Thursday, February 23, 2012

Our kids' obsessions: enter the labeling phase!

Like many kids, Max's little obsessions come and go. His spaghetti and car wash fascination? So one year ago. His thing for purple, however, shows no signs of letting up although lately he's been saying he likes purple with black. Progress!

Last week, a new phase started. I came home from work to find our babysitter sporting a white piece of paper on her chest with her name painted on it. "What's up with that?" I asked. "Max wanted to do it!" she said. Max had gotten her to write out the name of everyone near and dear to him on a big piece of paper, then they cut all the names out. Together they taped "Mommy" on my chair at the table and "Daddy" on Dave's chair at the table.

Later on, Max decided that he wanted to put "Sabrina" on her backpack. Her response, and I quote: "NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!"

"Sabrina, what's the big deal?" I asked.

"That's MY backpack!" she said.

"Honey, it'll still be your backpack, Max just feels like putting 'Sabrina' on it, so would you do that for him?" I asked.

"I'm NOT going to school with that on!" she said.

"No, of course not, we'll take it off later," I promised. And so she let him label her backpack.

This morning, as I was headed out the door to work, Max decided I needed "Mommy" on my chest.

"Max, I can't wear that to work!" I said.

"Eeeeyah!" he answered. ["Yeah!"]

I wasn't going to reason with him. So I left the house wearing "Mommy" on my chest, took the paper off and carefully placed it in my tote, then taped it on again when I walked back in the door at night. Perhaps I should have kept it on at the office, just to show them who's boss. That could work well at meetings, I think: "We're doing it because I'M THE MOM and I said so!"

My label would definitely come in handy should I have an identity crisis. Also, I am headed to the Blissdom blogger conference today and this could be a fabulous thing to wear instead of the name badges they hang out.

Meanwhile, I'm all for this phase. Unlike car washes, it won't cost us anything or require us to grovel with car wash attendants to let us go through a second time. Unlike spaghetti, I don't have to cook or ask waiters at restaurant to chop anything, stirring up all sorts of controversy in the process. I love that it's educational; Max is getting more and more curious about words and spelling.

Labeling stuff is also just plain fun, and I know it because I own one of those battery-operated label makers and I enjoy using it entirely too much. I keep it hidden in the back of a closet ever since Sabrina got her hands on it and mainly used it to print out labels that said "poopie."

What's your child obsessed with lately? Anything in your house need labeling? Because I know a kid who can help.


  1. Ashley has his moments.
    Opening and closing drawers at the moment.

  2. Ours is bugs. i just wrote a post about it this morning.

  3. Ours is numbers. Reid will find an alarm panel or thermostat in any place within 200 feet. And the best are the ones with digital clocks on them. Luckily, we only have to wait until the minute changes to move to wherever we're going without a fight. :)

  4. My Max is really into ABBA right now, especially the song Super Trouper. That's okay. I was getting tired of The Copacabana.

  5. My 5 year old son with Autism is (and always has been) obsessed with only one thing; balloons. I sometimes hope that he would try something else out for a change, but I do believe we are stuck with balloons well into the forseeable future :-) The hard part has been trying to not let it dominate our lives, which it often does, in good and bad ways!

  6. That's cool, actually. He's into reading and writing! Much more useful than being freaked out if the corn is "touching" the mashed potatoes!!! "It's NO GOOOOOOOD! I can't EEEEEEEEAT that!!!!!" Followed by distraction, a new plate, and the same food re-positioned on it!

  7. sammy is obsessed with the idea that Grace could choke. he is constantly checking the poor girls mouth over and over

  8. Hey Ellen, I originally contacted you after my son Rowan was diagnosed with PVl, then eventually CP. I'm in San Diego. When the conference was in SD, we briefly exchanged emails about meeting in SD at the conference. Anyway, after Rowan was diagnosed, I sought to change my career from standard lawyer to something else. In November of 2011, I joined Legal Aid Society of San Diego, part of which helps kids get insurance and health benefits. My history is in real estate so I am in the housing division but this often intersects with populations of people with disabilities. Anyway, I'm telling you this in comments b/c I can't find email info on you blog anymore but wanted to connect b/c maybe we can work on a segment about board and cares or similar situations involving adult housing and disabilities.???? Let me know.

  9. I was flipping through the tv earlier and the Martha Stewart Show was having an episode all about purple parties. I thought about you guys. :) My almost-3-year-old is currently obsessed with my husband's bosses' dog, named CJ. We now address him as CJ-Nano (his nickname is Nano) or else he won't listen to us, and he talks about how he's holding things "in his paws" instead of his hands. I expect it'll pass in about a week, that's how long it took him to stop insisting that all communication with him took place through the intermediary of a butterfly hand puppet.

  10. Our 2.5 year old daughter is obsessed with two things. Music is #1. And not adorable toddler, Laurie Berkner music; Rihanna, Ke$ha, Nicki Minaj, Katy Perry. I have to sing, "Teenage Dream" to get her to sit still to brush her teeth, totally weird. And if she hears a new song by any of them she instantly knows who it is. I don't tell her, "Hey! A new Nicki Minaj song!" She will just start yelling, "Nicki!!" It's wild. The other thing is her iPad. She always needs it close by.

    Now I wonder how all your kids' therapists work around, or with, these obsessions. We're having a semi-annual meeting on Monday and I've heard that "the iPad is going to be a big issue." I said, "If she wanted to suck on a pacifier or hold a blankie through your sessions, would that be a big deal?" Somehow I doubt it.

    1. A two and a half year old girl knowing teenager music? Wow! Your girl is one very smart person. She could get a career in music since she loves it so much.

  11. I think it's really cute that Max wants to label everything or in this chase everyone LOL :) When I was younger I used to be obsessed with making huge envelopes using old newspapers I used to get my mom to staple the sides together I put all my drawings in them :)

  12. hi everyone,
    i dont have a kid yet, but love reading ur blog Ellen... my husband and i get an obsession with programs, eg just had a mythbusters one where we watched several ep. every night (until we ran out :S) and now its Transformers animated (same deal as mythbusters) I wouldnt mind a kid wanting to name everything... :) p.s. MAX IS A CUTIE :D hehe


Thanks for sharing!

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