Charlie had a better day at school and asked to go on a bike ride when he came home. On the bike ride, he asked for a burrito. He has been doing so a lot and we have been taking him to get a burrito a lot and, as Jim and I have been thinking, really too much. The fact that he has been asking on the bike ride has been a signal that it was time for a change.
We attempted this on Thursday, leading to Charlie asking, asking, asking for a burrito; seeming to calm; throwing something; banging the back of his head hard enough on the wall that we went to the ER.
'You guys have been here before,' the triage nurse observed as we checked in. Yes: 2010 saw us visiting the ER at least twice; we had also found ourselves there on December 26, 2009.
Fortunately, there were not a lot of people at the ER (unlike that day on December 26) and before we knew it a doctor came in, looked at Charlie's head, came back with soap to wash it, and then came back with an anesthetic to inject, and staples. Charlie handled all that and was, understandably, eager to go home.
He found a box of brownie mix and we made them and he went to bed.
We're trying to spot routines that freeze into obsessions and box Charlie in earlier. I think we did feel the burrito obsession was getting to that point and we did not want to have something happen in the car so it was best to be home. I'm not sure how to handle Charlie asking for the burrito Friday and I don't think we'll stop going entirely. Really, OCD and anxiety often seem some of the biggest challenges.
It was tough and he's a tough kid -- in both senses of the word.