Monday, March 31, 2008

Do As I Say

Luke has become a puppet master. And his puppets? All of the adults who love him, take care of him, and basically cater to his every whim. If a conversation isn't going the way he wants? He'll instruct one of his minions exactly what to say, and to whom to say it. For instance, last night at dinner my Mother was instructed to say "Libby" in an annoyed tone of voice when I would not let Luke eat an entire tub of butter. Or on several occasions people (such as myself) have been instructed to ask him fascinating questions like "what's your favorite Transformer, Lucas?" when the conversation up to that point has been about gardening. And he doesn't just provide questions -- he also has all the answers. Just today he told me to say "yes, Lucas" when he asked if he could have an ice cream bar. Oh, and when he is writing these scripts for us? He is always "Lucas." The uses of the name "Luke" is not acceptable and will result in having to start the entire script over. There is no improvisation. It's like working with the strictest director ever, who will threaten not to be your friend any more if you don't do it right.

The string pulling goes beyond putting words in our mouths as well. Last night we all played a game where Luke would pop an Edamame bean out of it's shell, and then it had to be passed from person to person until it arrived back at him so he could eat it. No one could eat it, or pretend to eat it, or play with it, it just had to be passed hand to hand.

Now, I know what those of you who have any experience with children are thinking -- "sounds like Luke is a little OCD." Well, duh. Is this your first time reading this blog? If he wasn't OCD we would be looking for the cabbage leaf he crawled out from under. Every person in my family has a unique, and strangely endearing quirk. My Dad? Rolls tape between his fingers. My Mom? Her house is as clean and organized as a museum. My sister Cate? Well, she has more Barbies in their original packaging than Mattel. Even threatening to open one sends her into fits. My sister Amanda? She has no fingernails, and can tell you every '80's goth song ever recorded, by whom, and what they were wearing. And me? I'm perfectly normal. I just have to repeat certain sentences until I get the right response, and on certain occasions have almost balded my eyebrows pulling them out while thinking. And when I was a kid? I had a script my parents had to say to me every night before I could go to bed. One deviation and they had to start over again. Sound familiar? Yep, one happy crazy family -- and Lucas fits right in. Honestly, I think that if he didn't have this little puppet master thing going on we would be concerned, and would probably try to force some weird habit on him. After all, we don't have an insect collector... Maybe I'll start working on Ryan, but I'll have to check with Luke first.


Amanda said...

I have never quite had the familial OCD described quite so well.

Cate said...

Did you touch my Barbies? I will know if you have. They are in a precise order that on one should mess with.

Emily-Ione said...

The Mitchells - keeping OCD alive and well in the intermountain west.

This is one of the reasons you are my favorite surrogate family!

mom said...

I am not, am not, am not OCD--and I do dust the Barbies each and every day. They sparkle. Luke merely likes to keep us all in order. Go ahead Libby, say, "Luke, I'm sorry..."