I was originally going to title this post "Panty Wars" but then realized that if someone Googled the word panty they might find this post and I didn't think that was the kind of audience I was trying to attract. Besides this is about so much more than just undergarments.
I actually wanted to write this post the other day but knew that I needed to finish filling folks in on the second part of Princess's education first.
One morning when Princess was five, I was trying to get Princess ready for school when she flat out refused to wear the jacket that went with a warm up suit that she had received from her grandma. She told me that she didn't like the way the satin lined hood felt against her neck. At that point I just gave in and let her wear another jacket that didn't match so that I wouldn't be late to teach.
Three years removed from that incident I can honestly say that was the first time that I can vividly recall Princess having Sensory Processing Disorder symptoms. In the book "The Out of Sync Child" Carol Stock Kranowitz, M.A. says that children who suffer from Sensory Processing Disorder or SPD are either sensory seekers or sensory avoiders. Princess is a sensory avoider for most of her senses except smell. That is when she doesn't like the way something feels, tastes, sounds, or looks; it is an assault to her senses. In the past Princess has gone into melt down mode over something as simple as the sound of a tea kettle's whistle or socks feeling scratchy.
A sensory seeker looks for things that are pleasing to her senses. For Princess this is smell. Upon meeting someone, Princess performs the sniff test on them. If they smell good, they must be good people. She also does the sniff test on all foods. Sometimes this is downright embarrassing to me. Nowadays I just try to look the other way and talk to Princess about better choices.
For the most part my husband and I have learned to avoid the things Princess doesn't like.
There are of course things that we have no control over and for those times, we help Princess to calm down and take deep breaths.
Many clothing items feel like sandpaper to Princess. For most of us if something doesn't feel right, we get used to it and move on or we can easily find something else to wear instead. For Princess there are so many things that don't feel good to her that it is difficult for her to find something that brings harmony to her touch receptors. She doesn't like the way socks feel and currently doesn't wear any. We have tried every type of sock known to mankind but alas we still have not found the magic pair. Princess cannot stand pants or long sleeves. She once told me that she wasn't sure why jeans were invented because they are so uncomfortable.
Princess seems to prefer organic cotton dresses. Fortunately we have found Hanna Andersson clothes. You can find them here. They are super comfy and long lasting. We have also discovered Mini Boden t-shirt dresses but Princess is outgrowing their girls' clothing. I hate to admit this but Princess did wear a particular Mini Boden t-shirt dress every day for four months straight.
She gets in this mind set where if something feels just right, it is hard for her to venture out and try something new. It is just easier for her to wear what she knows and feels comfortable with.
I bet you are wondering why I wanted to title this post Panty Wars? Well here goes. In what will be chronicled in another post, we discovered that when Princess's SPD goes out of whack, OCD rears it's ugly head. One of Princess's compulsions was to change her underwear multiple times during the day (Up to 7 or 8 a day!). She would swear that she had "tinkled." The answer to that problem was solved when Princess accidentally discovered that if she wore her bathing suit bottoms, she didn't have any problems. Princess ended up wearing her new "underwear" for 7 months until just recently she decided to try regular UW again. Whew!
Soon after Princess decided to wear regular UW again, I was called to the school to bring Princess another pair of UW because she had "tinkled." I came right away to bring another pair and two back ups. Just in case.
I am praying that this is not the start of what we saw last summer. I do know that the Lord is walking by my side as my husband and I travel this journey whether or not we have more UW wars.
Below is a picture of Princess wearing one of her favorite dresses. (This was taken awhile ago.) Currently she has 4 dresses and 3 short sets in rotation so we are making progress.