We've got a strange new challenge we're tackling with Whitney lately. She's gotten into the habit of finding pieces of paper from notepads by the phone or in Melanie's purse or wherever and crumpling them up. Then we'll find her somewhere in the house chewing on the paper or tearing it into tiny little pieces. Once she's done she'll go back and start the process all over again with some other paper she finds.
It seemed harmless enough at first that Melanie and I tolerated it. It seemed to occupy her and make her happy. But after a month or so of this our house is covered in little scraps of paper (some chewed on) that we're constantly having to pick up and throw away.
Our biggest concern is that Whit seems obsessed with finding and destroying paper. Who knows how many phone messages have been inadvertently lost. We've moved the notepads and such out of reach, so now Whitney has been sneaking into the children's books and tearing out pages to fold, spindle and mutilate. When she's caught she's scolded, but she's got this appetite for paper.
We've seen this kind of thing before with Whitney where she'll get into some unusual habit that's difficult to break. Some days she'll suck on a strand of her hair or chew the sleeve of her shirt until it's soaked. It seems she's just prone to strange obsessive behavior that Melanie and I will have to learn to manage.
So far we pick our battles. We've started with the most harmful things first and then we'll work our way down. Finding and tearing up paper doesn't hold a candle to self damaging behavior so we're grateful we haven't had more trouble with that. But if you ever stop by the house and there are little scraps of paper all over the floor, you'll know why. :-)