Dean and I have always noticed our Brooksie is little particular. Yes, I realize that all kids have some peculiarities and tendencies, but his have gotten even more extreme as he’s grown.
Whenever we recognize one of these “quirks”, Dean and I look at each other with smirk and a certain look that says, “where’d that come from…he doesn’t get that from me?!”
BEDTIME – I’ve shared several stories of Brooks’ specific bedtime requirements (Example 1 and Example 2). He also doesn’t like when I lay out his clothes the night before. As he’s started dressing himself in the mornings, I’ve started putting out his clothes the night before so that he can start getting ready when he wakes up. I have found that I’m only allowed to lay them on his dresser changing pad – he does not like if I put them (or anything really) on the floor. Recently when his cousin Lawson stopped by for a visit, he found Brooks’ puppy in a box in the playroom and brought it into Brooks’ bed and put it on his pillow, remembering how much his cousin loved his puppy (when he was younger). That night, Brooks walked into his room, saw the puppy and said, “Get that puppy out of here!” Yes, he’s particular about what’s in his room at bedtime.
MEALS – During meals, Brooks is much more picky about food than anyone else in our family. He’ll often love and eat three servings of something for dinner but then when I offer it the next day, he won’t take a bite. Or things he’s loved for past meals, he won’t try a week or two later. Casseroles are always 50-50. Sometimes, he’ll gobble it down and sometimes the mixture of tastes and textures is a complete turnoff – he’ll take one bite and gag. He has never let me ‘feed’ him once he started using his own utensils. There is no “food airplane” in our house. Brooks is the only one who can be touching his silverware when it hits his mouth – I think this is mostly because he likes to be in control – how much is on his spoon, how quickly he takes bites, so that he can take a miniscule bite (i.e. a grain of rice) if he’s not feeling the meal. (Unless of course, mom has ice cream to share, then he’ll gladly let me serve him from my dish and spoon!)
He also is very particular about his dining space. He only likes spoons for certain foods and forks for others. (i.e. for a recent breakfast we had pancakes with blueberries on the side. He got a spoon for the blueberries, ate them. Put the spoon in the sink, got out a fork and used that for the pancakes.) He also likes his utensils washed in between courses. If he eats salad with his fork and it has leftover salad dressing on it, he wants me to wash it before he eats his main meal.
If there are drips during his meal (i.e. eating cereal and he gets drips on the table) he has to clean them immediately with a napkin (or if I won’t let him get up, he wipes them up with his hand). He does not like a messy eating environment. If he eats dinner and gets too many crumbs in his seat/area. If we do dessert, he’ll move to another “clean” spot so that he doesn’t have to eat where his dinner crumbs were.
He doesn’t like to use a napkin more than once. This is probably one of the most frustrating for me because he wastes so many napkins. As much as I try to show him the napkin is still clean if he just did one wipe, he will get up in the middle of his meal, throw it in the trash and get a new one. Sometimes I rip them up so that he gets two or three “fresh napkins” out of one.
CLEANLINESS – He likes to take a shower every night. (Which isn’t too crazy for us, I know some moms only do a couple baths/showers a week but we tend to shower the kids 5-6 nights a week (or more!)) If he’s in meltdown mode at or after dinner, we’ll sometimes skip the shower and just send him to bed and this sends him into an even bigger meltdown. Or if we’re at a friends house and come home late and don’t want to keep the kids up any longer, we skip showertime and he is pretty vocal about not being showered before pjs.
Yes, this boy of ours is a little headstrong and a little peculiar about some of the things in his life, but I love my crazy little 3 year old!