Sometimes, this is very helpful as she knows what to expect. At times, it can be humorous. Other times, it can be a problem.
Here are some things Jaycee does that must be done her way.
- If Jaycee and I have Netflix time in my bed, Jaycee must get into the bed first. She will scream and cry if I get into the bed first. I don't know why it matters, but it does to her.
- I drive a van. My husband drives a truck. Jaycee gets very upset when Jason drives us in my van. She will sometimes scream and refuse to get in the van because I'm not driving.
- If I enter my van and sit down before Jaycee, she will get upset too. She thinks she needs to get into the van before me. Maybe she just likes to be first?
- If Jaycee is sitting on our couch, the cup holder next to her must be empty or have her cup. If dad's cup is in the cup holder, she must take it out and put it somewhere else. She can't stand for the cup holder to have something in it that's not hers!
- Our church has several computers with touch screens to check in the children before service. We always use a certain computer. If someone is using it, Jaycee will cry, scream, or throw herself down because someone is on our computer. It doesn't matter if we can use the one right next to it. It's not the same to her!
- Our church has several doors to enter. Usually we park in the back and go in the back door. When I change it up and park in the front, Jaycee gets upset. Sometimes she has screamed and cried all the way into the church all because I am making her come in through a different door! My favorite time was when she repeatedly threw herself down because I dared to go in a different door. I needed a minute with Jesus after I finally got her into church because I was pretty angry by that time!!
- If we go to a local restaurant, Jaycee will want a seat we have previously sat in. There have been times when she has stood by "our" occupied table staring in unbelief that someone could be sitting there. Sometimes, it upsets her and sometimes she just walks to another seat. Her memory for our seating patterns is amazing! Some kind people have offered to move seats for Jaycee when they hear why she's staring at them, but we never let them move.
- At bedtime, Jaycee has to have her dolls and stuffed animals just so. If we touch one of her dolls, she gets upset and has to start the whole process again.
- Jaycee always flushes the toilet before she stands up. When she encounters a flushing toilet that activates when you stand up, it confuses her. She looks around for the flushing handle and can't figure out what to do.
- Jaycee hates pillows on furniture. She has to throw pillows off any couch or chair she is near. For some reason, pillows on the furniture bother her but pillows on the floor are just fine.
- She HATES when people at the grocery store help carry out my groceries to my van. I don't know if she thinks they are going to steal our food or what, but she will scream and cry at these people until they leave our groceries alone.
- The lid to the trashcan must be closed at all times! EVERY time she walks by the trashcan, she will shut the lid if it is open. I must admit after laughing about her need to shut the lid, I soon discovered that all 4 of us in this house must shut that lid when we walk by it!
As you can see, Jaycee likes routine and order. Some of her preferences add humor to our life. Some add stress. The problem with these problems is what to do about them. As someone who hates to make situations worse, I know things that will set her off so I go along with her preferences. At the same time, I am feeding her need for things to be the same when I go along with her. But I also don't want to deal with a screaming child that can't communicate enough to have a conversation about what is wrong. It's a dilemma.
And this is one of a hundred thousand reasons why parenting is a hard job!
This is Jaycee upset on our Make-A-Wish trip because we were riding in a limo and the limo driver was putting our bags in the car. She didn't like that!
Full disclosure: I can easily make a list of my own compulsive behaviors, so Jaycee comes by it honest!