Tuesday, October 31, 2006

OCD at IHOP

There’s an International House Of Pancakes by my obstetrician’s office. This is very dangerous. “Pregnant woman” plus “pancakes” equals “rooty-tooty fat in the booty.”

For the most part, I can resist temptation (but only by taking the route that doesn’t go past the place). When I was pregnant with Lumpyhead, Bump came to every OB visit and we made several post-appointment IHOP stops, particularly during my last trimester.

I can remember sitting at that restaurant, nervously anticipating Lumpyhead’s arrival, while Bump freaked out about much we still needed to do. I started dilating six weeks before Lumpyhead’s due date. Three weeks before I delivered, the doctor told us I could go into labor “any minute now.” The first time she said this it translated to Bump as “Gitcher ass directly to Babies R Us and buy everything you can fit in the Jeep. Maybe rent a U-Haul.” I talked him down over the course of eggs and a waffle, and he didn’t immediately sprint to the store upon returning home. (He did, however, become singularly focused on painting Lumpyhead’s room.) We heard the “any minute now” line for the next three appointments, and we eventually stopped getting worked up about it.

Today Lumpyhead and Bump came to my OB appointment. They came to my last appointment, too, and Bump and I were reminded that we vowed then never to take Lumpyhead to the OB again. Like last time, we spent over an hour waiting for the doctor while trying to keep Lumpyhead 1) from being flattened by the waiting room doors, 2) out of the speculum drawer, and 3) away from the biohazard disposal.

But Lumpyhead found my doctor very entertaining, and we all got to go to IHOP afterward. Lumpyhead ate hash browns and eggs and sausage (sausage! Wheee!) and toast. While we waited for our order, he played quietly with the little containers of coffee creamer.

Bump and I looked over to find him carefully making sure all the creamers were oriented the same way. At one point they were all upright, at another they all were bottom up, but lazy creamers who were rolling around on their sides were quickly brought in line. We intentionally knocked over a couple to see what he would do. We got The Scowl and an annoyed grunt as Lumpyhead repaired our devastation.

I’m afraid he inherited this from me. When I was little, whenever I wore something with a drawstring or cord, the hanging strings always had to be the same length. My grandmother occasionally teased me about this, even when I was in high school and had obviously outgrown the need for order. She said she would tug on one end to make it longer, just to watch me obsessively even them out.

Maybe everyone has some compulsive tendencies? The clutter that overwhelms my house is headache-inducing, so it’s not that I’m tidy. I would say that I don’t exhibit many OCD characteristics, but then there is the matter of Aunt Bob’s birthday cake:


Please ignore for a moment that it looks like it was made by someone who was drunk or blind, possibly both. I was neither when I made it. I tried to blot out the numbers so you can’t tell how old Aunt Bob is, which makes the cake look like it has odd boobies or creepy eyes. It’s bad enough that the thing is lopsided, I feel lousy about subjecting it to further indignity.

I was busted by a six-year-old at Aunt Bob’s party, who had been staring at the cake for about 45 minutes straight, hoping her sheer force of will could compel it to be served. “There's a pattern in the M&Ms!” she announced. “Red brown yellow brown blue brown green brown orange brown.”

Her mother was very proud. “They've been learning about patterns at school. I'll have to tell her teacher she recognized a pattern.”

There is no such charming explanation for why there is a pattern in the M&Ms, except that I am a huge dork. Further evidenced by the girl trumpeting, “There’s also a pattern around the bottom! A different one!” What a little narc.

You may also notice that all the “m”s are facing toward the cake. This was actually trickier than creating the pattern, because I had to eat all the M&Ms that were facing the wrong way. It occurred to me later that this was unnecessary; those M&Ms weren’t facing the wrong way, they were simply for the other side of the cake. Oh well, lesson learned.

7 comments:

Mom at Work said...

The cake was yummy! I loved it.

The creamer arranging I can't wait to see.

stefanierj said...

May I borrow "rooty-tooty ft in the booty" if I promise to give you credit? 'Cause I'm gonna.

And I love the boobie cake. LOVE it. love the fact that it's OCD even more. There was an X-files episode about how zombies or vampires or something are OCD, so one way to distract them during an attack is to throw a handful of something like paper clips on the floor, b/c they'll have to stop and pick them up before they can pursue you.

My husband feels this speaks volumes to my origins and possibly sheds light onto my other odd person habits, such as feasting on human flesh. I think one shouldn't believe everything he sees on TV.

Violet said...

I bet the cake looked a whole lot better for those M&M patterns.

Michele said...

You say all this like its a bad thing.

i would write more but I have staples to arrange.

Em said...

"Lumpyhead, No! Away from the Speculum!"

I love the idea of you and Bump messing up the creamers to see what he would do.

Also, OCD and tidyness do not always go hand in hand. Are you still keeping all of your bills neatly organized and storing them for seven years? Or have you stopped that since colleges, miss even strings?

Sarah, Goon Squad Sarah said...

Until you admitted the pattern I thought the little girl was crazy, but nope - the pattern is there.

You have 47 days left to make my OCD cake.

And remember, you can always leave Lumpyhead over here. Maybe all six of us can hit the IHOP next visit. (poor IHOP)

Devra said...

I wanna go to IHOP. I thought the ovals were giant eggs on the cake.

Maybe I need to forego IHOP and just have some Bailey's or something.