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any other "neat freak" toddlers out there?

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 

I think this is kind of unusual behavior but I want to see if there are any other toddlers out there with an obsession with clean/dirty.  DD freaks if she sees a spot on the floor, a piece of dirt on her clothes, even on her shoes.  She just stares at it pointing yelling "Uh oh, DIRTY, DIRTY,  DIRTY" until I either clean it up or off, or give her a piece of cloth with water to clean it.  She also has taken to demanding a wet paper towel multiple times a day and scrubbing the floor.  If she finds anything like a speck or a crumb on the floor, in the dog bed, etc, she yells "DIRTY!"  And runs to put it in the garbage.  She even was really upset thinking my moles/birthmarks were "dirty" spots for awhile and was obsessing about them, trying to wipe them off.

 

Where did this come from?  I keep a clean house but am not obsessive about it, and DH certainly is not a very neat person.

 

Anyone else have a LO with this obsession? 

post #2 of 16

Sounds like my ds, 15 mos.  He does all of those things!  Yeah, I like to keep my house clean, but hard to do these dayseyesroll.gif.  I think he'll outgrow the obsessive part of it.  he doesn't do it all day, just now and then.  He LOVES trash cans!  Everywhere we go he pointing them out and yellling "trash"!  This and the dirt thing have been going on for two months or so.  He now even notices hair and says hair and puts it in the trash.  He loves cleaning with sponges and paper towels, even his bare hands, real or pretend cleaning.  Picks up little bits of dirt, puts them in trash.  Points out dirt.  Thinks pepper is dirt, even though he calls the container "pepper" and asks for it on his food.  Then he looks at it in disbelief and says "dirt" like I just put dirt on his food!

post #3 of 16

Let's just say that one of the only solo activities my 21mo DS enjoys is walking around the house with a rag & washing everything. Vacuuming or sweeping come in close second. He hates seeing a mess or dirt & he will just go on his own to get a rag & clean up whenever he sees something dirty. He gets distressed if his hands are dirty or marker-stained. He also loves putting away his dirty dishes or laundry & throwing out trash/compost. A few months ago at the playground he wouldn't step on one of the platforms because it was 'dirty' (stained with something) and every time we went there he'd just stand & stare at it.

 

He doesn't do it all day long but it is definitely one of the recurrent themes of our daily life... and no, DH & I are not anywhere near 'neat & tidy', we could probably have one a messy house award last week...

post #4 of 16

omg, forgot about the vacuum!  He is obsessed with the vaccuum, has been for what seems like forever.  He used to wake up from his naps saying "bac, bac"! because I usually vacuumed while he napped, so he made the connection that the vac was out when he woke up from his naps.  Now he pushes it around and "helps" me.  

 

And he thinks the stamps on his hands/feet from yoga class are dirt!  Only did it once, but he was so disturbed, called his feet dirty and insisted we wash it off.  So we don't do those. 

post #5 of 16

All of the above, and I'll also add that my daughter is obsessed with hygiene. She wants to wash her hands or face and brush her teeth approximately 50 billion times a day I think. I give her a small spray bottle with water and a clean rag while I clean and she LOVES it. 

post #6 of 16

I don't know whether this will be beneficial to anyone, but my son is very similar, and I recently discovered he fits "the highly sensitive child" mold to a T. Check it out: http://www.hsperson.com/pages/child.htm

I haven't read the book yet, but it's on my list!

post #7 of 16

DD is a bit of a neat freak. Not to any kind of extreme, but she hates when her hands are dirty. And when we leave the house, she goes through all the rooms and puts away a couple of things, as well as points it out when we leave a light on. When we go to our friends' houses, she will find things she isn't supposed to play with and give them to an adult to put away. It's too funny. I encourage it. DH and I need all the help we can get when it comes to making sure things get put away!

post #8 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mal85 View Post

DD is a bit of a neat freak. Not to any kind of extreme, but she hates when her hands are dirty. And when we leave the house, she goes through all the rooms and puts away a couple of things, as well as points it out when we leave a light on. When we go to our friends' houses, she will find things she isn't supposed to play with and give them to an adult to put away. It's too funny. I encourage it. DH and I need all the help we can get when it comes to making sure things get put away!



