Miss L and the Banishment of Clarabel: A Story of Betrayal and Obsession

Miss L is really into trains. I’m not sure if this is because I like trains, but never got to play with them as a child, and so pushed them on her, or because they are just really awesome. Either way, she loves trains. We have been buying the Thomas Wooden Railway piece by piece (because, quite frankly, we can’t afford to buy all the trains and the table and railroad at one time).

Annie and Clarabel.

Last night Mr. A came home with a set of two trains that he had found on sale: Annie and Clarabel. These are special trains. They are passenger cars that face each other when attached, rather than front to back, so that they can talk to each other. Because of the way the magnets are attached, they cannot both face forward. Clarabel must always go backwards, no matter who she is attached to.

Miss L, bless her heart, tried her darnedest to make Clarabel face forward. We told her to turn it around so Clarabel could face her friend Annie. They want to talk to each other, we told her. Miss L would have none of it. Miss L sobbed as though Elmo had died. Trains face forward. Clarabel would not face forward. Therefore Clarabel must be banished.

And banished she was, to the other side of the room. Clarabel was not allowed on the train tracks, Miss L very firmly told her daddy.

Poor Clarabel.

This isn’t the first time Miss L has shown a strong tendency to create rules and demand strict adherence to them. Her intense focus on lines, stacks, colors, and other patterns has concerned us at times. The pediatrician assures us that two-year-olds sometimes do things that would be considered crazy in an adult, and not to worry. But sometimes I wonder: Can a toddler be OCD? And if so, will she grow out of it? I guess only time will tell.

Anyone have any experience with this?

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