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Line 'em up -- Tales from a cracker box

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My 5-year-old son just started wanting his crackers lined up — perfectly. If one cracker is turned a little to the left or right, he protests.

The first time I noticed this was when he seemed cranky, distressed. I tried everything to appease him, thinking he might be wanting a different snack, might feel bad or maybe was just tired.

Then, I straightened his crackers, and the clouds parted.


This isn’t my first experience with childhood obsessions. My oldest daughter started lining up her toys at a young age. My youngest daughter had to have her silverware laid out properly on a napkin (even if paper) when we went to restaurants. This was rarely successful after our son was born, since he tended to grab anything that was on the table.

My sister tells a story about when our first child spent the night at her house. My daughter was crying about wanting her red socks. Those particular red socks were filthy, but my sister dug them out of the laundry and put them on my little daughter’s feet. … ahh, peace.

This is the same girl who would have me take her shoes off until I could get the little seam on the end of her tights to stay on top of her toes, instead of at the ends of her toes.

It’s these little things that can stress a parent — and a child.

Our son always says, “Thank you” and “Bless you.” But you better be quick with a return, “You’re welcome.”  He demands it.

At least he has good manners.

Linda Lynn

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Linda Lynn

Linda Lynn was born and raised in rural Oklahoma. A graduate of Purcell High School, Lynn began working at The Oklahoman in 1987 as a reporter after earning a journalism degree from the University of Oklahoma. She has served as both a... Read more ›