After coloring with markers and coloring his hands with markers Eli decided he needed to wash them. Since discovering that he could reach the sink if he stands on the toilet, washing his hands has become a favorite activity. This allows me the rare blessing of being grateful for a small house because it is easy for Richard and I to hear the faucet running from anywhere in the residence. Usually our subconscious hears the water for a few minutes before it registers in our conscious mind that the water is still running.
After hearing the water running for awhile I went in to bring an end to the wasteful water washing. He became hysterical. No matter how much soap he used he could not completely remove the marker from his hands. I extracted him from the bathroom kicking and screaming because his poor little hands were turning to raisins and were swollen and red. I neglected to mention that from the toilet the only knob he can reach is for the hot water.
After letting his hands recover for a few minutes I let him resume washing one more time, but as you can see from the picture, when I interrupted his activity a second time the result was the same. It took him nearly 40 minutes to accept the present condition of his hands and regain his composure. (It was quite the meltdown.) I’m not sure if it was the marker on his hands that really bothered him, or just the fact that I wouldn’t let him wash his hands for eternity.
I hope this is no indication that I need to worry about future obsessive compulsive behaviors.