At this point, I'm sort of hoping for OCD.
A highly-functioning, mildly annoying, form of obsessive compulsive disorder, that happens to manifest itself ONLY in terms of paper ripping and NOT habitual counting or hand-washing or routine-oriented behavior.
Because it is quickly becoming more than I can handle when I walk into the girls room to find little bits and scraps of all kinds of paper. L's way of dealing with the world, ripping our life in paper to tiny white specks.
So, I'm hoping for some kind of disorder with a diagnosis, because that would make this scenario (which happens every time I clean their room....and in the months in between, when it's too messy for me to care) unavoidable, and maybe even the natural result of some sort of brain mis-wiring, all stemming from her days as a 25-week preemie. In which case, I can thank the Lord that the potentially devastating effects of being a one-pound baby have turned out to be nothing but an annoying habit to rip paper products. Continually.
And then I will feel like it's not so bad.
And then, instead of feeling frustrated at this never-ending, paper ripping dance we seem to perform daily, I will only feel silly and begin to praise her fine-motor skills and her progress since birth.
And then when I want to do a paper mache or decoupage project, I will have L, constantly preparing the materials for me. And it won't be creepy that we have an entire house furnished and decorated with hard, formed, glued paper.
And then Christmas presents will be easy and inexpensive and consisting of lots of tissue paper and kleenex.
And then, when she leaves for college and I open her drawers and closets only to be snowed upon by paper bits, I will feel sad and nostalgic and lonely for my little girl and her strange OCD tick.
And this is what helps me sleep at night.