed is made, and when the bed is to be slept in. She has four pillows that also have their exact spot. When it’s time to go to bed, the decorative pillow is placed vertically at the right top of the mattress, slightly bent so half of the pillow is on the bed, the other half is propped up against the headboard. The pillow on which she lays her head is placed horizontally at the top left of the mattress. The cross-stitched pillow is placed against the wall, with the hearts facing toward the bed. Going down toward the foot of the bed, the bean bag pillows are also placed against the wall – pink pillow first (southern positioning), then the green one. And at the foot of the bed, and still against the wall is a tightly-rolled pink blanket. The crocheted blanket is carefully and geometrically folded down, as is the sheet. She has a purse-like duffle bag in which a segment of her stuffed animal entourage is carefully occupied. This bag is then placed in the center of the mattress, a foot away from the footboard. Riley (the real cat) sleeps at Maly’s feet, just before the bag of stuffed animals. Maly shares her pillow with a My Little Pony named Sweetie Belle, who also has her own little purple pillow and blanket.

My documented recollection doesn’t do this process anything near justice. What’s become a topic of debate and instilled a house-wide sense of urgency has been the making of the bed in the mornings, especially since school has started. It usually takes Maly 10 minutes to make her bed. Ten minutes is a lot of precious time in our house in the morning. The solution here would obviously be for everyone to wake up 10 minutes earlier. HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!

Usually I’m the calm one with time on my side, however, this morning, I somehow subconsciously joined in verbalizing the sense of urgency in getting ready for school. Maly became distraught because she really needed help with making her bed. Elise graciously helped her this morning, and I think somewhere in this process, Elise had a talk with Maly about the time that bed maintenance has been taking.

Tonight Maly decided to rectify this problem. She insisted on sleeping on top of her bed. I just checked on her and she’s all curled up on the bottom half of her bed with her entourage and pillows at her head, and the cat snuggled up in his normal spot. It’s a tight squeeze, all in the name of a made bed.

How the redneck in me is going to get my daughter to stop sucking her fingers

A year ago our little neighbor friend came over to the house to visit Maly. I immediately noticed a little brace on both of the girl’s wrists.

“Carter, did you hurt your hands?”

“No. They’re guards to get me to stop sucking my thumbs.”

“Oh, wow! Those are cool. Let me look at those.”

I inspected the little guards that went around her wrists and the surgical plastic that encased her thumbs. The guards are a very well thought out design and product. I made a mental note and filed it away for later retrieval.

Fast forward a year to present day. Maly has started Kindergarten and it’s about time we start working on getting her to stop sucking her fingers. Ever since she was an infant, she has sucked her middle two fingers. Over the past year, she’s scaled back to only sucking her fingers when she’s tired or stressed, and Elise and I have both been okay with that. Maly’s even admitted to us that she doesn’t suck her fingers during school, but she’s expressed an interest in quitting.

Elise and I have never pressured her to stop sucking her fingers – we’ve just asked or talked to her about it. Elise and I were both thumb suckers when we were young, so having a child that sucks on her fingers wasn’t a surprise, and we’ve recognized it as a self-nurturing and soothing ritual.

On the past two occasions that I’ve talked to Maly about the finger sucking, she’s expressed an interest in quitting, and she said she wanted the same guards that Carter used. To me, that’s a win-win. The child is willing to quit sucking her fingers, and there’s a no-brainer retail solution.

But I’m cheap, and I have a tendency to try to do things on my own. This past weekend I decided to look into those finger sucking guards. I was kind of shocked that they cost $70. I guess if you compare $70 to the cost of orthodontics to re-allign crooked teeth from years of finger sucking, the $70 pales in comparison. But $70 just seems like a lot of money for something that could be turned into a Do It Yourself solution; and a redneck one at that!

Here’s the Finger Guard kit I could buy on Amazon for $70 to help my child stop sucking her fingers:

And… here’s the Vista Mega Tuff Glove archer’s glove I could buy from Cabela’s for $7.88:

I figure I can modify my redneck finger guard with a week’s worth of 5¢ zip ties and save myself $60. And I might just use that money I’ll save and buy a nice bug zapper for the house and a two pack of sausage casings.