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Preschooler Has Obsessive Clothes Disorder

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Tales of a 3-year-old who won't stop taking off (and putting on) her clothes.

Momlogic's Momstrosity: Every day, my kid goes through 20 pairs of underwear, 5 pairs of pants, 8 skirts, 10 pairs of socks, and tries on every shoe in her collection. And that's just before breakfast.

I think the kid's got O.C.C.D. -- Obsessive Clothes Changing Disorder.

Here's how a typical day at my house begins:

LILY: Mom, I can't find any clean underwear!!
ME: You have a drawer full of clean underwear.
LILY: Noooooo, they all have stains!!!

Why a girl who regularly writes on her face with markers is so fastidious about her underwear is a mystery to me. Before she'll put on a pair of skivvies, she scrutinizes each crotch as if she's looking for flaws in the Hope Diamond. Every day, I unsuccessfully try to speed the process.

ME: Look at this one, it looks very, very, very clean.
LILY: (dubious) OK, but let me check it under a light.

She then holds the suspect underwear under her princess lamp, gives me the stink-eye, and flings the offending Tinkerbell undies to the floor.

Finally, after much trial and error, she selects a pair (very often it's the very same pair that DIDN'T pass muster the day before) ... then we begin the quick-change artist portion of our show!

With each outfit, she engages in one activity. When that activity is done, she goes for a wardrobe change. One outfit for each activity. If we're looking at a typical morning, that could mean 10 to 15 activities, such as: brushing teeth (shorts, T-shirt, and snow boots), eating breakfast (sun hat, bathing suit over pants), drawing on her favorite doll (princess dress, scarf and flip-flops, and rabbit ears). With each outfit, she also switches out her underwear.

Who does she think she is, Lady Gaga?!

All this before it's time to get dressed for school. By the time we need to make that decision, almost all of her clothes are in a heap on her floor or tossed into the dirty clothes pile (hey, when clothes are worn for a millisecond, they can get pretty rank, right?).

With barely a moment to spare before we have to leave, she settles on an outfit. Unfortunately she's dressed like a colorblind mental patient. I know I don't have a chance of changing her mind, but I try to offer some constructive criticism.

ME: I love the colors, but honey, stripes and polka dots don't really match.

It never, ever goes over well. 


Good point, kid. After all, that kind of tunnel vision will work well for you in your teens when you're begging me to let you get your tongue pierced. 

Fast-forward to the end of the day.

Of course, she must change out of her school clothes the minute she gets home. Since I can't differentiate between the clean and dirty clothes, I begin the inexplicable task of washing clean clothes. Then comes dinnertime:

ME: Go wash your hands before dinner.
LILY: I have to change first.
ME:  Lily, we're just eating dinner!
LILY: I want to put on something beauuuutiful.

Oh God, here we go again ...

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