What it’s like having a texture-sensitive kiddo

My big dude is a pretty rad miniature human. At 7yrs old he has managed to grasp a level of humor and sarcastic-ness that far outdoes most adults I know. It doesn’t surprise me.

From the moment he came squalling into the world, bright red, and wrinkled, I knew he was destined for glory the minute the nurse proclaimed “He looks like Benjamin button, just look. It’s like he’s an 80 year old man in a newborn’s body!”

Thankfully, due to the fentanyl drip I’d been given previously, I managed to suppress my backhand urge. But she wasn’t exactly lying either. My 3rd child, I’d indeed birthed an old soul. In the womb he was a duo. I lost his twin before they were fully baked and so he came out solo. But I won’t go into that story because, well, I can’t.

Suffice it to say, we were super excited to welcome this strong-willed survivor and thus named him Alexander. Because after so much, he deserved a strong name. And boy is he strong. Strong-willed, strong in determination, his physicality is impressive, and oh yeah, his aversion to anything “uncomfortable” is the strongest of all.

You see, Big dude is texture-sensitive. Now, I don’t know the medical term.So we’ve developed our own name for it. He says he’s being sensed when it happens. And I think that’s pretty fucking spot on. You might too after you read the description.

If a flavor, texture, smell, or sight triggers something in him he vomits. Like demon-possessed, I’m gonna ruin your best shoes, vomit. It comes without warning, without a moment to grab the nearest container and duck for cover, and it can happen any time.

We’ve grown used to it. Over the years we’ve practiced different ways of trying to tame the pukebeast. From talking himself down, and avoiding different triggers, to making sure that old, dead leaf his sibling just carried in with his shoe is picked up before Alex’s mind tricks him into thinking it’s dog poo and another rug is ruined.

Yeah, we’re like the champions of upchuck.

But every once in awhile I feel really bad for him. Like today.

He was at school, eating lunch, surrounded by his friends and classmates when all of a sudden worst case scenario happens. His friend decides to pour his applesauce all over his cheeseburger and then *gasp* dip it in ketchup.

Typical 7 yr old food experiment- but it waved a red flag of doom in front of Big Dude’s gag reflex and whammo. The cafeteria table became the next scene out of a miniature Carrie- the elementary school years- sequel.

So the nurse called.

I’ve put this on his med records and all the paperwork due every year, but still I understand why a call is warranted. We spoke, and she wasn’t sure if sickness or a sensed moment had happened as of yet. (he failed to tell her all the details at that time)

So I talked to him, he sorta avoided my questioning, which was the first clue to it being a sensed moment. Anyway, I went in and picked him up, just to be on the safe side. When it comes to elementary kids and cooties, you can never be too sure when the next stomach bug might be in full swing.

Once, we got to the car he let the story spill, full of all the embarrassment an event such as this could bring. And so I hugged him,  asked if he was still hungry, (he was) and took him to the nearest pizza joint for a nice hot slice and some good conversation.

So yeah, life with Big Dude is an adventure. Sensory overload at its finest. And maybe he’ll eventually get it under control, or perhaps he won’t. But no matter what, we’ll get through it. All we need is humor, Clorox wipes, and quite possibly, an extra set of shoes.

If any of you reading this are also parents of sensed kids, lemme know! I’d love to connect with others who know exactly what this is like and see if you have any tricks up your sleeve for avoiding the unavoidable. 🙂

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