27 August 2011, by Mandy Loh
For some strange reason or other, I’ve suddenly developed obsessive-compulsive behaviour: I’m washing my hands a bit too many times; and I have a strong, irresistible need to track my baby’s every activity.
The cleanliness obsession hit me soon after we brought Cristan home, as I was advised to always wash my hands before handling him. Now, I probably wash my hands about 50 times a day! Before a feed, after changing his diaper, after throwing away soiled diaper, after my meals/ washing up. It all adds up. I’ve never gone through so many bottles of hand wash so quickly before! And my hands are protesting the abuse as well, as my skin has become so dry and itchy I’ve started getting a rash!
I’m also constantly hounding Tim to keep a minimum level of hygiene, such as changing into a clean T-shirt once he gets home from work, before carrying Cristan. Guys just have such deplorable cleanliness standards…
(Hang on…I’ve morphed into my mom! She’s a bit of a cleanliness freak, and my sister and I used to laugh at her all the time. Horror of horrors!)
The other weird obsession that’s developed recently, is having to note down everything Cristan does in the day. It started with a simple recording of his feeding times and diaper changes, but suddenly I went quite nuts, and started to note down his naptimes, fussy times, and various activities (like tummy time, playgym time, etc). As you can imagine, I couldn’t properly track all these in a tiny notebook (which I was previously using to record his feeds and diaper changes). I did try, and ended up making a real mess of it, with illegible scribbles all over the page. So I hunted for an iPhone app that could satisfy my obsession, and finally found it! Look what it allows me to log daily!
(Yes, it even allows me to store photos taken directly on the iPhone, so if the baby has a strange rash, I could snap a shot and show it to the paediatrician at our next check-up!)
The app also creates instant summaries and bar chart reports so I can see trends on a weekly and monthly basis (eg. what time Cristan usually naps during the day). Best of all, while Tim’s at work, he can still be plugged into what’s going on at home, by accessing a linked website which is updated real-time.
There were free apps that were pretty basic, but I was totally willing to fork out US$4.99 for all the extra functions! And I think, now that I have the tool to actually note down everything that goes on, it kinda fuels my compulsion to continue doing so!
(Reminds me of the spooky stalker song by Sting: Every move you make…every breath you take…I’ll be watching you!)
Goodness gracious, what has become of me??!?