If you have a sensory seeking child, or if you’re a sensory seeking adult, you might relate to this.
This is a bath soap my mom gave me, gosh it must have been two years ago now? It is a lemon verbena scent, and I cannot stop sniffing it. As a matter of fact, neither can my daughter.
We use it more as aromatherapy than anything else. We have never used it as a soap, because I can’t find this particular bath bar anywhere else. Not online, not in stores. So I won’t use it except to smell it when I need a pick-me-up, or anytime really.
Yes, I realize there are other verbena bath bars around, but this one is special. I’ve never smelled anything that made me feel so good before like this bar does. They just don’t smell the same.
Sensory processing takes many forms. It’s all of our senses, taste, touch, sight, sound, and smell.
My sense of smell is so particular, I can’t even date a man who smells like Tide detergent. I can’t explain it in any rational manner, except to say the smell is wholely repugnant. Any good qualities the guy might have will go right out the window because I won’t be able to focus on anything but getting away from that smell.
In Walmart week last week, this lady had her cart squarely in the middle of the aisle, which meant I couldn’t quite squeeze mine around it. I didn’t make a fuss, didn’t frown, didn’t say anything to her. I brushed it the 2 inches needed to go around it, and she sniped at me in a deliberately loud voice, “well, SOMEONE’S having a bad day.”
I wasn’t having a bad day, I was rather in a good mood , but she assumed that because I didn’t smile at her, simply maneuvered my cart around hers and said nothing, that I had to be in a bad mood.
I am not as obtuse as some would believe. I could tell from her sarcastic tone that she meant to be ugly. She meant that I should feel some kind of shame for daring to go around her cart.
Normally I wouldn’t say anything, just let it go, but this time I did speak up. I went up to her and said, “excuse you. I wasn’t rude to you, I didn’t complain that you left your cart all the way in the middle of everything so that nobody could move in the same aisle. I didn’t say or do one single thing that warranted your side remark. Maybe next time you should consider that the reason someone doesn’t speak to you or smile at you is because they’re autistic, as I am, and not project your own negative assumptions on the situation.”
I was shaking when I walked away, but I’m glad I spoke up. It’s exhausting that some people feel entitled to say ugly things to another person because they don’t behave as we expect they should, with zero regard to the possibility that they may be completely ignorant of the reasons. These people, sadly, are usually women. Yes, I know guys can say mean things too, but it is the worst kept secret that girl on girl crime (forgive the expression) is rampant.
It is especially egregious when it’s neurotypical women against autistic women.
Stop it. We aren’t stupid, or oblivious to your catty shenanigans. It’s old, and we’re tired.
My mom always taught me, “just because you can doesn’t mean you should.” And for those of you who say it’s her right to free speech, that is entirely correct. But it doesn’t give her immunity from my calling out rudeness. I will respond. I will not be silenced anymore.
Optional: 1 bunch of parsley, 1 tablespoon or more of sea salt, 1 teaspoon peppercorns, additional herbs or spices to taste. I also add 2 cloves of garlic for the last 30 minutes of cooking.
You’ll also need a large stock pot to cook the broth in and a strainer to remove the pieces when it is done.
If you are using raw bones, especially beef bones, it improves flavor to roast them in the oven first. I place them in a roasting pan and roast for 30 minutes at 350.
Then, place the bones in a large stock pot (I use a 5 gallon pot). Pour (filtered) water over the bones and add the vinegar. Let sit for 20-30 minutes in the cool water. The acid helps make the nutrients in the bones more available.
Rough chop and add the vegetables (except the parsley and garlic, if using) to the pot. Add any salt, pepper, spices, or herbs, if using.
Now, bring the broth to a boil. Once it has reached a vigorous boil, reduce to a simmer and simmer until done.
During the first few hours of simmering, you’ll need to remove the impurities that float to the surface. A frothy/foamy layer will form and it can be easily scooped off with a big spoon. Throw this part away. I typically check it every 20 minutes for the first 2 hours to remove this. Grass-fed and healthy animals will produce much less of this than conventional animals.
During the last 30 minutes, add the garlic and parsley, if using.
Remove from heat and let cool slightly. Strain using a fine metal strainer to remove all the bits of bone and vegetable. When cool enough, store in a gallon size glass jar in the fridge for up to 5 days, or freeze for later use.
One of the funniest and most poignant memories I have of my daughter was when she was about 7 years old: a few years ago, when we lived in our old apartment, I was working on something in the living room, and B came in tugging behind her this little wooden cart. She had all her Backyardigans beanies piled up inside of it and wanted me to see something.
I said give me a few sweetie, Mommy has to finish this first. So she waited.
She got tired of waiting, because out of the corner of my eye, I see her lining up all her Backyardigans in a row, only they were facing forward, with their backs to me. I asked her why she lined them up that way.
“They’re unhappy because you’re taking too long and won’t look at them.”
Translation: SHE was unhappy that I was working, and not paying attention to her. She used her stuffed animals to show me her emotions.
I put the work away after that. I could always go back to it, but she would only be little, for a little while longer.
“And just like that, a second-grade boy, who was only there for his little sister’s birthday and who only asked one simple question about a girl and her dog, “got it.” Amazing.”
I find, as my daughter and I learn more about ourselves, and other Autistics, that it isn’t really the kids who have a problem – it’s the adults. Kids are remarkable. In every way. If you give a child the freedom to be as they are naturally and without inserting prejudice or preconceived bias against something or someone, they will restore your faith in humanity on the daily.
I find also, that adults are much less inclined to exert patience, compassion, or temperance in their speech, attitude, or treatment for anyone who lives with an unboxed mind.
Maybe that mom didn’t mean to get snappy with the little girl. Maybe she was going through her own anxiety and frustration. The article doesn’t say.
What I can say is that I’m always amazed by the capacity of children to accept with very little issue, what another person needs even if it’s unorthodox. Let’s hope as time marches on that we raise a generation of human meat popsicles who are more accepting and less apt to judge that with which they are unfamiliar.
Let’s teach them to revel in the unvarnished beauty of the unboxed mind.