My son also gives me things he has found that he knows he shouldn't play with or put in his mouth, even things I have never shown him or told him about.  I like the lights one!

post #9 of 16

DS was similar for a phase.  He ate all his meals with a damp towel next to him so he could wipe off his hands between bites.  Slowly it just sort of went away.

post #10 of 16

Maria Montessori called it the "sensitivity to order" period. Peaks at 2.5 yrs.

post #11 of 16

My DS isn't obsessed with cleanliness, but with neatness. If he gets out his toothpaste and toothbrush, he almost wants to clean it up before he even uses it. He also has to put the remote back after I fast forward through the commercials each time. If he sees something out of place, he has to fix it, straight lines, etc. If the cabinet door is cracked, he has to close it..the bedroom door must be closed after he walks through..I don't know if it's normal or not, but it sure can get frustrating, especially if I'm in a hurry to get out the door, and there's all this stuff DS has to do before we leave :)

post #12 of 16

The older one is worse but both of my god-babies do this.  They're slowly coming out of it.  I just show them that it is ok.  for example:

 

*kids doing their best to take off cupcake wrappers without touching the icing and getting frustrated because of it*

Me:  Hey, W!

*W looks*

*Kris smashes her cupcake in her own face.  W's jaw hits the floor*

Me: Look.  I lived.  Eat your cupcake.

*Both kids dig in*

ROTFLMAO.gif

 

It usually isn't stuff this "extreme" but if it gets them to mellow out a little, I'll do it.  You should have seen the little one "playing" in the leaves the other day.  You'd have thought she was standing in Parana-infested waters!  I just sat there holding her hand so she wouldn't freak.  Their other god-mama let W and my littlest sister bury her in there.  Z relaxed a little bit but not enough to enjoy herself. *sigh*

post #13 of 16

My almost 4 yr old is very sensitive to order. He has been like this since he turned 2. He doesn't like food or dirt on his clothes, will stop to pick up litter or point it out to me so I can. He will stop in the supermarket or stores to pick up and replace, (very neatly), fallen toys, paper towels, you name it! I was very similar at this age and our family has a history of OCD, (my brother is medicated for it due to the severity of his case). So far DS hasn't gone overboard with it, but I keep an eye on it.

post #14 of 16

Many of these behaviors fall within a "normal" range for a toddlers need/sense of order, but...many could also be indications of something more and honestly some do sound like the beginnings of OCD.  When obsessions begin to interfere with daily lives it is no longer "normal"  Just my 2 cents..

post #15 of 16

My 17 mo loves cleaning.  She gets a little irritated when something like food gets on her hand, and she wants to wipe it off.  She loves to throw stuff in the garbage.  I find her picking up her dirty diapers and throwing them away if we forget to.  I think it's adorable.  My mom says I was the same way and I did not grow up to be neat freak by any stretch of the imagination.  But she's pretty orderly. And she brings me stuff she knows she shouldn't put in her mouth, like coins.  I think it's just her figuring out the conventions of life and practicing them.

post #16 of 16

hah, my son is like that. He doesn't like having his hands dirty and for a while that was a real obstacle between us and fingerpainting but now as long as we wash his hands as soon as he's done, he's fine with it. He's also very good about putting his toys away and often before he goes to bed he'll randomly select a few toys, put them away and say, "bye, _____!" Once he did this before eating lunch and I was about to tell him he didn't have to because he could play with them after lunch but I stopped myself and realized, wait, he's voluntarily cleaning up. I'm not going to discourage that! He also has a very innate sense of order and how things should be and when he does something, like spill water or when I spill something, it has to be immediately cleaned up or he will freak out. He used to freak out immediately but since I've carefully tailored my reaction to be a very calm "uh oh, the water spilled!" he reacts much better now and sometimes he will go get a rag to clean it up without even freaking out.

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