Cleanliness is Next to Valium

My daughter is totally OCD.

She's also 1, and don't think that doesn't make for tons of fun. She's a clean freak, but all Libras are, and so we work with that. She loves to paint all over herself and dump mud in her brothers' hair and color on the walls or the momma, but god forbid anything should sully her little hands. You'd think someone had just chopped them off, what with the screaming.

Her new favorite word is clean. The other day we spent a good chunk of the afternoon scrubbing the cabinet doors. This is her idea of fun. Her new favorite game is make mom clean up spilled drinks. It goes something like this:

We get about halfway through lunch when she grabs her cup and dumps it on the table. She then points at the puddle and says, "Cwean, Momma!" She loves this game with all 30 inches of her being. I do not.

When she eats, she has to have a paper towel under her plate. Not a place mat, mind you, a paper towel. And not a whole paper towel, either. It has to be one folded in threes or one of those "Choose your size" towels. She has to have this so she can center her plate in the middle of it and then line up her cup in the space to the left and her bread/cookie/dipping sauce on the right. Everything has to be just right and she will spend however much time she has to in order to get it right. I cannot, under any circumstances, try to help her with this. Once everything is evenly spaced and level, the cross-dumping begins. Cheerios go into cups which go onto spoons which go on toast which then gets lifted and dumped back into bowls. Rinse, lather, repeat.

At snack time, she usually stands at my feet and points up at the cupboard containing the desired yummanummy of the day. And screams at it. This is pretty par for an almost-two-year-old, but the best part of it....example:

She wants an ice cream sandwich. I open the freezer (bottom drawer freezer thingy), get her the treat and almost completely but not quite close the door to the freezer (if there's one thing I am incapable of, it's closing a door all the way. It's obnoxious). She will unwrap her ice cream sandwich, put the wrapper in the trash (neat freak) and before she takes bite one she will walk back to the freezer and push it closed. I didn't even notice it was still open.

She, like her father, cannot stand it if anything is ajar. Her shoes sit in a rack with 4 drawers. If I pull out a pair, she will watch to make sure I push the drawer back in. If I don't, she will. Every goddamn time.

When it's getting dressed time, well, most of the time I can pick out her clothes. Not always, but she's not exactly tall enough to reach her drawers and so I have the evolutionary edge. But shoes, shoes are a whole different story. The shoes are stored at toddler level. She is very, very picky about which shoes she wears. And if there happens to be a buckle or a lace on the shoes-o'-the'day, forget about it. She spent 10 minutes the other day (which is, like, a month in toddler years), trying to tie her shoes. The amazing thing is, she got them half way tied. I kid you not. She can get her shoes on the right feet every time, she can buckle her own boots, attach her own velcro straps, and she will not even entertain the idea of your doing it for her. We usually skip the shoe part until she's fastened in a car seat and quite helpless to stop us. Oh, and crocs. Little baby crocs have saved my sanity.

This has all happened before even her second birthday. I am totally afraid of this kid at 13.