the obsessions of a 12 mo - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 11 Old 07-23-2007, 09:59 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Ok, let me preface this by saying I do home daycare and I have never seen this type of OCD behavior in a toddler before. I need some insight!!!

My ds just turned a year old last week. FOr going on 2 weeks now he has been COMPLETELY obsessed with the vacuums. He knows where they are (theres one in a downstairs closet and one in an upstairs closet), he knows where the dustbuster is too.... We have 2 toy vacuums that both make noise and these will do for a while (like 2 or 3 minutes) but then he goes back to the closet doors and starts going "enh, enh, enh" and pointing. If you ignore him, he shrieks. If you still ignore him he starts to melt down with sobbing heaves and fat tears running down his face. Then, when you can't take his sadness any more and you go open the door so he can get the vacuum he gets soooooo excited. BUT, you have to get it out, plug it in, un-latch the handle and help him push it. If you skip any of these steps with the vacuums the afore mentioned scenario starts again. The dustbuster he can do himself, but the bad part is... the rechargeable battery in it only lasts for 15 to 20 minutes and as soon as it dies, he starts for the closets with the vacuums.

This scenario happens at LEAST once every 30 minutes while he is awake. He has a one track mind, and he would do it ALL.DAY.LONG if someone had the time (and patience) to help him. The kid has the attention span like no other toddler I know, as long as he is vacuuming. When I do help him, starting with the intentions to do it as long as he pleases to "get it out of his system" he will always out last me (or dh or grandma.)

Any suggestions? This has been going on for about 2 weeks now!
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#2 of 11 Old 07-23-2007, 10:31 PM
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i know of a child with ocd but they seam to have occurances like this for a little while then it ends and a new one begins.

maybe you should find a new hiding place for them- lol and when he asks for them show him they are not there. then only vaccume when he is asleep or have dh take him outside.

how long does he want to do it for?
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#3 of 11 Old 07-23-2007, 10:41 PM
 
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my DD is very similar with the computer. I can't turn it on or go near it when she is awake. She is obsessed and wants to "play" computer all day. I let her in the beginning, but it was never enough for her, no matter how much she smashed the keyboard, whenever we were done she would freak out and melt down, screaming, fat sobbing tears, etc. I had to finally say no and put a stop to it. It was no computer for a few weeks and she got over it, sort of. Now she can play with it and be ok when we are done, sometimes. But I still can't use it.
You can either set limits with the vacuum or just take it away. Or you can indulge him until the obsession goes away on its own.

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#4 of 11 Old 07-24-2007, 04:19 PM - Thread Starter
 
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does anyone else have any ideas? Really, is this normal behavior from a 12 month old baby?

As to the question: I dont know how long he will do it, because we usually give up and put it away after 15-20 minutes and then he goes back to screaming at the door... until one of us takes him outside for a walk, or for a bath... or something REALLY distracting.
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#5 of 11 Old 07-24-2007, 04:49 PM
 
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That is so cute!!

He sounds gifted, if you ask me!
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#6 of 11 Old 07-24-2007, 08:06 PM
 
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That sounds SO much like my DD! I think I even posted about it (except with her, it was going outside). Very intense and not easily distracted. And NEVER forgets!

I don't really know what to suggest....I try, too, to accomadate her when I can, but really, you can't vacuum (or stay outside) ALL DAY...
I use redirection (sometimes works) or try to get out of the house for playdates, whatever....

FWIW, it has diminished some with time, but she's still intense. I totally understand.
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#7 of 11 Old 07-25-2007, 12:01 AM
 
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Ds now almost 15m LOVES the vacuum...a few wks ago he found a toy vac my g-ma gave dd years ago(I forgot about it, dd had too) It is his fave toy. but he prefers the real one
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#8 of 11 Old 07-25-2007, 12:32 AM - Thread Starter
 
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ok, I have to update....

I took ds over to my friends house tonight. He has been there before, but not since the vacuum obsession began. We were there for about 20 minutes and he found her hall closet door and started pointing at it. Sure enough, that's where the vacuum is kept!! So, we had to get HER vacuum out to see if it was any different from the ones he already knows and loves. He also tried her dog's food.... I wonder if it tastes different than our cat's food?

Isn't it so funny what they get stuck on?
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#9 of 11 Old 07-25-2007, 02:15 AM
 
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I just wish he could come over to my house for a few hours! My kids are both completely TERRIFIED of the vacuum (I'm sure the baby got it from big sis) and my carpets are filthy.

I don't know that I've heard of that specifically before but it sounds normal. I know when my daughter was around that age there were certain books we didn't read before bed because she had to go find things around the house...like if there was a car, we had to go out to the garage and see the car. If there was a door, she had to get off my lap and go touch the door...you get the picture. It could make for a loooooong storytime.

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#10 of 11 Old 07-25-2007, 08:48 AM
 
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wanted to add: something that helped DD was to started saying/waving good-bye to the 'obsession'. It didn't work right away, but sloooowly she started understanding the cue and now (most of the time) will wave and say 'bye-bye' with a minimum of fuss.

also, another poster here recommended waiting for a natural break in the action to make the transition away from the obsession. I try to relax and not focus on putting away the item or leaving on my time-table (when possible), but to wait til DD naturally becomes interested in something else, etc. It has helped.
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#11 of 11 Old 07-25-2007, 10:34 AM
 
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Like pp I think saying bye bye is a big help. My ds isn't quite so obsessed as yours but hes's only 11 1/2 mo. He has a big thing right now for going outside, out out out the door. Not quite at bad. He does seem to let it go if I indulge it for some substantial amount of time.... he is fair skinned and wants out at say 12 noon when i haven't had a chance to get sunscreen on him for example. Out and back in after a minute won;t do it... right now it is out and down the stairs and out into the yard for at least ten minutes or so. Saying bye bye helps but he still gets disappointed. IDK, maybe I should let him out more - I really do try... anyway the point is some days he is very similar to your ds - has has has to do it...

Tea drinking Momma::: Grady 8/06 and : Coralynn 8/09
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